New York City is on track to see its lowest number of traffic fatalities on record.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 2018 has been the safest year on record and experienced the fewest number of traffic fatalities since 1910, which he largely attributed to his Vision Zero initiative. Though it’s still too soon for the concrete numbers, the city is on course to achieve its fifth consecutive year of declining deaths, with fatalities declining by one-third since 2013. Both Manhattan and Staten Island managed to reached record fatality lows in 2018.
“Over the last five years, we have lowered the speed limit, increased enforcement and designed hundreds of safer streets,” said Mayor de Blasio. “But no loss of life on our streets is acceptable, and the twelve pedestrians killed so far this past month are a sober reminder that this new milestone is less a cause for celebration than a reminder that even with this year’s success, we have much more to do to meet our ambitious goal.”
So far, there have been 196 deaths caused by traffic crashes, compared to 221 traffic fatalities as of December 27 , 2017. Last year ended with 222 total fatalities. City officials attributed the decline to the expansion of bike lanes, Vision Zero “Dusk and Darkness” marketing, the preservation of the city’s speed camera program, safety projects helmed by the Department of Transportation in each borough, among with other factors.
“The progress we’ve made on Vision Zero is inspiring and the reduction in cyclist deaths is especially encouraging. We of course have more work to do, but we are making progress and that means we are saving lives,” said City Council speaker Corey Johnson.