In January of 2017, I wrote a column about the outrage of the State Police patrolling Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel and parts of the Rockaways. People were furious that the State Police were here and ticketing people. I clearly stated that if you drive within the speed limit, you should not have a problem. I have been guilty of driving too fast when in a rush, but something changed for me in October of 2016.
I was driving to school and when I was about to turn left off of Cross Bay Boulevard, I saw one of my students lying in the street. After being taken to Jamaica Hospital, she was pronounced dead. Since then, I have been on a bit of a crusade about speeding. And my crusade has spread to my family as well. My father has given up driving because every time he drove, he claimed he felt uncomfortable with people driving too close to him and honking when he did not proceed fast enough. My daughter works on Beach Channel Drive at the Prudential office and last week when the stoplight was out on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 116th Street by Duane Reade, she was unsure how she was going to get home because the cars were driving by so fast and she could not get across the street.
Another horrible accident happened last week and the young man, who attends Scholars’ Academy, was attempting to exit his yellow school bus when a car went around the bus on the RIGHT side, yes you heard that right, the side where the children exit. He was hit by the car and broke his leg in two places and is in a cast from his ankle to his hip. When are people going to slow down? This young man is lucky to be alive. If it were possibly a difference in a second, he may have been killed.
Now Cross Bay Boulevard is not the only place I see people driving haphazardly. My favorite is at least once a week, a car goes around me in the left lane and I assume they are making a U-turn. Nope, they are going through the red light and going through the turning lane to get around the people who follow the rules of driving. Newport Avenue, as I have said many times, is also the practice for the Indy 500. Without many streetlights, people use it to speed as quickly as possible to get to and from Beach 116th Street. So, I am begging you all to please leave a few minutes early and slow down.
I know some people will not be happy with this, but we need more tickets to be distributed from the State Police and the 100th Precinct. The day after the young boy was hit, a squad car sat by the accident spot. I doubt the exact incident is going to happen again. Actively patrol. I know you can sit on Newport and Beach 129th and get offenders all day long, who do not stop at the stop signs.
Try to drive everywhere as if your children were playing in the streets and/or exiting school buses.
Have a great week everyone and SLOW DOWN.