Although the City of New York has made numerous traffic safety improvements, the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2011-2012 has increased, according to a report from city’s Department of Transportation. In the fiscal year that ended in July, there were 291 fatal traffic accidents, compared to the 2010-2011 fiscal year, when there were 236 traffic deaths. This represents a 23 percent increase in fatal traffic accidents.
The report breaks down the types of accidents: 115 fatalities involved motor vehicle drivers or passengers, while the other 176 involved bicyclists or pedestrians. The primary causes of fatal accidents were identified as speeding, drunk driving and running red lights and stop signs. These accounted for 54 percent of driver and passenger fatalities.
This happened during a year when the total number of traffic crashes, fatal and non-fatal, actually decreased. The 2011-2012 number was one percent less than the previous year – 176, 482 in 2011-2012, compared to 179, 112 in 2010-2011.
The decrease in overall traffic accidents reflected the efforts of the city to address traffic safety. The city installed 78 additional speed bumps near schools; 327 speed bumps have been installed in the past five years. Street design improvements near 35 schools have been implemented and 85 schools have begun the begun the street redesign process as part of the “Safe Routes to Schools”
The report notes that the most recent figures are an anomaly, and that traffic deaths have fallen in every year since 2003.
Source: Insurance Journal: “291 Died in NYC Traffic Accidents Last Fiscal Year: Mayor’s Report,” Sep. 27, 2012.