Sunday: Tell Albany to Let NYC Protect Kids From Speeding Drivers

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Last Sunday a motorist hit 10-year-old Jobe Kan with an SUV on 84th Street in Bay Ridge. Jobe is expected to live, but he sustained severe injuries and as of yesterday remained in intensive care.

NYPD blamed Jobe for crossing mid-block on a narrow neighborhood street lined with residences, and said nothing publicly about how fast the driver was going, or whether investigators were checking for evidence of driver distraction.

Children should be able to play outdoors without the constant threat of harm at the hands of reckless drivers. But year after year, motorists are the leading cause injury-related deaths for kids in NYC.

Speed cameras have proven far more effective at slowing drivers down than flesh-and-blood police, yet Albany continues to hamstring the city’s automated enforcement program, allowing just 140 cameras, sited near schools, to cover 2,000 schools and 6,000 miles of streets.

A leading critic of speed cameras is State Senator Marty Golden, who represents Bay Ridge. Golden has a record of camera tickets and once killed a senior with his SUV.

On Sunday, Transportation Alternatives and Bay Ridge Advocates Keeping Everyone Safe (BRAKES) will lead a rally to call on Albany to authorize more speed cameras for the first time in four years. Lawmakers failed to get speed cameras passed with the budget, and with the program set to expire this year, it’s crucial that they pass legislation before this year’s session ends in June.

Sunday’s event starts at 5 p.m. at 84th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway. More details here.

  • jeff

    Just last night I witnessed something that helps explain why a kid like Jobe Kan is in intensive care.

    I was about to cross the street at the intersection on my block. The “walk” sign just turned green, but through the red light comes one of those 2-Fast-2-Furious type cars, going maybe 55 or 60mph, engine roaring, and he was swerving a bit, as if he might lose control and crash. There’s a public elementary school on this very block, but this was around 9pm.

    Right across the intersection from me was an NYPD cruiser. There were no other cars around and nothing whatsoever preventing the NYPD car from pursuing the hot rod that blew through a red light at an insane rate of speed right in front of their face.

    I looked over at the NYPD car, incredulous. I couldn’t see the officer’s face in the dark, but the window was down and I just saw a big puff of cigarette smoke come out. (Or maybe it wasn’t cigarette smoke). This is the 88th precinct.

    I think this is a big part of the problem. NYPD does not enforce traffic laws. Not because they can’t, but because they don’t want to. The fact that 2-fast-2-furious cars are going through red lights at 55mph on residential streets past elementary schools just doesn’t bother the New York Police Department, and children in New York die because of their indifference. (Dorothy Burns, for example, was reported to the NYPD for a hit and run before she killed two kids, and they just shrugged their shoulders).

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