New York officials are calling for a significant increase in the number of left-hand turn signals that are installed on area traffic lights, saying that their communities would be safer if this simple change was instituted. Government leaders are saying that a vast number of New York City car accidents could be avoided entirely if better signals were installed at key intersections.
One legislator from Staten Island calls the lack of turn signals “mind-boggling.” He explained that left-hand turn lights are proven to not only improve outcomes for drivers, but also increase safety for pedestrians in the metro area.
That legislator has been pushing for the installation of left-hand turn devices at 20 separate intersections on Staten Island alone. In the past year, only three intersections have received the upgrade.
A fourth installation is pending. However, the Department of Transportation has ruled that the other 16 locations do not need special turn signals. Representatives from the DOT say that so few crashes have happened at those locations that changes are unnecessary. However, those who have suffered because of a car crash at one of those intersections might disagree.
Now, City Council representatives are making an attempt to legislate changes throughout New York City, requiring the DOT to provide comprehensive reports about pedestrian and vehicle safety at more intersections. Officials representing a variety of districts within the city agree that car accident rates would be reduced, and pedestrians would enjoy more protections if the city installed additional left-hand turn lights. These legislators say that they will not be deterred from attempting to improve safety in their neighborhoods. Even if the DOT thwarts their current efforts, re-inspections may be performed as soon as 18 months after the initial review.
Drivers and pedestrians deserve to be protected by safe, reliable traffic control measures. Even one crash at an intersection is too many. If the intersection is dangerous, changes should be made. Car crash victims should know that municipalities can be held accountable for failing to maintain a safe roadway. The negligent driver is not the only potential defendant in a personal injury case.
Source: Staten Island Advance, “Officials call for more left turn signals,” Vincent Barone, Sep. 03, 2015