Pedestrian Accidents in NYC
An epidemic of sorts is sweeping the streets of New York. Before the first half of January 2014 was over, it had claimed the lives of 11 people from the city. And it has not slowed its fatal march since.
Traffic Accident Related Deaths
In the last few months, there has been alarming rise in the number of deaths as a direct result of traffic accidents. The bulk of the victims have been innocent bystanders whose only fault, it seems, was to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
And they paid dearly for this mistake, with their lives.
Perhaps the most heartbreakingly tragic element of this spate of deaths is that it has not spared even the very young.
Like the case of 9 year old Cooper Stock who was hit by a taxi in the Upper West Side and died holding his father’s hand.
Or 8 Year old Noshat Nahian, who died after being struck by a truck on a Queens intersection while on his way to school.
In October last year, 3 year old Allison Liao lost her life in Flushing Queens when she was hit by an SUV on her way home with her grandmother.
Her fate was shared by 12 year old Sammy Cohen-Eckstein in Brooklyn in the same month.
Pedestrians are becoming the causalities of fast moving traffic regardless of age and gender.
A mother of two was a recent fatality to a road accident in a Bronx street. Just like 26 year old Samantha Lee, who was fatally injured in front of her apartment when an ambulance pushed her into oncoming traffic.
And the gruesome list of senseless deaths goes on and on.
As hard as it is for residents to swallow, the rise in this kind of deaths is not a new phenomenon in the city. New York has been the city with the highest pedestrian deaths for quite a while.
In fact, as per the records of the Dept. of Transportation, pedestrian deaths in the city make up for a staggering 52% of all traffic fatalities, the highest in the country and far above the national average.
And this number has increased every year: 142 in 2011, 152 in 2012, 156 in 2013, 7 in 2014 (as on Jan. 12).
It is evident from these figures that pedestrian fatalities have been on a steady rise for the last few years. The situation is worsening day by day.
So much so, it is gradually building up to a number that will soon rival the number of murders committed in and around the city.
Why Is New York Susceptible To Pedestrian Accidents?
A close analysis reveals why the city is so susceptible to this incidents.
New York has the highest pedestrian traffic in the country. A sizeable portion of its residents choose to walk or use public transport as a means of travelling.
It also does not help that its laws make it very difficult to prosecute, much less convict, the drivers who are the cause of an accident. In the eyes of the law, this kind of fatality does not constitute sufficient grounds to prosecute or convict the driver.
Although this has been the subject of much criticism from the proponents of stricter laws, the situation does not show signs of changing any time soon, as strong arguments are offered from both sides.
Meanwhile, people keep dying on the streets of the city.
What Is The Administration Doing?
The administration is doing its bit. Mayor De Blasio has unveiled his goal of “Vision Zero” which professes to reduce fatalities to zero in the next 10 years.
To this effect, he has constituted a panel that includes the NYPD, the Dept. of Transportation, the Health Dept. and the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
This panel is expected to come up with concrete suggestions, the implementation of which will bring the Mayor’s “Vision” to fruition.
The NYPD, for its part, has increased the number of its men working on solving cases involving serious traffic violations to 210. But the fact remains that, compared to the number of serious accidents that take place in the vicinity of the city, this number is too small.
Despite the actions taken by the administration, the wave of accidents in the city does not seem to have subsided.
This is evident from the recent incident in Brooklyn where a school bus overturned after crashing with a taxi. Fortunately, although many were hurt, including children, no life was lost.
As the efforts of the authorities fail to show any immediate effect, the grief of the victims’ friends and families has simmered into outrage.
It will take a considerable effort to quell this tide of senseless death. A large scale campaign of awareness and a recognition of increased responsibility on the part of the drivers is needed.
An earnest effort on the part of the administration, police and the public is required if traffic fatalities are to be removed or even scaled down.
To the families of those that have lost their life, we offer our sincerest condolences. The best way to honor the deceased is to make every effort to prevent this from happening again.
And we urge all of our readers that should they find themselves involved in a traffic accident in any way, they should seek legal help from a car accident lawyer immediately and without fail.