New Action Plan Aims to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents in New York

New York City has recently launched the Pedestrian Safety Report and Action Plan. The plan examined thousands of accident records involving pedestrians. The New York Department of Transportation is using this data to examine the causes of pedestrian injuries and fatalities to determine what can be done to reduce the numbers.

Currently, the traffic fatality rate for New York is about 25 percent of the national average and around 50 percent of the rate of the ten most populous American cities other than New York. In a study of cities ranked worldwide for pedestrian fatalities, New York came in 13th, putting New York lower than cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago and roughly equal to the number of incidents in Amsterdam.

New York’s safest year for pedestrian accidents and fatalities was 2009, when traffic fatalities were down 35 percent over 2001. Most of these accidents took place in Manhattan, with the borough having four times the number of people killed or seriously hurt per street

The action plan also listed several causes for pedestrian accidents in the city that include:

  • Driver inattention
  • Failure to yield
  • Unawareness of the speed limit

In 2008, the city implemented a plan called Sustainable Streets. The plan provided a detailed transportation policy for the city that included 164 action steps. The new, updated Action Plan has added new steps for 2010-2011 including:

  • Installing 1500 new audible traffic signals that tell pedestrians the time remaining to cross the street
  • Altering streets and intersections on major two-way streets
  • Launching pilot safety programs and improving visibility

By implementing these steps, the city hopes to continue to reduce pedestrian fatalities and strengthen its efforts to make New York streets safe.

Another way to preserve pedestrian safety is to protect full access to the civil justice system so that drivers who violate safety rules are held accountable for the harm they cause. Personal injury lawyers can help injured pedestrians hurt by negligent drivers who ignore safety rules.

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