New York City officials are ramping up their advocacy for increased automated traffic enforcement by the city’s speed cameras, according to a recent report by Gothamist. As reckless driving and traffic fatalities increase throughout the city, officials like Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman are arguing that speed cameras be turned on 24 hours a day. Continue reading
A new report by the New York City Independent Budget Office found that even though impaired driving arrests have decreased in NYC in recent years, there’s been an increase in fatality- or injury-causing crashes by impaired drivers. According to the report, “DWI crashes with injuries or fatalities” increased from a total of 942 in 2015 to a total of 1,234 in 2019. In the same period, arrests for impaired driving declined 40% between 2013 and 2019, from 9,879 to 5,339. Continue reading
A new study published in the journal Economics of Transportation finds that the rise of “light trucks”—SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks—in the US may be correlated with increases in pedestrian deaths from traffic crashes. According to a report by StreetsBlog, the study found that “as the number of SUVs on the street tripled from 2000 to 2019, pedestrian deaths surged nationwide by 30 percent.” Continue reading
Two lawmakers have introduced a resolution that would call for a “National Vision Zero” campaign, according to a recent report by StreetsBlog. Vision Zero is an effort to eliminate traffic fatalities. The resolution, introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, calls on Congress and the Department of Transportation to “commit to working together to 6 achieve zero roadway fatalities by the year 2050.” Continue reading
This year may go down in history as one of the most lethal for New York City’s road users. According to recent news reports, the first six months of 2021 have seen more road user deaths than any previous first six months of the year since the beginning of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.
New York State Senator Liz Krueger, who represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan, has introduced a bill that would “make it a felony for electric-vehicle riders to crash into someone and leave the scene,” according to a report by Steetsblog. The bill joins another proposal by State Senator Brad Hoylman of the Upper West Side which would increase penalties for hit-and-run incidents that involve e-scooters; one chief difference between the two is that Krueger’s bill includes pedal-assist Citibikes.
New data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that Black and Indigenous road users are disproportionately affected by traffic violence. According to a recent analysis by StreetsBlog, GHSA research found that from 2015 to 2019, “per-capita traffic death rates for American Indian and Alaskan natives were more than two and a half times those of the population overall — and nearly three times those of White people across all modes.” The research also found that Black road users (a term that encompasses motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians) experience “the second highest rate” of per-capita traffic deaths, or roughly 18% more than the rest of the population. Continue reading
Recent news reports describe two hit-and-runs in New York City in the last few months, one of which killed a cyclist in the Bronx. According to StreetsBlog, the cyclist was on Southern Boulevard in Bronx Park when he was hit by the driver of a Mercedez Benz apparently attempting to overtake him “at an apparent high rate of speed” near the Bronx River Parkway on-ramp around 11:20pm last Friday. StreetsBlog reports that the driver struck the cyclist from behind, “sending him flying backwards, first into the windshield of the Benz, and then onto the pavement.” Continue reading
The New York Sate Assembly failed to pass street safety legislation before ending its legislative session last week. As StreetsBlog reports, even though the State Senate passed a bill empowering New York City to determine its own speed limits, the Assembly declined to hold a vote on the bill. State lawmakers could still call a special session to vote on the legislation.
The bill that passed the State Senate, “Sammy’s Law,” did so by a 54-59 vote. The legislation is named for Sammy Cohen Eckstein, a 12-year-old “killed by a reckless driver in Brooklyn in 2013,” according to StreetsBlog. Senator Brad Hoylman sponsored the bill, which would reassign power to set New York City’s speed limits from the state government to the city government. If the bill is passed, New York City would join municipalities like Portland and Cambridge in gaining control over their own speed limits. In a statement about the bill, he said: “Sammy’s Law is a monumental piece of legislation that will make our streets safer for decades to come. As New York City is in the midst of a crisis of vehicular violence, it makes absolutely no sense that Albany has control over the City’s speed limits.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed to carving out nearly $40 million from the city’s budget to redesign Brooklyn’s McGuinness Boulevard, site of eleven pedestrian deaths and three cyclist deaths since 1995. According to StreetsBlog, a single 1.25-mile stretch of McGuinness Boulevard, from the Pulaski Bridge to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, has been home to 1,548 car crashes since 2013, injuring “40 cyclists, 59 pedestrians, and 236 motorcyclists.” A deadly crash last month killed schoolteacher Matthew Jensen near the BQE’s entry ramp; the driver of the hit-and-run has not yet been found.