Panel calls for car crackdown in Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace

White lines: Community Board 7 wants a crosswalk crackdown like the one cops staged in Park Slope in January, but local officers say they are already tough on reckless drivers.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Call it cop envy.

A local panel in Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace wants the neighborhood fuzz to follow in the footsteps of Park Slope cops who conducted sting operations on reckless drivers.

“Everybody deserves to cross the street safely,” said Community Board 7 district manager Jeremy Laufer. “Perhaps it’s time to reallocate resources to other issues.”

The board pointed to Fourth Avenue between 15th and 65th streets, as well as Third Avenue, as lawless hot-spots for reckless driving in a letter penned to the commanding officer of the 72nd Precinct last week. The missive emphasized that drivers across the district — including in Windsor Terrace and Greenwood Heights — need to be slowed. The panel plans to request more crossing guards from the city, but says cops need to do their part to squeeze lead-foots who fail to yield and fly down thoroughfares near schools and senior centers, according to Laufer.

“Something like failure to yield to pedestrians is a district-wide issue,” he said. “But there are other enforcement activities we feel should take place.”

The area’s 72nd Precinct issued only 178 failure-to-yield summonses to drivers throughout 2013, according to city data. Undercover cops hailing from Park Slope’s 78th Precinct, which gave out 96 of the tickets in 2013, handed out 16 over two days in January as part of Mayor DeBlasio’s road safety agenda. The sting operation, in which covert cops posed as pedestrians while others laid in wait nearby, pouncing on drivers who could not be bothered to take their feet off the gas, was praised by Slope road safety activists — and apparently coveted by their neighbors.

“We are not going to tell [the 72nd Precinct] how to go about it, but we would like to see an increased focus on those types of issues,” Laufer said.

The 72nd Precinct has long been using unmarked cars to target reckless drivers, a spokesman said.

“We have been doing it for years even before this plan that the mayor came out with,” community affairs officer Dean Hanan said. “Thank god we’re kind of ahead of the game with that.”

The majority of pedestrians struck by drivers within the 72nd Precinct are Asian American, according to Hanan.

“It is what it is and we want to focus on that population,” he said.

The precinct hopes to roll out an education program to teach people the rules of the road, Hanan said.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.

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