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Victims, Families Take To Streets Of Manhattan For Demonstration Against Traffic Violence

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New Yorkers who have lost loved ones or been injured in traffic crashes joined safety advocates at a Sunday event that included the reading of names in front of what looked like body bags.

It was their way to observe World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and push for changes to make streets safer, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported.

"Raise your signs high if you are personally impacted by this epidemic," a woman named "Amy" said.

It was a solemn show and tell with New Yorkers and their photos of loved ones lost to what they call traffic violence.

At their feet was a small mountain of white bags representing body bags for the 100 Americans killed in crashes every day.

"Today, I'm reading the names of people killed in New York City, in memory of my sister, Hermanda Booker. Hugo Garcia, age 26; Gail Ackerman, age 77," one woman said.

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Mary McAnulty said she wants action on behalf of her late husband, Thomas. The sculptor and professor was killed January of 2016 at age 73 crossing West 96th Street.

"He was a very happy man, a successful artist," McAnulty said.

His widow said the motorcyclist who struck him was fined, but she considers that too slight a punishment.

"There just has to be some accountability," McAnulty said.

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On Sunday, she was in Lower Manhattan for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. She's a member of Families for Safe Streets, which said in New York City's Vision Zero is working.

And they continue to push for narrower streets, wider sidewalks, more mass transit alternatives and a car industry that embraces safety technology, with innovation becoming standard.

Some of it's already happening, said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer.

"We successfully got a rule passed finally to mandate rear-camera technology in all large vehicles. That will make things safer," Schumer said.

Having worked to adjust speed limits and mandate cameras in school zones, members of the group are targeting the presidential race by asking that every candidate have a detailed plan for national traffic safety, Carlin reported.

Traffic safety advocates say the time is right to focus on the feds, because they may succeed in attaching changes they want to upcoming trillion-dollar infrastructure plans.

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