The 78th Precinct in Brooklyn is one NYPD outpost that seems fairly responsive to community concerns about dangerous streets. Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri has a reputation for paying attention to pedestrian and cyclist safety — he was the commanding officer who decided that a guerrilla bike lane on one block of Bergen Street deserved to stay in place.
But this “safety tips for pedestrian” flyer recently spotted near Flatbush Avenue in the 78th is about as unhelpful and tone-deaf as you can get. On an almost daily basis, lately, New Yorkers are getting maimed and killed by reckless drivers who crash into sidewalks. And yet, this public education campaign from NYPD seems to consist primarily of tsking pedestrians and reminding people to carry flashlights and wear bright colors when it’s dark — which, right now, is any time after 4:30 in the afternoon.
Got it… to “improve the quality of life,” you’ve got to walk around your own neighborhood in constant fear. Great message.
I put in queries with NYPD’s press office and the 78th Precinct community affairs desk to see if these tips came from police headquarters or if they’re just a local initiative.
No response yet.
Update: The 78th Precinct’s community affairs desk called back to say that this flyer is boilerplate that came from 1 Police Plaza. NYPD headquarters sent it out, and the local precinct put it up.
According to the city’s 2010 pedestrian safety study, driver error is the main cause of nearly four out of every five serious pedestrian injuries. The 78th Precinct issued zero speeding tickets and three tickets for failure to yield to pedestrians in September [PDF]. We’ve received no reports of flyers posted at gas stations or on windshields, reminding drivers to obey the speed limit, yield to pedestrians, and refrain from driving distracted.