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In an effort to prevent more pedestrian deaths in 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled "Vision Zero," which will focus on tougher enforcement of existing traffic laws. Additionally, police will be targeting jaywalkers and speeders and handing out more traffic violations on New York City streets. Certain intersections will also have mounted cameras to document violations.

Vision Zero is the mayor's response to the 11 pedestrian deaths that have occurred thus far in 2014. Fees for tickets issued for jaywalking range from $40 to $250, a large increase from the former $2 fines Mayor Giuliani raised in 1998 when he made pedestrian arrests for it a priority. Detractors are wondering if this renewed focus on jaywalking arrests is the mayor's version of the former notorious "stop and frisk," as this charge has traditionally been used by New York Police Department officers to detain somebody they perceive to be acting suspiciously, but lack grounds to charge them for anything serious.

Already there have been repercussions. A New York policeman stopped an 84-year-old man for jaywalking recently at the site of a trio of deaths in a little more than a week. When the elderly man, who spoke only Spanish, walked off, a tussle ensued. The man was taken to a local hospital before being booked at the 24th precinct.

An uptick in traffic violations means that the already overburdened traffic court system will be deluged with even more cases. If you receive a traffic violation or jaywalking charge, you can fight the system with an experienced attorney by your side who can challenge the evidence against you and question the legitimacy of the stop.

Source: observer.com, "Is Jaywalking the New Stop-And-Frisk? De Blasio Pulls a Page From Giuliani’s Playbook" Danica Ceballos, Jan. 20, 2014

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