Two 16-year-old girls hit by a driver on March 14th were given jaywalking tickets as they were being treated in an emergency room for multiple fractures and deep bruising, according to a report in the New York Post. Beanca Moise and Jo-Anna Thiboutot were struck while crossing Flatbush Avenue in Sheepshead Bay and were taken to Kings County Hospital.
The Brooklyn cops who issued the tickets reportedly said they were required to do so under Mayor de Blasio's "zero tolerance" approach to jaywalking. "I got hit by a car, and they came to the hospital not even checking if I was OK, and just gave us the ticket," Beanca told the Post. The 43-year-old driver has not been issued a summons, with a witness allegedly informing police that the driver had right of way. An NYPD spokesperson had no information about the incident when we reached out for comment today.
Wiley Norvell, spokesperson for City Hall, refuted claims of a "zero tolerance" policy.
"Last year was the safest year on NYC streets for pedestrians since recordkeeping began in 1910, and our focus when it comes to encouraging pedestrians to obey the rules of the road is through education. There is no such thing as a 'zero tolerance' policy on jaywalking. Enforcement decisions are made precinct by precinct as commanding officers see fit, based on conditions they see on the ground," Norvell told us in a statement, adding that five jaywalking tickets are issued per day, as compared with 100 for failure to yield.
The city saw an increase in jaywalking tickets shortly after de Blasio became mayor. Tickets increased by 900% in the first two months of 2014, with the NYPD handing out 452 summonses for the offense compared to 50 over the same months in 2013. In January 2014, a man was violently arrested on the Upper West Side and needed four staples to the head after being spotted jaywalking, and in August 2014 a woman claimed she was assaulted by police in Greenwich Village over the offense.
This isn't the first time cops have blamed de Blasio for increased traffic enforcement—after the decrease of the city's speed limit to 25 m.p.h. last year, the number of tickets issued increased by almost 9,000 over the November to January period, with cops reportedly blaming the blitz on pressure from City Hall.