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Fatal accident numbers favorably affected by Vision Zero

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Vision Zero is a plan devised by the de Blasio administration to ultimately eliminate New York City traffic deaths. The Mayor can take some satisfaction in seeing that the fatal accident numbers have in fact fallen in most neighborhoods through the five boroughs from 2013, when the plan was implemented, through the end of 2014. In large sections of Queens, northern Manhattan and southeast Brooklyn, the number of fatal accidents either decreased or stayed the same.

The Canarsie area saw the biggest positive change with four fatal crashes in 2014 compared to nine the year before. Other areas of improvement were Midtown East, Wakefield, Long Island City, Woodhaven and Woodside. Major points of the de Blasio plan were to lower the speed limit, increase the numbers of cameras at red lights and some 60 other measures.

The founder of a group called "Make Brooklyn Safer" praised the plan, stating that it has helped people improve safety and attitudes. She observed that people appeared to be going slower and being more safety-conscious. One part of the city, however, increased its rate of traffic fatalities from 2013 through 2014 and that is the upper west side of Manhattan. The death rate went from one in 2013 to six in 2014.

An improvement in fatal accident statistics could bring other dividends, such as a reduction in auto insurance rates in the New York city area. Every time an accident occurs that includes personal injury or death, auto insurance coverage comes into play to remunerate the injured persons or the estates of those who were killed. Generally, the insurance coverage of the person at fault will compensate those who were innocent victims of the at-fault person's negligence. Modern statutes make it possible for injured or deceased motorists or pedestrians who were partially at fault themselves to nonetheless be compensated by those who are primarily at fault, based on a percentage of fault formula.

Source: dnainfo.com, "MAP: See How Many Fatal Crashes Were in Your Neighborhood Under Vision Zero", Nigel Chiwaya, Feb. 18, 2015

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