The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed about 38,680 people were killed in traffic collisions in 2020—a 7% increase from 2019 and the highest number on record since 2007.
Many were shocked to hear these statistics, as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in 13% fewer miles driven throughout the country. Per Curbed, safety advocates were not among those taken by surprise: They had warned leaders that since the pandemic rendered streets emptier than usual, drivers would be tempted to speed. Sadly, these safety advocates were right. To date, speeding remains the largest contributing factor to traffic fatalities.
In response to this grim news, Curbed reported that comprehensive traffic law reform has been proposed in New York for the first time in history. Eight bills, each endorsed by traffic safety advocates, are now before legislators.
These eight bills aim to:
- Tighten the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for vehicle operation;
- Allow speed cameras to operate around the clock;
- Create a pedestrian-safety rating system for SUVs;
- And more.
“Behind every single number, there’s a life,” said Amy Cohen, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets, who lost her 12-year-old son Sammy in a Park Slope traffic collision.
Sammy’s Law is among those proposed in the state. Currently, New York City needs permission from the state to reduce its speed limits below 25 miles per hour. If passed, Sammy’s Law would effectively permit the city to make these changes without needing to ask the state.
According to Curbed, Cohen traveled 1,000 miles through New York to rally support for these bills. The 1,000 miles represent the state residents killed in traffic collisions every year, with one mile to honor each resident.
Advocating for Safer Streets in New York
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. has protected the rights of traffic accident victims for over 40 years. We are committed to always fighting on the side of the plaintiffs, as we genuinely care about making New York streets safer for everyone. If you or someone you love has been injured, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of highly skilled trial attorneys. Our award-winning advocacy will give you the advantage in court.
Contact The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. online today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are also available to take your call at (212) 577-9325.