Traffic on area roads explodes during the holiday season, and there has already been a spate of accidents this year involving cars and pedestrians. As Thanksgiving approaches, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Senator Charles Fuschillo are making roadways safer for seniors and all pedestrians by deploying a new state-of-the-art mobile driver feedback sign.
Murray and Fuschillo were joined by 100 senior citizens, a giant “pedestrian turkey,” Councilwoman Angie Cullin, Councilman Gary Hudes, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad at a press conference to pose the rhetorical question, “why did the turkey cross the road?” The answer, of course, “to get to the other side, safely!” served as the backdrop as officials unveiled a new driver safety sign that was secured through a grant from the senator. The sign was pressed into service in front of the popular Merrick Senior Center, which is adjacent to a popular shopping center, in time for the Thanksgiving and Black Friday “traffic explosion.” The Supervisor and Senator stated that they were working to help seniors who cross busy Clubhouse Road to get to the center, as well as pedestrians at other busy locations, to avoid becoming involved in car/pedestrian accidents.
The new driver safety sign can display the speed of passing motorists and important traffic messages, such as "Drive Safe" and "Accident Ahead." What's more, the sign is mobile, so it can be deployed as needed throughout the township. In fact, the officials plan on deploying the new traffic safety device at roadways that experience significant increases in holiday traffic.
"Particularly during Thanksgiving and the entire holiday season, when there will be increased traffic from motorists traveling and shopping throughout the Town of Hempstead, it is imperative that they drive safely and be aware of pedestrians crossing busy roadways," stated Murray. "I would like to thank Senator Charles Fuschillo for securing the grant funds for this important mobile driver safety sign.""This new mobile driver safety sign will help make our roads safer for everyone. Preventing speeding and reminding residents to drive safely will help save lives and prevent tragedies, especially during the holiday season when the roads are busier and more congested,” said Senator Fuschillo. “I am pleased to have secured state funding for the Town of Hempstead to purchase and utilize this important safety tool.”
The mobile safety sign, manufactured by MPH Industries, is 3’x4’, and can display up to three lines of text. The sign cost $21,000. In addition to displaying speeds and messages, the sign can be configured to collect data, such as the average speed of motorists at a specific time of day. This information can then be shared with law enforcement agencies to further enhance traffic safety.
Senator Fuschillo’s grant totaled $29,600, and the remaining funds will be used by the town for utility pole-mounted security cameras, for issues such as anti-graffiti initiatives.
"I am proud to work alongside Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Senator Charles Fuschillo as we make local roadways safer for all residents during the holiday season," said Councilman Hudes. Added Councilwoman Cullin, "The Town of Hempstead is reminding all residents to drive safely."
Supervisor Murray and Senator Fuschillo have partnered on a number of important traffic safety initiatives in the Town of Hempstead. Senator Fuschillo obtained grant funding for speed awareness signs (displays driver's speed), which were recently installed at seven area schools. Murray also completed a host of solar energy installations at town parks, drawing upon grants from the Senator.
The town also thanked its sponsors at the senior safety event. Mulcahy’s of Wantagh treated members of the Merrick Senior Center to a turkey dinner, Home Instead Senior Care provided paper goods/cake/beverages, and Dignity Home Care helped to sponsor the turkey dinner.
“All residents of the Town of Hempstead will be safer ‘crossing the road’ this holiday season, thanks to Senator Charles Fuschillo and the town’s new mobile driver safety sign,” concluded Murray.