Nancy Tillman, of Minoa, is a member of Households for Secure Streets. Sherry Silvester, of Jordan, is with the Nationwide Security Council.
There are issues a mom by no means imagines she must do for her little one.
After my son, R.J. Tillman, a nursing scholar, was killed — struck by a hit-and-run driver whereas biking to high school in Staten Island at simply 29 — nonetheless shocked and devastated, I discovered myself calling the coroner to rearrange an post-mortem, calling the funeral director to rearrange transport for R.J.’s physique, addressing organ donation and arranging a funeral service. I needed to write his eulogy, then drive from Syracuse to New York Metropolis to filter out his condo. The worst half was calling his sister to inform her the information.
R.J. was killed in 2012. Households like ours may study to maneuver on. However we by no means recover from it.
Too many households in New York state are getting calls just like the one we acquired, saying their little one or partner or sibling isn’t going to return dwelling. Nationwide, we noticed an alarming enhance in motor vehicle-related fatalities in 2020 regardless of decreased visitors. Preliminary estimates from the Nationwide Security Council present that New York misplaced 963 lives on the highway in 2020, a ten% bounce from 2019. Pedestrians are 1.5 occasions extra possible than occupants of passenger autos to be killed in a automotive crash. In accordance with the Governors Freeway Security Affiliation, susceptible road-user fatalities in 2019 had been at their highest level in over 30 years.
At the same time as we emerge from a devastating pandemic, visitors crashes are nonetheless the main reason behind demise for younger individuals in the US. However crashes just like the one which killed R.J. are preventable.
Proper now a gaggle of grieving households known as Households for Secure Streets is advancing a sequence of statewide payments that provides hope that this downside might be addressed. The Crash Victims Rights and Safety Act is a package deal of eight payments we hope our leaders in Albany will advance and cross within the subsequent few weeks.
In relation to susceptible highway customers, pace issues. That’s the reason the Nationwide Security Council strongly helps CVRSA payments corresponding to “Sammy’s Regulation” and “Velocity Cameras 24/7,” which might enable New York Metropolis to set its personal secure pace limits in addition to use confirmed automated enforcement applied sciences. Analysis from the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) exhibits that automated enforcement helps guarantee individuals drive at posted pace limits, lowering the severity and probability of crashes. In New York Metropolis, pace cameras diminished harm crashes 17 p.c the place they had been put in.
Lowering impairment and distraction is likewise vital, and the Nationwide Security Council helps the CVRSA invoice to decrease the statewide authorized BAC to 0.05. Reducing the BAC restrict from 0.08 to 0.05 is a world greatest apply to save lots of lives on the roadways. As many as 1,500 lives every year could possibly be saved if carried out nationally, analysis exhibits.
Different CVRSA payments would set up 3 ft because the statewide minimal distance for drivers passing cyclists. And one of many payments would assist guarantee households just like the mine, who lose a liked one or undergo an harm, have well timed entry to police reviews and the appropriate to testify at DMV hearings associated to their case.
Certainly one of Syracuse’s very personal state legislators has a novel position and alternative to assist make sure the CVRSA turns into legislation and begins saving lives this 12 months. Meeting Member Invoice Magnarelli is chair of the Meeting Transportation Committee and might guarantee these payments are voted on earlier than session ends June 10. We imagine it’s time for Magnarelli and different New York state lawmakers to return collectively in assist of the Crash Sufferer Rights & Security Act. This may assist defend New York’s most susceptible avenue customers from demise and harm and supply assist to those that have been personally impacted. Now we have the facility and the duty to stop households from the nightmare of dropping a toddler. We are able to and should make our roads safer for all.