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Traffic deaths on the rise in New York City

September 26, 2012 8:09:46 PM PDT
The number of traffic fatalities in New York City has risen for the first time since 2007.

George Martinez says his brother was the glue that kept his family together.

"He was the rock," George Martinez said.

37-year-old Alex Martinez died on Tuesday. He was killed by a hit and run driver who plowed into him at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and Hoover Avenue.

"They need to turn themselves in," George Martinez said.

Martinez, a married father of three is one name on a growing list of people who've died in this city in traffic accidents.

According to the Mayor's Management Report, between July of 2011 and June of 2012, traffic accidents have seen a sharp rise.

Fueled, the report says, by a spike in the number of drivers, passengers and motorcyclists dying.

According to the report, many of the incidents happen overnight and are caused by speeding, drunken driving as well as red-light and stop-sign running.

"The trend is not a good trend," City Councilman James Vacca said.

Councilman James Vacca is the chair of the city council's Transportation Committee.

"We were told that the bike lanes and pedestrian plazas will result in a safer city," Vacca said, "I think we have to have hearings. Did they make the streets safer?"

But a spokesman for the Department of Transportation says the numbers over the last several years are trending downward, "This underscores the importance of our sustained safety campaigns targeting speeding, drunk and distracted driving and it's also behind our push for legislation in Albany to expand red-light cameras and install the city's first speed cameras."

On this night at the intersection where Alex Martinez died, cars and even MTA buses continue to roll right through the stop sign.

Just a day after George Martinez' brother was killed there on his birthday.

"I don't know the statistics, I just know what happened yesterday and what happened yesterday is tragic," George Martinez said.

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