Vision 2 Goal

Vision Zero

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An ambitious goal requiring interagency collaboration and a fundamental cultural shift among New Yorkers, Vision Zero has significantly lowered the number of New Yorkers whose lives are lost in traffic crashes. 2017 was the safest year ever on New York City streets. But any life lost is one too many, and the City continues to invest in best practices in engineering, enforcement, and education to keep up this progress.

IndicatorLatest DataPrevious Data
Reduce the number of traffic fatalities to zero214

Reduced traffic fatalities to record lows

The years 2014 through 2017 had the fewest traffic fatalities on New York City streets since record-keeping began in 1910, before the widespread use of the automobile. Since the launch of Vision Zero in 2014, New York City has witnessed a record-breaking 28 percent decline in traffic fatalities and a 45 percent decline in pedestrian fatalities despite a nationally upward trend in traffic fatalities over the same period.

Made streets and intersections safer for pedestrians and cyclists

An emphasis on data has helped target the City’s engineering efforts where they are needed most. Since the start of Vision Zero, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has completed a total of 356 street improvement projects with an emphasis on the city’s most crash-prone corridors and intersections. The Great Streets initiative focuses on improving safety on four of New York City’s major arterial routes: Atlantic Avenue, Fourth Avenue, Grand Concourse, and Queens Boulevard—which has seen zero pedestrian deaths since 2014.

Meanwhile, DOT has activated Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) at more than 2,000 intersections citywide, causing the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed or seriously injured to fall 37 percent at these locations. In addition, DOT has installed left turn traffic calming interventions at 217 intersections; this type of intervention is proven to reduce median left turn speeds by 24 percent.

Engaged with New Yorkers about traffic safety

Connecting with New Yorkers face-to-face in their communities is an essential part of Vision Zero. Vision Zero Street Teams have been on the front lines of this outreach, teaching pedestrians skills to safely navigate dense urban environments, urging motorists to slow down and yield to pedestrians, and hosting “Know Your Limit” events at sports games and concerts to emphasize legal alcohol limits. Vision Zero has also targeted outreach to children and seniors, with an interactive traffic safety curriculum for public school students and an educational program for older adults.

During the fall and winter months, the City has mobilized to alert drivers to the safety risks that come with shorter days and earlier sunsets. For the two consecutive years that the Dusk and Darkness campaign has been underway, pedestrian fatalities have continued to decline during the fall and winter.

The City has also engaged drivers in its own fleets. Each year, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) honor those outstanding drivers who make thousands of trips annually without a single traffic incident on their record.

Prioritized enforcement of dangerous driving violations

A core part of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Vision Zero strategy is using enforcement to stop collisions before they happen. NYPD has designated six infractions as Vision Zero Violations, including speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, cell phone use, disobeying signs, illegal turns, and failure to stop on signal. With prioritized enforcement of these violations, Vision Zero summonses now make up more than two-thirds of all moving violations issued by NYPD.

In 2014, the City lowered the speed limit on all New York City streets without a posted sign from 30 MPH to 25 MPH. With data showing that pedestrians struck by vehicles traveling at 25 MPH are half as likely to die as those struck at 30 MPH, the City made it a priority to educate New Yorkers about the new lower speed limit.