Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio announced the return of the Vision Zero Dusk and Darkness initative.
By Forum Staff
The City on Friday issued an alert to all drivers about the increased dangers of driving this time of year, when drivers and pedestrians are at increased risk during dusk and evening hours.
The warning arrived roughly a week after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the return of the Vision Zero Dusk and Darkness initiative that includes stepped-up NYPD enforcement against unsafe driving during fall and winter dusk hours, which have traditionally been the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians. According to the administration, those same hours have also been highly correlated to deer-mating activity and deer-related crashes on city roadways, especially in the Bronx and on Staten Island.
The City Police Department, Department of Transportation, and NYC Parks detailed the three dangers of the season:
DOT has conducted analysis of year-over-year crash trends, noting that:
Vision experts note that visual acuity can decrease by as much as 90 percent during the dusk hours, making driving especially perilous.
The earlier onset of darkness in the fall and winter is highly correlated to a 40-percent increase in traffic injuries and fatalities among pedestrians.
Lower visibility during the dark hours of the colder months leads to twice as many crashes involving turns.
Deer can appear without warning on roadways, so be alert. The animals are most active in the evening and early morning, especially during the mating season going on now.
To avoid collisions, drive the posted speed limit. Scan the road ahead and avoid distractions.
If a deer runs in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can take a motorist into oncoming traffic or off the road.
If you strike a deer, call 911 immediately. Do not touch or get close to the animal. It may be injured and could behave frantically, causing further safety risks.
Learn more about living alongside deer in New York City at nyc.gov/wildlife
Daylight Saving Time ended on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 a.m., when clocks “fell back” one hour. Sunsets that happened last week just before 6 p.m. now will be before 5 p.m.—at the height of the evening rush hour.
In addition to the increased NYPD enforcement during these hours, the Dusk and Darkness campaign will employ afternoon and evening drive-time radio advertising, reminding drivers to obey the speed limit, watch for pedestrians and turn slowly.