Gotham streets are extra harmful than they’ve been in years. As of June 30, 123 folks had died in crashes, up from 105 in pre-pandemic 2019. The NYPD is rightly cracking down towards the unlawful dirt bikes and ATVs which have grow to be a menace to pedestrians. However it ought to crack down, too, on drag-racing, dashing and unlawful souped-up vehicles.
Within the late spring of 2020, New Yorkers grew accustomed to a brand new pandemic noise: the fixed buzz of unlawful grime bikes, with many drivers going the incorrect manner or up on sidewalks. In July, a toddler was critically injured by a dirt-bike rider in Flushing Meadows Park. The alleged thrill rider, who fled, blamed the kid when caught.
In June, actress Lisa Banes was killed by a hit-and-run driver on some kind of motorized two-wheel car. And the drivers hold killing themselves: one useless in Brooklyn in July, one in September in Harlem.
In response, the NYPD has taken tons of of those unlawful autos off the streets, 651 since late April. Individuals who have invested hundreds in these autos can’t get their contraband property again; most are destroyed.
Good — however the NYPD ought to take the identical aggressive method to drag-racing and dashing vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists nonetheless face essentially the most danger from reckless and dashing drivers. Accountable drivers and their passengers, too, are in peril.
It’s onerous to drive up the West Facet Freeway or Henry Hudson Parkway with out encountering a drag race, even throughout the day. In Mattress-Stuy in Could, a 52-year-old pedestrian died after being hit by a doable drag-racer; final June, two teenagers and a younger boy killed themselves on this manner in Brooklyn.
Reckless drivers who’ve purposely eliminated their mufflers are all over the place, unnerving pedestrians and contributing to town’s ambiance of lawlessness.
The town can deal with this scourge, too, by reviving a tactic that goes again to the Giuliani period: seizing vehicles. In 1999, the NYPD started seizing the vehicles of drunken drivers. It might do that as a result of, as town’s high lawyer, Michael Hess, mentioned again then, “You may’t be driving drunk with out an vehicle, so the car is the instrumentality of the crime,” and the state Supreme Courtroom agreed.
Equally, town had lengthy seized the vehicles of individuals utilizing them to move prostitutes or medication. You may’t commit reckless endangerment by drag-racing or extreme dashing with no car, both — so the automobile is the instrumentality of the crime.
The NYPD ought to begin charging harmful drivers with prison prices, and commensurately seizing their property. Seven years in the past, Manhattan DA Cy Vance convicted Adam Tang of reckless endangerment and reckless driving after Tang filmed himself in a high-speed caper round Manhattan. Civil forfeiture of his BMW was a part of a plea discount he rejected earlier than his trial conviction.
Police don’t have to have interaction in chases to hold out these seizures. Cameras can compile video proof of reckless driving. Police can use license plates to trace a car to its residence and seize it whereas unattended.
The town’s sheriff is already doing this, with vehicles with faux plates — vehicles disproportionately pushed recklessly. Final month, the sheriff seized 43 such unattended autos in Brooklyn.
After all, any stepped-up police motion will face criticism. One, there’s a disparate influence in who bears the brunt of enforcement — not a racial one, however a gender one. The overwhelming majority of reckless drivers are younger males.
We are able to endlessly debate the basis causes of why younger girls of all races are extra accountable usually. However within the meantime, the boys shouldn’t be killing and injuring themselves and others.
Two, seizing autos could hurt an harmless breadwinner, whose boyfriend or son borrowed a automobile for daredevil antics. Giuliani confronted this argument — and noticed that you simply shouldn’t let somebody use your automobile, a doubtlessly deadly weapon, until you actually belief them.
Third, an earthly problem: As one police supply says, with the West Facet tow pound now closed for real-estate redevelopment, there’s no place to park seized autos. Renting out-of-town space for storing would pay for itself, although, within the sale of property utilized in a criminal offense.
None of this works if town’s 5 DAs gained’t acknowledge that willful dangerous habits has penalties. “The pandemic made me do it” isn’t any excuse.
Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor of Metropolis Journal.
https://nypost.com/2021/08/01/police-should-seize-reckless-nyc-drivers-cars/ | Police ought to seize reckless NYC drivers’ vehicles