Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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A look at the impact of Vision Zero

Vision Zero is something that all New Yorkers by now should be familiar with. Whether you agree with the program or not, the fact that it is having an impact in many ways cannot be disputed. The mayor asserts that the goal of Vision Zero is to improve safety on New York City streets. That goal, according to a document on the city’s website, NYC.gov, requires a crackdown on motorists for specific actions.

Traffic law enforcement has been heightened with specific emphasis placed on speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians. Distracted driving and other behaviors will also be more closely observed. The New York Daily News provided statistics on the impact that Vision Zero has had at the end of 2014. According to the report, the city experienced the lowest number of pedestrian deaths in 2014 since 1910 when such records were first kept.

A total of 131 pedestrians died in New York City last year representing a decrease by 26 percent over the prior year. There were 250 vehicular-related fatalities in all including pedestrians, vehicle occupants, motorcyclists and bicyclists. This represented a 13 percent decrease over the prior year. While saving lives is always a good thing, these numbers are accompanied by a dramatic increase in the number of traffic violations for the same period.

A total of 117,719 people received a speeding ticket in 2014, 35,103 more than in the previous year. This 42 percent jump may seem severe but is far less than the 126 percent increase in the number of tickets handed out to people for not yielding the right of way to pedestrians. More than 18,700 such citations were issued in 2014. All in all, city residents should be increasingly aware of the impact that such tickets can have on them.

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