If you're a pedestrian in New York City (or frankly anywhere in the U.S.), you're well aware of how much unlawful and dangerous driving happens at nearly every intersection: red light running, speeding, double-parking and a myriad of other infractions.
I first moved to NYC in 1991 and one thing that has gotten much worse is the percentage of drivers not signaling their turns. There have been countless times that while walking or bicycling I have been nearly hit due to the carelessness of a driver to who doesn't use their directionals. Anecdotally I've estimated that failure to comply averages around 25% to 30%.
Thus I set out to put the mathematics to the test in my neighborhood in Jackson Heights, Queens. I taped the first 100 turning drivers I saw to get a large sample and exact percentage. I'll not spoil the final count, but failing to use your blinkers is extremely dangerous to walkers, bikers, runners, and other drivers. It's Driving 101, signaling should be a 100% success rate.
It's just more evidence of the poor quality of driving across the city. Every week we read horrible stories of drivers losing control of their cars and mounting sidewalks or crashing into peds - and yet hardly anyone is ever charged or even issued a ticket. We need stricter enforcement of all our driving laws for sure but the NYPD could be issuing plenty of tickets for drivers failing to signal turns on just about any block at anytime. We could start a crackdown tomorrow, it doesn't require more legislation. It doesn't require an officer to be stationed in a car with a radar gun. Just stand on the corner and pull people over. Simple.
After all, concentrating on cracking down on small crimes in the 1980s and 90s helped dramatically drive the city's crime rate down in all categories. If we started to focus on "smaller" infractions, might we eventually get drivers in NYC changing their overall driving habits?