PARK SLOPE — Dangerous drivers, beware: police are cracking down on motorists who won't give pedestrians the right of way.
The 78th Precinct ran a sting operation recently that nabbed 16 drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk while the walk signal was illuminated, City Councilman Brad Lander announced Monday.
Police had an undercover officer pose as a pedestrian at intersections around Park Slope last Thursday and Friday and issued summonses to drivers who ignored the yield law.
Failing to yield to walkers who have the right of way is the leading cause of pedestrian injuries in New York, according to Lander's office. Recent victims include 3-year-old Allison Liao, who was killed Oct. 7, 2013, while walking in the crosswalk with the signal.
The next day, Park Slope was rocked by the death of 12-year-old Sammy Cohen Eckstein, who was hit by a van on Prospect Park West and Third Street. Residents launched the Park Slope Street Safety Partnership to push for better enforcement of traffic laws.
The Street Safety Partnership praised the 78th Precinct's sting, as did Lander, the Park Slope Civic Council and Park Slope Parents.
Police plan to run similar undercover operations in the future, as the city looks to beef up enforcement of traffic safety laws. Mayor Bill de Blasio has backed "Vision Zero," an effort to cut pedestrian deaths, and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has pledged to focus NYPD attention on traffic scofflaws.
“We commend the 78th Precinct for issuing more summonses to drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, in a statement. "We need more enforcement actions like this around the five boroughs to make it clear that New York City is on the path to achieve Mayor de Blasio's goal of Vision Zero."