Preliminary 2009 Highway Fatality Data in New York Shows Decrease in Overall Traffic Fatalities With Significant Reductions in Motorcycle and Bicycle Fatalities

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) announced that preliminary crash data from 2009 indicates a more than six percent decrease in overall traffic fatalities, a more than seventeen percent decrease in motorcycle fatalities and a more than twenty-nine percent decrease in bicycle fatalities. Alcohol, however, was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes.

Preliminary crash data for 2009 indicates the total number of traffic fatalities decreased from 1,224 in 2008 to 1,146 in 2009. Additionally, data from the DMV shows that in 2009 motorcycle fatalities went from 188 to 155, and bicycle fatalities went from 42 to 29. Many of New York’s traffic safety programs are funded through GTSC.

The GTSC is comprised of 12 state agencies, all of which play a significant role in helping to reduce crashes by distributing federal highway safety grants to state, local and not-for-profit agencies to conduct various highway and traffic safety initiatives. The news on seat belt usage was encouraging. The seatbelt usage rate was 90 percent, marking the third consecutive year that New York has maintained a significantly high rating.

The national use rate was only 84 percent in 2009. In 1984, New York State became the first state to enact a mandatory seat belt law and full enforcement of the law began in January, 1985. New York helps promote and educate the public about motorcycle safety. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), through a contract with the DMV, administers a statewide motorcycle safety program. The five-year contract in the amount of $6,325,000 is used to manage a motorcycle safety program consisting of rider education, program promotion and public awareness.

The program is funded solely by New York’s motorcyclists from a portion of the motorcycle license and registration fees. Under the new contract, student attendance in MSF RiderCourses is projected to increase from 15,000 during 2009 to 21,950 in 2013, including an annual growth of 10%. A total of 91,600 students are expected to be trained over the next 5-year contract period. This translates into a 31% increase in BasicRidercourse training.

The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims including those involving auto accidents. For over 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. To learn more, watch our videos.

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