City doubles down on Vision Zero enforcement as ‘deadliest time of year’ starts

NEW YORK — The City will redouble its Vision Zero efforts over the next few months to combat an annual autumn uptick in crashes as sunset begins to coincide with the evening rush hour.

Severe pedestrian crashes increase by nearly 40 percent in the late afternoon and evening from November through March each year, city data shows. The period is especially dangerous for seniors.

“As the days get shorter and the weather colder, crashes on our streets involving pedestrians increase – and so we are enlisting data-driven strategies to address that upturn,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

Decreased visibility at this time of year leads to twice as many crashes involving turns, city data shows. About 40 percent of the pedestrian deaths in 2015 happened from October through December.

“The NYPD takes the safety of all users of our City’s streets and roadways seriously and will play an active role in mitigating a potential spike in traffic fatalities as daylight saving time ends,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan.

Police will be increasing traffic enforcement efforts during evening hours. Officers will be patrol key intersections with high rates of pedestrian injuries and fatal crashes. They’ll also focus additional resources toward combating drunk driving; instances of DWI usually increase in the fall and winter.

“While we’ve made important strides to see that New Yorkers are safer than they were before Vision Zero, one death is one too many and there’s still so much more we can do,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “To meet our ambitious Vision Zero goals, especially during the more dangerous reality of this season’s evenings and nights, we have focused our efforts even further.”