On Tuesday night, 17-year-old Ovidio Jaramillo was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in the crosswalk at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Junction Boulevard in Queens. Yesterday, state elected officials held a press conference near the site of Jaramillo's death that seemingly emphasized the dangers of "distracted walking."

Streetsblog reports that two elected officials, State Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, "mostly blamed the victims of dangerous driving," and used the press conference to promote legislation that would create fines for pedestrians texting in crosswalks and create a "public awareness campaign relative to the dangers of being a distracted pedestrian."

NYPD told Streetsblog there was “nothing whatsoever” in the police account of the crash to suggest that Jaramillo was distracted by an electronic device when he was struck. When pressed on why the proposals focused on pedestrian distractedness, which hasn’t been implicated at all in Jaramillo’s death, Peralta implied that enough had been done to calm traffic. “We have tons of things to hold drivers accountable,” he said. “I’m supportive of Vision Zero, but we need to have more education campaigns.”

Senator Peralta, who recently introduced legislation to legalize hoverboards, says that his comments were "absolutely taken out of context."

"If you’re gonna do reporting, be fair about it. Mention the facts; what was said, what was not said," Peralta told us. "The main focus of the press conference is that we wanted, the call was to Mayor de Blasio to put cameras, speed cameras, on the main intersection between Junction Boulevard and Northern."

We pointed out that the City has very little control over the 140 speed cameras they're allowed to install under state law: The cameras must be located next to schools (the intersection where Jaramillo was killed qualifies), may only be turned on an hour before and after school events, and are required by law to be shut off on nights and weekends.

"It’s a state matter when it comes to funding, but the city allocates where it goes," Peralta replied. "If we give the city 100 million dollars, hypothetically, and we don’t tell the city where we are going to put the cameras, the city determines where they put the cameras."

We asked Peralta what "distracted walking," as his press release puts it, had to do with Jaramillo's death.

"The drivers are responsible, and we need to go after these individuals who aren’t following the law, to the full extent of the law, but we as pedestrians have to also pay attention," he replied.

"Because nowadays we have the younger generation really engaged in their mobile phones, whether they’re texting or surfing the web, and that’s all this was about, was to talk about—yes, we’re talking about this unfortunate death, we need cameras, and by the way, we also want to talk about how pedestrians also need to pay attention when crossing the street, we have the younger generation are so focused on these phones they’re not looking up."

According to the DMV [PDF], of the 39,015 crashes in 2014 that had at least one identifiable cause, fewer than 6% were due to "Pedestrian/Bicyclist/Other Ped Error/Confusion."

More than 25% of the crashes were caused by "Driver Inattention/Distraction," and another 14% were caused by drivers failing to yield the right of way.

Assemblyman Michael DenDekker has proposed legislation that would fine pedestrians who use an electronic device while crossing a crosswalk $25, with an exemption for the use of a hands-free headset, and Streetsblog reports that he "talked up" the bill at yesterday's press conference.

When we asked the assemblyman what the bill had to do with a teenager being killed by a hit-and-run driver, a spokesperson replied, "The assemblyman would be happy to talk to you about the texting bill any other time. Right now his focus is on finding the person who hit and killed Ovido Jaramillo and prosecuting him to the fullest extent of the law."