HEMPSTEAD - Department of Transportation (DOT) officials say they're speeding up safety improvements planned for Hempstead Turnpike after several News 12 Long Island and Newsday reports on the deadly and dangerous roadway.State DOT commissioner Joan McDonald says the coverage has "warranted a more accelerated look at what we could do."

Planned improvements include pedestrian medians and islands, more countdown signals, modified turning-lane restrictions and more red-light cameras, McDonald says.As News 12 Long Island has reported, between 2005 and 2010, as many as 32 pedestrians died and about 400 were injured along the 16 miles of Hempstead Turnpike, also known as Route 24. Police say a 72-year-old man was fatally hit on the road in Elmont earlier this week. He died at a hospital yesterday. Another pedestrian killed on Hempstead TurnpikeNewsday report: Route 24 is LI's deadliest road