Safety Advocates: Funding Needed to Curb NYC Traffic Fatalities
Every year, about 250 New York City residents lose their lives and about 4,000 sustain serious injuries in traffic accidents. This equals one serious accident every two hours in the city. While traffic fatalities have declined in recent years (there were 701 deaths in 1990 and 381 in 2000), much more needs to be done, say public safety advocates. The de Blasio administration has proposed Vision Zero – a plan to make NYC the safest major city in the world. It aims to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to zero by 2024. However, safety advocates and the City Council say that the plan is not on track.
Doubts expressed about Vision Zero’s progress
Dozens of initiatives have been identified and launched for the purpose of improving public safety and reducing pedestrian knock-down accidents. A permanent Vision Zero task force has been established in the Mayor’s Office of Operations and numerous other initiatives have been checked off as completed, including:
- Implementing eight new neighborhood slow zones
- Updating NYPD technology for capturing crash data
- Increasing recruiting initiatives for School Crossing Guards
Far more initiatives are still marked as ongoing, including enhancing the maintenance of street markings and street lighting at intersections.
But the City Council and transportation advocates say they need another $294.9 million to make the Mayor’s vision a reality and that the administration has yet to provide it. “Without significantly expanding the number of projects the Department is doing, our collective goal to achieve Vision Zero will be much tougher,” said Councilman and Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez.
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives agreed with this perspective, saying, “There are hundreds of intersections that the Department of Transportation has identified as dangerous but can’t address because they don’t have the capacity to do so. de Blasio’s mayoralty can be determined by Vision Zero and we want him to take it more seriously than he does now.”
Legal remedies for traffic accident victims
While the vision of zero traffic accidents is commendable, perfection is often far from practical. It’s important for New Yorkers to understand that there is legal recourse available when traffic accidents do occur. Survivors of pedestrian knock-down accidents and the family members of those who did not survive traffic accidents have the right to consult a personal injury attorney. After discussing their legal rights and reviewing the case, the attorney can assist the family in a number of ways, including negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement or filing a lawsuit against the negligible party.
Of course, no amount of money can ever truly compensate a family for the loss of a loved one. But a lawsuit could hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions and it could result in compensation for funeral costs, medical expenses, loss of support, mental anguish, and other damages.
If you were injured or you’ve lost a loved one, you’re invited to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a New York car accident lawyer at The Sanders Firm. Call our award-winning legal team at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY.
- AM New York, Vision Zero, de Blasio’s intiative aimed at traffic fatalities, needs more funding, advocates say, http://www.amny.com/transit/vision-zero-de-blasio-s-intiative-aimed-at-traffic-fatalities-needs-more-funding-advocates-say-1.11814049
- NYC, Vision Zero, http://www.nyc.gov/html/visionzero/pages/home/home.shtml