Doctors at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens say more needs to be done to address the rising number of pedestrians and bicyclists who are injured in the area.
More than 20 percent of emergency room injuries at the hospital involve traffic accidents and pedestrians, The New York Daily News reported.
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"We feel law enforcement can be stepped up," Jaime Ullman, the hospital’s director of neurosurgery, told the News. "Distracted behaviors, cell phone use — the penalties for these behaviors should be escalated so they would be a better deterrent."
There were 296 pedestrian injury cases recorded at Elmhurst Hospital in 2012, up from 275 in 2011 and the highest number in a decade. Among the injured, 215 were pedestrians and 81 were bicyclists, according to the News.
The most accident prone roads are Queens Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard.
Ullman said he met with medical and traffic safety experts last week to discuss ways to address the growing problem.
"It’s really not safe out there for pedestrians," he said. "The more we can try to abide by traffic rules and make eye contact with drivers while walking may go a long was toward preventing accidents from happening."