In a deadly 72-hour span in December, one woman was killed by a truck backing up; another person was struck by a private sanitation truck; a third was hit by three vehicles at once; a man was hit by a car as it turned into a parking garage while he was walking near Main Street in Flushing; a woman crossing 52nd Street in Sunset Park was hit by a driver making a left turn; and a box truck driving down Third Ave. near Sunset Park hit a man crossing the street.

In total, six pedestrians were killed between Dec. 18 and 20, in a spate of traffic crashes in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Their deaths reminded residents and officials of the dangers that still plague New York City streets, despite strides by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and the City Council to increase street safety.

As part of the mayor’s Vision Zero program, the city provided safety upgrades and installed an additional 224 speed cameras throughout the city in 2019. In October, the mayor and City Council agreed on a $1.7 billion plan to drastically expand the number of protected bike lanes.

In the U.S. more pedestrians and cyclists were killed in the past year than in any year since 1990, according to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To explain the increase in deaths, researchers point to the popularity of SUVs and trucks, which are more likely than cars to kill pedestrians due to their size, and the proliferation of smartphones, which distract drivers and pedestrians alike.

In Dec., city officials announced plans to increase police enforcement efforts targeting commercial trucks, which were involved in four of the six pedestrian deaths. It is not unusual, city officials say, to see a spike in traffic deaths toward the end of the year, when there are fewer daylight hours and more pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are drawn out to the streets during the holidays.

As of early Jan., two people were arrested in connection with two of the collisions.

Source:The New York Times

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