Considering all the news of trucks killing defenseless cyclists, rogue racing bicycles knocking down poor grannies, and pedestrians dying crossing the street—all of which you can see on one map if you'd like—the latest stat out of the NYPD is actually pretty surprising. TransportationNation reports that this year "some 214 people have died in traffic accidents so far" according to the NYPD. Last year at this time there were 256 traffic fatalities on the books.
And while that number is lower than the the number of murders in the city (so far for 2011? 455) it still isn't low enough. "Like the other crime and public safety issues that the NYPD solves, traffic deaths and injuries are preventable. New Yorkers deserve more leadership than Ray Kelly’s acceptance of the status quo," Transportation Alternatives' Noah Budnick said. Statistically, more people are killed by traffic in New York City than by guns.
Not that Mayor Bloomberg's "private army," the NYPD, is too worried. In an e-mail to TN, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne kind of avoided the issue and said: "“The NYPD, which has 3,700 uniformed and civilian personnel engaged in traffic safety and enforcement, more than any Police Department in the nation, has issued over 770,000 summonses for moving violations so far this year, and has made over 8,000 arrests for drunken driving. The department has seized 1,363 vehicles in connection with DWI and other offenses. Over 21,000 vehicles have been seized since the program began in 1999. We regularly stop and summons drivers for unsafe, accident-related practices such as use of a hand-held phones while driving."
We e-mailed the NYPD to try and get a better breakdown of the traffic fatalities this year but have yet to hear back.