Eastern Queens Elected Officials Promote Student Safety Pledge

P.S. 173 Promotes Classroom Awareness for Traffic & Pedestrian Safety

Queens, NY – Today, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, State Senator Toby Stavisky, State Senator Tony Avella, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and Council Member Rory Lancman led P.S. 173 students, parents, and staff in a school safety pledge to memorialize Allison Liao, a 3-year-old from Fresh Meadows who was struck and killed by an SUV late last year in Flushing.

Allison’s mother Amy Tam-Liao and the PTA at P.S. 173 organized the event for students and parents to take a pledge and promise to promote traffic and pedestrian safety. Preston Liao, Allison’s brother, attends P.S. 173. Throughout the day, the PTA visited students in classrooms with safety pledges and glow-in-the-dark bracelets promoting the pledge.

“The heightened number of traffic accidents and in particular, the amount of children who have been victims of traffic fatalities within our borough is unacceptable. Implementing traffic calming precautions is imperative to the overall safety of our pedestrians and drivers.” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “We are working with the Mayor's Office to identify sites in Queens to be part of Vision Zero to ultimately bring better safety measures to our communities.”

“I am honored to join P.S. 173 in their Safety Pledge to help combat the ever increasing traffic safety concerns in the City of New York,” stated Senator Tony Avella. “I was extremely saddened to learn the news of Allison Liao’s passing last year and my thoughts are with her family to this day. We all understand how important it is to ensure our children’s safety and we must all do more to raise awareness of traffic safety concerns. I therefore commend P.S. 173 on organizing the Safety Pledge and look forward to working with the Parent Teacher Association as well as the Mayoral Administration on this vital issue.”

“Remembering the basics of traffic safety can help us prevent traffic and pedestrian fatalities and make Vision Zero a reality. The Liaos have become forceful and articulate advocates for traffic and pedestrian safety and I know that their dedication to this important issue will save lives. I urge everyone to take extra care when driving and crossing the street and together, we can make our community safer for everyone,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing).

“Each tragedy is a clarion call that we need more pedestrian safety improvements now to protect all of our students,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows). “In order for us to turn Vision Zero into reality, we must work together as a community to prevent future incidents. I commend the P.S. 173 community who have worked so hard to push for this safety pledge.”

“Traffic safety around our schools is of critical importance. At the City Council hearing on the ‘Vision Zero’ plan, I urged the City to include the DOE in its proposal and to create individual impact studies for the areas around every public school,” said Councilman Lancman. ‘I am proud of P.S.173Q’s commitment to keeping our children safe and join them as a partner in this cause.”

Principal Molly Wang of P.S. 173 said, “Student safety is an important issue that must take center stage. I am proud of the P.S. 173 community for taking this pledge and I am grateful for the support of Assemblywoman Rozic and our other elected officials.”

Amy Tam-Liao stated, “It’s imperative to educate drivers and pedestrians including our children about safe behavior on the street and on the road. We are gratified the PTA at our son’s school and DOT are doing so much to prevent another tragedy, and to protect our children because what happened to our 3 year old daughter can happen to anybody. Every few days we hear on the news about another person struck by a vehicle, we need a culture change and what better way to start then in the schools with our children.”

“We at P.S. 173 want to make sure our students, parents, and community members prioritize traffic safety,” said PTA President Italia Augienello of P.S. 173. “The current drop off and pick up situation is an issue and we need to make sure that we raise awareness about driver and pedestrian safety to avoid future tragedies.”

After a push from Rozic, Stavisky and Council Member Koo, NYC DOT approved traffic improvements and calming measures on Cherry Avenue and Main Street, the site of the tragic death of Allison Liao.