According to an accident report posted on nbcnewyork.com, 2021 was the deadliest year in more than ten years for pedestrians in New York City, New York. There were 124 pedestrians, 50 motorcyclists, 19 cyclists, and 15 moped/e-bike operators killed in New York City. Moreover, there were 273 people killed in traffic accidents in New York City in 2021, according to crash data published by Transportation Alternatives. The New York City crash report also highlights the alarming increase in hit-and-run collisions, which has doubled since 2018. 2021 also had a 42% increase in SUV-related pedestrian deaths.
Danny Harris, Transportation Alternatives’ executive director, stated that city officials could not allow another year of a record number of traffic-related deaths. Mr. Harris also reported that recently that were drivers who struck and killed pedestrians in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Harris also demanded that city leaders use every tool available to solve the preventable health crisis.
According to the Transportation Alternatives report, there were 93 hit-and-runs with severe injuries in 2021, and only 23 percent of those hit-and-run collisions led to an arrest, which is a twelve percent decrease since 2018. Tragically, only three percent of hit-and-run criminal cases were solved.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research shows that traffic-related deaths are at a 15-year high. Fatal pedestrian crashes involving SUVs increased by 42% in New York City over the past several years. Safety experts believe that the increased ownership of SUVs has led to more fatal crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.
The information provided in the crash report recommends that Mayor Eric Adams and his administration take proactive measures to stop traffic violence. For example, creating more barricaded bike lanes and redesigning 1,000 intersections would help protect pedestrians and control driver speed.
The traffic accident report also reports that almost 60 percent of pedestrians tragically killed by drivers were struck and killed by “major violators” who fled the crash scene, did not have a valid driving license, and had at least three prior convictions. The accident report also urges NYC Mayor Adams and the City Council to strengthen the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program by creating a policy that permits the city to impound vehicles driven by serial reckless drivers.
Other key improvement recommendations include significant redesigns of all “key corridors.” It also urges city officials to work with state lawmakers to strengthen the speed safety camera program and passes the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act. The Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act consists of seven bills and includes laws for safe speed limits within New York City.
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