Lead-footed New York drivers aren’t slowing down — but the rate at which cops are issuing traffic tickets is another story.
The number of moving violations handed out by police has plummeted in recent months, even as the number of motorists caught speeding in school zones by automated cameras remains steady, The Post has learned.
Cops issued just 5,039 traffic tickets during the third week of July, down 74 percent from the 20,762 that officers handed out during the third week of February.
It’s also well below the 19,126 tickets that officers dispensed during the third week of July in 2019, NYPD stats show.
The drop comes even though the Big Apple’s school zone speed cameras show that New York drivers haven’t eased off the gas.
New York City slapped speedsters with 81,414 summonses for blowing through school zones during the third week of July.
That’s up 11 percent from the 73,420 summons issued for speed-camera violations during the third week of February.
Predictably enough, the plunge in ticketing began after the coronavirus pandemic hit New York and much of the city shut down.
Officers handed out just 12,672 tickets during the third week of March, down 36 percent from the year prior.
That already-low figure fell further to just 3,632 tickets during the third week of April as the pandemic peaked in the five boroughs — a decline of 79 percent from the year before.
The number cratered in May, when cops issued just 1,114 tickets during the third week of the month — down 95 percent from the 22,123 issued during the same week in 2019.
As the coronavirus continued to wane, June saw a significant uptick in ticketing, though it remained a fraction of the norm.
Between June 22 and June 28, officers dished out 6,405 tickets, down 65 percent from the 18,466 issued during the same week the year before.
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However, come July the ticket tally tumbled again, as officers wrote just 5,039 tickets, down 74 percent from the year before.
The department nixed its Traffic Congestion Mitigation unit in mid-July, saying it had become “redundant” when The Post obtained documents showing the disbanding.
Its 114 cops, who enforced a chunk of the moving violations, were reassigned to other commands to help curb the surging gun violence.
The NYPD has since removed the tallies of traffic tickets from its latest weekly CompStat report.
City Councilman Donovan Richards, who chairs the Committee on Public Safety, suggested that ticketing has tanked over declining morale within the department.
“There’s been a morale issue without a question and every day we find new facts that point to the NYPD not being as aggressive on quality of life, even shootings,” said Richards (D-Queens).
“At the end of the day — like when I speak to my four-year-old son when he throws temper tantrums — you can’t throw tantrums,” he said. “The public’s safety cannot be sacrificed because you don’t agree with pieces of legislation.”
Richards was alluding to comments from the unions that represent the NYPD’s uniformed officers that an acrimonious funding fight and new police reform laws signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio have left the force demoralized.
However, de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea have denied there has been a slowdown afoot — despite arrests plunging 61 percent over the last month even as shootings more than doubled year-over-year.
“Many NYPD resources were deployed to assignments around ongoing demonstrations during the months of June and July,” said a police spokeswoman, adding that speeding tickets were down by roughly 10,000 as of Monday for the year. “Police are still enforcing speeding violations.”
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