(JNi.media) Here’s a good reason to like your new mayor: he, or, rather, his police dept., doesn’t fine you as much as it used to. According to a report in the NY Post, police have issued fewer tickets to drivers in the Hasidic community of Williamsburg, because, apparently, the de Blasio Administration wants to keep them happy. “They pander and he gives them a lot of what they want,” the source, a former mayoral liaison, told the Post, saying, “De Blasio is known to have tight ties to the Hasidic community.”
This may or may not be true (it probably can’t be proven), but the Post checked out the stats, and it turns out that moving violations in the NYPD’s 90th Precinct, in northern Brooklyn, which is also the neighborhood of Williamsburg, have dropped 32% since de Blasio took office. Now, out of the population of about 130,000, only about 70,000 are Hasidim, and the rest are a mix of newly arrived hipsters and African Americans, Hispanics, Italians, Poles, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans. The claim that those 32% fewer tickets are only Hasidic would be even harder to prove. But insinuation sells papers, doesn’t it?
The Post’s source insisted religious leaders “get in with the Police Department and do their thing. … I’ll tell you one thing, they didn’t all take driver’s ed and change their driving habits.”
Brooklyn Community Board 1 member Simon Weiser credited the drop in tickets to campaigns in local Jewish newspapers calling on drivers to use safety belts, and an increasing use of hands-free phones. More than 25% of moving violations issued in Williamsburg are those two things: driving without the beslt and holding the phone to your ear while driving. There have been 50% fewer cellphone summonses since 2014.
Stats don’t lie, but people often do. The Post tried to get out of the NYPD whether there has been a change of policy regarding moving violations in Williamsburg, but received no response. However, since the NYPD works with a quota system, it’s possible they didn’t have to tell the cops in Precinct 90 to be nicer — they could just reduce the quotas, which brought down the number of moving violations ticketed.