New York City’s Streets – One of the Deadliest Places for Pedestrians?

on April 15, 2014 by Gene M. Lerner

Gene's picNew York City is on pace this year to be one of the deadliest places for pedestrians in the last four years. Most recently, nine year old Cooper Stock was walking holding his father’s hand when he was run over by a yellow taxi, and Nydja Herring, a mother of twin boys, was killed by a drunken driver in the Bronx.

Sadly, 2014 started with five other individuals being killed by vehicles in the first twelve days of the year. In 2013, the city had 156 pedestrian deaths. If the city’s fatalities continue at the current pace, there will be more than 200 pedestrian deaths by the end of the year. The number of pedestrian deaths in New York City has been on the rise in the past few years, including the number of children killed by vehicles.

Actions to make the streets safer are being contemplated. One approach is to expand “slow zones” (20mph), increasing enforcement and penalties for reckless driving, and redesigning at least 50 dangerous intersections a year. Many believe that criminally charging drivers who cause an injury or death due to their dangerous driving will have the necessary impact of deterring other drivers from driving negligently.

In the case of Cooper Stock, the nine year old killed by a taxi, the driver of the cab was merely issued a summons for failure to yield. The driver had a probationary license and had only been driving since July of 2013.

In the case of Nydja Herring, the intersection where she was struck and killed is widely known for being dangerous. The driver that killed Herring was charged with aggravated DWI and driving without a license.

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