Newly Elected NYC Mayor Implements Task Force to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

New York City’s mayor has recently launched a task force to reduce traffic fatalities in the city. He said that traffic deaths in the city have become an “epidemic” and something needs to be done to curb them.

Mayor de Blasio took office on January 1, 2014. In just a few short weeks since his term started, 11 New Yorkers have died in traffic accidents. Four of the victims were in vehicles at the time while the remaining seven were pedestrians.

While official statistics have not yet been released, preliminary data suggests that in New York City last year there were 286 traffic deaths – an increase of three percent from the year prior and a 15 percent overall increase from the year before that.

De Blasio’s administration has proposed the following initiatives to reduce overall traffic deaths in the city:

  • Increasing the number of 20mph zones
  • Increasing red light cameras
  • Law enforcement crackdown on speeding drivers

This new traffic task force will focus on 50 specific locations throughout the city where the highest volume of traffic accidents occur. After observing these locations, they will make a final decision on what preventative measures can be taken.

Traffic cameras are relatively new in the city. Starting Thursday, these cameras will track traffic violators and send them tickets in the mail. Currently, the cameras are only being used to issue warnings.

Another change is that any accident resulting in a critical injury will be investigated. Prior to this change, only accidents believed to be fatal were investigated. Experts estimate that this will increase the overall accident investigation volume by 20%.

In addition to heavier traffic enforcement for drivers, city officials are also dedicating their resources to pedestrian education. So far this year, seven out of 11 total traffic deaths have been pedestrians.

Another shocking statistic provided by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is that out of children 14 and younger in New York City, the leading cause of injury-related death is being hit by a car. Being hit by a car is the second leading cause of injury-related death for senior citizens.

Section 1151 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of The State of New York says,

(a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles.

If you or someone you love was hit by a car in New York City, contact a Bronx personal injury attorney at The Law Office of Steven I. Fried, P.C. today to discuss your case.