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New York City drivers should be aware that the summer months will not only bring increasing temperatures, but an increase in traffic tickets as well. That is the strategy behind the city’s goal of reducing the number of traffic accidents, which it refers to as the “Vision Zero Action Plan.”

The plan relies heavily on what the police refer to as “surges,” or stepped-up enforcement efforts. The Vision Zero plan is not really something new. Its latest implementation, which will be a three-week surge ending on July 6, is actually the fourth time that the New York Police Department has beefed up its traffic law enforcement activities in this manner.

The efforts so far have varied in focus. One concentrated on speeding; another on texting and driving; and a third was a generalized approach. The next round will focus on intersections that the NYPD considers to be at higher risk for traffic violations, but the planned three-week span will be the longest yet. The three earlier increased enforcement periods were either one weekend only or one week.

And more are coming, the NYPD promises.

The Vision Zero methodology is, like some cars, a Swedish import. And New York City is not the first American jurisdiction to implement a variation of it: other jurisdictions have reported success rates of more than 40 percent in terms of reducing traffic fatalities.

The idea is to take what amounts to a zero tolerance attitude toward accidents, especially those that lead to loss of lives. And it does not rely only on periodic surges of writing speeding tickets.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has more comprehensive ideas in mind to cut down on traffic accidents, including a plan to lower the standard city speed limit, install red light cameras at intersections, and stiffen the penalties for traffic violations.

These may not come right away, because the mayor lacks the authority to implement them on his own: he will need a green light from the state government first.

Source: Yahoo! News, "Lead foots beware: why New York is cracking down on them," Harry Bruinius, June 16, 2014

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