09/29/2012 // New York City, New York, USA // New York City Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C Reiter // (press release)
New York City is adding 13 more neighborhood “slow zones” in an effort to improve traffic safety. According to information received by NY auto accident attorney Jonathan C. Reiter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation announced the addition during a speech in Corona, Queens.
The zones will reduce speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph, and will be announced via signs, road markings and speed bumps. The slow zone program began in November 2011, and since then over 100 neighborhoods have applied for admission into the program.
State Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan explained the concept as: “slow zones send a strong message to drivers; that our neighborhoods are not shortcuts, and speeding on our streets is really a matter of life and death.”
Statistics state that a person has a 98 percent chance of surviving a collision with a vehicle if it is going 20 mph or less.
The slow zones are one implementation of the Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan, a 2010 landmark endeavor headed by the DOT. The campaign is a strong anti-speeding effort, with action items as follows:
• Install countdown pedestrian signals at 1,500 intersections
• Re-engineer 60 miles of streets for greater pedestrian safety, according to corridor crash data.
• Re-engineer 20 intersections for pedestrian safety on major two-way streets.
• Launch a pilot program to test the safety performance of neighborhood 20 mph zone.
• Implement pilot program to improve visibility at left turns along avenues in Manhattan.
As 2011 resulted in a record-low year for NYC pedestrian fatalities, the DOT plan and its enforcers hope to see the same in 2012, reports New York City car accident lawyer Jonathan C Reiter.
The DOT has made some good improvements, but has not adequately addressed the problem of drivers making turns and striking pedestrians in the crosswalk. Some drivers act like they have the right of way in that situation when it is the pedestrian crossing that has the right of way, states attorney Reiter.
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