In 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced "Vision Zero," an initiative to end traffic injuries and fatalities on the city's streets. This effort has tackled safe transportation on multiple fronts, including new restrictions and enforcement on individual drivers and taxi cabs, as well as improvements for the city's fleet of vehicles. Overall, the program seems to be working. In its first six years, traffic fatalities have declined by 30%.
A priority of Vision Zero has been to reduce speeding. The city has now installed traffic cameras in all 750 of the city's school zones, creating the world's largest speed camera network.
The city has also reduced the speed limits for 25 miles of streets, chosen because these streets had some of the highest crash rates in the boroughs. On these streets, the 30 mph limit has been changed to 25 mph. This is a significant move: A collision when cars are going at 30 mph is twice as likely to result in a fatality as an accident that occurs when the cars are driving 25 mph.
By 2020, the city's Vision Zero Task Force recommended implementing 240 efforts to make New York streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. These recommendations have ranged from administrative concerns (e.g., making the Task Force a permanent entity in New York's city government) to street-level improvements.
Under the Vision Zero plan, the city has created 140 miles of protected bike lanes throughout the city. While more are still to come, already, one out of every five miles of bike lanes in the United States is located within New York. The impact has been immediate: There were 80% more bike trips in New York in July 2020, compared to the number in July 2019—a considerable increase even in the middle of the Covid pandemic.
Additional Vision Zero initiatives include:
- Installing speedbumps, particularly in neighborhood slow zones
- Improving lighting at 1,000 traffic intersections
- Adding traffic signals
- Increasing enforcement and penalties against dangerous taxi cab drivers
- Analyzing and publishing traffic-accident
- Educating the public about the dangers of speeding and other moving violations
- Investing in technologies that will improve motor vehicle safety
While Vision Zero is a meaningful change to make New York City streets safer, the reality is that serious accidents still can and will occur.
Ed Lemmo, Esq. is one of New York's top personal injury trial attorneys, with a 100% success rate from 2014-2020. Representing plaintiffs in matters such as car accidents, slip-and-falls, and medical malpractice, Lemmo practices in all five boroughs and upstate New York. He serves as trial counsel for many of New York's finest law firms, and his successful trial verdicts are regularly published in New York Jury Verdict and New York Jury Verdict Reporter. Lemmo has a very high rating from AVVO, the prestigious attorney rating service, and he is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
If you have been injured in an accident, call LemmoLaw today for a free consultation.