November 29, 2016
NYPD and DOT will redouble season-specific efforts to deter reckless driving during the year’s most dangerous period on city streets; greater enforcement combined with a media campaign and street redesign efforts have contributed to a nearly 50 percent overall decrease in traffic fatalities over the last month
NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that New York City was redoubling its efforts around Vision Zero as the City enters the darkest days of the year – traditionally the deadliest time for pedestrians on New York City streets. The Mayor was joined today at One Police Plaza by Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYPD Chief Thomas M. Chan to announce that the Vision Zero Dusk and Darkness initiative would continue. They noted the progress of education and enforcement efforts unveiled by the Mayor on October 27 in helping turn around the traditional strong fall upturn in fatalities involving pedestrians – especially seniors. Over the last month, traffic fatalities have declined by nearly 50 percent.
“With Vision Zero, we have said our agencies would work creatively to see what works – and a month into the current Dusk and Darkness Initiative, we have strong evidence that we can deter dangerous driving with targeted seasonal enforcement and education,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are urging New Yorkers to keep up their vigilance during December – particularly during the evening rush – remembering that a wonderful season for shopping and being with family unfortunately coincides with the most dangerous time of the year for pedestrians. Drivers especially need to remember the danger of driving under the influence, as well as to slow down and turn slowly. As we have always underscored with Vision Zero, ‘your choices matter.’”
Mayor de Blasio announced the Dusk and Darkness safety initiative on October 27, and DOT has conducted a close analysis of year-over-year crash trends – observing the following:
"The NYPD has issued more than 50,000 summonses for hazardous moving violations during the Dusk and Darkness initiative, and traffic fatalities have decreased significantly during that same period," said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "But December has historically experienced significant increases in pedestrian injuries. That's why the NYPD and its Vision Zero partners are reminding New Yorkers, especially motorists, to slow down, make safe turns and to never drink and drive. The NYPD will be out in force this December ensuring the safety of all New Yorkers."
“We are grateful that fewer New Yorkers have been lost to crashes in November – and will be around to enjoy the holidays with their families,” said DOT Commissioner Trottenberg. “But as the Mayor said, even though we have accomplished so much this year, we need to stay focused these last few weeks of the year. In December, with the reduced visibility at evening rush-hour happening at the same time as peak holiday shopping, New Yorkers who are behind the wheel need to expect pedestrians in the crosswalk every time.”
"You may be a highly-experienced driver with many years on the road, but you are not immune from the challenges of seasonal driving," said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi. "Our message to our licensees is that the combination of busy pedestrians and the earlier dusk pose a greater danger for both drivers and pedestrians than at other times, and it is absolutely essential for drivers to actively consider this every time they get behind the wheel. To reinforce this message, we've added enforcement resources to bolster the already considerable efforts we bring to bear for safety during this concentrated period."
Since the start of the Dusk and Darkness initiative, DOT, NYPD and other agencies have aggressively pursued the following Vision Zero initiatives:
“Vision Zero was never intended to work simply through reconstruction of intersections, reducing speeds in certain thoroughfares, or greater enforcement, these are tools of the larger message and goal. Its true purpose is to change the mentality of pedestrians and drivers alike so every decision we make on the road is done in the interest of the safety of one another. December marks a busy season for New Yorkers. Being safe and diligent is worth the few extra minutes it may take you to get around this season,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.
“With nights getting longer and darkness settling in sooner, the chances for pedestrians and cyclists to go unseen by drivers gets higher,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation. “The DOT and NYPD have been out promoting the Dusk and Darkness campaign, increasing enforcement and providing information to drivers. These efforts have lowered traffic crashes in November but we have to finish this year strong. Vision Zero remains a top priority of mine and I appreciate the focus it is receiving as we come to the end of the year, with more shoppers out on the streets. I applaud the mayor for encouraging stepped up enforcement during the holiday season, when families are celebrating together, and I hope we can continue these efforts into the new year.”
“We are entering the most dangerous days of the year for New York City pedestrians, and we must be extra vigilant to ensure that no more lives are lost on our city’s streets,” said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “We are making an all-hands-on-deck effort: targeted enforcement, street improvements, outreach and education make our streets safer, so that all New Yorkers can make it home to their families this holiday season.”
“Tragically, this season of celebration has been transformed into a lifelong season of sorrow for too many friends and family members of traffic crash victims,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “Though our City is dedicating more resources than ever before to prevent traffic crashes causing death and serious injury, motorists must do their part and remain vigilant during this dangerous period for pedestrians and cyclists. Only by working together can we make this season, and every season, a safe one for us all.”
"Vision Zero has made a noticeable impact on our traffic safety this year,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides. “The new elements including increased nighttime seasonal enforcement and improved street design have made a big difference on our public safety. I thank Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD and DOT Commissioner Trottenberg for their leadership."
"Mayor de Blasio, DOT Commissioner Trottenberg, NYPD Chief of Transportation Chief Chan and Queens DOT Commissioner Garcia have been doing a tremendous job in keeping our streets safer for all, including this holiday season and every day. It is critical that we stay diligent in our efforts with these Vision Zero campaigns that are occurring throughout the City. As these efforts continue during the holiday season, I urge every driver and pedestrian to be conscious of the increased activities in the crosswalks and on the road," said Council Member Donovan Richards.
“Evidence has proven that greater traffic enforcement is saving lives in our city,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “As New Yorkers approach the darkest evenings of the year, going about holiday shopping and attending festive gatherings, please, let this ongoing increased enforcement be yet another reason to drive safely. I want all of my constituents – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike – to have a safe and healthy holiday season.”
"Vision Zero has continued to evolve with new measures and initiatives being continually implemented," said Council Member James Vacca. "The Dusk and Darkness Safety Initiative sought to highlight some of the most hazardous times to be on the road and take action to effectively mitigate the danger. The campaign has already saved lives and will continue to do so through the holiday season and beyond. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for their advanced planning and commitment to safer streets for everyone."
For more information about the de Blasio Administration’s Vision Zero initiative, please see www.nyc.gov/visionzero.