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Hot Wheels: Tips On Keeping Your Car Ride Safe

Numerous programs available through the 69th Precinct can help area residents keep their vehicles safe from theft. At the May meeting of Friends United Block Association (FUBA), which was held at Temple Shaare Emeth, 6012 Farragut Road, the precinct’s Crime Prevention Officers, P.O. James Trotta and P.O. Dominic Daniele, updated their listeners on a variety of different programs available to them free of charge. “One of the most popular is V.I.N. etching,” noted Trotta. In this, he explained, the auto’s V.I.N. is permanently etched into the car’s windows. “The reason it’s one of the most popular is because your insurance company can give you a discount for having this. Most likely they will.” For people who are rarely out in the early morning hours., the C.A.T. (Combat Auto Theft) program may be effective. If you have a C.A.T. sticker on your car’s window, said Trotta, “You are giving the police authorization to stop your car between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Those are the times most cars are stolen.” A similar program for daytime is Commuter C.A.T., which, said Trotta, allows the police to stop your car between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., “If you don’t usually use your car during those times.” The H.E.A.T. (Help End Auto Theft) program, said Trotta, is geared to people 40 years old and over. By registering in this program, said Trotta, you saying that your car is not usually driven by someone under the age of 25, and are giving the police authority to stop your car if someone 25 or younger is behind the wheel. The precinct also has a bicycle registration program, said Daniele. “If you have kids, you can bring their bikes in and we will etch the serial numbers in the bike, so if the bike gets stolen, we can ID the bike as your kid’s bike,” he explained. All of the programs are citywide, said Trotta. For further information, or to sign up, call 718-257-6205, Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. An effort is underway to turn a two-way street running in front of a local school into a one-way street. Gardy Brazela, the president of the Friends United Block Association (FUBA) told members gathered at Temple Shaare Emeth, 6012 Farragut Road, for the group’s May meeting, that he had sent a request to the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) that East 96th Street, between Foster and Ditmas Avenues, be made one-way. It runs along one side of Public School 66, which is located at 845 East 96th Street, and, said Brazela, he had made the request at the suggestion of the school’s principal, Joel Rubenfeld. “East 96th Street is a very narrow street,” remarked Brazela. “I don’t understand how you have East 96th, between Foster and Farragut one way, which is much larger, and meanwhile you have East 96th between Foster and Ditmas, which is narrower, and it’s two-way, and you have a school right there.” Brazela said he was optimistic that the request would be granted. “If my calculations are correct,” he told his listeners, “it will happen.” An answer had been promised by DOT, said Brazela, by June 23rd. In addition, said Brazela, he had made a request to DOT, at Rubenfeld’s request, to create a bus lane on Rockaway Parkway behind the school. “If you go back there,” explained Brazela, “it’s a hazard. You’ve got our kids going to school, The school bus needs space to park and discharge or embark the kids. Joel asked if we could get the right side behind the school designated a bus lane.” Brazela said that he had been told that a response to this request will also be forthcoming by June 23rd. “I’ve got people from the mayor’s office working on it,” added Brazela. “The good thing is that it’s election time, so I’m hopeful that we’ll get what we asked for.”

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