Daylight savings time ends on Sunday, and city officials are reminding New Yorkers that evening commutes will become more dangerous as darkness falls earlier in the coming weeks and months — especially for cyclists and pedestrians.
The campaign, dubbed "Dusk and Darkness,” is a multi-agency effort to enforce traffic laws and educate New Yorkers on the dangers of traveling in the darkness. With the clock turning back an hour, sunlight and visibility during rush hour in the fall and winter months are dramatically reduced, leading to a higher rate of fatal crashes than the rest of the year.
On Thursday, Mayor Eric Adams announced the return of the program for its seventh consecutive year. This time around, a special focus will also be placed on commercial waste carting by private companies, he said.
“Drivers must operate their vehicles responsibly every time they get behind the wheel, but as our days get shorter, they have a heightened responsibility to drive carefully to keep their fellow New Yorkers safe, especially in the evenings,” city Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said.
Inspectors will check if private garbage trucks are up to code with things like safety guards to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from being run over.
“Commercial waste haulers perform an essential service for our city, and it is imperative that they prioritize safety during their operations,” said Elizabeth Crotty, commissioner of the New York City Business Integrity Commission, which will partner with the NYPD to ensure the commercial waste industry is up to safety standards.
The NYPD will also increase ticketing of drivers who speed, fail to yield, drive while on their cell phones or park in bike lanes.
The city is also reminding drivers to avoid crashes by following the 25 miles-per-hour speed limit. The number of people killed by vehicles this year is lower than last year, but still 14% higher than pre-pandemic levels, with 207 deaths so far.