Jumaane Williams Calls for Speed Cams in Wake of Toddler’s Death

City Council Member Jumaane Williams has issued a statement calling for speed cameras and other traffic-calming measures following the death of Denim McLean, the 2-year-old killed by a curb-jumping driver in East Flatbush.

City Council Member Jumaane Williams

Williams also says more motorists should be held responsible for crashes that result in death.

This incident took place at the corner of Church and Utica Avenues, which has long been a problem area for accidents with pedestrians, even according to the Department of Transportation. I plan to meet with DOT officials in the coming days to discuss safety at this intersection and the Utica Avenue corridor in general. We must push for more traffic calming measures, measures that save lives and improve transportation in the long term. We need speed cameras at this cross-section and throughout this community, and it is my sincere hope that the State Senate will end their obstruction of this effort. While I do not know fully the details of this accident, I do believe that we must work together toward achieving greater accountability of drivers that cause fatal crashes. Finally, we must all exercise much greater caution on the roads. Getting to our destination safely must always be the priority.

There were six pedestrian fatalities in Williams’s district between 2009 and 2011, according to federal data mapped by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. All of the victims were children and seniors. The 67th Precinct, which encompasses much of the district, wrote 45 speeding tickets in 2012, an average of one every eight days.

Speed cameras have overwhelming support among city officials. A proposed demonstration program was included in the State Assembly budget proposal, but was blocked by Marty Golden and Simcha Felder in the Senate. Bronx Senator Jeff Klein has introduced a bill to bring speed cameras to NYC, but Golden says more 20 mph zones will be sufficient to reduce the number of crashes like the one that killed Denim McLean.

  • M to the I

    Speed cameras will be beneficial when/if they get put in. But lets get real, the bill proposes only 20-40 cameras for the entire city and says that they should be located in school zones. That is just 4-8 cameras per borough and not all will be live at one time. So, a camera would not likely get placed at this intersection. Also, penalties will not kick in unless the driver is going 10mph over the speed limit or more.

    This is fine for a test but, eventually, we need something more comprehensive. And by eventually, I mean it was needed years ago. We need a grid of speed cameras and red light cameras throughout the city because these violations are rampant. This crash could have happened almost anywhere in the city, and similar events have happened all over Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. I also hope that if someone is caught on the speed cam and then goes on to kill a pedestrian or cyclist, that police will suspect criminality.

  • Jumaane’s statement is composed, on-point, and sound. That’s good. But I want him fired up over this the way I am. He’s been wonderfully outspoken against stop and frisk. I want the same passion here. The time for mere kind words has come and gone as the bodies keep piling up. How many dead children will it take for elected officials to stand up for human rights over car rights? It’s nearly 80 degrees and everyone is outside today. Wake up. This is an urban environment where pedestrians should feel safe. An airbag inside the car does nothing for the person you’ve just hit breaking the 30mph speed limit.

  • Bolwerk

    Jumaane for mayor!

  • Ben Kintisch

    I like this statement, and I echo Paco’s point. What’s next after your good statement?

  • Anonymous

    Oh great, bring on the hate from the PBA

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