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Queens Leads With Record Low in Traffic Fatalities as 2017 Marked Safest Year on Record

Jan. 8, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Queens saw the fewest traffic fatalities in 2017 among the five boroughs in a year the city is calling the safest on record.

Pedestrian fatalities dropped 32 percent last year, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement made earlier today. In 2017, 214 people, 101 of them pedestrians, died in traffic crashes compared to 231 people in 2016. Of the 231 people, 148 were pedestrians.

In Queens alone, 59 fatalities were recorded in 2017 compared to 65 in 2016, setting a new record low in traffic deaths for the borough. The prior record low for the borough was in 2011, which saw 63 fatalities.

Mayor de Blasio credits the fourth consecutive year of declining traffic fatalities to his Vision Zero initiative, which launched in 2014.

“Vision Zero is working,” de Blasio said. “The lower speed limit, increased enforcement and safer street designs are all building on each other to keep New Yorkers safe.”

Other Vision Zero highlights include continued work along Queens Boulevard, which saw a third consecutive year without a pedestrian or cyclist fatality in 2017.

“Queens Boulevard is proof that longstanding notions of intractable problems can be solved with determination, perseverance and fresh thinking,” said New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

Fatalities have dropped 28 percent since 2013, according to the city, with pedestrian deaths dropping by 45 percent since.

While pedestrian deaths have dropped, 2017 saw an increase in motorcyclist and motor vehicle deaths, with 33 and 57 recorded deaths, respectively, from 19 and 46 in 2016. Last year also proved the deadliest year for bicyclists, with 23 deaths compared to 18 in 2016.

“In 2017, under the Mayor’s leadership, DOT’s work helped fuel a historic drop in pedestrian fatalities…” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “However, the number of lives lost on our streets is still too high, including the increases in fatalities we saw this year among cyclists, drivers and motorcyclists.  We know we have much more work to do to fully achieve Vision Zero.”

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