For Immediate Release: February 21, 2019
Contact: Randy LoBasso, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-242-9253 Ext. 311
Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia will gather at 11th and Spruce Streets on Thursday, February 28, with several demands to the City, the state and law enforcement to make Philadelphia’s streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
Led by the Fredricks Family, Latanya Byrd, the Javsicas Family, Channabel Morris, and the Daley Family, and supported by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and members of the Vision Zero Alliance, Families for Safer Streets Greater Philadelphia is a group made up of people who’ve lost family members due to traffic violence in Philadelphia.
In July 2013, Latanya Byrd’s niece, Sarama Banks, and her children, Saa’mir Williams, 7 months; Saa’sean Williams, 23 months; and Saa’deem Griffin, 4; were killed by drag racers on Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia.
In April 2016, Jamal Morris, Channabel Morris’ son, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike along Market Street in West Philadelphia.
In June 2017, Peter Javsicas, Anne Javsicas’ husband, was killed by an out-of-control motorist while walking on the sidewalk at 16th and JFK Blvd. in Center City.
In November 2017, Emily Fredricks, Laura and Richard Fredricks’ daughter, was killed by a private trash truck at the corner of 11th and Spruce Streets while riding her bicycle to work.
The group will gather at 8am at the spot where Emily was killed, and where a Ghost Bike to remember her, still remains.
All these family members have been working to make Philadelphia a safer place for road users around the city—already, Channabel Morris worked throughout 2017 to pass an extension to Pennsylvania’s red light camera program; Latanya Byrd successfully advocated in 2018 to pass landmark legislation legalizing speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard; the Fredricks Family has worked with the Gold Medal hauling company to improve driving standards and fund safer streets initiatives.
On Thursday, they will talk about the changes we all seek going forward.
Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia is the newest chapter of Families for Safe Streets, an organization of victims’ families begun in 2014 in New York City.
Around the country and in Philadelphia, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities are on the rise. In 2018, nearly half of total traffic fatalities were pedestrians and cyclists. While the City’s Vision Zero initiatives have improved some corridors, they have not happened fast enough or in enough neighborhoods—in part, because they have not received adequate funding.
Additionally, Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia will speak of a brand new report showing only 16 percent of motorists who kill bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists in Philadelphia, ever face charges—and what law enforcement can do to make people safer.
Advocates and supporters of safer streets throughout Philadelphia are invited to attend and show support to the families affected by traffic violence in Philadelphia.
WHO: Families for Safe Streets, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
WHAT: Announcement of demands to make traffic safer
WHERE: 11th and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, Pa
WHEN: 8:00am gathering; 8:30am press conference