Anyone who has walked or driven through midtown Manhattan knows that many taxis and other vehicles are operated aggressively and discourteously, to say the least. Pedestrians and vehicle operators who are trying to safely transport themselves must be constantly defensive or risk disaster. In New York, the traditional flouting of the rules of safety in favor of the necessities of speed and commerce have added greatly to the pedestrian accident and auto accident numbers.
Recently, the city’s traffic authorities have been promoting the mayor’s Vision Zero program, which is attempting to drastically reduce pedestrian and vehicular accident numbers. A panel discussion with the city’s Transportation Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, and other key participants occurred recently in Manhattan. A Harvard professor spoke about her own injuries suffered when she was crushed by a truck. One participant, a member of Families for Safe Streets, spoke about the accident in which a cab driver had run over her son.
That speaker also criticized the loose regulatory system over taxi drivers. She pointed out that they don’t have to know English even though all traffic signs are in that language. Additionally, they are not given a driving test as a prerequisite for licensing, and they can be licensed even if they’ve never driven in New York. She described the problem as “epidemic.” The panelists discussed improvements under the new programs, including the recent decrease in the speed limit, the addition of more red light cameras, and surveillance and ticketing increases.
As these efforts continue to improve the situation, pedestrian accident and death statistics continue to plague New York City. Legally, these victims are entitled to collect monetary damages through the civil justice system. Where a person has been killed by negligent or reckless driving, his or her estate may bring a wrongful death action against the driver. Consequently, one who is impacted by serious personal injury — or the death of a loved one — can best proceed by obtaining an explanation of all rights and options available from an experienced personal injury attorney.
Source: observer.com, “Jill Abramson and Goverment Reps Tackle ‘Manhattan’s Deadly Traffic Problem’“, John Bonazzo, Jan. 22, 2015