More Than 1,000 Drivers Ticketed at Intersection in Weeklong Safety Push

By Katie Honan on May 21, 2014 6:37am 

 The Vision Zero initiative was conducted on a busy intersection at 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
The Vision Zero initiative was conducted on a busy intersection at 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

ELMHURST — Drivers were given more than 1,000 tickets, including 500 for failure to yield to pedestrians, in a five-day traffic safety push at a single bustling intersection, according to the NYPD.

Police officers from the 110th and 115th precincts gave out 1,150 summonses between May 5 and May 10 near 74th Street, Roosevelt Avenue and Broadway as part of the city's Vision Zero initiative.

The location was selected by the city because of its history as a dangerous intersection, according to Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson of the 110th Precinct, who shared the information at a community council meeting on Monday.

Martha Tibillin-Guamug, 25, was struck and killed by a Q53 bus at the intersection in February and the Department of Transportation installed a safety railing there in March to "deter unsafe crossings," according to a DOT spokesman.

The number of failure to yield summonses at this location was one of the highest in the city, Leyson said. The NYPD did not return a request for citywide data for the initiative.

"Everybody turns the corner and thinks that that person crossing the street that has the walk sign is supposed to stop because you have a 10,000-pound car coming at them. That's not the way it works," he said.

"It's your obligation as a driver to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk."

The enforcement, which followed a week of education in which thousands of fliers were handed out to pedestrians and drivers, is one of many the NYPD is running to improve safety, including a crackdown on speeding that will take place through Wednesday night.

Last week, police officers targeted drivers using cellphones — and wrote out 5,258 summonses, according to the NYPD.

According to a collection of the most recent traffic data information, from March, Queens led the city with 4,670 motor vehicle collisions— including 803 that resulted in injuries or fatalities.

Four pedestrians were killed and two died as the result of a motorcycle accident, according to NYPD data.

Brooklyn was second with 4,428 incidents, and Manhattan had 3,503 accidents.

More than 2,200 accidents were recorded in the Bronx, and Staten Island had less than 1,000 accidents.

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