Data Analysis on The Rise in Traffic Tickets in New York

Posted on Dec 3, 2019
 The skills the author demoed here can be learned through taking Data Science with Machine Learning bootcamp with NYC Data Science Academy.

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Data estimate that anyone who has driven in New York City may have experienced at least one unpleasant experience. As a driver in New York City (NYC), I have learned that you must remain alert at all times. From looking for cyclists before you make a turn to making  sure that pedestrians are paying attention, it can be a challenging experience. 

In making sure that traffic laws and regulations are being followed at all times, police are authorized to issue traffic tickets to individuals who have violated a traffic law or regulation. While all rules are crucial to follow, it is likely that NYC drivers have been issued  with at least one traffic ticket. 

Today, technology has become a huge part of society in which the use of mobile devices while driving has impacted so many lives. The use of technology has also benefited the police force. Through recent advance technologies in police vehicles, it is becoming easier to issue traffic violations.  Using an R shiny dashboard,  we will visualize the rise in traffic tickets from 2014 - 2017. 

Data Set:

Traffic Tickets Issued: Four Year Window 

Data Visualizations & Findings:

Data Analysis on The Rise in Traffic Tickets in New York

Before, we begin the visualizations, I wanted to calculate an accurate total of traffic tickets issued  each year. Above, we see that a rapid increase in traffic tickets. 

Data Analysis on The Rise in Traffic Tickets in New York

During 2017, majority of traffic tickets were issued on Mondays and Fridays. Traffic tickets were mostly issued to males between the ages of 21 - 30 years old. Next, we looked at the top eight violation descriptions and found that drivers are continiously surpassing the speed limit in a particular zone. 

How has recent technology and ideas impacted the increase of traffic tickets in New York?

Below are two of the many recent ideas created during these years that has helped police issue traffic tickets to drivers who are violating a traffic law. 

  • Today, you are more likely to see a cop driving a regular vehicle. 
    • Usually when one sees a cop car approaching, they tend to drive at a slower pace. Now imagine, you are driving 15 miles per hour above the speed limit and  you hear sirens coming from a black ford behind you.
  • License Readers
    • Today, it is difficult for cops to lose you on the road. Once they have detected your vehicle, your license plate is automatically listed on their system. Also, if a  cop sees that you are using your mobile device or violating a traffic law, it is not hard for them to stop and pull you over.


We have visualized the increase in traffic tickets and have found the top eight traffic laws that many drivers are violating. Hopefully drivers continue to be more careful on the road. This will decrease the risk of receiving a traffic ticket and help keep the streets safe. 





About Author

Drucila Lefevre

Drucila holds a Masters' degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Statistics from Columbia University. Drucila discovered her passion in data through research projects during her employment, where she worked as an research analyst and analyzed neuro...
View all posts by Drucila Lefevre >

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