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City's LOOK! Campaign Encourages Pedestrian Safety

Last year, two people were killed in traffic accidents on New York City streets within hours of each other. Alex Martinez was struck and killed by a hit and run driver Sept. 24 while riding his bike in Kew Gardens on his 37th birthday, one day after Francisco Camacho, 59, was fatally hit as he crossed the Cross Bay Boulevard in Ozone Park.

These fatalities happened as New York City expanded a safety campaign to encourage drivers and pedestrians to pay attention to their surroundings when they are using city streets.

The campaign calls for the city to install curbside signs reminding pedestrians and drivers to “LOOK!”

The signs are painted in crosswalks at 110 intersections throughout the city. They are complemented by ads on bus shelters, phone kiosks and other places to reinforce the message to look before crossing the street.

The campaign also extends to taxicabs, whose drivers are encouraged to display decals with a similar warning in their back windows.

These measures came in response to the Mayor’s Management Report, a twice-yearly collection of city statistics that showed fatalities on the rise in 2012.

Traffic Fatalities Up Sharply in 2012, Down in 2013

The mayor’s report shows traffic fatalities for fiscal year 2012 rose 23 percent, to 291 over 2011 fatalities. But the number dropped 10 percent in 2013, to 261 fatalities.

Fatalities were also down for both motorists/passengers and bicyclists/pedestrians, according to the mayor’s report.

In 2012, cyclist and pedestrian fatalities had risen from 158 in 2011 to 176 in 2012. In 2013, those numbers dropped to 168.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates one pedestrian will be injured every 8 minutes, and one dies every 2 hours in a traffic crash this year. Nearly three out of four pedestrian deaths occur in urban environments, at non-intersections, and at night. Many such accidents involve alcohol, and often pedestrians and drivers use cell phones and music players while walking or driving.

Pedestrian accidents can occur as a result of mistakes or careless decisions made by either the driver of a motor vehicle or by the pedestrian.

If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in New York City, you know the costs of the medical treatment can be huge. You may be unable to work and are coping with a significant amount of pain and suffering. If your loved one was killed in a crash, you could be left without the financial and emotional support you depended on.

If a driver involved in a pedestrian accident broke any laws designed to promote traffic safety or behaved in a careless or unreasonable manner in any way while driving, the driver may be held legally liable. If the driver was working at the time of the crash, his or her employer could also be held liable.

A pedestrian may file a personal injury lawsuit and prove his or her case to a judge or jury to recover compensation from a driver or his employer or negotiate an out-of-court settlement. If the pedestrian was killed, the surviving family members could be entitled to pursue a claim for wrongful death damages.

The laws in New York allow pedestrians who were hurt in accidents to take legal action against the person responsible for the crash. An experienced New York City pedestrian accident lawyer can help you understand and protect your legal rights. Contact us today.

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