Relatives of victims killed in NYC traffic accidents rally for change

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Ridgewood, QUEENS (PIX11) —  One year ago 23-year-old Ella Bandes was hit by MTA bus at the intersection of Wyckoff, Palmetto and Myrtle Avenues on the Queens/Brooklyn border.

Bandes died four days later. Her family, friends and others held a candlelight vigil to demand that city streets, and particularly, this six way intersection be made safer.

“Our lives were shattered when we list our daughter,” Judy Kottick told PiX11. “We don’t want any other family to go through what we have been through.”

A memorial wall was unveiled at the vigil with the names of all those killed in traffic crashes in 2013.

More than 286 people in all last year; 17 already killed this year.

Among them 12-year-old Sammy Cohen Eckstein, killed on Prospect Park West in October.

The speed limit there has just been lowered to 25 mph but his mother says that’s not enough.

“It’s not being enforced yet,” Amy Cohen said.”but we are here to make all streets safer.”

Mayor de Blasio has kicked off “vision zero” to dramatically reduce the number of people killed in traffic accidents but many here say that’s not enough.

State Senator Michael Gianaris, District 12, has proposed a bill making it a felony for unlicensed drivers who injure or kill a pedestrian.

“The laws have got to be tougher,” Gianaris said.

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