New York City is known as being very dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. However, the number of pedestrians that were killed in traffic accidents in 2014 was the lowest in 100 years — 132. The year before, there were 180 pedestrians killed, which was the highest number in 10 years.
New York City is certainly not the only metropolitan area that has a high number of pedestrian deaths. Because of the number of bicyclists and pedestrians that are killed each year across the country, the U.S. Transportation Security Anthony Foxx has challenged local elected officials and mayors to take action to improve safety for both of these high-risk groups.
The challenge includes a variety of activities, such as identifying and addressing barriers against safety for all road users, gathering and tracking data pertaining to pedestrians and bicyclists, improving biking and walking safety laws and regulations and educating and enforcing proper road use by everyone. Cities that have already started practicing some of the Challenge steps can focus on the areas that need more attention in order to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.
The DOT has many resources available to help each city implement the Challenge activities, including guidance documents, publications and tools. There is no monetary funding or resources available through the DOT for participation; however, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration have funding opportunities that might be helpful to cities working to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Those who are injured in pedestrian or bicycle vs car accidents do have rights. So do the families of those who are killed. A personal injury lawsuit filed against the at-fault driver can provide much needed financial compensation during a very difficult time.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, “Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets,” accessed March. 27, 2015