Tuesday, July 14 2009 @ 06:14 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
Despite acres of new pedestrian space and a 1,800-mile bicycle network in development, in 2007 there were still 79,510 car crashes in our city, including 11,035 incidents of a motor vehicle hitting a pedestrian. In 2007, 273 people were killed in car crashes and the majority of them were pedestrians. Being struck by a car while walking remains the number two cause of injury-related death for New York City adults over 45, second only to an accidental fall, and it is the number one injury-related cause of death for New York City children under 14. It is increasingly evident that the fatal consequences of New York City streets are reliant on more than infrastructure. What good is a crosswalk with a car blocking it? What use are red lights when 1.23 million vehicles speed through them every day? This everyday behavior terrifies New Yorkers. The lack of action to counter this behavior is a problem. As the number of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers killed in New York City car crashes remains unchanged, the number of summons issued for the most dangerous traffic violations is actually declining. Transportation Alternatives’ Executive Order: A Mayoral Strategy for Traffic Safety outlines the breadth of the problem, and on the basis of our expertise, offers extensive recommendations towards a solution. Mayor Bloomberg, we strongly urge you to recognize the problem of traffic safety; please read, consider and act on the recommendations outlined herein.
In the month of October 2008, there were 16 reported instances in which a vehicle crashed into a person. Between October 1 and October 24 alone, seven people were struck by cars and were fortunate enough to survive. In those same 24 days, motor vehicle drivers killed 11 pedestrians and 2 cyclists: five of the drivers hit and ran; one drove on a suspended license; none of the drivers were charged with a crime. Had the moving violations that caused these deaths, the speeding, red light running and failure to yield not resulted in a crash, it is extremely unlikely that any of the drivers’ illegal actions would have been caught. However these fatalities are not the only disastrous effect of the failure to enforce moving violations. For every fatality, there are hundreds of crashes that cause debilitating injury, for every injury there are thousands of terrifying crashes, and for every crash there are millions of New Yorkers whose quality of life suffers under the toll of dangerous traffic in their community.