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More enforcement wouldmake NYC streets safer

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images) Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

Anyone in the city who walks, drives or rides knows we often forget about traffic laws -- not to mention common sense -- when we're competing for space with the millions of others who live here.

Speeding, running red lights, weaving crazily from lane to lane -- that's just the way we roll -- and then there are the pedestrians, who cross against the light, jaywalk and step into traffic while checking their cellphones.

It's a terrible mix. Last year saw 227 fatalities on city streets -- a number that includes pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. That simply isn't acceptable.

The good news is that the number has dropped about 30 percent since 2001. But as Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and incoming Police Commissioner Bill Bratton correctly point out, it needs to drop much further.

The number of people killed in homicides and those killed in vehicles or while walking on city streets will likely come out almost even this year. Meanwhile, de Blasio says, the NYPD wrote 81,126 tickets in 2012 for tinted windows but just 19,119 for speeding violations.

What's the answer?

Start with speed cameras. De Blasio says he'll make them a key part of his traffic-safety program. If that sounds like a no-brainer -- not so fast.

When the city asked the State Legislature for 20 speed cameras during the last session, it got some fierce pushback from the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association -- even though speeding drivers cause far more accidents than drunken or distracted drivers.

De Blasio could have a fight on his hands.

Another idea: De Blasio has said he wants to alter some thoroughfares to make them less dangerous.

The city's Department of Transportation should take a special look at Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, Fifth and Sixth avenues in Manhattan, the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Forest Avenue on Staten Island and Queens Boulevard in Queens.

They pop up on everyone's list of death traps.

Time to slam the brakes on the carnage.

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