New York City is launching a $4 million campaign to counter rising traffic accidents and curb dangerous driving behaviors like speeding that have occurred at higher rates since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign — titled “Speeding Ruins Lives, Slow Down” — is being designed to reach communities across the five boroughs, including communities of color that officials said disproportionately suffer as a result of traffic violence. Video ads and other content will appear in a total of nine languages using a variety of media, radio and television ads, billboards, bus shelters, LinkNYC kiosks, and gas station pumps.
According to the city, approximately 3,000 New Yorkers are seriously injured and more than 200 are killed each year in traffic crashes.
The new campaign complements the city’s existing Vision Zero campaign that promotes the idea that deaths and serious injuries in traffic are not inevitable “accidents,” but preventable crashes that can be ended through engineering, enforcement, and education. “No level of fatality on city streets is inevitable or acceptable,” the campaign says.
“We are going to do all we can to focus on the ultimate goal of Vision Zero and eliminate traffic fatalities,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
The new campaign was launched with the unveiling of a billboard on Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn. With 35 traffic fatalities and more than 300 serious injuries since 2017, the city said this is one of the neighborhoods hit hardest by traffic violence during the last two years of the pandemic.
The effort follows Adams’ investment of more than $900 million in street safety as part of the fiscal year 2023 executive budget. Adams wants the city to redesign 1,000 intersections to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. He is also urging Albany to give New York City local control of automated enforcement, a tool proven to reduce dangerous driving.
The New York City Police Department said it continues to increase its enforcement of speeding and reckless driving in areas where fatalities are occurring. In the 28-day period ending April 24, 2022, the NYPD said it issued 47.4 % more summonses for all hazardous conditions on New York City’s roads than in the same period in 2021. The NYPD also issued 54.6% more summonses.
Top photo: New York City Mayor Adams (c) with transportation and police officials. Source: New York City Mayor’s Office.
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