Clocks “fall back” this Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 AM; as part of new Vision Zero Dusk and Darkness initiative, stepped up NYPD enforcement against dangerous driving will be concentrated between
Mayor Bill de Blasio today issued a reminder to New Yorkers about the dangers of dusk and evening hours as clocks change this coming Sunday. The de Blasio Administration last week announced a new Vision Zero Dusk and Darkness initiative that includes stepped-up NYPD enforcement against unsafe driving during those hours, supplemented by the addition of new street lighting to high-crash crosswalks, a new educational awareness campaign and new street redesigns. Fall and winter evenings have traditionally been the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians, with serious crashes during that time increasing by 40 percent compared to the rest of the year.
“While we all can be grateful for an extra hour’s sleep this coming weekend, at the same time we all need to stay alert and mindful of the Vision Zero focus on safety,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Darker afternoons and evenings make a big difference on our streets for the safety of pedestrians, especially for our seniors. We are reminding drivers to be extra-vigilant, slowing down and turning at 5 miles per hour on our streets – someone’s life could literally depend on it.”
“The NYPD is working with our partners to increase pedestrian safety, especially after the daylight saving time change – when the sunset is earlier in the day and coincides with the evening rush,” said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “New York is a fast-paced City, but I want to ask all New Yorkers – especially motorists – to slow down and look out for one another. Officers will be issuing summonses to those who don’t.”
“Our research shows that rush-hour driving in newly dark evenings of the fall can be a perilous combination for pedestrians,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “One of our major goals for Vision Zero is to increase awareness and counteract careless driving behavior, so we are reminding New Yorkers that in the colder, darker months ahead, they need to exercise extra caution and slow down, especially when taking turns.”
DOT conducted extensive analysis of year-over-year crash trends, and noted that:
· The earlier onset of darkness in the fall and winter is highly correlated to a 40 percent increase in traffic injuries and fatalities.
· Lower visibility during the dark hours of the colder months leads to twice as many crashes involving turns.
· Daylight saving time ended last year on November 1, 2015; in the eight days following last year’s “fall-back” clock change, nine New York City pedestrians lost their lives, one of the deadliest periods of the entire year. All of the victims were between 55 and 88 years old; only three of those deaths occurred during daylight hours.
In 2016, as part of Vision Zero, DOT has implemented its most aggressive street redesign safety program, with increased investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures citywide. DOT has also improved the safety at a record number of dangerous intersections and thoroughfares, installing more than 18 miles of protected bike lanes along key high traffic corridors like Queens Boulevard, 6th Avenue, Chrystie Street, Jay Street, and Amsterdam Avenue and installed a record number of leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs) – more than 500 – to give pedestrians a head start while crossing the street.
For more information about the de Blasio Administration’s Vision Zero initiative, please see www.nyc.gov/visionzero.