- New York City 02/19/2014 by Linda Perry (WBAI)
Crossing a busy street in New York City can be a precarious situation. When traffic lights turn from green to yellow some cars speedup, instead of slowing down before lights turn red. Cars stop inside crosswalks making it difficult for people to cross. Seniors with walkers are barely able to reach the midpoint of an avenue before cars speed off as lights turn green. How many pedestrians have been killed in dangerous crosswalks around the city?
"More than twenty lives have been lost on our city streets this year. The statistics are sobering. Being struck by a car is the leading cause of injury related deaths for children younger than fifteen. It’s the second leading cause of injury related deaths for senior citizens."
New York City's Mayor, Bill de Blasio, came to an Upper West Side public school in Manhattan, where children walk to school through a dangerous intersection, where three pedestrians were killed in the last month.
"Last year in New York City, 333 homicides. According to the most recent statistics for last year 286 traffic fatalities. Those two numbers are strikingly similar."
To make city streets safer, the mayor launched a citywide initiative called Vision Zero. The aim is to reduce traffic related fatalities to zero within ten years. A major change is reducing the default speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph citywide.
"The likelihood of a fatal crash drops significantly for speeds below 30 mph so we get those speeds down, it will be the difference between saving a life and losing a life".
According to the Mayor, red light and speed cameras also reduce fatalities.
"The city is now in a position to deploy red light cameras in 150 locations and speed cameras in 20 locations. Since the speed enforcement cameras were operated last month, they have issued nearly 4000 speeding tickets already."
Other initiatives include expanding neighborhood ‘Slow Zones,’ developing borough-specific street safety plans, stiffer penalties on taxi and livery drivers who drive dangerously, and the NYPD will increase enforcement of speeding violations.
More information is available at http://www.nyc.gov/VisionZero