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New York City on pace for highest number of traffic deaths in years

Numerous NY newspapers have reported alarming statistics. More than 200 people have died in crashes on Big Apple streets so far this year, 2020 — putting the city on track for the most number of traffic deaths in a single year since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office, according to transport advocates.


A private company, named Transportation Alternatives, used city data to show traffic fatalities this year out-pacing every year of the de Blasio administration. At this point in 2019, 188 New Yorkers had been killed in car crashes, the group said. A total of 220 people had died by the end of that year.


“This is shaping up to be the deadliest year for traffic violence during Mayor de Blasio’s tenure,” Transportation Alternatives director Danny Harris said. “If the rate of death on our streets continues unchanged through the remainder of the year, we will see 243 total deaths in 2020.”


The surge in crash deaths comes despite a drop in overall traffic. Strangely, experts believe the two are related. Fewer cars on the road has led to people driving more dangerously. Leading the spike are motorcycle and car deaths, which have both increased significantly compared to 2019. The number of cyclists and pedestrians killed, meanwhile, has dropped.


The continued carnage on city streets also highlights the failure of de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” initiative, which once pledged to cut and eliminate traffic deaths completely by 2024. Traffic deaths had previously hit lows under de Blasio’s watch. However, citizen and safe street advocates said the Mayor needs to get the city back on the track. “Any time someone dies as a result of a traffic crash, we expect our leaders to understand why and fix the problem,” said Amy Cohen of Families for Safe Streets.


Status of the Courts


The court system is fully opened for personal injury matters and more specifically for online filings. Some of the outer counties such as Suffolk and Nassau are even having attorneys appear in court on a limited basis. Even more promising is that New York County (Manhattan) is moving forward with actual trials with jurors and attorneys going to the courthouse in downtown Manhattan. This is very promising, however it will take quite some time for these trials to happen with COVID constraints, lack of jurors and difficulties securing witnesses. All these developments have had the positive effect of pressuring the defense attorneys and insurance companies to begin litigating again. Although the courts are operating at a very limited capacity, we will be diligent and aggressive in scheduling depositions (ZOOM or SKYPE) as well as court conferences (also via ZOOM or SKYPE).


We are all physically back in our offices all week as of mid-August and are so thrilled to be back in NYC working and trying to support midtown local shops whether it be take-out coffee, lunch or dinner or curbside dining. We hope and pray that NYC comes roaring back to once again being the best city in the USA and that our clients, their families, and loved ones stay healthy and safe and return to normalcy.

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