New York City is on pace to see the number of car accident and traffic deaths fall for the third straight year. However, the majority of these car accident related deaths are still pedestrians, children and seniors. New York City’s “Vision Zero” plan was launched in 2014 with the stated objective of entirely eliminating pedestrian deaths caused by vehicles. Some of Vision Zero’s core initiatives are as follows:
- Reducing the speed limit and increasing the enforcement of traffic laws
- Reconfiguring existing roads and intersections to make them safer
- Raising public awareness regarding the safety of pedestrians
Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC has been representing pedestrians that were injured in car accidents for over 25 years. In 2015 Jacob Oresky, Esq. was able to obtain a settlement of $3,450,000. for a pedestrian that was injured in an accident with a van. The New York personal injury attorneys at Jacob Oresky and Associates, PLLC have extensive experience in handling cases involving pedestrian accidents including wrongful death.
Vision Zero Initiative 1: Enforcing Traffic Violations
As the default speed limit was reduced to 25 mph, the NYPD has focused its attention on enforcement. More than one million summons for speeding were issued due to new traffic cameras in 2015. These 140 cameras were installed near schools to detect speeding motorists. Reckless drivers have been targeted, especially during the evening and night hours. In November of 2016, the NYPD issued over 50,000 tickets for traffic violations. Police presence has been heightened in areas that have been deemed priority locations. Greater penalties are being issued for drivers who are found to be driving dangerously, especially in cases relating to speeding and yielding to pedestrians.
Vision Zero Initiative 2: Safety Improvements to the City Streets
The various intersections and streets that have gone through major engineering redesigns in New York City have seen auto accident fatalities decrease by 34%. Additional road restructuring projects are planned for upcoming years, including a redesign of the “boulevard of death,” Queens Boulevard. Other safety improvements that have been completed include:
- An additional 18 miles of protected bike lanes have been placed along roadways.
- Large sections of both Central and Prospect Parks are closed on weekdays to vehicular traffic.
- Enhanced and upgraded lighting has been installed at over 1,000 intersections.
Vision Zero Initiative 3: Public Education
Hundreds of thousands of flyers have been distributed which explain how careful driving can save pedestrian lives. Emphasis is placed on describing how making slow turns and being careful in the hours around dusk prevent accidents. Public awareness campaigns about pedestrian and driver safety have been expanded to television and radio advertisements.
Although 2016 may turn out to be the safest year yet for pedestrians in New York City, December is traditionally the most dangerous month of the year for traffic fatalities. Vision Zero has increased its enforcement during the holiday season by initiating the “Dusk and Darkness Safety Protocol.” This protocol targets enforcing traffic laws during the evening hours and improving public awareness of the increased dangers during the busy holiday shopping. The best way to avoid pedestrian accidents is for drivers and pedestrians to stay aware of their surroundings.
Pedestrians who are injured in car accidents need an experienced lawyer on their side. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC today. We have recovered some of the largest settlements and verdicts in New York State for our clients. We help our clients to receive the financial compensation that they deserve for their injuries. Call us for a free consultation at 718- 993-9999. We can help you today and take the burden off your shoulders!