NYC/DOT Report Shows A Slight Year-Over-Year Decline in Deaths and Injuries Involving Vehicles and Pedestrians
From January through May 2017, the New York City Department of Transportation reported 46 pedestrians and cyclists killed by NYC motorists (7 in the month of May), and 5,577 injured (1,250 in the fifth month of the same year) compared to 56 deaths and 5,928 injuries in the first five months of 2016.
City Hall’s statistics vary slightly from DOT’s figures. The mayor’s office reported ten people died in New York City traffic in May, and 1,939 were injured, according to Vision Zero Action Plan’s crash data map. “Despite slight discrepancies in the two reports, “Jay W. Dankner, Managing Partner of the auto accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein said, “the decrease in pedestrian injuries and deaths through May of 2017 is a step in the right direction”.
“But the city needs to keep the pressure on motorists to slow down, and stay off their mobile devices when traveling through our city,” Dankner added. “And those who ignore the law must pay the price.” According to Dankner, nearly half of motorists who kill a New York City pedestrian, or cyclist do not receive so much as a citation for careless driving. The same goes for cyclists who disregard stop signs, traffic lights and other signals designed to make city streets safer for pedestrians. “Cyclists need to get it into their heads,” Dankner said, “that they are legally required to follow the same traffic rules and regulations as do people behind the wheel of cars and trucks.” Three motor vehicle occupants died in the city in May, according to the City Hall’s crash data map, and 3,638 were injured. (The reporters who researched this blog could not find comparative vehicle occupant death and injury statistics from the DOT). Citywide, six pedestrians, and one cyclist were fatally struck by drivers in April. Among the victims were three seniors who died from their injuries. Citywide, 857 pedestrians, and 393 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles.
“I appreciate the efforts Mayor de Blasio is making to improve pedestrian safety,” Dankner said. “But the NYPD needs to do more. Their policy has not changed since the 2014 launch of the Vision Zero program. Far too few of the crashes listed in both the DOT and City Hall’s database was investigated by the NYPD.” Of six fatal crashes on surface streets reported by Streetsblog and other reliable pedestrian safety advocacy groups, only two motorists were known to have been charged with causing a death.
Note: The data above does not include the injuries and fatalities caused by Richard Rojas, who was accused of deliberately striking more than 20 people as he drove on the sidewalk on Seventh Avenue in Times Square. Rojas was charged with murder for one victim’s death, in addition to multiple counts of attempted murder and assault. The NYPD responded to Rojas’s rampage by placing barricades and other obstacles in the Seventh Avenue protected bike lane, which according to Streetsblog makes the street less safe for cyclists.
The City reported that thousands of locals who live on especially accident-ridden streets repeatedly had asked the city for “traffic-calming measures to slow speeding motorists.” Data made available to NYC media outlets back in the Spring of this year revealed that law enforcement comes down harder on drivers who were found to be under the influence of marijuana or alcohol. In those instances, a much higher percentage of careless drivers were charged with manslaughter. Drivers of private garbage trucks, which have the highest pedestrian kill rate of any type of vehicle in NYC, have fatally struck at least eight people since 2015, according to data tracked by Streetsblog.
For more information, contact the top New York auto accident injury law the firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. by calling 212-751- 8000. Or you can E-mail one of the firm’s lawyers for a free consultation.