Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
“Under Vision Zero, we have made enormous strides towards safer streets for all, with traffic fatalities declining for the past four-and-a-half-years,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
The city ended the first six months of 2018 with the fewest traffic fatalities ever measured in any six-month period, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday.
As of June 30, the City had recorded 81 fatalities, the lowest ever in a six-month period, and only the second time that fewer than 100 lives had been lost in a half-year period, Hizzoner noted.
De Blasio also gave much of the credit to the speed-camera law, which faces expiration later this month after the State Senate failed to renew the pilot program that put 140 cameras around City schools across the five boroughs. As of July 25, said recording devices will be shut off.
“No loss of life on our streets is acceptable,” de Blasio said. “Under Vision Zero, we have made enormous strides towards safer streets for all, with traffic fatalities declining for the past four-and-a-half-years. But we will never rest on our laurels, and will keep fighting for the safety of our fellow New Yorkers. The State Senate’s failure to act on speed cams puts this progress, and the lives of school children, at risk. They must act now – lives are at stake.”
Traffic highlights from the first six months of 2018 include:
• Fatalities are down or even in all modes except among motorcyclists. Cyclist fatalities dropped from 10 to 7, motor vehicle occupant fatalities fell from 27 to 15, while pedestrian fatalities remained at 47. Motorcyclist fatalities have increased from 11 to 12.
• New York City’s previous record-low for traffic fatalities during a six-month period was the first half of 2017, when 93 fatalities were recorded.
• Declines by borough have been largest in Manhattan (nine fatalities in 2018 compared to 21 in 2017) and in the Bronx (13 this year from 22 last year).
Traffic fatalities have declined for four consecutive years under Vision Zero, according to the administration. Over that time, the City has installed a multi-faceted variety of changes in education, engineering and enforcement, including: lowered the City’s default speed limit to 25 MPH; targeted priority geographies in every borough through a historic number of street redesign projects; added more than 2,000 new Leading Pedestrian Intervals that serve as pedestrian head-starts; calmed dangerous left-turns; added more than 60 miles of protected bike lanes; and increased enforcement by NYPD of the City’s traffic laws. And, in addition to its camera enforcement program for speeding, the City also used automated enforcement against drivers who run red lights and drive in bus lanes.
“Data shows that Vision Zero is working,” said State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst). “Although one traffic fatality is one too many, the reality is that in New York City there has been a reduction in the number of traffic-related deaths. But we need to do more, and to help ensure that this trend continues, we have an obligation to students and New Yorkers to renew and expand the school-zone speed camera program, an initiative that has saved countless lives.”