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Police crack down on traffic violations after toddler’s death

Following the death of a 2-year-old boy in a car crash on L Street in July, the Boston Police Department issued close to 500 speeding tickets to drivers on Day Boulevard last week. PHOTO BY CHLOE GRINBERG/ DFP FILE PHOTO

Boston police officers issued over 500 citations for traffic violations over several days last week on and around Day Boulevard in South Boston. These actions came after a 2-year-old boy was killed in July in a chain-reaction crash on the intersection of L Street and East Sixth Street.

The boy, Colin McGrath, was killed on July 25 after a van jumped a curb in South Boston and struck his stroller.

The consequential enforcement initiative, prompted by community reactions to McGrath’s death, was a joint effort between the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police Troop H, according to a press release from BPD. Troopers and officers focused enforcing use of crosswalks and regulating speeding and unsafe driving behaviors, according to the release.

The press release states that the initiative was prompted by complaints from the community, urging police to enforce road safety in the area.

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said in a statement that road safety is a community effort.

“We are all members of this community, and we are all responsible for traffic safety,” Gross said. “Let us continue to work together to keep our roads safe for everyone.”

Julie Mason, 35, of Brighton, said, as a mother of a 7 year old, she approves of the initiative because she thinks safety is more important than anything else.

“If issues on that street led to a death of a child, then I think it absolutely is okay to be holding people accountable when they are driving, parking, making decisions that are not safe,” Mason said. “From the mom standpoint, I’m all for it.”

Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin said the state will be cracking down on unsafe driving.

“There is no excuse for, and we will not tolerate, any motorist putting other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians at risk,” Gilpin said in a statement.

Gilpin said her department will continue to monitor the South Boston area and all other areas of concern.

Linda Donovan, 65, of Dorchester, said she thinks the traffic initiative is a good idea but that she hopes the city will do even more to make the area safer.

“Hopefully the city will take it a step further and actually do something about it, but I get they have to do it in stages,” Donovan said.

Ree Dawson, 68, of Beacon Hill, said has been hit by a car in the Boston area twice. Because of this, she said she is sympathetic to the boy’s family.

“I think [this initiative is] a good start, but it’s probably not going to be enough,” Dawson said. “It’s not going to be a long-term solution. That’s tough to prevent. Cars often go around crosswalks and are not respectful of pedestrians and you add to the mix people on bikes and it gets very confusing.”

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