Group wants tougher charges in pedestrian deaths

Victoria Nicodemus, 30, was killed when a driver lost control and struck her on the sidewalk near Fulton Street and South Portland Avenue.

Victoria Nicodemus, 30, was killed when a driver lost control and struck her on the sidewalk near Fulton Street and South Portland Avenue. (1/19/16)

BROOKLYN - A transportation group wants prosecutors to slam the brakes on drivers who fatally strike pedestrians walking on sidewalks.

Transportation Alternatives says motor vehicles fatally struck 15 people who were walking on New York's sidewalks in 2015.

The group invoked Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to eliminate pedestrian fatalities, in calling for stronger efforts from prosecutors.

It says sidewalks are supposed to be safe for walking.

At the corner of Fulton and South Portland streets, a swerving driver went around a bus and onto the sidewalk, killing 30-year-old Victoria Nicodemus.

That driver is facing a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail on two misdemeanor charges, according to Nicodemus’ brother, Hank Miller. 

"Now the man has his license back," Miller says. "It's ridiculous." 

Advocates want tougher penalties and more aggressive prosecution.

Outside the courtroom, the mayor's Vision Zero plan calls for an investment of $115 million into street safety improvements around the city this year.

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