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Vision Zero: Explaining New York City’s New Laws to Prevent Serious Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths

May 30, 2014 Pedestrian Accidents

On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

New-York-Vision-Zero-300x240The stated goal of Vision Zero is to completely eliminate serious injuries and deaths of New York City pedestrians

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, the New York City Council passed a series of bills, which is soon to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio, designed to prevent pedestrian injuries caused by dangerous drivers. The bills form a part of a new set of laws and initiatives, dubbed the “Vision Zero” plan, that are designed to slow the speed of traffic and increase punishments for bad driving, including the revocation of drivers’ licenses. The stated goal of Vision Zero is to completely eliminate serious injuries and deaths of New York City pedestrians. According to the City of New York, “approximately 4,000 New Yorkers are seriously injured and more than 250 are killed each year in traffic crashes [each year]. Being struck by a vehicle is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14, and the second leading cause for seniors. On average, vehicles seriously injure or kill a New Yorker every two hours.”

Among the features of the Vision Zero pedestrian safety law are requirements that the Transportation Department repair missing or damaged traffic lights and signals within 24 hours of being notified, the establishment of “slow zones” featuring speed limits as low as 20 mph, the imposition of fines and jail sentences for so-called “stunt behavior” (e.g., wheelies, burn-outs), and the authorization of the Taxi and Limousine Commission to summarily suspend licenses of taxi drivers to whom a summons is issued or to whom moving violations are issued in connection with an accident that causes serious injury or death. Proponents of the Vision Zero plan have requested the State of New York for permission to increase the number of speed and red-light cameras in the city; as of now, the

Vision-Zero-New-York-300x225Vision Zero proponents are taking special aim at the city’s taxi drivers

total number permitted within city limits is limited by state law. To prevent pedestrian traffic accidents and serious injury, Vision Zero proponents also want to increase in the number of speed bumps featured on city roadways.

Vision Zero proponents are taking special aim at the city’s taxi drivers by, in addition to the licensing rules, commissioning a study to explore new taxi safety technology like “black box”-style data recorders to track trips, installation of alarms that would alert passengers if the driver is speeding, and even a device that would stop the cab’s meter from running if the driver were to speed.

If you have been involved in an accident in which you were seriously injured, we can help! Please call our injury attorneys at (212) 697-9280 for a free consultation to discuss how you may be entitled to compensation for your or a loved one’s serious pedestrian injury.