Bensonhurst intersection

WCBS 880

Brooklyn Intersection To Get Traffic Light After 3-Year-Old Boy's Death

June 08, 2019 - 3:44 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – A traffic light will soon be installed at a Brooklyn intersection where a young boy was struck and killed last month.

State Assemblyman William Colton has been trying to get a traffic light at the intersection of Benson Avenue and Bay 25th Street in Bensonhurst for six years. He's written letters to the Department of Transportation since 2013.

“You’re frustrated and you’re heartbroken,” Colton said.

A traffic light is finally coming this November.

But it’s too late for one mother who lives in the neighborhood. Her 3-year-old son was struck and killed when a van went to make a right turn onto Benson Avenue in May.

Emur Shavkator was with his mother when he rode his scooter into the crosswalk and the van hit him, according to police.

“The van did stop at the stop sign from what I’ve been told. And then it started rolling forward, with the driver looking to the left,” Colton said.

Shavkator's death shocked the community and renewed the battle for a traffic light.

Yvonne Briggs told WCBS 880's Mack Rosenberg she’s scared walking through the intersection because people speed down Benson Avenue.

“It took a 3-year-old to get killed by a car in order for them to finally pay attention, to wake up that we need a light here,” Briggs said.

Colton says money is the reason that it’s taken this long for the DOT to act.

“I have a feeling that their whole decision on traffic lights depends upon whether there’s a likelihood they can get funding, more or less funding from the federal government,” Colton said.

In a statement to WCBS 880, a DOT spokesperson said: “DOT takes every fatality on our roadways seriously, and has a proactive program of redesigning streets to reduce tragedies like this one. As with all locations where a fatal crash occurs, DOT evaluates the design of the street and the circumstances of the crash in order to improve the safety of that location. As mentioned, a traffic light will be installed at this intersection and work is expected to be completed this fall.”