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Motorists Beware: Bad Drivers Were Issued Majority of 2011 Summonses

Of the 518 pink slips handed out in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Red Hook, 460 were for driving violations. But were they issued fairly?

Last year residents of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Red Hook were issued 518 tickets for minor infractions that fall under "quality of life" nuisances such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, and loitering, among others.

Of those, the majority were for unsafe driving, which should be a lesson to all those racing down Hicks Street indifferent to the speed limit.

But what if you are issued a ticket unfairly? Some say the bulkload of the 350,000 tickets issued by the New York City Police Department in 2011 were targeting minorities.

A recent article by New York World compiled all of the summonses into a graphic that illustrates the number issued per precinct. The visuals support the recent claim in a lawsuit, Stinson vs. New York City, that summons numbers are skewed both geographically and ethnically to meet a quota system enforced by the NYPD.

"The analysis shows the majority of summonses are handed out in NYPD precincts where most of the population is non-white," writes Maura R. O'Connor in her article 'The NYPD's Improbable Cause'. "Out of the 76 police precincts in New York City, 32 are at least 80 percent black, Hispanic and Asian. Those precincts account for more than three in five of all NYPD summonses."

Some areas break the pattern, such as the 90th Precinct in Williamsburg which received the most summonses in the city for public drinking (more than 6,000) and had the highest instances for riding bicycles on the sidewalk (1,745). But as a whole the numbers are compelling.

The population of the , which covers Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and the Columbia Waterfront District, is 57% white and 43% nonwhite.

Here is where the neighborhood netted out in terms of quality-of-life summonses issued:

  • Open container/public drinking: 15
  • Disorderly conduct: 9
  • Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk: 8
  • Public urination: 1
  • Trespassing: 1
  • Failure to comply with sign in park: 10
  • Driving in violation of safety rules: 460
  • Reckless driving: 2
  • Littering of liquids: 2
  • In parks after hours: 3
  • Unlawful possession of marijuana: 3
  • Driving without a license: 1
  • Unreasonable noise: 1
  • Unlicensed general vendor: 2
  • Driving with a suspended registration: null

Total: 518 summonses.

That's a relatively low number compared with the 79th Precinct in Bed-Stuy, which received 8766. What do you think of the summonses issued?

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