Does the NYPD issue speeding tickets in Manhattan?

The title of the thread is fairly self-explanatory. With the high traffic density, large amount of traffic signals, and pedestrian traffic, does the NYPD commonly issue speeding citations? Do they have speed traps?

I imagine most speeding citations are giving coincident to another accident – hitting a pedestrian or another car. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to pull over a speeder in Manhattan. I’m sure it happens sometimes though.

The speed limit in Manhattan is 30 mph. I have read that the average driving speed in Manhattan is between 2mph and 7mph, but none of these numbers seems to come with a solid cite.

Oh yeah–there’s at least two major highways, the Henry Hudson to the west and the FDR on the east, that they can get you in. At night on some of more desolate streets, like the far west avenues, you can get a good speed going.

They also cite you for “blocking the boxes”, but that’s not a speeding ticket. Don’t block the box!

Late in the evening and during the night the traffic is much lighter. I’m sure you could rack up some significant speeding charges in Manhattan.

They can also get you for speeding on Avenues and Streets. When I drove a cab I got nailed a few times.

Dude. If you did a stint driving a NYC cab, you need to start an “Ask the former NYC cabdriver” thread.

That was MANY years ago but it was how I put myself through college :slight_smile:

Yeah, late at night on 1st and 2nd, traffic is basically traveling as fast as the lights allow. Which is much faster than 30 mph. It’s pretty fun, actually.

I’m not really sure what you mean by these two sentences. The speed limit varies throughout Manhattan; it’s not like there’s one speed limit for the entire city. If you’re on a highway, it’s highway-speed. If you’re on Broadway, or 27th or 54th or whatever street, it can be whatever they want it to be, usually in the 30-50 range.

And yeah, that second sentence is bogus. I had to drive a U-Haul up Broadway from 34th to 156th St., and I caught almost every light and was clipping along at a solid 40 the whole way. It sounds to me like that 2-7 figure was from someone stuck in gridlock in the middle of Times Square, but traffic moves a little more quickly than that in most of the city.

There actually is a default speed limit; it is 30mph. Unless signs are posted otherwise, the speed limit on City streets is 30 miles per hour.

Oh, I see what you’re saying. “Unless a sign is posted otherwise, the speed limit on City streets is 30 miles per hour.”, and that does make sense. But those signs are posted otherwise a lot, most obviously on the highways. But that default speed limit is good to know!

Most definitely.

But what does “blocking the boxes” mean?

Blocking the box is getting caught in an intersection when the light changes.

It means you’re in the intersection space - in “the box” formed inside the 4 crosswalks. You’re not supposed to pull up into the intersection unless you are sure you can clear it before the light changes. “Blocking the box” (pulling into the intersection without clearing it) is a major cause of gridlock. In a few areas the “box” is overpainted with a crosshatch pattern to draw even more attention to the fact you’re not supposed to be stopped in that zone for any reason.

Remember, it is also illegal to block the crosswalk, and there is no right turn on red in Manhattan, there is nothing on red in Manhattan except “stop.”

I’ve never been a cabdriver, nor do I live in Manhattan, but we have those signs here as well. It just means don’t venture into an intersection if there isn’t room for you on the other side.

The same issue exists here in DC, where someone will drive into the intersection on a green light or a yellow light when the light at the next intersection is red. When the light changes, they are in the intersection, and the people on the perpendicular street can’t proceed, thus causing a back up.

Actually, right on red is allowed in selected parts of the five boroughs, these are designated with a sign. Otherwise, nowhere in NYC.

Although I once saw a standard ‘No Turn On Red’ sign once, at an intersection in Brooklyn. Could not figure that one out.

I’ve noticed on my trips to NYC that as soon as the light turns yellow, all of the taxicabs blocking the intersection (cabs seeming to be 90% of the traffic) suddenly turn right or left depending on the direction of the cross street.

I guess they’re not willing to wait outside the intersection so if they’re going to get trapped in the box, they just turn and go a different way.

I also guess that the cops are more tolerant of someone making a sudden left turn from the right lane than they are of “blocking the box”.

Yes, until recently a “blocking the box” ticket was a moving violation automatically carrying a fine+2 points on your license. But the violation does not apply to people turning. So, if you are a cabbie worrying about being caught in the box a turn will save you from being in violation and messing with your insurance rate.

As of 2008, blocking the box (aka “gridlocking” or “spillback”) can be a moving violation w/ fine+ 2 points or a no-points parking offense, depending on who tickets you: only NYPD can ticket moving violations while “traffic agents” AKA “brownies” can issue parking tickets. I think the fine is $115.