Editorial: Time for action

May 2, 2013 Editorial Staff
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Enough is enough!

The death of an elderly woman on Fourth Avenue at 82nd Street – struck on Tuesday morning by a turning car as she crossed in the crosswalk with the light – brings to three the number of people critically injured or killed while attempting to traverse the thoroughfare in Bay Ridge since February.

This most recent incident follows closely the death of a woman struck by a car at 86th and Fourth earlier in April, and the severe injuries sustained by Xaverian student Matthew Garry when he was knocked down by a hit-and-run vehicle at Fourth and 78th in mid-February.

It’s clear that there is a pressing need for changes along the strip, which many residents – who daily dodge cars driven by reckless drivers — believe to be extremely dangerous.

It’s time to try something different. While not everyone agrees that the technology employed by speed cameras is ready for prime time, we agree with local safety advocates, the City Council and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly that they are worth trying.

If they work, great – lives will potentially be saved as traffic is slowed. If they don’t, all that’s lost is the money that was spent in trying them out.

In addition, we believe that enforcement along the strip – where drivers regularly go in excess of the speed limit, make illegal U-turns, or zip in and out of traffic lanes – is called for.

To accomplish that without taking cops away from other critical duties — given the leanness of today’s police force, with precincts around the city, including the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge, operating with far fewer officers than a decade ago — the city needs to loosen the purse strings, and hire more officers before more people die simply because they crossed the street.

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