NEW YORK, NY – Though New Yorkers are starting to chafe under a stay-at-home order that is likely to extend at least into the middle of June, CNN reports that there has been at least one silver lining to the state’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus: as of Tuesday, the city has now made it 58 days without a pedestrian fatality, the longest stretch since the Department of Transportation began tracking causes of death in 1983. Traffic across the city has dramatically decreased since the NY ON PAUSE order was issued on March 20, and as people are encouraged to stay home as much as possible, there are fewer pedestrians on the street as well.
But transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg was quick to offer a caveat to the good news. The lack of traffic has tempted certain drivers into speeding down the empty streets.
“Some drivers are taking advantage of much emptier streets to speed recklessly,” Trottenberg said in a City Council meeting, according to a DOT transcript.
Automated speed cameras continue to issue nearly twice as many tickets as they did before the NY ON PAUSE order, and the DOT is scrambling to install 60 additional cameras per month.
“The NYPD will continue its stepped-up enforcement of speed violations — both on the highways and the local streets — to protect our essential and emergency workers as they serve our city,” NYPD spokeswoman Det. Sophia Mason told reporters. She also pointed out that between April 13 and May 10, the number of traffic collisions resulting in injuries had dropped some 69% relative to the same period in 2019.
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