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New Group Hopes to Stop Pedestrian Accidents

As reported in DNAInfo, families and friends of people killed in pedestrian accidents rallied at City Hall last Sunday to announce a new advocacy group. Called Families for Safe Streets, the organization will push for rapid implementation of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero proposal designed to stop the increase in pedestrian fatalities in the City of New York.

Families brought photos of loved ones who had been killed in traffic accidents. They held signs urging a 20 MPH speed limit within the city limits. The speed limit is currently 30 MPH.

The urgency reflected a growing awareness that pedestrian fatalities are not inevitable and there are things the city can do to prevent injury and death. "People are starting to realize that this is a serious issue," said one man, whose girlfriend was killed in a pedestrian accident on Baychester Avenue in the Bronx in 2009.

Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero plan includes installing technology that would stop taxi meters when the vehicle exceeds the speed limit. It would also require NYPD to step up its enforcement of existing traffic laws. Currently, those who kill and injure pedestrians with their vehicles often receive nothing more than a speeding ticket - if that. It also includes a proposal to reduce the city speed limit to 25 MPH; members of Families for Safe Streets believe it should be lowered to 20 MPH.

The rally occurred on the same day that a young rabbinical student was killed in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood while crossing the street.