November 2010 Issue of NYC Vital Signs Devoted to Improving Traffic Safety in New York City

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a data report focused upon traffic death statistics and touting its plans to improve safety in 2010-2011. The data in this report are from the NYC Department of Transportations (DOT) Traffic Fatality Database, the primary source of traffic-related death and injury statistics in New York City.

Key findings included (1) males and people in their 20s make up a disproportionately high number of those killed in motor vehicle accidents compared to their prevalence in the population; (2) traffic fatalities in NYC disproportionately occur on major streets; (3) pedestrian fatalities … Read the rest

Red-Light Cameras Money But No Points

Unfortunately, I can write from personal experience about the 60 red-light cameras that have been installed in Nassau County since last summer. No, not from driving, but from the envelope received that contained a friendly Notice of Liability Red Light Camera Violation.

Although the vehicle was being driven by someone who shall remain nameless, the Notice stated that under the law the registered owner of the vehicle is liable to pay a fine. The Notice even came with 3 color photos and an internet link to a video of the infraction, which video completely destroyed the defense being offered by … Read the rest

Schoolchildren Face Traffic Dangers When School Lets Out

A recent article by Jennifer Steinhauer of The New York Times discusses the dangers middle school students face when they become pedestrians when the school bell rings. The number of serious traffic incidents involving schoolchildren across the 900 Los Angeles public schools has significantly increased, particularly around middle schools. From January to November 2008, there were 153 traffic-related injuries around schools, which Los Angeles public school officials said was much higher than five years ago. Last year, two eighth-grade girls in Wilmington, near the Port of Los Angeles, were hit by vehicles near school, and one girl was left partly … Read the rest

Bill Creating the Offense Careless Driving Introduced in New York to Protect Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Other Vulnerable Road Users

Known as The Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez Law, bills have been introduced in the Assembly (A.7917) and the Senate (S.5292) establishing the offense of careless driving under a new section 1146-b to the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), and imposing penalties when a violation results in the serious injury or death of a vulnerable user of a public way.

The law defines careless driving as driving without due care or in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property. A vulnerable user is defined as a pedestrian, highway worker, person riding an animal, … Read the rest

Pedestrians Killed in Accidents to be Memorialized by Hells Kitchen Neighborhood Organizations This Saturday

Year ago our office represented the estate of Randolph Walker, who was run over and killed by a New York City Apple Tours bus in an accident that received much coverage in the press at the time. The circumstances were abhorrent and the company was effectively put out of business by the city after this accident. Just yesterday we were contacted by a community organization called CHEKPEDS (Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety) and advised that a Pedestrian Memorial March will be held this Saturday, June 13, 2009, in memory of 6 pedestrians killed by careless drivers on … Read the rest

Enjoy A Relaxing Lunch as Traffic Whiz’s By Just Inches Away

Recently, on August 27, 2008, two cabs collided sending one of them onto a Times Square sidewalk. Shortly before that accident, on August 15, 2008, New York City carved a new public esplanade on the roadway of Broadway from 42nd to 35th Streets for people to sit, eat lunch, and to just enjoy being outdoors. Called Broadway Boulevard by the Department of Transportation, the area has a gravel coating glued to the pavement, and a bike lane next to the sidewalk. Cafe tables, benches, chairs, umbrellas and flower-filled planters have been set out for people to use as cars and … Read the rest

What to Do About Suffolk County’s New York Route 347

The tortuous history of New York Route 347 in Suffolk County and its troubles with the traffic impacts of low density strip mall development has again come to the public fore due to some recent motor vehicle accidents.

On July 30, 2008, a Lake Grove woman, Effatolsadat Ghozati, 66, was struck by car and killed while crossing westbound Route 347 near Hallock Road in Stony Brook, New York, on foot at around 10:25 P.M. On August 1, 2008, the front of a 2003 Ford van, going west on State Route 347, smashed into the side of a passenger bus … Read the rest

Traffic Signals that Improve Pedestrian Safety

Earlier this month as the school year was beginning, we wrote a blog about safety tips for pedestrians. One of the points made was that it should not be assumed that obeying “Walk/Don’t Walk” lights decreases your risk of getting hit because studies show that standard pedestrian signals have no effect on pedestrian-motor vehicle accident rates compared with non-signalized intersections.

Recent travel to Toronto, Canada revealed an interesting and apparently effective way to make crossing streets less risky. In Toronto, situated next to the “Walk/Don’t Walk” signal is a lighted signal that counts down the seconds left before the … Read the rest