NYC Cracking Down on Private Garbage Haulers

During the first three nights of the initiative that began Oct. 28, NYPD inspected 128 garbage hauling trucks, issued 163 moving summonses and 458 criminal summonses, and towed five garbage trucks that were deemed not safe for the road.

New York City's private garbage hauling industry, which largely operates its trucks during overnight hours, is a focus of this year's Dusk and Darkness campaign. Last week, the NYPD, working with the Business Integrity Commission, began a major enforcement effort against an industry that according to city data has been involved in 26 fatalities since 2014, including four so far in 2018. During the first three nights of the initiative that began Oct. 28, NYPD inspected 128 garbage hauling trucks, issued 163 moving summonses and 458 criminal summonses, and towed five garbage trucks that were deemed not safe for the road.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Nov. 1 that the New York City Department of Transportation, NYPD, and TLC would begin their third annual Dusk and Darkness campaign. City officials reminded drivers that historically, after daylight saving time ends, crashes involving pedestrians dramatically increase, especially during evening hours. Officials also introduced "Alive at 25," a new program directed at younger drivers -- because they're the people who were behind the wheel in 20 percent of all NYC fatal crashes last year, despite making up just 10 percent of the driving population in the city.

"We are relentlessly pursuing Vision Zero and working to save lives every single day," said de Blasio. "Our Dusk and Darkness campaigns help us further that goal, especially as nighttime hours – and dangerous driving – increase. At the same time, educating our young drivers will help curb dangerous driving habits before they take hold, making the road safer for everyone."

"Alive at 25" aims to engage drivers between the ages of 18 and 25. It is a four-session program funded by the National Safety Council and offered to high school seniors. This fall, DOT safety educators began teaching the program to 2,500 students at ten public high schools around New York City, including the entire senior class of 700 students at New Dorp High School on Staten Island.

The city officials cited encouraging fatality statistics from the two previous Dusk and Darkness campaigns. In the five years before the campaigns began, New York City averaged 63.4 traffic fatalities in the period between Nov. 1 and March 15, many of them in the evening hours. During the first year of Dusk and Darkness, the overall fatality number declined to 51; in the second year, fatalities declined again to 44.

NYPD focuses enforcement resources on the most hazardous violations (speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians), with precincts increasing their on-street presence around sunset hours when data show serious pedestrian crashes increase. NYPD will also focus resources on drunk driving prevention, as the evening and nighttime hours in the fall and winter have historically been when the incidence of DWI also increases.

City DOT statistics from 2010-2014 show that serious collisions increase by approximately 40 percent in darker early evenings. This year, daylight savings time ended at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. DOT is running radio ads during the evening commute, alerting drivers to the dangers of lower visibility and encouraging them to follow the 25 mph citywide speed limit and to yield to pedestrians. Ads are running through Nov. 21 on a dozen stations in the Total Traffic Network.

"To make all New Yorkers safer, it is imperative that we raise awareness about the dangers of reduced daylight and the onset of cold weather," said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "For the third year in a row, our Dusk and Darkness safety campaign will be a crucial part of that. The NYPD will conduct precisely focused enforcement in areas that have experienced fatalities and ensure that everyone adheres to traffic rules. As we move forward together, we will build on our previous successes and further reduce traffic-related deaths."

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