At the beginning of 2014, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the adoption of a “Vision Zero Plan” aimed at eliminating traffic-related pedestrian deaths on the streets of New York City. As the new year begins, we are happy to hear that traffic-related fatalities have been significantly reduced over the last year thanks to the combined efforts of Mayor De Blasio, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and responsible New York citizens. While this is great news for our city, we still have a long way to go in improving safety conditions throughout the city. This post will examine the new plan and highlight some of the impact it has had on improving safety in NYC during the first year.
What Is The Vision Zero Plan?
The plan that De Blasio proposed last year was based on a Swedish policy called the “Vision Zero Plan”, which was introduced in 1997 and aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities in Sweden by 2020.
Among other things, the mayor’s new plan includes drafting of new legislation, implementation of safety technology and greater enforcement of traffic safety laws throughout New York City. One of the significant changes in traffic law recently went into effect in November when the standard speed limit in New York City was reduced to 25 mph everywhere, unless otherwise posted.
Additionally, increased police enforcement and issuance of traffic violations, such as speeding tickets, has helped in making New York streets safer over the last year. The NYPD issued 42% more speeding tickets in 2014 compared to the prior year. More specifically, over 117,000 speeding citations were issued last year. Furthermore, statistics show that many pedestrian deaths occur when drivers do not yield to pedestrians crossing the street. As a result, the police cracked down on this common violation and increased the issuance of summons for failure to yield to pedestrians by 126% in 2014 compared to the year before. These and other efforts have had a real impact in lowering the number of pedestrian deaths caused by traffic-related accidents during the year.
Its Impact On New York City Pedestrian Accidents
By re-designing roads, improving traffic laws and employing several other resources, the new initiative has made for safer roads throughout our city. According to preliminary data, there were 132 pedestrian deaths reported in New York City during 2014, resulting in approximately a 26% reduction from last year’s 180 fatalities. This is the lowest number of pedestrian fatalities reported in New York City since the data started being collected in 1910. Additionally, overall traffic-related fatalities, including those from car accidents, fell by 45 from a year before to 248 this year.
This kind of success shows that serious efforts and cooperation can make a difference in achieving city-wide goals. It was only one year ago when the Mayor introduced the Zero Vision Plan and we are already seeing the results. The significant reduction in pedestrian fatalities this year is especially impressive and very promising considering the fact that many of the plan’s initiatives, such as the speed limit reduction, had not been implemented until the end of the year. With the plan in full effect, we expect an even larger impact in making New York City safer for pedestrians in 2015.
Making NYC The Safest Big City In The World
The combined efforts of Bill De Blasio, legislators, New York law enforcement and responsible citizens has had a major impact in reducing traffic-related fatalities in New York City over the last year. However, although we have made progress and improvement, we still have a lot of work ahead if we are to reach our goal of zero pedestrian deaths by 2024. We are thankful for everyone’s help and encourage all to spread the word about the successful launch of this great initiative. Happy New Year!