NYPD Cell Phone Crackdown Today, As Real Criminals Rejoice

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The New York City Police Department kicked off a 24-hour "enforcement operation" at midnight today, Tuesday, March 15, 2011, all across the boroughs, even including Staten Island, to "crackdown on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving." According to the release, the "initiative is part of the NYPD's focus on traffic infractions linked to death and injury." Catching the crooks could result in a fine of up to $100, and two penalty license points, meaning the city will be slowly shrinking its debt by standing on corners and staring. What was that about a quota system?

The city says that last year they handed out an average of 611 summonses a day to drivers using hand-held cell phones, down from 617 in 2009, which resulted in nearly $30 million for the government. But a 24-hour blitz is meant to pad that number, leaving us skeptical that certain officers won't be held to writing a certain number of tickets, or at least be "strongly recommended" to hit a quota.

That said, to the asshole on the phone, put it down. And of them there are plenty: a previous concerted effort to crackdown on phone use resulted in 6,882 summonses, or about $800,000 in fines, in one day.

Any concurrent rise in bank robberies or diamond heists has, as of yet, gone unreported.

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]

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Joe Comohoyo
Joe Comohoyo

Bankrobbers and diamond thieves seem to injure and kill less people than do drivers using cellphones.

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