Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Addabbo Supports Senate Legislation for Senior Safety

Read original...

Legislation recently introduced in the state Senate authorizing the Department of Transportation to conduct a statewide survey to locate areas with a high incidence of pedestrian accidents involving senior citizens has earned the support of Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr.

The legislation requires the DOT commissioner to undertake a comprehensive study of mitigating dangers to senior citizens in areas where action needs to be taken. It also requires the commissioner to report recommendations and findings to the legislature and the governor on or before April 1, 2011.

Addabbo said the purpose of this bill is to help ensure the safety of senior citizens. “I initially thought of the intersection of 84th Street and 157th Avenue in Howard Beach. This intersection and others in my district have been extremely dangerous for seniors.” The senator noted that there are multiple active senior centers in close proximity to each other and that many intersections become nearly impossible for seniors to cross safely.

The bill requires the DOT, in consultation with the State Office for the Aging, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Governor`s Traffic Safety Committee, local police agencies and other groups to conduct a statewide survey to determine areas of high levels of senior pedestrian traffic and incidents of senior citizen motor vehicle accidents.

Walking as a means of transportation is increasing in popularity. Environmental considerations, health concerns, and increasing leisure hours promote pedestrian activity in New York state and elsewhere. All age groups participate in walking activities, but every year senior citizens have a disproportionately high representation on the list of those killed or injured in pedestrian incidents.

Preventive pedestrian safety measures have been implemented outside New York state, and it is only reasonable and prudent that these measures receive scrutiny and consideration for use here, especially considering the increasing numbers of senior citizens.

Demographic projections indicate a burgeoning senior population as the next century approaches, and a key to senior mobility will be the availability of safe walkways. “This bill will begin the necessary first steps toward achieving this goal,” Addabbo said.