FLUSHING — NYPD officers plan to increase ticketing against jaywalkers — a move supported by local politicians who say pedestrians who violate the rules of the road endanger themselves and others.
Officers from the 109th Precinct will hand 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, officials said Monday.
The change comes days after an elderly woman was struck and killed by a bus while walking mid-block near Main Street and Kissena Boulevard — whose death was the catalyst for the meeting at the precinct, officials said.
"Elected officials are going to start getting phone calls when people start getting summonses, I know it," said Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz, who joined Deputy Inspector Thomas Conforti from the 109th Precinct, Councilman Peter Koo, Rep. Grace Meng and Assemblyman Ron Kim at the precinct stationhouse Monday.
"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," Simanowitz added.
"Cross at the green, not in-between, and hopefully we will be able to reduce the number of traffic fatalities."
The push comes as the mayor has been defending the effectiveness of his Vision Zero initiative, which was designed to increase pedestrian safety through a number of changes, including increased penalties against reckless drivers.
It's not the first such initiative since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office — the NYPD reportedly handed out 452 jaywalking tickets between Jan. 1, 2015 and the end of February, compared with just 50 during the same period last year and 531 for all of 2013, according to the New York Post.
The city also lowered the speed limit to 25 mph to target dangerous behavior, and the Department of Transportation increased crossing signal walk times and created "refuge medians" for pedestrians.
Koo said the push is also looking at drivers — although the focus Monday was on pedestrians.
"We want to educate the public...they have to use the crosswalks to walk and they have to follow the streetlights," Koo said.
Meng added that the changes will matter even more as winter approaches.
"We want to make sure, especially as we are approaching the busier holidays and the days turn dark earlier, the weather will be colder...we want to make sure people fully understand what it means to be a responsible pedestrian," Meng said.
Stavisky said the initiative is all about creating safer streets.
"It's not aimed at anybody, it's aimed at safety," Stavisky said.