DNAinfo New York: Upper East Siders Demand Action Over Pedestrian Deaths

Manhattan residents demand action after a series of pedestrian deaths.

UPPER EAST SIDE — Walking close to three miles a day with his dogs near his home on 89th Street and York Avenue, Michael McAllister has seen his share of dangerous driving.

The 19th Precinct’s Deputy Inspector Matthew Whelan said that they weren’t responsible for the charges issued in traffic accidents since they “step back” at the scene, letting the police department’s Highway Patrol determine the cause of accidents and the charges.

It wasn’t a satisfactory response for Steve Vaccaro, a neighborhood resident who chairs Transportation Alternatives East Side Volunteer Committee to improve the streets for pedestrians and cyclists.

“My concern is that there is not a shared understanding of the recently enacted law,” Vaccaro said. “A new law was passed so there could be a remedy for drivers that cause injury or death.”

The next step, Vaccaro told DNAinfo, was to set up a meeting with his local precinct and Highway Patrol.

Natale, who works with the precinct’s traffic officers, acknowledged that more work could be done.

“It’s a new law,” he said. “We are creatures of habit. It takes time for culture to change.”

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