NYPD officers, with local political support, plan to increase ticketing against jaywalkers in Queens in an effort to reduce the number of pedestrians who endanger themselves and others.
Officers from the 109th Precinct in Flushing will begin handing out information cards in multiple languages for the next two weeks to educate pedestrians on the rules, followed by increased enforcement through summonses and tickets, DNA Info reported, adding that the impetus for the move was the recent death of an elderly woman struck by a bus while walking near Main Street and Kissena Boulevard.
"Elected officials are going to start getting phone calls when people start getting summonses, I know it," Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz was quoted by DNA Info. "Don't call me. I'm not going to agree with you. If you're crossing in the middle of the street, you're wrong, you're endangering yourself, you're endangering others, you're endangering drivers.”
It's not the first jaywalking initiative on Mayor de Blasio’s watch — the NYPD reportedly handed out 452 jaywalking tickets between the beginning of January and end of February of this year, compared with just 50 during the same period in 2014 and 531 for all of 2013, according to an earlier New York Post article referenced by DNA Info.
Motorists have killed five people walking in the 109th Precinct in 2015, according to a related StreetsBlog NYC report, which added that, of those victims, three were killed by hit-and-run drivers and one was in a crosswalk crossing with the signal. Motorists injured 190 pedestrians and 62 cyclists in the precinct as of September, that report added.
Representative Grace Meng said that the changes will be beneficial especially during the darker winter months, DNA Info reported.
"We want to make sure, especially as we are approaching the busier holidays and the days turn dark earlier – we want to make sure people fully understand what it means to be a responsible pedestrian," Meng was quoted.