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Stringer Calling For New Pedestrian Safety Measures In Wake Of East Harlem Boy’s Death

Amar Diarrassouba was struck and killed by a tractor trailer in East Harlem on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 (credit: Eileen Lehpamer/1010 WINS)

Amar Diarrassouba was struck and killed by a tractor trailer in East Harlem on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 (credit: Eileen Lehpamer/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and other officials are calling for new pedestrian safety measures following the death of a 6-year-old boy who was killed on his way to school in East Harlem last week.

Stringer says he wants tougher traffic-calming measures and improved enforcement of existing laws on streets where children walk to school.

“It’s outrageous that a tractor-trailer truck, an 18-wheeler was barreling down the street. Of course that truck driver wouldn’t see a little six-and-a-half-year-old boy. They shouldn’t have been on that road to begin with and it’s time to hold truck drivers who don’t follow the law accountable for their actions,” Stringer told WCBS 880.

This weekend, family and friends said goodbye to Amar Diarrassouba. The 6-year-old was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer Thursday morning at the intersection of First Avenue and East 117th Street.

The first-grader and his older brother were walking to P.S. 155 when the accident occurred. His brother wasn’t hurt.

“Three other children have been struck and killed by vehicles within seven blocks of P.S. 155 since 2009. I believe it is time for the Department of Transportation to take action,” Stringer told WCBS 880.

Stringer called for greater use of pedestrian interval lights, which give those on foot more time to cross the street before the light turns green for vehicles. Stringer also noted that of the 145 pedestrian interval lights in Manhattan, just two are in Harlem.

Police said the crossing guard, 55-year old Flavia Roman, called-in to say she was at work, but wasn’t at her post when the boy was hit.

Roman told police she stepped away for an emergency bathroom break, but sources told CBS 2 that she never showed up for work. Her whereabouts are under investigation.

Roman was suspended without pay for 30 days and criminal charges are still possible.

The truck driver was issued a ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian and failing to use due care.