New York's Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced that the city will begin implementing additional Slow Zones throughout the city. The zones will be set up on specific streets to reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents. The city uses Neighborhood Slow Zones to reduce the speed limit of chosen streets from 30 mph to 20 mph and, according to the city's website, may add additional safety measures designed at changing driver behavior.
The city is moving forward with Slow Zones in the following neighborhoods:
- The Bronx neighborhoods of Norwood and Eastchester
- The Elmhurst School area
- Auburndale in Queens
- Staten Island neighborhoods of Rosebank, Dongan Hills, New Brighton and St. George
- East Elmhurst
- Boerum Hill in Brooklyn
Ultimately, these changes are made with the intention of reducing both the number and severity of car crashes that occur in high risk areas. New York City's DOT notes that London has had great success with lowered speed limits, connecting a reduced speed limit from about 30 mph to 20 mph to a 42 percent drop in injuries associated with accidents.
The areas for Slow Zones in New York City are chosen based on an analysis by the DOT of traffic crashes in the proposed zone, the presence of schools and daycare centers as well as the feasibility of the DOT to implement the Slow Zone.
Remedies available for victims
Unfortunately, even with these precautions accidents can happen. A pedestrian injured by a motor vehicle may be eligible for compensation to help cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative treatment as well as lost wages and other expenses connected to the injury.
Establishing a case generally requires the pedestrian to show that the driver failed to operate the vehicle with reasonable care. Establishing this legal theory of negligence can require various pieces of evidence. The presence of a traffic citation for speeding or distracted driving can help, as can the testimony of witnesses who saw the driver run a stop sign or miss a traffic signal. It is important for pedestrians to also be aware of potential defenses that a driver may use. A driver could argue that the pedestrian failed to walk within the crosswalk or "darted" in front of the vehicle.
The difficulty in building a case combined with the likely need to be prepared to counter defensive strategies mean it is important for those who are injured in these accidents to contact an experienced New York pedestrian accident attorney. This legal professional can review your case and help to better ensure your legal rights and any potential from remedies are protected.