Revealed in the report available to New York auto accident lawyers, more people in New York City have died in auto accidents than from guns in the past decade.
The group of transportation advocates is now using the statistics to kick off an aggressive street safety campaign called Vision Zero. Vision Zero means “zero deaths, zero injuries and zero fear of traffic.” The Vision Zero campaign will directly target “the culture of acceptance.”
According to Transportation Alternatives, in order to make streets safer for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, residents and policymakers need to change their way of thinking and refuse to accept that vehicle accident death or personal injury in New York is an unavoidable and acceptable result of traffic. Perecman agrees with this positioning.
Approximately 3,774 New Yorkers suffer “life-altering injuries” in traffic accidents each year while, on average, 317 New Yorkers are killed in traffic each year. Adding up all of the traffic fatalities from 2001-2009 revealed that 3,647 people were killed in New York auto crashes, which is more than the 3,558 victims of gun homicides for the same period, according to data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene cited in the report.
The Transportation Alternatives study finds that speeding vehicles are the number one contributing factor for fatal vehicle accidents, and recommends ways that the city can eliminate illegal and dangerous speeding. Apparently, the wide, open streets in New York City “allow” or even “encourage illegal and dangerous speeding.” The addition of speed bumps, curb extensions, bicycle lanes, pedestrian islands or plazas to the roads would discourage speeding and/or reduce the number of autoe accidents and injuries. The traffic advocates are also calling for New Yorkers to “realize that it’s their actions that determine whether traffic fatalities happen at the rate they do.”
“Zero auto accidents or pedestrian deaths caused by vehicles may be unrealistic in a city such as New York,” auto accident lawyer Perecman said, “but I definitely believe it can be improved and I support the effort to reduce the number of pedestrian and car accidents.”
The report notes that while the Bloomberg administration has pledged to cut traffic fatalities in half by 2030, the city of Paris reached the same goal in only six years.
“To prevent as many pedestrian deaths and New York auto accidents as possible, the city should use all available solutions in New York,” said Perecman.
The report recommends broad-based policy changes in New York City administration, including the formation of executive committees and working groups to coordinate street safety initiatives; the implementation of more 20 mile-per-hour zones; more collaboration between the Department of Transportation and NYPD to identify and handle enforcement strategies; and the installation of speed detectors throughout the city using fixed and mobile traffic surveillance cameras.
Perecman understands, Transportation Alternatives will release more reports and hold events highlighting the dangers of traffic. The group will also work with public officials and community partners to adopt the policies recommended by the Vision Zero report.
The press conference for the report was held at the intersection of Essex and Delancey on the Lower East Side. This intersection of streets is considered one of New York City’s most dangerous. There were 119 vehicle accidents, including pedestrian and auto accidents, there between 1998 and 2008.
“‘Vision Zero’ is a great goal to have if you’re dedicated to making New York’s streets safer for everyone who lives and visits here. It’s a goal all New Yorkers should have. No one expectsto be in an auto accident, but they happen every day,” said Perecman.