De Blasio Outlines Steps to Eliminate Traffic Deaths

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined a set of proposals aimed at improving the safety of our pedestrians here in NYC. His end goal, to eliminate traffic fatalities.

The 42-page plan, known as Vision Zero treats all traffic deaths as inherently preventable. The most significant changes involve the NYPD, whose officers will increase precinct-level enforcement of speeding. Other measures include the widening of parking lanes, to keep delivery vehicles out of travel lanes while double-parked, and the use of an automated system that would pause a taxicab meter if a driver exceeds the speed limit.

“Our lives are literally in each other’s hands,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference at Public School 75 on the Upper West Side, an area where three pedestrians were killed in fewer than 10 days last month. “Our children’s lives are in each other’s hands.”

In 2013, 176 pedestrians were killed in traffic in New York, according to police statistics.

Some of the mayor’s proposals – like lowering the citywide speed limit to 25mph from 30mph and expanding red-light and speed cameras that issue tickets – require approval from Albany. 

So far this year, the Police Department has devoted increased attention to jaywalking. Through February 9, the city had issued 215 jaywalking summonses, compared with 27 over the same period last year. Tickets issued to drivers fell slightly.

However, the stronger emphasis of this program would be on increasing the enforcement of violations like failing to yield, improper turning or using a phone while driving.

Read more about the proposal on the New York Times’ website.