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Roosevelt Boulevard Tragedy Highlights Pedestrian Safety Issues

Late last month, a funeral was held for the Philadelphia family that was killed in a tragic collision in June.

The woman and her four children were crossing the Roosevelt Boulevard when they were struck by a car; the oldest child, a 5-year-old boy, survived the crash, and the rest of the family was killed.

Two drivers have been arrested in relation to this tragedy. One of the drivers allegedly was behind the wheel of the speeding vehicle that struck the family. The other driver was allegedly involved in a street race with that car.

Each man is reportedly facing four homicide by vehicle charges, involuntary manslaughter and third-degree murder charges, as well as charges for aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, simple assault and assault by vehicle.

This tragedy has shined a spotlight not only on the perils of drag racing, but also on the responsibility of the city of Philadelphia to provide safe crosswalks for pedestrians.

The 12-lane highway where this tragic accident occurred is often called one of the most dangerous roads in the U.S. In fact, during the same week that the family was struck by a car there, an 11-year-old girl was struck by a car in the same area while she was riding her bike. She was in critical condition following the crash.

Several decades ago, a signaled crosswalk on the boulevard was taken down for some reason. According to a news report, the city is now studying whether a new signaled crosswalk should go back up.

In the aftermath of pedestrian accidents, such as those that have recently occurred on Roosevelt Boulevard, it is important that anyone who is responsible is held accountable under the law. In many cases, negligent drivers should be brought to justice, but in other cases, municipalities should also be taken to task for failing to foster safety for pedestrians

Source: NBC Philadelphia, “Funeral Held For Family Killed in Boulevard Accident,” Karen Araiza, July 27, 2013

Source: NBC 10 Philadelphia, “Pedestrians Jaywalking at Spot of Fatal Boulevard Accident,” David Chang, Queen Muse, Daralene Jones,” July 23, 2013