According to a recent study, New York City’s motor vehicle collision fatality rate has increased by an alarming percentage since last year. Data collected by the non-profit organization Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets (TA) revealed that NYC’s deadly crash rate is up 44% from 2021. This marks the deadliest start of any year since the launch of New York’s Vision Zero program in 2014.
The Deadly First Quarter of 2022
The first three months of 2022 saw 59 traffic-accident-related deaths in NYC. Even more disturbing, 2022’s first quarter had the 100th child death since Vision Zero’s inception. Twenty-nine of the people killed during Q1 were pedestrians. In addition, fatalities involving e-bikes, mopeds, scooters, and other motorized vehicles also rose sharply. According to the report, if the deaths continue at this rate, 2022 will be the fourth consecutive year for the city to see increasing fatalities.
Queens and Manhattan saw the sharpest increases in traffic fatalities since last year. Queen’s percentage rose an alarming 125%, while Manhattan saw a 120% increase. Sixty percent of those were pedestrian deaths.
Death of children and those over age 65 constitute an alarming number of those killed this year. Child deaths are up 15% for 2022, and there have been more child fatalities this year than at the start of any other since 2004. In addition, New Yorkers over age 65 make up 24% of this year’s traffic fatalities.
Speed Limits Should be Lowered
The majority of NYC streets have speed limits of 25 mph or less. However, approximately 25 percent of all reported fatalities occurred on streets with speed limits over 25 mph. Critics argue that the city could address this issue by imposing lower speed limits. In the past, lowering speed limits has resulted in a 22% reduction in traffic fatalities and more than a 25% reduction in pedestrian deaths.
NYC Official and State Lawmakers Need to Take Action Now
In its report, TA expressed concern over these rising numbers and argued that state lawmakers must address the problem “at all levels of government.” Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, stated that the number of traffic-related fatalities in the city is only increasing and that “Our leaders must take steps immediately to save New Yorkers and prevent this year from turning into another record-breaking year for traffic fatalities.” Harris urged Mayor Adams to “include the City Council’s $3.1 billion ask to fund the NYC Streets Plan in the City’s final budget while working with DOT to fast-track redesigns of dangerous corridors and redesign 1,000 intersections.” He also stated that “Albany must grant New York City home rule over traffic safety so we can make immediate use of the life-saving effectiveness of our existing red light and speed safety camera programs. In this time of crisis, New York City needs more groundbreakings — not vigils.”
“Home Rule” and Other Measures are Needed to Keep the City Safe
The TA and other civic groups and leaders continue to advocate for “home rule” or for state lawmakers to transfer control over traffic safety to the city. These groups have repeatedly emphasized the need for the city to exert control over the use of red-light cameras and the fact that 60% of crash victims in 2020 died while these cameras were not in operation.
The advocates and groups also contend that city leadership and state lawmakers must:
- Fund the NYC Streets Plan
- Pass the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act.
- Fast-track pledge to redesign 1,000 intersections for safety.
- Strengthen the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program.
As New York gets ready to move from spring to summer, it’s time for lawmakers to take action to help the city protect itself from more traffic-related fatalities.
Contact an Experienced Automobile Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured due to an automobile-related accident, you should schedule a free consultation with the experienced attorneys at Bonina & Bonina, PC. Call us at 1888-MEDLAW1 or contact us online for a free consultation. We have decades of experience helping clients injured by motor-vehicle-related negligence, and we can explain your options and help you decide what actions you should take. At Bonina & Bonina, PC, we come to work every day believing that there should be equal justice for all. Se Habla espaňol. Home and hospital visits are available.