Every second day in New York City, someone is killed in traffic. More than 70,000 people suffer devastating injury each year; enough people to fill the seats in Madison Square Garden three times over. In collaboration with the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, T.A. found an alarming level of danger on New York City streets and a disproportionate lack of concern with correcting the situation:
- Over the past ten years, more people have been killed by traffic than murdered by guns.
- Traffic is the number one cause of injury-related death among children under 14 and the number two cause of injury-related death for all New Yorkers.
- In 2009, traffic incidents cost taxpayers over $4 billion, while less than one percent of that amount was dedicated to street safety programs in the same year.
If it is daunting to comprehend the harm traffic inflicts on New Yorkers, the question of how to staunch the violence is even more formidable. In 2008, New York City set a historic goal: by 2030, reduce traffic fatalities by half. In its new report, Vision Zero: How Safer Streets in New York City Can Save More Than 100 Lives a Year, T.A. research found that New York City could plan – like other countries have done – to completely eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries =VISION ZERO. Because traffic crashes are so wholly preventable, New York City can achieve a degree of safety far more comprehensive than its 2030 goal. To get there, a shift in culture and philosophy — inside city government and among all New Yorkers — must affirm that current street conditions are unacceptable.