9 pedestrians were killed in NYC car accidents last year during the 8 days following the end of the Daylight Saving Time. All the victims were between 55 and 88 years old. 6 of the 9 accidents occurred after sunset. According to data collected between 2010 and 2014, the number of pedestrians dying or being severely injured in car accidents increased by 40% during the last 3 months of the year. Statistics also indicate that crashes involving turns are doubling during the colder and darker months of the year.
As Daylight Saving Time ends this week-end, a $1.5 million Vision Zero campaign will be launched this Friday by the mayor’s office to prevent pedestrian deaths during the most dangerous period of the year.
Yesterday Bill de Blasio was joined by Transportation Commissioner Trottenberg, Aging Commissioner Corrado, Commissioner and Chair of the Taxi and Limousine Commission Joshi and NYPD Chief Chan at One Police Plaza to present the new pedestrian safety campaign to the press.
Entitled “Dusk and Darkness”, the campaign will start on Friday with a “Day of Awareness”. NYPD and DOT employees will hand a million palm cards to drivers and pedestrians. The card will emphasize the increased risk of accidents during fall darkness. It will also remind drivers about the dangers of speeding and not yielding to pedestrians.
The campaign will also consist of TV and radio ads as well as transit and billboard signs. The NYPD and DOT also planned a senior center outreach. The TLC will educate taxi and limo drivers on the dangers of driving at dusk and at night during the cold months of the year. A TV ad will also run on yellow cab screens.
The “Cross this Way” initiative will continue to visit schools with a special emphasis on “Dusk and Darkness” dangers for young pedestrians.
The police will also increase its presence at the most dangerous intersections of the city during the evening peak hours. They will step up enforcement toward drivers who are speeding or failing to yield to pedestrians. Additionally they also will hand out “Dusk and Darkness” cards reminding pedestrians and drivers to be more careful at dusk and at night.
The city will also continue to upgrade street design and install brighter LED street lighting.