Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

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Recent data indicates that SUV ownership in NYC increased 21% between 2016 and 2020.

A trove of data about SUV ownership in New York City, obtained by street safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, reveals that New York City residents “are buying SUVs at an increasingly high rate, and larger vehicles are contributing to more cyclist and pedestrian deaths” in the city.

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A recent observation of New York’s drivers found that 70% were speeding.

A recent study by street safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has uncovered an epidemic of speeding in New York City, finding that 70% of drivers observed were driving faster than the speed limit. “Speeding drivers are a leading cause of death and injury on New York City streets,” the study notes, but because city officials “do not have control over speed limits,” New Yorkers are left woefully unprotected from the raft of dangerous driving. One possible solution to the epidemic is a bill currently under consideration by the New York State Legislature, “Sammy’s Law,” which would give New York City the power to control its own speed limits.

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New York lawmakers are considering reducing the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05.

The New York state legislature is currently considering a bill that would reduce the legal blood alcohol limit in the state from .08 to 0.05. If the bill becomes law, New York would be the second state in the nation to reduce the legal blood alcohol limit to .05, after Utah. According to a report by the New York Post, advocates for the legislation say it “would save countless lives.” According to Bronx News 12, the new law would also reduce the legal limit for Aggravated Driving While Impaired charges from .18 to .12.

The legal blood alcohol limit used to be .1 when state houses across the country began reducing it in response to “concerns about deadly drunk driving,” according to the Post. It’s been almost a decade since the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a limit of .05, with only Utah following the advice.

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A new analysis found that only 15% of drivers involved are prosecuted in car crashes resulting in pedestrian or cyclist deaths in Long Island, New York.

A recent analysis by the publication Newsday found that in Long Island, “few drivers involved in crashes that kill pedestrians and bicyclists face criminal charges.” In an examination of car crashes that resulted in the deaths of involving pedestrians and cyclists in 2019 and 2020, Newsday found that there were 135 total pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, but only 20 prosecutions of the drivers involved, resulting in a prosecution rate of 15%. According to Newsday, that rate goes up to 30% when crashes involving “environmental conditions or pedestrian or bicyclist error” are excluded.”

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According to a recent report, Staten Island is on track for its third straight year of increasing traffic deaths.

A recent article in the Staten Island Advance analyzes the upsurge of traffic deaths that have occurred on Staten Island in 2021. According to the report, there have been eight road violence deaths in Staten Island since January 2021, “more than double the three traffic deaths the borough had seen by this time last year.” Continue reading

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New data shows that 25 people were killed by road violence in New York City last month.

Twenty-five people were killed in road violence incidents in New York City last month, in what StreetsBlog describes as “the deadliest April since Mayor de Blasio took office in 2014,” during “the second deadliest year for road violence” during his administration. The statistics, outlined in data released by think take Transportation Alternatives, cast a grim pall over the city’s Vision Zero program. Continue reading

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Activists are campaigning to get the Crash Victims Rights and Safety Act passed this legislative session in Albany.

Earlier this month a group of safe-streets lobbying groups in New York released the Crash Victims Rights and Safety Act, a collection of eight pieces of legislation “that will better support victims of traffic violence and make streets safer across New York State at a moment when traffic fatalities and speeding are both on the rise,” according to advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. The lobbying group, which includes Families for Safe Streets and and other organizations, is campaigning for the passage of these eight bills this year.

The eight bills in the Crash Victims Rights and Safety Act include the following, according to StreetsBlog NYC:

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New York City paid $142.4 million to settle car crash injury claims involving city employees in FY2020.

The New York City Comptroller’s office recently released a report showing that between July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020, New York City paid $142.4 million to settle “1,390 claims filed by people injured by the on-the-job driving practices of city employees.” StreetsBlog NYC reported earlier this month that this figure reflects a 3% increase in car crash claims since the previous fiscal year and a 33% increase in total settlements.

In contrast to the increase in claims concerning injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents, according to StreetsBlog, the Comptroller’s report showed a decline in total personal injury claims against New York City, “from 16,713 in fiscal year 2019 to 15,553 in 2020.” In a statement, Comptroller Scott Stringer suggested this was tied to the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “The pandemic took an unimaginable toll on our neighbors and loved ones, small businesses, and the way we all work and live. Protecting and strengthening the city’s fiscal health is now more important than ever to make a strong economic recovery.”

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New York City’s neighbor Hoboken has enjoyed three years free of traffic violence-related fatalities.

The city of Hoboken, New Jersey, has recorded zero traffic violence deaths for three years, an impressive feat which a recent report by Streetsblog recently attributed to the city’s commitment to its Vision Zero campaign.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla launched the campaign in 2019, expanding its network of bicycle lanes by 38% in that year and 2020. Today Hoboken has a “total on-street network of 16.3 miles” of bike lanes, encompassing nearly 50% of the city’s 33 miles of roadway—although, as StreetsBlog notes, only 6.4% of the bicycle lanes are not protected. New York City, on the other hand, launched its Vision Zero campaign in 2014 and now has 1,375 miles of bicycle lanes (546 of which are protected) on its 6,000 miles of roadway, or about 23%. Continue reading

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Recently released statistics reflect New York City’s struggles to keep its roadways safe in 2020.

According to New York City’s preliminary Mayor’s Management Report, road fatalities in the city rose 40% from July 1 to October 31, 2020, reaching a total of 106 deaths compared to the same period in 2019. As StreetsBlog details, the report also found that pedestrian deaths rose 16% in that period, while motorcyclist rose 80% and car driver fatalities “almost doubled” from 7% to 13%. These figures, Streetsblog argues, reflects the shortcomings in the city’s governance of its “dangerous roadways” when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, rolling back progress in its Vision Zero campaign to eliminate all traffic violence in New York City. Continue reading

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