Following a five-year pattern, New York’s traffic deaths continued to decline during the first six months of the year. From January to June, a total of 81 traffic fatalities occurred throughout the five boroughs. With the exception of motorcycle fatalities, all other traffic fatalities saw a decrease compared to the immediately preceding year. The continued decline is largely attributed to Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” campaign which aims to reduce vehicular deaths and pedestrian deaths to zero.
Across the city, vehicular deaths have decreased a full 30 percent since 2013. For pedestrian deaths, the decline is even steeper – at a full 45 percent compared to five years ago. According to The New York Times, pedestrian deaths are the lowest since at least 1910, when the city began keeping record of the fatalities.
Unlike pedestrian deaths and vehicular deaths, motorcycle deaths saw a slight increase compared to last year. Responding to the increase, City Hall has ramped up motorcycle enforcement with a program called “Warm Weather Weekends” which sets up checkpoints for reckless motorcycle driving. The Mayor hopes this crackdown will reduce motorcycle fatalities but also states there needs to be a culture shift among bikers.
Released earlier this month, the data come on the heels of a debate between City Hall and Albany about traffic cameras in school zones. Currently, there are speed cameras set up in school zones all across the city but the program, funded by the Cuomo administration in Albany, will expire in a few months unless explicitly reauthorized. According to the newspaper, several senators are hoping to let the program quietly expire – despite a 21 percent reduction in serious injuries at schools with the cameras.
Mayor de Blasio, on the other hand, believes Albany should continue and further expand the program, telling the New York Times, “We will never rest on our laurels, and will keep fighting for the safety of our fellow New Yorkers…. the [government’s] failure to act on speed cameras puts this progress, and the lives of school children, at risk.”
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC represent clients in motor vehicle crashes and matters of wrongful death. Contact us to discuss your potential case.