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Mother of Pedestrian Fatality Victim Hoping New Transportation Report Will Spark Change

Wantagh resident Sandi Vega continues seeking safety improvements along Sunrise Highway a year and a half after her 14-year old daughter was struck and killed crossing busy roadway.

A  Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) report of the most deadly roads in Nassau County cited seven pedestrian fatalities that occurred on Sunrise Highway between 2008-2010 including one in Wantagh a year and a half ago that has sparked calls for safety improvements along the busy South Shore roadway.

Ever since that fateful day on Sept. 22, 2010 when her 14-year old daughter Brittany was by a Toyota Camry on Sunrise Highway in Wantagh, has lobbied for safer pedestrian conditions and helped advocate for . The TSTC has joined Vega’s campaign and the Wantagh mother is now trying to get a similar "complete streets" policy approved by the Town of Hempstead.

Vega said she is hoping the new TSTC report will help accelerate the need for increased safety improvements along Sunrise Highway and other heavily traveled roadways like Hempstead Turnpike. She is happy with new “no turn on red” signs that have been installed along with countdown clocks for pedestrians at certain stretches on Sunrise Highway, including the intersection of Wantagh Avenue where her daughter was tragically killed. However, Vega said other improvements are greatly needed on Sunrise Highway including more pedestrian islands and lowering the speed limit.

“There is so much more that needs to be addressed,” Vega said. “They need to do something about the speed before more people get hurt.” 

The TSTC report was an analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

William Reynolds, Director of Communications with the New York State Department of Transportation, said, "we will be taking a close look at conditions on Sunrise Highway, as we do with all major roadways, and determine what actions need to be taken. We will continue to focus on improving safety for all roadway users."

Laura March 14, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Def . In seaford there is a 55 speed limit sign right when you go into the town coming from the east on sunrise .. I still don't understand why that the speed limit is at 55 when you literally have another crosswalk right where the seaford Trainstation is.. I am even afraid to cross there at times.
Mark March 14, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Changing the speed limit will do nothing. Seriously, do u think anyone does 30mph or less on sunrise. The median speed is 40mph and up. Yes some areas are 30mph, thats there so the police can have some leeway when its time to rack up ticket giving. This is not the 70s or 80s anymore. Long island is hussle and bussle now. At least in Nassau. What u need to do is teach your kids the dangers of inproperly walking on the streets. There should be a mandatory middle school and high school class on the subject with videos to make young people aware.
Laura March 15, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Have you tried walking across sunrise lately ?? You have to pray no one flies through red lights... At the same time a lot of pedestrians do not pay attention at the crosswalk... They are at fault at times .. Look at lindenhurst and amityville area --- driving through there at 7 am people are dodging cars and not following proper laws to walk across the street .. I have no idea what it was like driving in the 80s I was a small child.

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