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New York City Police Now Focusing on Traffic Safety

The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have long been chronicling the need for sharper focus on and attention to traffic crashes. There has been an unprecedented rash of collisions in New York City in the past few years, leading to cries for systemic change. The media has been putting out articles on an almost daily basis about the epidemic that is gripping our city.

New Mayor Bill DeBlasio has began “Vision Zero”, a commitment to eliminate traffic fatalities, calling on the police department to take the lead in making our communities safer. According to the link below from a New York Post article, the mayor’s ambitious push for zero traffic fatalities has New York City Police precincts scrambling.

“Traffic fatalities have replaced homicides, or are running neck and neck, as the top priority,” a source told the Post. The police department previously employed the famed ‘Compstat’ to reduce violent crime in troubled areas, garnering national attention for its innovation and success. Now, Commissioner Bratton will use his version of Compstat to combat traffic violence. “TrafficStat’ will mimic ‘Compstat’ in that it will place a burden on precinct commanders to explain the frequency of traffic collisions in their precinct, their specific locations and methods of eliminating problems. It may lead to an emphasis on issuing more tickets and policing issues like jaywalking with greater vigilance. It will most certainly increase a crackdown on moving violations and DWIs. Let’s hope there is a real reduction in traffic violence as a result.

Why is this happening? Take a look at the numbers and you will get an idea. There were 286 traffic fatalities in New York City during 2013. There were 277 traffic fatalities in New York City in 2012. 11 people were killed in the first 2 weeks of 2014.

While traffic fatalities have increased, totaling more than 550 in the last two years, the number of murders continue to plummet, down to 334 in 2013. Let’s hope that the new mayor, police commissioner and the hardworking women and men of the N.Y.P.D. can find the right formula to keep violent crime down while making our streets feel safer for pedestrians, drivers and passengers. We’ll be watching.

Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP., is a law firm that is well known for fighting on behalf of the seriously injured. These committed and accomplished attorneys have spent their careers fighting for victims, recovering more than $700,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for their clients. You can learn more about these lawyers by reviewing the firm website.

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