Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy
New data shows that overall, NYC traffic deaths are now 29% higher than four years ago.
This despite “Vision Zero” (Vision Zero), road safety plan created in 2014 by then-new Mayor Bill de Blasio, promised to make the city safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, with a goal of zero deaths by 2024.
The victims multiply when considering the relatives affected. “My dad was devastated,” Monique Williams told Pix11. “His body was crushed, his face was crushed.”
Her father, Jerry Spriggs, was killed in a hit-and-run in the Bronx in November 2020. Since then she has dedicated her time to trying to improve road safety. “You don’t want other people to feel what you feel,” she commented.
The latest data released by the road safety advocacy group “Transportation Alternatives” shows 113 traffic deaths in NYC between January and June, that’s 7% less than in 2021, but 29% more than in 2018. That year was the safest year on record after the implementation of “Vision Zero”. Those figures show that The Bronx has the most fatalities since 2014including 28 in the first half of 2022.
In particular there is a 129% increase in hit and run incidents throughout the city. One of the most recent victims was the young Hispanic Andy Eduardo Gil, 21, fatally run over early Thursday 14 in the East Village of Manhattan while on his way to his house, by a driver who has not yet been captured.
And this weekend, a worker was hit in the Bronx and the car stopped not to help him, but to steal him while he was badly injured on the sidewalk, then fled.
Cory Epstein, spokesman for “Transportation Alternatives”, acknowledges that some things have worked since 2014, like bike lanes and restructuring of dangerous roads. But, he added, major fixes are still needed.
“This is absolutely the wrong direction we’re going… We need deaths to go down.”
Cory Epstein, spokesperson for Transportation Alternatives
According to the report, In the first half of this year, 12 children under the age of 18 died in road accidents in NYC. That’s double the number this time last year. and the highest figures since 2014, highlighted NY1News.
“This is absolutely the wrong direction we’re going,” Epstein summed up. “We need deaths to go down, not double in eight years.” By comparison, he says that Hoboken (NJ) next to NYC has not had traffic fatalities in the last four years.
One change that seems to be working there is what’s called “daylighting,” which means removing the parking spot closest to the corner at every intersection, avoiding a blind spot for drivers.
“We know that by far the largest number of accidents occur at intersections, and we know that lighting intersections, making them more visible, actually saves lives,” Epstein said. It’s one of many security measures Epstein hopes to see implemented across the five boroughs.
In addition to gun violence, traffic accidents are another big challenge for the new mayor, Eric Adams, after a disastrous legacy from his predecessor, De Blasio. New York City had already experienced in April a 35% increase in traffic accidents so far this year, NYPD stated. At the end of that month there was a tragic streak in NYC at an average of one person killed by a run over every day.