MANHATTAN, N.Y. – It was a deadly weekend for pedestrians in New York City after six people died from what advocates are calling “traffic violence.”
The youngest victim was a 3-month-old child, and on Tuesday, activists held several demonstrations across the city calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to restore Vision Zero, a citywide initiative in which his administration’s goal was to bring the number of traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero.
What hurts the activists deeply is that they say these deaths could’ve been prevented — so they arranged ghost strollers to memorialize the young innocent children who have died on the street from traffic accidents.
Road safety advocates were outside City Hall and in Union Square throughout the day.
“Mayor de Blasio, New Yorkers are dying on your streets,” Brad Lander, an advocate and politician, said. “We need you to act now — today! There can be no more excuses, no more statements, no more failed promises. Save lives of New Yorkers on your streets!”
Lander is a city councilman representing parts of Brooklyn.
The 3-month-old girl who was hit by a wrong-way driver in Clinton Hill was in a stroller being pushed by her parents on a sidewalk; they were seriously injured.
Records show the car has 35 school zone speeding violations and seven red light violations this year alone.
On Tuesday morning, the mayor was asked why the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement program was never implemented. It was part of his administration’s Vision Zero plan, which was meant to go after repeat speeders and red light violators with their vehicles impounded by the sheriff.
The mayor says he wants answers, too, acknowledging the pandemic disrupted the operation of city government.
“I’m a strong believer in more stringent penalties,” de Blasio said. “We managed to achieve some of them already on the state level, on the city level— with the speed cameras. I’m a believer. We need consequences, but it also depends on our city agencies following through properly.”