A driver struck and killed Thomas Bradley, Jr., 52, as he crossed South Conduit Avenue in Queens around 2:30 a.m. on New Year's Day. As of this week, no arrests have been made. A few hours later, another hit-and-run driver struck and killed a 53-year-old man attempting to cross Crescent Street in Cyprus Hills (the driver, 23-year-old Ted Jerome, has since been arrested and charged with leaving the scene, as well as operating without a license). That evening, around 5:30 p.m., 73-year-old Darton Besler was struck and killed by a minivan driver while crossing Boston Post Road in the Bronx.

Seven more people have been killed in traffic since—including three this past Monday—bringing the traffic fatality count up to ten in the first ten days of 2017, according to the safe streets advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. Of the total, seven of the fatalities were cyclists or pedestrians. "We are horrified by the news," the group wrote in a scathing press release on Tuesday. (The release initially decried nine deaths; it was updated after an 88-year-old man was struck and killed in Sheepshead Bay on Tuesday morning.)

The news comes as City Hall touts record-low traffic deaths for 2016. On Wednesday, the Mayor's office announced that traffic deaths declined in 2016 for the third consecutive year—229 total, compared to 234 in 2015 and 299 in 2013.

"I have said where Vision Zero is concerned, we are just getting started and can always do better," said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. "But I nevertheless want to thank the NYPD, DOT and supporting agencies on all their hard work to deliver another year of strong results."

While motorcyclist and car-occupant deaths both decreased last year, pedestrian and cyclist deaths increased—a trend advocates took note of last year. There were 144 pedestrian deaths last year, up from 139 in 2015 and 140 in 2014; there were 18 cyclist deaths, up from 14 in 2015.

(via Mayor's Office)

Meanwhile, advocates say, the NYPD and District Attorneys are letting too many drivers off the hook. "We are especially outraged by reports of NYPD investigators exonerating motorists at crash scenes," Transportation Alternatives said.

A driver killed 85-year-old Rafael Nieves on Grand Street in Williamsburg on Monday, and fled the scene. Police located the driver later that night, but sources told DNAInfo that they had determined the driver was "unaware" that he'd killed Nieves (witnesses said that bystanders banged on the driver's car in an attempt to alert him). Also on Monday, the NYPD released a driver who struck and killed 43-year-old Marlon Palacios as he rode his bike in East Flatbush. Police told the Daily News that the driver had suffered a "medical episode" that caused his leg to stiffen; Streetsblog reports that drivers have been prosecuted in the past, despite medical issues.

Transportation Alternatives said it's demanding a meeting with the NYPD to discuss bringing "its standards for arrest in vehicular offenses in line with other forms of violence."

The Mayor's Office did not immediately comment on this request [update below], or the report of ten traffic deaths, but today's release notes that crash-preventative summonses are up significantly this year versus pre-Vision Zero statistics: 292 percent for failure to yield, and 76 percent for speeding.

The Mayor's Office also pointed to a decline in 2016 of fatalities at so-called Vision Zero 'priority areas'—a cluster of more than 175 high-crash intersections that the Department of Transportation has targeted for safety improvements, like protected bike lanes and wider pedestrian islands. According to the city, for each of the five years before Vision Zero was implemented, there were 141 deaths at priority locations. In 2016, there were 100 fatalities—a 29 percent decrease.

But at least seven of the deaths so far this year have taken place in priority areas, according to advocates. The city's capital budget will be determined in the coming months, and Transportation Alternatives Director Paul Steely White said more money needs to be invested in quick fixes at these dangerous spots—increased left-turn visibility, for example, and reducing lane widths to discourage highway-level speeding. He also noted a recent Court of Appeals ruling, which found that New York City can be sued for failing to redesign streets that have a history of crash injuries and deaths.

"They know where the crashes are occurring, these tragedies keep happening at the same places, and yet they haven't put up the money to fix these streets," Steely White said Wednesday. "If the mayor isn't motivated by the loss of life, we hope he's motivated by the massive liability."

Last July, Streetsblog reported that Mayor de Blasio had set aside $5.2 million for these so-called "operational" projects—a fraction of the $242 million set aside for street repaving. The so-called "Great Streets" program, which is funding full DOT overhauls of deadly Atlantic Avenue and Queens Boulevard, has been allotted $298 million between fiscal years 2016 and 2018.

According to the DOT, the city completed 108 street improvements last year, and added 18 miles of protected bike lanes.

A Vision Zero oversight hearing has been scheduled for January 26th. It will be led by Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, who held a press conference yesterday near the spot on Grand Street where Nieves was killed. Rodriguez told reporters that he plans to "discuss where we need to strengthen our hand to prevent this senseless violence."

[Update 12:30]: Finan issued the following statement:

From reviewing available camera footage to interviewing witnesses, we conduct thorough crash investigations of which the conclusions are the only driver of charges. The integrity of these investigations is a top priority and charges are only laid when sufficient proof has been acquired.