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De Blasio: NYC traffic fatalities reach all-time low for 2016

Brooklyn Led All Boroughs with Record Decline in Traffic Deaths

January 11, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Traffic makes its way across an elevated portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway earlier this year. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that New York City experienced the lowest number of traffic fatalities in 2016 since record-keeping began in 1910. There were 229 fatalities in 2016, which was an improvement from 234 deaths in 2015.  

De Blasio credits the decrease in fatalities to his Vision Zero plan, which has a goal to end all traffic deaths and injuries in the city’s streets. The number of fatalities has decreased steadily for three consecutive years for a total of 23 percent since the plan was implemented in January 2014.

Traffic fatalities include deaths of pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and people in vehicles.  

“No loss of life on our streets is acceptable,” said de Blasio. “Under Vision Zero, we have now seen traffic fatalities in our city decline for three straight years, strongly countering national trends. I have said where Vision Zero is concerned, we are just getting started and can always do better, but I nevertheless want to thank the NYPD, DOT [Department of Transportation] and supporting agencies on all their hard work to deliver another year of strong results.”

Brooklyn led all of the boroughs with a record decline in traffic fatalities: 51 in 2016 compared to 67 in 2015, a 24 percent decrease. The previous one-year record low for traffic fatalities in Kings County had been 66 in 2009.

“I’m proud that Brooklyn led our city with a record decline in traffic fatalities last year,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told the Brooklyn Eagle. “I’m also disturbed that 10 New Yorkers have been killed by crashes in 2017’s first 10 days, including the tragic deaths in just one day of Rafael Nieves in Williamsburg, Marlon Palacios in East Flatbush and Iosif Plazinskiy in Sheepshead Bay.

“We cannot and must not accept anything less than Vision Zero, and we must have far greater accountability for hit-and-run drivers in particular,” he continued. “I believe the de Blasio administration shares my commitment to street safety, and I will continue to be outspoken whenever and wherever we should be doing better. I am also committed to allocating additional resources to redesigning dangerous intersections through my ongoing CROSS (Connecting Residents on Safer Streets) Brooklyn initiative.”

In addition to the three fatalities mentioned by Adams, a car fatally hit an 88-year-old Brighton Beach man on Wednesday evening on Ocean Parkway and Avenue X.

A hit-and-run driver also killed a 53-year-old man on New Year’s Day on South Conduit Avenue near Crescent Street in East New York.

Furthermore, a 29-year-old special education teacher was killed on Jan. 3, when she was hit by a SUV and a school bus while crossing Kings Highway near Nostrand Avenue in Midwood.

New York City traffic deaths dropping to an all-time low for 2016 goes against the national trend. National traffic fatalities last year saw the largest increase in 50 years, a 7.1 percentage increase, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The organization predicts 2017 to have an even higher number of traffic deaths.

The city reported additional good news on Jan. 4 when it released statistics that revealed that 2016 was New York City’s safest year since the city began keeping records of crimes.

There were 4,315 fewer crimes committed in the city in 2016 than in 2015, including the lowest number of shootings in decades. For 2016, 101,606 crimes were recorded in the city, compared to 105,921 in 2015, for a decline of 4.1 percent.

Have questions or comments? Reach reporter Scott Enman at [email protected]

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