STATEN ISLAND — A woman who hit a pedestrian who was crossing a street has become the first Staten Island driver to face Vision Zero charges, prosecutors said.
Kristie Lazzara, 39, of Arden Heights, was charged under the Right of Way law which makes it a misdemeanor for drivers to strike a pedestrian or cyclist who have the right of way.
Lazzara struck a woman on Jan. 11, the Staten Island Advance first reported.
"Pedestrian safety is of paramount concern to District Attorney Michael E. McMahon," a spokesman for the Staten Island District Attorney said.
"In this matter, as in all cases where Right of Way offenses are alleged, our office will consult with the police and carefully evaluate all of the facts, circumstances and evidence before proceeding forward with a prosecution."
On Jan. 11, Lazzara was driving her Cadillac Escalade when she failed to stop at the intersection of Drumgoole Road East and Richmond Avenue and hit a woman who was crossing with the "walk" signal, according to court documents.
The victim was taken to Staten Island University Hospital North with traumatic brain injuries, prosecutors said.
Lazzara was arrested and issued a desk appearance on Friday. She was charged with two counts of the right of way law and failure to exercise due care, according to the DA.
The Right of Way law was passed as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities around the city, but has rarely been used across the city, DNAinfo New York previously reported.
Only 15 percent of drivers who killed pedestrians or cyclists since it passed two years ago were charged with it. Of the seven pedestrians and cyclists killed in crashes last year on Staten Island — before McMahon took office — none were hit with the charges.
Lazzara was released without bail and is due back in court on April 18, according to online court records. Contact information for her lawyer was not immediately available.