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Speeding in the city is way up on empty New York streets

Written by
Howard Halle

As if New Yorkers didn't have enough to worry about during life under lockdown, there's a new scourge menacing the city: Speeding. According to recent reports, local drivers are putting the pedal to the metal like never before. In case you’re wondering why this is happening with fewer cars out there, well, NYC is threatening to become the Indy 500 precisely because the streets are empty now. Before everything closed down, cars crawled through midtown at an average of roughly seven miles per hour. No wonder some dickheads find the new normal liberating.

Streetsblog reported that from March 5 to March 24, speed cameras issued 180,718 citations for cars exceeding the posted limit, representing a 12 percent hike over a similar period in January. Not coincidently, the New York Post reported that during the same window, overall traffic volume had declined by 35 to 50 percent. Similarly, Streelight, a site that tracks mobility data, found that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Manhattan was down by 92 percent last week.

Streetsblog further noted that the NYPD doesn't seem to care. Even while cameras were clocking a significant rise in speeding, cops issued a daily total of 346 violations in March, down 36 percent since January. Meanwhile, six drivers and motorcyclists were killed between March 2 and April 8, a total exceeding traffic fatalities for the same period during four of the past five years.

Leaving aside the argument of just how stupid it is to have a car in NYC in the first place, where, exactly, do you need to get in such a hurry, unless you’re driving ambulance? So if you aren’t, slow down already.

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