Pedestrian injuries; will they ever end?


It’s only January 4th 2016 and there have already been reports of another pedestrian who was severely injured by a motorist who then left the scene of the accident.

Friday night at around 9:20 pm, a man was crossing 93rd Avenue (in Jamaica, Queens) when he was struck by a black SVU. The driver of the SVU then left the scene of the accident. The injured man was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with injuries that appear to be life-threatening. This area of Jamaica is known to have speeding motorists and reckless drivers.

This comes just a day after a report by Gothamist.com that reveals how traffic deaths have actually decreased over the past few years. In 2015, there were just 133 pedestrian deaths were as in 2014 there were 139 pedestrians who were killed. These numbers do not include deaths that occurred as a result of a passenger being killed in a car accident; even though those numbers have decreased as well. There were a total of 230 motor vehicle deaths in 2015, which were down from 257 deaths in 2014 and even more so, 297 in 2013.

“Traffic deaths decreased in New York City yet again in 2015. The Department of Transportation says that 230 people died in crashes last year, down from 257 in 2014, and 297 in 2013. Raw NYPD data posted online shows that 236 people died in crashes in 2015, but the DOT’s director of strategic initiatives Juan Martinez said that further investigation shaved away at the total after officials determined, for instance, that a victim’s medical emergency preceded a crash, or a crash happened in a parking lot. The WNYC Mean Streets fatality tracker shows 242 deaths for the year, but a Transportation Department spokesman said that the project’s reporters don’t have the benefit of the city’s follow-up investigations. Discrepancies between the totals are nothing new. In late 2014, WNYC staffers were 11 1/2 months into their first year of tracking road fatalities using a combination of media reports, NYPD announcements, monthly NYPD statistical reports, and centralized NYPD data. They found then that police were failing to publicize deaths a quarter of the time, and that the totals from the monthly reports ran higher than those in the then-new public crash database. WNYC tallied 269 traffic deaths in 2014, 12 more than the city.”

“Even though such deaths declined, city officials and traffic-safety groups agreed that more aggressive steps must be taken to reach Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the city by 2024, as part of a plancalled Vision Zero that he announced nearly two years ago.” Not only has the amount of pedestrians injured or killed by motorists have dropped, so has the number of cyclists who have been injured or killed as well.

“Traffic-safety advocates have praised the mayor for making the issue a priority while criticizing what they say is a slow pace of change. Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a pedestrian and cyclist group, called the improvements “piecemeal,” arguing that the city should move faster on street redesigns and devote more officers to target reckless drivers.”

Sources:

NY Times

Gothamist

NBC New York

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