Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images
Disrespect for traffic rules in New York continues to increase, especially when jumping red lightssomething that has caused February to be the deadliest month for traffic accidents since at least 2008, according to a report.
The advocacy group Transportation Alternatives reported that during the second month of the year, a total of 23 people between pedestrians, cyclists and users of motor vehicles have died on the streets of New Yorkwhich represents twice the number of people who have died accidentally in February of last year.
Similarly, the number of red light violations has increased 50% in the second half of 2021 compared to the previous two years, the report noted.
These statistics show the need to strengthen New York’s speed camera and red light programs.which were effective in reducing accidents at the camera locations, but remain restricted by the state legislature in Albany, the New York Post noted.
State law limits the number of red light cameras to 150, and speed cameras can only be installed near schools and turned off at night, the hours when the most fatal crashes occur, according to city statistics.
“There are more than 13,250 signalized intersections in New York City. A red light camera program limited to just 150 locations is woefully inadequate“said Sandra Voss, a member of Families for Safe Streets, a group made up of citizens who have lost loved ones in accidents.
“We have proven tools to save lives, we just need Albany to allow New York City to use them to their fullest potential,” the organization added.
New York Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez, who reports to Mayor Eric Adams, duplicated the cameras and other strategies of the “Vision Zero” program, which was created by former Mayor Bill de Blasio, co-signed the group’s call for the city to have full control of its camera program.
“Our automated compliance programs save lives: data shows traffic injuries decrease where we install these camerasRodríguez said in a statement.
Rodríguez stressed that the New York Department of Transportation has demonstrated for years that it can execute the largest and most effective automated control program in the country, with the aim of keeping citizens safe on the streets.
In the first stretch of de Blasio’s term in 2014, accidents were decreasing, but they increased from 2018 until reaching 2021, when in his last year more traffic deaths were witnessed than in any other year of his mandate, according to with local statistics.