Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
“Springtime weather is no excuse for dangerous driving that puts New Yorkers at risk,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
The City Police and Transportation departments have re-launched the Vision Zero “Warm Weather Weekends” spring safety campaign, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday.
According to crash data, motorists and motorcyclists drive more dangerously on warmer spring weekends, de Blasio noted.
“As the temperature rises and being outdoors becomes more inviting, the NYPD will continue to ensure that drivers watch for the additional pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists who will be on the road, especially when making left turns,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. “Drivers need to be mindful of the harm caused by not yielding to these vulnerable road users. Motorcyclists can also prevent serious injuries by obeying the rules, especially our speed limits.”
According to the administration, officials were originally spurred to action by the events of April 29, 2017: In a year that was the overall safest-ever on New York City streets, that Saturday was the second deadliest day of the entire year. The first warm weekend day at the end of an unusually cool month, April 29 was sunny with a high temperature of 87 degrees. In a number of different serious crashes around New York City that day, many of which involved speeding, 4 New Yorkers lost their lives and 204 were injured.
DOT subsequently conducted a detailed analysis of traffic fatalities and severe injuries from 2007 to 2016, observing the rate of traffic deaths and serious injuries on warmer days in March through June. Comparing crash data to weather records, DOT studied days in which temperatures were 60 degrees or higher, and uncovered the following clear correlative trends:
• The average number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) in traffic crashes on weekends starts to rise in March and peaks during June. In April, the weekend KSI rate is 28 percent higher than in January/February.
• The danger in the spring is most pronounced for motor vehicle occupants and motorcyclists: on warm weather Saturdays and Sundays in April, the KSI rate for drivers and car occupants is 41 percent higher than the winter weekend rate. For motorcyclists, the KSI danger on weekends rises by 88 percent.
• Data appear to show that higher KSI rates on warmer spring days are limited to Saturdays and Sundays. On weekdays, DOT data show that the average number of KSI annually during April warm weather weekdays is only 4 percent higher than the January/February winter weekday rate.
“Springtime weather is no excuse for dangerous driving that puts New Yorkers at risk,” de Blasio said.
Hizzoner added that, during “Warm Weather Weekends,” drivers should expect heightened enforcement from NYPD Highway Patrol and local precincts. Officials will remind drivers that they should continue to obey the speed limit, turn slowly, and yield to pedestrians. They will also be calling on drivers to “Look twice for motorcycles,” while reminding motorcyclists—who ride in greater numbers on weekends—to make sure they have the right licensure and registration, avoid risky passing between vehicles, and get practice before riding the open road.