Raul Ampuero, Families for Safe Streets
by Benjamin Fang
Jul 18, 2018 | 4272 views | 0 0 comments | 390 390 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Earlier this year, Jackson Heights father Raul Ampuero joined a group that no one wants to join, but is necessary for the sake of a safer New York City.

He became a member of Families for Safe Streets, an organization made up of family members who have lost loved ones to reckless drivers and deadly speeding. His nine-year-old son Giovanni was killed crossing the street in Queens.

Three days after Giovanni passed away, Amy Cohen, one of the co-founders of the group, called Ampuero to give him support. She introduced him to Families for Safe Streets, and now he’s a dedicated member.

“I connect a lot with her, she lost her son Sammy five years ago in Park Slope,” Ampuero said. “Unbelievable woman, a lot of strength. She’s a warrior. I have great respect for people like that.”

The organization has been leading the charge in advocating for the expansion of speed cameras in school zones. Through this work, Ampuero said he has met with Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and even Mayor Bill de Blasio, both of whom support the cause.

“I met a lot of people I never thought I was going to meet, but it’s not because I like to be famous or I like to be in front of cameras, that’s not the reason I’m here,” he said. “The reason is to save children. You want to go to work and make sure your kids are back home safe.”

Now Ampuero is pleading with Albany to reconvene to pass legislation to extend the program, which is set to expire on July 25. He said politicians shouldn’t play with children’s lives.

“Is that so hard to understand?” he said. “Speed cameras help, it’s just common sense.”
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