Statement from Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White:
We welcome Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of an interagency partnership to move New York City toward Vision Zero, the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2024. It’s an important step in the right direction, after a discouraging spike in pedestrian fatalities, one that has included the deaths of several children.
Four thousand people are seriously injured or killed each year in New York City traffic. One in three New Yorkers have been injured in traffic or know someone who's been injured or killed on our roads. And crashes are the number one cause of preventable death for New York City children – kids like
eight-year-old Noshat Nahian, who was killed on Northern Boulevard, just steps from his school, by an unlicensed truck driver who should not have been behind the wheel in the first place.
It’s time to put a stop to this epidemic. Transportation Alternatives is ready to work with Mayor de Blasio, the New York Police Department, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Taxi and Limousine Commission and families affected by traffic violence to support this partnership, because all New Yorkers have the right to safe streets.
Traffic deaths are preventable. We know what causes them, so we can take action to stop them from happening in the first place. We need to redesign more dangerous corridors and intersections. We must dedicate more officers to crash investigations and traffic enforcement, to combat the most deadly violations, speeding and failure to yield. We need the vast expansion of the 20mph speed limit, and we need to expand the use of enforcement cameras that issue tickets, not just warnings. We are heartened by the announcement that the city is moving ahead with all of these initiatives.
The effort won’t be without controversy. There are those who would oppose removing a parking spot to provide more protected space for pedestrians, or resist efforts to stiffen penalties for reckless drivers. But we must put safety first.
People across the five boroughs are demanding safer street design and real enforcement. We need to make Vision Zero a reality, and we need to start today – for our kids, for our seniors, for all of us.