Walk against the light or cross midblock in Bay Ridge, and the 68th Precinct might hand you a flyer modeled after an official warning notice.
Members of a Bay Ridge neighborhood Facebook group report officers on Fifth Avenue at 76th and 86th Streets handing out the flyers: “Pedestrian failed to exercise due care when crossing a roadway creating a safety hazard,” the warning says. “You are hearby [sic] summoned to appear at: The nearest intersection, in the crosswalk, crossing with the signal. Failure to do so may result in serious injury or fatality.”
Crossing with the signal may also result in serious injury, however. More pedestrians are struck and hurt while crossing in the crosswalk with the signal than while crossing midblock or against the signal, according to a study of Bellevue trauma patients by NYU Langone Medical Center.
The flyer says it contains pedestrian safety information on its reverse side, but Streetsblog has not been able to track down these tips. The precinct, its community council, and NYPD’s public information office have not returned requests for more information.
The 68th Precinct issued about one ticket per day last year for failure to yield to pedestrians [PDF], but picked up its pace in January by issuing 58 tickets for the violation that month, the latest for which data is available. The precinct has also increased its speeding enforcement, issuing 47 tickets in January [PDF] compared to just six in January, 2013. (In its first 15 days of operation, the city’s limited speed camera program nabbed 900 speeders.)
The warning includes details on the 68th Precinct community council, which will host its next meeting on March 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the precinct house, 333 65th Street in Brooklyn. Call (718) 439-4211 for more information.
The Bay Ridge precinct began handing out these flyers days after Greenpoint’s 24th Precinct issued jaywalking tickets on McGuinness Boulevard, where 32-year-old Nicole Detweiler was killed by a truck driver while crossing the street last December.
Meanwhile, police in Queens are doing some serious traffic enforcement: Cristina Furlong of Make Queens Safer spotted NYPD vehicles with roof-mounted cameras from the 115th Precinct and Queens North patrol bureau, pulling over speeding drivers on Northern Boulevard and 34th Avenue near IS 145 in Jackson Heights this afternoon.
In 2012, 11-year-old IS 145 student Miguel Torres was crossing Northern Boulevard and 80th Street, in the crosswalk and with the light, when he was struck and killed by the driver of a dump truck. At traffic safety forums last year and this year, parents of students at the school asked for more enforcement against dangerous driving.
“It’s good to see,” Furlong told Streetsblog this afternoon.