By Joe Anuta
The joyride is over.
Officers in Forest Hills and Rego Park cracked down on driving practices that are harmful to pedestrians this week — and they do not plan on letting up.
Police from the 112th Precinct ï»¿cautioned that drivers who sped or stopped inside the crosswalks in the area will be ticketed.ï»¿ Officers hope that the violations will reduce pedestrian accidents, such as the recent death of a woman in Rego Park last week.
“We’re out there. We’re doing enforcement,” said Capt. Ralph Forgione, “If we issue a [ticket], we reduce injuries.”
Officers want to focus on certain problem areas in the neighborhoods, one of which is the six-lane behemoth nicknamed “The Boulevard of Death.”
“Queens Boulevard is a good area for enforcement,” Forgione said.
And residents would agree.
“The cars come so fast,” said resident Rosemary Zsiros, moments before scurrying across the thoroughfare. “It’s very dangerous here, and you have to be careful walking.”
Another resident, Jan Adler, uses a cane to walk and constantly has trouble crossing Queens Boulevard.
“The cars stop on the crosswalk and — especially with someone my age — then you don’t have enough space to cross the street,” he said. “So let them write as many tickets as they want.”
But it is not only about tickets. Forgione and other officers hand out fliers and speak at community meetings to try and preach safe driving practices,
Now the holiday season has arrived and more people are out on the street shopping, he added. Older residents in the neighborhood cannot leap out of the way of oncoming cars, which is why motorists need to always give pedestrians the right of way, especially when making a right turn, when the vehicle and the pedestrian both have green signals.
The holiday season also brings alcohol-induced cheer for many neighborhood residents who have drinks with friends and family, which is why Forgione said the 112th Precinct will be stepping up their drunk-driving patrols and checkpoints in the coming weeks.
“Be careful, and make sure you’re responsible,” he said. “Don’t drink and drive.”
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.