Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Mixed results seen from Vision Zero effort

This year saw the beginning of a new push throughout New York City to not just reduce but to ultimately eliminate pedestrian deaths citywide. This effort, known as Vision Zero, is spearheaded by the mayor and while improving safety is the stated goal, it has far-reaching implications to drivers who are cited for traffic violations.

The first six months of Vision Zero indicate that many areas of the city have made some big changes in their approach to certain traffic issues while others may not necessarily have done the same. This level of mixed results is seen when comparing statistics on traffic tickets. One police precinct reports a 57 percent drop in the number of speeding tickets issued between January and June of 2014 versus in the same six months of 2013 while another precinct has seen an 80 percent increase in the number of speeding tickets issued. The risk of getting a speeding ticket, it seems, could vary greatly based solely upon which precinct has authority.

Across all parts of New York City, the number of citations received by drivers for both failing to yield to pedestrians and for speeding has risen this year by 153 percent and 32 percent, respectively. A total of 70 pedestrians have died on city streets this year from January to roughly mid-July. That number was 87—19 percent higher—last year at the same time. Nonfatal pedestrian accident rates appear to have only slightly dropped, however.

Under Vision Zero, any driver that wishes to fight a traffic ticket still has the right to do so. Working with an attorney can be one way to make a defense more possible and help avoid default convictions.

Source: New York Daily News, “City’s enforcement of traffic violations as part of Vision Zero is up, but not in all precincts,” Tina Moore, July 31, 2014

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