For the fourth year in a row, last year New York City traffic-related deaths decreased to the lowest recorded number. That can be attributed, in part, to a sharp decline in pedestrian fatalities.
Another factor appears to be the Vision Zero program, officials announced this week. Since the safety program was first implemented in 2013, the number of deaths for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians has steadily fallen, with a 28 percent decline since 2013. Last year saw a 7 percent drop for a total of 214 fatalities on NYC streets.
Vision Zero lowered speed limits, improved the design of city streets and toughened the enforcement of existing laws in order to save New Yorkers’ lives as well as the lives of the tourists who flock to the city. It was the major policy of Mayor de Blasio’s first term, and will continue to be a reckoning force as the mayor enters his second term of office.
The program began in Sweden, but quickly spread to major metropolitan cities all over the United States. Over 100 of its initiatives focus on changing the dangerous environments and behaviors that lead to unnecessary traffic fatalities.
New York City’s declining traffic death rates oppose the national trend noted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which noted that in the three-year period from 2013-2016, traffic fatalities in the United States rose sharply — over 13 percent.
There are plans to redesign even more New York City streets so they are safer. Law enforcement also plans to “deepen” traffic enforcement efforts, Mayor de Blasio said. The program has an estimated cost of $1.6 billion over a five-year period.
Regardless of the success thus far of Vision Zero, accidents can and do occur every day in the five boroughs. If you were injured in an accident, filing a claim for compensation could put some money in your pocket and cover your medical expenses.
Source: Reuters, “New York City traffic deaths fall to record low under safety program,” Peter Szekely, Jan. 08, 2018