78th Precinct Targets Drivers Who Fail to Yield to Pedestrians

Last week, Police Commissioner Bratton said the 78th Precinct and its commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri, made him “proud of PD” by clearing snow from the Bergen Street bike lane. Here’s something even better: The 78th has amped up enforcement against drivers committing one of the city’s deadliest traffic violations — failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Since last Thursday, according to Council Member Brad Lander, the precinct has issued 16 summonses in an operation involving a plainclothes officer in a crosswalk and a uniformed officer issuing tickets to drivers who fail to yield. It’s an effort the precinct says it’s looking to continue in the future.

“Drivers should know that the next pedestrian you fail to yield to may be an undercover cop,” Lander said in the release.

Failure to yield is an all-too-common violation at intersections across the city. In fact, 44 percent of injured New York pedestrians were in the crosswalk with the signal when they were struck, according to a study of Bellevue trauma patients by NYU Langone Medical Center. A citywide study in 2010 found that more pedestrians were struck while crossing with the traffic signal than against it, and that failure to yield was a cause of 27 percent of crashes that injured or killed pedestrians.

The 78th Precinct’s crosswalk enforcement seems to be a better model than how the 24th Precinct recently handled pedestrian safety. The 24th issued 10 jaywalking tickets at the intersection of 96th Street and Broadway after a rash of pedestrian fatalities in the area. This week, the 84-year-old man who was bloodied by NYPD officers after they stopped him for jaywalking has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the city.

Activist group Right of Way has launched a campaign encouraging New Yorkers to write to Commissioner Bratton, asking him have police ease up on jaywalking tickets and instead enforce the most dangerous violations, such as failure to yield.

  • Jesse

    I nominated Michael Ameri for a Streetsie. He’s the best.

  • Joe R.

    I needed to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. This is great news. Failure to yield is by far the violation which should get the most attention from police.

  • Sloper

    Commissioner Bratton: please have all of your officers look to the 78th Precinct for lessons in what to do. DI Ameri is on the right track when it comes to truly understanding Vision Zero!

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    Thank you. This is a good start and I hope we see many more precincts starting with this and expanding enforcement.

  • Aunt Bike

    I wish they’d do this in Staten Island. We’re living in the wild west here.

  • TomG

    Great job, 78th!

  • red_greenlight1

    Behold the 78th the good apple in a bad batch.

  • Daniel

    I saw some honest to goodness traffic law enforcement on Vanderbilt and Atlantic today. Is that in 78th as well?

    I still can’t help but think of the infamous “Walking tips for pedestrians” when I think of the 78th precinct.

  • Andrew

    The southwest corner is in the 78th. The southeast corner is in the 77th. The north side is in the 88th.

  • Joey

    Maybe if Pedestrians would stand on the sidewalk…. half of the accidents wouldnt happen. Especially in that neighborhood.

  • Frank Dell

    Wow. Michael Ameri and the 78th are two for two. Keep up the good work!

  • The 78th made me cry for the 2nd time in a week. I just hope next time I get to do a video story on this. Call me 78th!

  • I am happy to live and work and send my kids to school in the 78!

  • Jeff

    Better yet just stay home, right?

  • guest

    Hopefully their targeting F-T-Y at Atlantic and Portland/6th Ave, rather than 6th and Bergen (conveniently across the street from the station house). 6th Ave between Atlantic and Flatbush is low speed, and collisions there are less likely to be seriously injurious than those on Atlantic – with the side benefit of, failure to yield generates a good amount of congestion while they’re at it too.

  • joey

    No dummy. Stop being ignorant. More than half of traffic accidents involving pedestrians are because they walk in betweek cars, dont stand on the sidewalk etc… Start taking responibility for your actions. No one likes to blame themselves. Always looking for someone to blame. Sickening.

  • coupdefoudre

    Can you provide a source for that “more than half”?

  • moocow

    Wow, such a crazy intersection to be divided up three ways…

  • moocow

    More than half the people named “Joey” talk out of their asses.

  • moocow

    What about when cars kill people while they are standing on the sidewalk?

  • specq

    Thanks joey. As I was reading your posts I was at a loss for words, but you gave me the perfect one at the end there. Sickening sums up my feelings precisely.

  • Joe R.

    That’s your opinion, not fact. You know what they say about opinions, don’t you? Opinions are like a$$holes-everyone has one, and they all stink.

  • Perhaps there is really something going on. OUt here in Jackson Heights, I just saw the first double parking ticket (car had its flashers on) written by an officer in at least 4 years!

  • dk12

    They should have a plainclothes officer on a bike too.

  • Andrew

    Nonsense, but why let facts stand in the way of your prejudices?

    We already have penalties for people who take risks with their own lives, without the help of external enforcement. The 78th Precinct is now penalizing those who take risks with other people’s lives, and it’s about time.

  • moocow

    That is an amazing idea, imagine all the tix that officer could write!

  • Andrew
  • Kevin Love

    I suspect that the source is the same as the source for such wisdom as “more than half of rape victims were dressing slutty.”

    Blaming the victim has got to stop.

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