New York, New York – As the holiday season approaches, it’s sobering to see traffic accident statistics for 2016 compared with 2015. With the increase in vehicle collisions from last year, injuries and deaths are up as a result, especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will step up enforcement of Vision Zero, his plan launched in February 2014 to stop traffic deaths by 2024. “The bottom line is – Vision Zero has just begun,” de Blasio stated.
Since the launch of Vision Zero, New York City has seen a decrease in traffic deaths in 2014 and 2015, as the city reduced their speed limit to 25mph, changed traffic patterns, added more NYPD presence and enforcement to prevent speeding, and made other public safety enhancements on the streets, including an overhaul of Queens Boulevard totaling $100 million.
In January 2016, Mayor de Blasio announced 2015 to be the safest year in the city’s history, with total traffic fatalities down, as well as an additional $115 million in new capital funds to build on the progress made by Vision Zero.
However, despite the city’s efforts, 2016 saw a troubling rise in citywide deaths and injuries to pedestrian and cyclists in motor vehicle collisions.
Pedestrian deaths rose 16% from 2015 and cyclist deaths increased 21% as of October 2016, according to NYPD data:
Already, thousands of pedestrians and cyclists are injured every year in vehicle accidents, and the data shows a rise in people hurt as a result of these collisions:
Pedestrian injuries total 8,487 from January to October 2016, up 7.1% from last year. Nearly four thousand cyclists have been injured in a vehicle crash during that same time period, up 7.8% from the previous year.
In his recent speech, Mayor de Blasio emphasized pedestrian safety and called for drivers to be responsible on the road. “It’s a message to all drivers that there will be consequences if you speed,” he announced. “There will be consequences if you fail to yield to pedestrians.”
As New York City intensifies efforts to curb traffic deaths and injuries, we caution you to be extra careful this holiday season while walking, driving, or biking outside. If you or someone you love was hurt in a vehicle collision, please feel free to email us or call (212) 736-5300 for a free consultation regarding your case. The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have won millions in verdicts and settlements for people injured as a result of vehicle accidents and are available to answer your questions after a car, truck, bus, or other motor vehicle crash.