FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2022
New York City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers and Comptroller Brad Lander Announce Legislation To Protect New Yorkers Against Dangerous Driving
The bill will require an annual study of driving behavior to determine what causes crashes and other traffic violence
New York, NY – Today, New York City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers and Comptroller Brad Lander announced legislation aimed at mitigating driving disasters in New York City. The bill, co-sponsored with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, and Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, will require an annual study of driving behavior and accidents in our city streets. With traffic deaths on the rise, this legislation will give the city the necessary information to implement policies improving driver behavior, decreasing violence, and preventing traffic calamities.
“Whether it’s reckless driving, speeding, or running red lights, too many New Yorkers face extremely dangerous driving behavior every day,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “By requiring an investigation into driver behavior, it will be easier for the city to effectively combat traffic violence. All New Yorkers deserve to feel safe on our streets—and it’s high time we take action.”
The bill mandates the Department of Transportation (DOT), the New York Police Department (NYPD), and other relevant agencies to conduct this yearly study of driving behavior across the city to determine what behaviors are most associated with traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The information will give the city a better understanding of what policies and guardrails to implement as a means of preventing future tragedies.
The legislation also promotes transparency, by requiring the DOT to post its report on its site. The report will include conclusions of the investigations along with recommendations against dangerous driving, as well as any interventions undertaken by any agency.
“The epidemic of traffic violence continues to plague our City, but we have yet to sufficiently investigate, let alone prevent, dangerous driving in our City,” said Comptroller Brad Lander. “To achieve our vision zero goals, we must better understand the patterns of driver behavior associated with crashes, injuries, and fatalities. With a thorough and data-driven analysis of hit-and-run and crash reports, traffic violations and convictions, DMV revoked and suspended licenses, and insurance claims, the City will be better equipped to design and implement a holistic set of interventions to change driver behavior and prevent traffic violence. This is why I sponsored this bill as a City Council Member and heartened to see Council Member Powers continue the fight for safer streets with this bill.”
“Thank you to my colleagues Council Member Keith Powers and Comptroller Brad Lander for introducing this important piece of legislation, that if passed and implemented will undoubtedly make our streets safer for everyone regardless of how they choose to get around,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “The fact that traffic-related fatalities have gone up nearly 12 percent this year – in just a few months – compared to last year shows we’re missing the mark on keeping New Yorkers safe. It is time we implement policies based on facts, rationale, and data to save lives and improve our quality of life.”
“Investments in an annual traffic study will provide all New Yorkers with an accurate accounting of vehicular incidents and fatalities to ensure safer New York streets,” said NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “We cannot wait until another Alissa or Davina is killed to implement these vital changes, and I am pleased to introduce legislation that will compile data that will ultimately help us to implement laws and policies to tackle the traffic fatalities we see across the City.”
“Dangerous streets are a public health crisis that must be urgently addressed. That’s why we’re working to expand New York City’s life-saving speed safety camera program and lower the speed limit on certain streets with Sammy’s Law,” said Executive Director for Transportation Alternatives Danny Harris. “There is always more work to be done and we look forward to working with Council Members Powers and Brooks-Powers Comptroller Lander and Borough Presidents Levine and Reynoso on this new measure to make streets safe and address reckless driving.”
“Dangerous driving has caused a traffic violence epidemic in New York City. CM Powers’ re-introduction of this bill highlights the urgent need for life-saving solutions for pedestrians, bikers, and drivers,” said Sara Lind, Director of Policy at Open Plans. “We know that traffic calming measures, thoughtful street design, and speed cameras save lives. We hope this bill inspires recommendations that center those solutions and help us achieve a livable city for all residents.”
“We can’t continue to accept year-after-year of rising traffic violence as normal. We have the solutions to this crisis. Leaders in Albany must pass the full Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act this session and lift the limits on speed safety cameras” said Families for Safe Streets member Nickya Whittington whose son was killed by the driver of an MTA bus in 2018. “In New York City we must invest in the Vision Zero tools that work redesign dangerous roads for safety and adopt this new measure to end our epidemic of reckless driving.”