By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Two hundred cops would be flooding the city streets for the sole purpose of catching drivers who speed, under a plan put forth by Councilman Vincent Gentile.
Acting in response to a spate of hit-run crashes and other accident in his council district and elsewhere in the city, Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Police Department to immediately hire 200 additional police officers for speed enforcement. The cops would also be assigned to lookout for drunk drivers and other types of reckless motorists.
Speeding is a leading cause of fatal car crashes, according to Gentile, who said speeding kills more New York City residents than alcohol, drug, and cell-phone involved crashes combined.
“There are simply too many drivers speeding and not enough enforcement resources at this time,” Gentile said. “My number one concern will always be for public safety and I continue to work closely with the Department of Transportation towards making our streets a safe place where pedestrians, cyclists and motorists can all co-exist safely, peacefully and responsibly,” he said.
On March 13, a 34-year-old woman was struck and seriously injured by a driver who was speeding down Third Avenue., police said. The woman was hit by the car as she crossed Third Avenue at 86th Street, police said.
In another alarming development, it was learned that drivers aren’t slowing down near elementary schools. The New York Daily News reported that there are 44 spots near schools in Brooklyn where drivers tend to speed. The News article cited a recent report issued by the Dept. of Transportation.
Gentile introduced a resolution in the council calling on the mayor of the City of New York and the NYPD to hire and deploy a minimum of 200 more police officers citywide.
“Whether its speed cameras, education programs, more cops or more enforcement – there is no single panacea,” Gentile said. “But something has to be done. Nothing can be left off the table when lives are at stake,” he said.
Gentile spoke out on the day Dept. of Transportation traffic engineers met with Community Board 10 officials and local residents to discuss ways to make Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge safer for pedestrians.