Victim prevention


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While this column is about the traffic tragedy on prime time and the front pages, thousands in the Tri-State area and outer boroughs suffered for days from natural disasters that left them without power — without heat — Imagine. And another northeaster is forecast. And this incredible hardship needs to get out there on prime time and the front page. And the governor, the mayor, and yes, the president should have been on these natural disaster scenes and asked other states for additional help? Sure, blame the power companies, but consider how dangerous and difficult power restoration can be. Even more, stress the need for residents to help one another — and in general — and in general.

Now about the prime-timed front-page story about the 4-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy senselessly and brutally killed by an out-of-control driver and yes, indirectly, by a government which takes traffic violations too lightly. Thankfully, more attention is now being paid, but for how long? And this longtime safe-traffic activist believes not only young victims should get prime time-front-page coverage in order to spark renewed action and outrage against killer driving. Consider how these dearly loved children’s and countless other lives might have been saved if every traffic victim received significant coverage and outrage?

In truth, adults are the most frequent traffic crime victims, especially adult males, which again recalls how Srymanean Manickam, the 51-year-old beloved Upper East Side deli manager known to all who knew him as Mano, was killed by a taxi which turned into his crosswalk. April 22 will mark the first anniversary of his death.

All this was written before reading Ginia Bellafante’s March 11 column in The Times in which she considers how charges are slow to be filed or never filed against drivers involved in fatal accidents. So many stipulations and requirements that need to get out there and overcome. Bellafante’s piece should be required reading by government officials and all concerned with overcoming these unnatural and tragic, often criminal, disasters.

Indeed Vision Zero would likely not exist if it hadn’t been for the so wrongful traffic crime deaths of children whose grieving parents demanded all-out attention be paid. Mothers Again Drunk Driving made such a magnificent difference. Also needed are Adult Sons and Daughters Against Drivers who Killed their Parents.

Ah, this is in no way diminishing the awful, wrongful and cruel deaths of these two little children — just that so much else needs to be done ... needs to be done. And, of course, an all-out crackdown on failure to yield, the number one cause of pedestrian injury and death and injury — and don’t forget injuries so often enduring, painful and costly.

Again, April 22 marks the first anniversary of Mano’s death. but the memorial plaque in his honor is still seeking a home on or near the store he so caringly managed for many years. Patricia Banks, a grateful neighbor and friend keeps trying.

But I urge you to Google “Mano, killed by Taxi” to learn why he was so greatly beloved and a caring neighbor to all.

Traffic crimes against all age victims need significant media coverage and outage. And, yes, of course, pedestrians must obey the rules of the road — and so must bicyclists. It can be done if enough of us try.

dewingbetter@aol.com better@aol.com





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