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NYC Collision Attorneys Examine Early Returns on Vision Zero

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Brooklyn crosswalk accident

The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have, in the past, commended New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for prioritizing traffic deaths early on in his administration. He boldly outlined a plan to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. Bold? Absolutely.

New York City has averaged an astounding 175 traffic fatalities a year over the last few years. His plan, dubbed Vision Zero, has sparked a reaction from various groups; many attacking the initiatives he has employed. Thus far, his efforts have failed to yield the desired results.

Early on his administration, the strategy seems to be focusing on handing out tickets to drivers and jaywalkers. The jaywalkers have been hit the hardest and sparked the most strident protests. Jaywalking tickets, according to a New York Times piece, are up eightfold this year, despite the Mayor’s insistence that the plan does not single out pedestrians. In fact, in the first forty days of 2014, there were 215 jaywalking summonses issues compared with 27 last year during the same period.

The approach may be best explained by Police Commissioner Bratton’s insisting that pedestrians are responsible for 73% of all pedestrian related collisions. The Commissioner’s basis for reaching these conclusions is an entirely different subject matter. Suffice to say, some may question how he reaches that conclusion and what the statistics are based on. Some police commanders have ordered their rank and file to distribute pedestrian tips on cards, explaining the merits of pedestrian safety.

New Yorkers have been vocal with their concerns. You are trying to challenge and alter the culture of an entire city. Some have even argued that jaywalking allows the city to be more efficient. Change like this is not going to be immediately embraced and the impact of the tactic will take time to precisely decipher. So far, the results have been more of the same with collisions and fatalities occurring far too often.

But, a fair question is: Is that all? This somewhat primitive approach to resolving a serious problem is not the only change the administration has in mind, is it? Well, reportedly the precinct commanders of the city precincts, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Transportation and the Taxi and Limousine Commission will all be submitting proposals for the Mayor to consider. After reviewing them, the Mayor is supposed to come out with a more comprehensive plan for the city to attack this problem. The hope is that all city agencies will work together to reduce the growing epidemic of traffic collisions. We will see how this plan is received by fellow New Yorkers and whether in practice it changes the culture of the city, making it a safer place to live and work.

The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a long and proud history of representing seriously injured victims. They have handled traffic collision cases for decades and done so with a great deal of success, including a $32,756,156 Verdict, a $22,500,000 settlement and a $14,000,000 verdict. The firm is recognized as one of the premier personal injury law firms in New York City, amassing well over $700,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for their clients. To l earn more about these committed trial attorneys, please visit the firm website at For a free consultation, you can contact them at 212-736-5300.



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