Traffic deaths in NYC fall to historic low, as number of pedestrian deaths rise

NEW YORK — New York City saw a drop in the number of traffic deaths for a fifth straight year, setting a new low.

Traffic deaths fell down to 200 from 221, already the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1910.

The number is down more than 30 percent from 2013, the year before Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and instituted a traffic-safety campaign called "Vision Zero."

Safety measures under the Vision Zero program include citywide speed reduction, more enforcement and redesigns for street and bike lanes.

Despite the decrease in traffic deaths, the number of pedestrian deaths increased in the past year, up to 114 from 107 the year before, a troubling sign that the city streets remain dangerous for New Yorkers.

Among the fatal pedestrian deaths this past year include the two children who were killed at a Park Slope cross walk while they were walking with their mothers.

Joshua Lews, 1, and Abigail Miles, 4, were killed. The mothers were injured, but survived.

One of the mothers, Broadway actress Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, lost the baby she was pregnant with at the time of the crash months after the incident.

Safety advocates say the number of deaths can be lowered with street redesign, but projects are slowed down since they need to present the redesigns to the community board. What they want to see are the projects to be accelerated in hopes of saving more lives.

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