New York City has strongly countered national trends: 2016’s 230 traffic fatalities were fewest ever in New York City, marking three successive years of decline and a 23 percent reduction since 2013
Mayor Bill de Blasio today released New York City’s third annual Vision Zero report, which details the program’s continued progress. Vision Zero, which began in 2014, has helped deliver the safest three-year period on New York City’s streets in recorded history. In 2016, traffic fatalities in New York City declined to their lowest levels ever to 230, representing a 23 percent decline from 2013 when there were 299 traffic fatalities. This is in stark contrast to national trends that have seen a 14 percent increase in traffic fatalities over the same period according to the National Safety Council projections.
In addition to providing the data on past successes, the report also provides a comprehensive look forward at initiatives – around education, enforcement and engineering – that will be pursued to maintain momentum in 2017 and beyond.
The “Vision Zero: Year Three” report can be accessed here.
“Despite our record success in saving lives these last three years, we know that Vision Zero is just starting,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Even with all of our work and after the safest year in history, someone was lost in a traffic crash on average once every day and a half, still far too frequent. With the unprecedented budget investment we announced last month, we expect that in the year ahead the dedicated efforts of DOT, NYPD and other agencies will help us continue to buck national trends in traffic fatalities with stronger results for New Yorkers.”
“Our Year Three report gives great perspective on just how far we have come under three years of Vision Zero,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “But as the Mayor has said, we have a long way to go. We are grateful for his leadership and the unprecedented budget investment that will allow us to continue our work to redesign safer streets, and do so much more expand further on our success in the years ahead.”
“The Year Three report for Vision Zero is encouraging,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas M. Chan. “Traffic fatalities are at a historically low level, which is bucking a nationwide trend. The City also is investing in making our streets safer, and the NYPD and its partners in the Vision Zero initiative are working every day to reduce collisions and protect lives.”
Among the major themes of New York City’s successful Vision Zero efforts outlined in the report:
- Data-Driven Priority: In 2015, NYPD and DOT had outlined their strategy in Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans, data-driven efforts to drive down injuries and fatalities at targeted intersections and corridors. , through combined enforcement, education and engineering efforts, serious crashes have declined in areas identified in the plans by nearly 30 percent.
- Designs to Make Streets Safer: Under Vision Zero, DOT has achieved an unprecedented pace, completing over 240 safety projects and over 30 miles of protected bike lanes since January 2014. In addition, DOT has brightened over 1,000 crosswalks with new streetlights, and also added higher visibility crosswalks in priority areas. Pedestrian head-starts have been added to 1,248 intersections, giving pedestrians extra dedicated time to cross the street.
- Cross-Agency Evaluation and Collaboration: The multi-agency Vision Zero Task Force, coordinated by the Mayor’s Office, brought agencies together to identify problems and collaborate on solutions. The Dusk and Darkness Initiative in 2016 grew out of this effort. In that initiative, agencies had identified a surge in serious pedestrian crashes in the fall and winter evening hours. In October 2016, agencies focused their enforcement and education resources on dangerous driving behaviors during those hours. Traffic fatalities during the initiative saw a decline of 30 percent over previous years.
- Increased NYPD Enforcement Against Dangerous Driving:Consistent and predictable enforcement deters reckless driving, prevents crashes and saves lives. Under Vision Zero, NYPD has dramatically increased its issuance of violations for speeding and failure to yield, by 78percent and 243 percent respectively above annual averages prior to Vision Zero.
- Safer City Vehicles: Agencies that own or regulate large fleets include the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), and the MTA. Among several new safety initiatives, these three agencies have conducted Vision Zero safety training for over 70,000 vehicle operators since the beginning of Vision Zero.
- Increased Engagement: In addition to an award-winning advertising campaign that connected with New Yorkers, Vision Zero connected with New Yorkers in other ways, from senior centers to schools. In 2016, the Cross This Way curriculum, which teaches children about the risks posed by reckless driving, was incorporated into elementary and middle school curricula Citywide.
“In our third year of expanding on Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan, the TLC’s resolve has only deepened,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair Meera Joshi. “Our Dusk to Dawn and targeted speeding enforcement efforts continue to catch and deter reckless drivers, and we’ve brought safety education to more than 37,000 of our driver-licensees in 2016 alone and 422 of our licensed bases since 2014. The TLC’s data-driven analysis of safety records of 771 of the city’s car service bases in the Vision Zero Base Reports help the public make more informed consumer choices every day. Our efforts in 2016, including honoring a record 378 drivers for their safe records driving a combined 1.8 million safe miles, set the stage for TLC licensees to lead the way in safety on our streets in 2017.”
“Through increased training, truck side-guards and better collision tracking, DCAS is proud of the progress made in fleet safety over the last three years as part of Vision Zero,” said DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo. “DCAS looks forward to increasing these efforts even further in partnership with other City agencies including completing our first plan to design and specify safer City fleet vehicles.”
“The third annual Vision Zero report is the product of extensive multi-agency coordination, collaboration on new initiatives and a commitment to ongoing program evaluation,” said Mindy Tarlow, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations. “The Mayor’s investment in new Vision Zero initiatives will build on the program's success and continue making New York City safer for all residents.”
About Vision Zero
In January 2017, after three successive years of declines in traffic fatalities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City would make an additional $400 million investment in Vision Zero – for a total of $1.6 billion over the next five years. DOT is implementing its most aggressive street redesign safety program, an increased investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures citywide. Other Vision Zero changes announced by the Mayor include ensuring NYPD crossing guards at every post, faster replacement of street markings, intersection upgrades in the bike-lane network, more left-turn calming efforts, brighter lighting and more equipment at each police precinct to catch speeding.
For more information about the de Blasio Administration’s Vision Zero initiative, please see www.nyc.gov/visionzero.