Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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NYC’s Traffic Safety Crisis: a call for action


Car accident fatalities Q1 2024 transportation alternatives

As car accident attorneys in New York City, the recent report from Transportation Alternatives revealing the deadliest first quarter in Vision Zero history are not just numbers—they are a sobering reminder of the lives lost and families shattered by traffic violence. In the first three months of 2024 alone, 60 New Yorkers lost their lives in traffic crashes, signaling an alarming upward trend that demands immediate and effective action.

Vision Zero was launched in 2014 with the promise of eliminating traffic deaths and severe injuries in NYC. However, this year’s data illustrates a devastating failure to protect the city’s motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Queens, notably, became the first borough to record 750 traffic deaths since the initiative began, highlighting a significant shortfall in the measures implemented under this program.

The Legal Perspective: Accountability and Prevention

From a legal standpoint, every traffic death is not just a statistic but a potential case of negligence that could have been prevented with stricter enforcement and better urban planning. For instance, the staggering number of motorist fatalities tied at a record high, and the increase in deaths caused by SUVs and larger vehicles, underscore the urgent need for regulatory interventions.

Policy Changes We Need

1. Intelligent Speed Assistance for Repeat Offenders: Legislation requiring mandatory speed assistance technology for repeat speeders could drastically reduce the incidence of speeding, a major factor in 80% of fatal traffic crashes.

2. Reauthorization of Red Light Cameras: Extending the red light camera program is crucial to deter drivers from running red lights, thus protecting pedestrians and cyclists at intersections.

3. Compliance with the Streets Plan: The city administration must meet its legal obligations under the Streets Plan to design and construct safer streets. The failure to achieve the mandated goals of building protected bike lanes and implementing safety measures at intersections has undoubtedly contributed to the rise in fatalities.

4. Mandatory Daylighting at Intersections: Improving visibility at intersections by enforcing daylighting could prevent numerous accidents. Currently, the lack of physical daylighting measures at most intersections where pedestrian fatalities occur speaks volumes about the city’s oversight in this area.

The recent numbers should serve as a wake-up call to the Adams administration and local policymakers. The repeated records for fatalities in recent years are unacceptable and preventable. As car accident lawyers, we witness daily the grief and disruption that these tragedies bring to families. It is imperative that New York City and State authorities take decisive and immediate action to curb this tide of preventable loss and ensure that Vision Zero lives up to its name.