Renewing an All-Out Fight Against Traffic Crimes
“Stay safe” says the green whistle Assemblyman Micah Kellner gave out at the 19th Precinct’s Night Out Against Crime held at the entrance to beautiful Carl Schurz Park. (Ah, if nature like this were truly appreciated, there’d be less crime to protest—an Olympian goal.)
I took a lot of “stay safe” whistles for people I know without doormen and for others who literally blow whistles at traffic crime perps they happen to spot. That’s Olympian.
Most on my mind at the Night Out Against Crime event was 28-year-old Elizabeth Brody lying in New York Presbyterian Cornell/Weill Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit with severe head trauma suffered when an SUV and taxi collided at 79th Street and Second Avenue and hurled her into a light pole. It happened July 24 while Elizabeth waited on the sidewalk for her walk signal.
While exceedingly grateful to learn at the Night Out Against Crime event that 19th Precinct crime was at a new low, I so wanted this group, which included civic activists, elected officials and police personnel, to talk about Elizabeth Brody and how we must push the mayor, police and transportation commissioners to do infinitely more to prevent what I’ve long called traffic crimes and traffic tragedies. Olympian labels.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that you lower the speed limit in general, and even more for vehicles making a turn. Reportedly, MTA bus drivers are supposed to slow to 5 mph before making a turn. Why not every vehicle?
This long-overdue measure would have prevented countless traffic tragedies, including that which befell the 19th Precinct’s own longtime auxiliary police officer Alberta Kenny. A turning school bus failed to yield as she crossed 79th and York with the light. Also unheeded by City Hall is Charles Komanoff’s consummate Killed By Automobile manual with its “deadly turns” stats, case histories and solutions. Timeless and available at firstname.lastname@example.org or Charles Komanoff, 11 Hanover Square, 21st floor, NYC 10005.
The Upper East Side/Roosevelt Island newsletter reports that the Highway Patrol is studying surveillance footage of the collision that threatens the life of Elizabeth Brody. But drivers are rarely charged, unless it’s a DUI. The government must be charged for its relative unconcern with crimes and tragedies of traffic even though their monetary cost is also monumental. So please, please push for all that and remember to cross where they can’t turn into you and swing your arms vigorously at every crossing.
We must let Elizabeth’s parents, Allana and Mark Brody, know of the community’s hopes and prayers for their daughter’s recovery, and of a renewed all-out commitment to prevent such heartbreaking tragedies of traffic. Truly Olympian goals.
Speaking of families, despite its being his son’s fifth birthday, Assemblyman Daniel Quart took time to attend the Night Out Against Crime. “Don’t worry,” he assured me, “I’ll be back in time for the family celebration.” And that family is to be celebrated for being the multigenerational extended kind, who all even live in the same ZIP code. (Countless wish their families, at least, lived in the same area code.) If ever there were a “crime stopper” and preventative health-care family lifestyle, it is the Quarts’. Unlike current campaign trails and rallies, family and other elders were very visible on Dan’s. Couldn’t be more Olympian.
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