It barely made news and we didn’t hear a peep about it from any elected, but at least three children were seriously injured by drivers in Brooklyn and the Bronx late last week.
On the morning of Thursday, May 2, a 12-year-old boy was hit by a motorist at Bath Avenue and 24th Street, near Bath Playground and Joseph B. Cavallaro Junior High School. According to the Post, the child suffered head trauma, and was “expected to survive.”
At around the same time, another 12-year-old boy was hit by a school bus driver while riding his bike on 12th Avenue at 40th Street in Borough Park. From the Post:
Witnesses said he was struck by the rear tire while the bus was making a wide turn.
She Rosenbaum, 38, said the child stopped in his store to buy a soda before the accident, and then got on the bicycle.
“I saw the kid’s leg under the bus. I called the Hatzollah ambulance,” said She Rosenabum, 38. “He was screaming and yelling in pain.”
Rosenbaum said the child’s mother came to see him, and was distraught. “She was definitely crying ‘what happened? What’s going to be? I want you to live’,” he said. “He comes here every morning.”
On Saturday, a 7-year-old boy was struck by a driver on East Gun Hill Road at Decatur Avenue in the Bronx. News 12 reported that the child exited a double-parked van before he was hit. He was hospitalized in stable condition.
Traffic crashes have for some time been the leading cause of injury-related death for children in New York City. According to the latest report on child injury deaths from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene [PDF], 144 kids aged one through 12 were killed in crashes from 2001 to 2010. Of those victims, 93 — or 65 percent — were pedestrians.
Since January 2012, no fewer than 11 kids aged 14 and under have been killed by city motorists, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog.
The gruesome, ongoing killing and maiming of children in full view of the public, meanwhile, hardly registers among city politicians. The City Council, led by Speaker Christine Quinn and transportation chair James Vacca, maintains its preoccupation with parking and electric bikes, through legislation prompted by complaint and anecdote rather than empirical data. The day before two more children were mangled in his borough, Brooklyn Council Member David Greenfield proudly declared himself a motorist who is “all about the cars.” Greenfield’s district has seen at least five pedestrian and cyclist deaths since January 2012, including that of a 15-year-old girl.
At the state level, a speed camera program intended to slow drivers near NYC schools remains in limbo thanks primarily to State Senator Marty Golden, who would rather curry favor with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association than help safeguard the physical safety of city pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.