In the past year, the mayor of New York City has worked vigorously to promote what is called Vision Zero. Most New Yorkers have no doubt heard about this but it is important to have a good understanding of what it entails as it could impact people in unique ways. At its core, the Vision Zero Action Plan is a program designed to end all traffic deaths and injuries whether related to drunk driving or other factors.
New York’s plan is modeled after those touted as successful in Sweden as well as in three other states in the U.S. The installation of red light cameras throughout the city is one visible change brought about by this plan. The development of designated slow zones is another. The city is also supporting various types of legislation, many of which are aimed directly at increasing penalties for certain incidents.
These include changing the classification for drivers charged with drunk driving and fleeing an accident scene from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony. The Class E felony charge, which carries a potential jail sentence of up to four years, is also sought for drivers operating vehicles with license suspensions or license revocations who are involved in fatal accidents. Drivers alleged to be at fault for crashes which cause injuries to pedestrians or bicyclists are currently charged with traffic violations but the city is pushing to have those charges changes to misdemeanors.
The above are just some of the ways that the city government is working to strengthen penalties for drivers. This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information regarding New York’s Vision Zero Action Plan.