Following the tragic death of 16-year-old Brittany Knight, the residents of Cohoes petitioned for better pedestrian safety. Now, these residents appear to have accomplished their goal. On June 20, 2016, Mathew Driscoll, the Commissioner for the State Department of Transportation, announced that they will invest $110 million over the next five years to improve pedestrian safety in New York. The State will examine all 200,000 crosswalks, which do not have signals, in the State. Further, the State has given Albany, among nineteen other locations, priority for improvements.
According to traffic data collected by the State from 2009-2013, drivers contribute to pedestrian accidents 61% of the time, while pedestrians contribute 37% of the time. The top reason for these accidents appears to be failure to yield right of way and inattention. Tim O’Brien, State to spend $110 million on pedestrian safety, Times Union (June 21, 2016). By implementing safe guards to crosswalks, such as adding signals, the State should be able to make a significant impact on pedestrian accidents.
But this will still not prevent all pedestrian accidents. As Driscoll pointed out, there were already cross walk signals in place at the intersection of Brittany Knight’s accident. Driscoll stated, “it can’t just be the engineering component . . . it’s got to be about the education piece.” O’Brien, State to spend $110 million on pedestrian safety, Times Union . The DOT encourages all pedestrians to use crosswalks, obey signals, and look left, right, and then left again before crossing. They also stressed that all walking, running, or biking pedestrians not text while crossing the street.
Currently in New York, more than 300 pedestrians are killed and 15,000 are injured each year in pedestrian accidents. Hopefully with the State’s investment, these numbers will decrease and others will not need to suffer personal injuries caused by these accidents. If you have been injured or have a family member who was killed in a pedestrian accident, we encourage you to seek legal assistance. LaMarche Safranko Law are strong advocates for pedestrians and families of pedestrians who have been injured or killed as a result of being hit by an automobile.photo credit: Stop for the Children via photopin (license)