Speeding cars may not be what most people picture when they think of driving in New York. Instead, images of streets packed with rush hour traffic and yellow cabs probably come to mind. However, as any motor vehicle accident attorney in New York knows, speeding drivers are not only prevalent, but are also the cause of a sharp increase in fatal car accidents.
Recently, the Department of Transportation released figures for car accident deaths in 2012, revealing that deaths due to speeding increased by 65 percent over 2011, and that speeding played a role in almost 30 percent of traffic deaths in 2012. City authorities noted that speeding has resulted in a number of horrific multiple-victim accidents.
The DOT Commissioner stated that this increase supports the need for the installation of speed enforcement cameras at city intersections through a pilot program. This proposal was introduced as part of a budget bill that was approved by the Assembly, but has not yet been considered by the state Senate. The NYPD Commissioner also expressed support for the addition of speed enforcement cameras.
Speeding is a primary example of driver negligence. Drivers are required to exercise reasonable care while on the road, and any deviation from that level of care can give rise to liability. Speeding is especially dangerous near schools where children are likely to be present, and on city streets were there are many pedestrians close by on sidewalks and in crossing areas. Authorities released data showing that speeding is widespread near schools. In fact 75 percent of motor vehicles were found to be in excess of the speed limit when traveling within a quarter mile of a school building. Common sense would lead one to believe that drivers would be more cautious when driving near a school but in reality most drivers do not pay attention to or are unaware of the reduced speed limits in school zones.
Lawmakers are currently debating the proposal as part of the budget for 2013-2014.
Source: NYdailynews.com, “NYC logged 65% increase last year in fatalities in accidents involving a speeding driver, city says,” Glenn Blain, March 18, 2013