Walk Safe Program
“Walk Safe Nassau” is a County-wide initiative to educate the public about pedestrian safety. The program was announced by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano on May 7, 2012, in response to the death of Anthony D’Alessandro who was hit and killed crossing Hempstead Turnpike near Division Avenue a month before. He was the third Levittown teenager to die crossing the busy road within a four-year period. Around the same time, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign named Hempstead Turnpike the deadliest road in New York State. Since 2005, at least 36 pedestrians have been killed crossing Hempstead Turnpike. And it doesn't stop there. Other roads have claimed the lives of pedestrians as well, including Sunrise Highway, Fulton Street and Merrick Road. Through the “Walk Safe Nassau” campaign, County Executive Mangano hopes to make the streets of Nassau County safer for all pedestrians.
The program includes informational fliers and posters in local businesses throughout the county. The main goal of this program: to educate pedestrians and drivers on the rules of the road. It’s a collaborative effort to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on Hempstead Tpke., bringing together Nassau County Traffic Safety, NY State DOT, NY State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, FHWA, NY State Health Department and NY Metropolitan Transportation Council. Improvements will be both short and long term and include engineering, education and enforcement efforts.
As part of “Walk Safe Nassau,” we’re doing a series of public service announcements that will highlight safety tips as well as dangers of crossing the roads. Traffic Safety Coordinator Chris Mistron would like the “Walk Safe Nassau” campaign to spread to the 56 school districts in Nassau County. He hopes to hold an assembly in each of the school districts that will have a speaker and an 8-10 minute video that will educate students on pedestrian safety.
Our Nassau County Traffic Safety Board has begun a Community outreach program; a pedestrian safety campaign with NICE the Bus Company who is here with us today; Pedestrian Safety Posters and brochures in English and Spanish; placement of literature in stores, restaurants, libraries along Hempstead Tpke.; programs for Nassau County Senior Community Service Centers and Senior centers run by other organizations such as Catholic Charities that are located in the neighborhoods that border Hempstead Turnpike; and working with Hofstra University and other schools.