Vision Zero (New York City)

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Vision Zero is a program created by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014. Its purpose is to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries on New York City streets by 2024[1]. On January 15, 2014, Mayor de Blasio announced the launch of Vision Zero in New York City, based on a similar program of the same name that was implemented in Sweden. The original Swedish theory hypothesizes that pedestrian deaths are not as much "accidents" as they are a failure of street design.[2]


In 1990 there were around 2000 traffic fatalities. In 2013 there were 286 traffic fatalities.[3] 2014 saw the least pedestrian fatalities since 1910.[4]

In 2016, there were 10,775 pedestrian injuries, 148 pedestrian deaths, 4,592 bicyclist injuries, and 18 bicyclist deaths citywide due to motor vehicle drivers.[5]



The plan includes criminal charges against traffic violators, speed limit reduction from 30 to 25 miles per hour (48 to 40 km/h), slow zones, increased enforcement, increase use of speed cameras, quicker repairing broken traffic signals, and strict enforcement on taxi drivers.[3] It also includes adding "leading pedestrian interval" signals, which allow pedestrians to start crossing before parallel vehicular traffic has a green light, to 800 signalized intersections per year. In addition, over 7,500 of the city's 13,000 signalized intersections received pedestrian "countdown timers" that count down the seconds remaining for pedestrians to cross.[6] New Vision Zero laws made it a crime, punishable by imprisonment, if a driver does not yield to a pedestrian and causes death or injury.[2] Any government official on duty is exempt from this law and is not charged with a crime.[7]


There was a reduction in traffic fatalities in the year 2014, but the reaction was mixed.[8] Transit union officials say that bus drivers are persecuted through this law, and that they should be treated like government officials and not be charged criminally. Opponents say that buses killed at least 9 of the 132 pedestrians in 2014 and that they should therefore be investigated like anyone else.[7]

Total fatalities Pedestrian fatalities
  • Source: Year Three Report[9]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ a b Lisa, Belkin (January 14, 2015). "'Vision Zero,' one year on: NYC's quest to reduce preventable traffic deaths". Yahoo News. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Lemire, Jonathan (May 29, 2014). "NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL PASSES VISION ZERO LEGISLATION". 7 News. Associated Press. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  4. ^ Donohue, Pete (December 30, 2014). "EXCLUSIVE: Pedestrian traffic deaths hit record low in New York City". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Bicycle Crash Data Report 2016" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. 2016. p. 3. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Hu, Winnie (2017-11-24). "Giving Pedestrians a Head Start Crossing Streets". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  7. ^ a b Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (February 19, 2015). "Mayor de Blasio's Traffic Law Vilifies Bus Drivers, Union Says". The New York Times. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  8. ^ Hicks, Nolan; Nolan, Caitlin; Paddock, Paddock (May 26, 2015). "EXCLUSIVE: Daily News probe finds mixed results for Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  9. ^ "YEAR THREE REPORT" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. February 2017. p. 12. Retrieved 2017-11-04.