- The Washington Times - Monday, January 27, 2014

There’s a new mayor in town, and his name is traffic control. New York City’s newly minted Mayor Bill de Blasio has demanded police focus on achieving a “zero” traffic fatality figure for the city, leading agency commanders to shift focus from crime to reckless driving.

Now, New York Police Department commanders at their weekly TrafficStat meetings will have to answer for each traffic-related incident that occurs during their areas of oversight, The New York Post reported. That has police heads concerned that the new emphasis will lead to a loss of focus on crime.

“Traffic fatalities have replaced homicides, or is running neck and neck, as the top priority,” one source told The New York Post. “The word is that [TrafficStat] is going to be much more intense. It’s going to be like a nightmare.”

The weekly meetings to discuss incident statistics aren’t new. Police have long gathered to discuss the latest major felony crimes — robberies, assaults, murders — that took place in their precincts. But now that those figures have fallen a bit, the new mayor is pushing police to focus more on the lesser crime statistics, in particular traffic statistics — and that is new, The New York Post said.

The shift in focus comes by way of Mr. de Blasio’s campaign promise of a “Vision Zero” scenario for the city, meaning zero deaths due to traffic. Last year, 286 were killed in the city due to traffic-related incidents. The city’s murder rate, meanwhile, stood at 334 in 2013 compared to 419 in 2012, The New York Post reported.



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