Mayor de Blasio wants his Vision Zero initiative to keep springing ahead.
As we get ready for the return of daylight saving time this Sunday at 2 a.m., the city says traffic fatalities dropped 26% between November and early March, compared to the same period last year, thanks to raised awareness of the Department of Transportation’s related campaign “Dusk and Darkness.”
The campaign focused on data that linked the shrinking sunlight of winter to a “seasonal surge” in evening crashes due to lower visibility on city streets.
“The Dusk and Darkness initiative we began last October made a big difference keeping New York pedestrians safe in the fall and winter evening hours,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Next week, the mornings will be darker, so drivers need to be alert and make allowances for themselves as well as for their fellow commuters walking to work and for kids making their way to school.”
Fall and winter are the deadliest times of year for pedestrians, according to the DOT. Serious crashes involving pedestrians rise nearly 40% during the early evening hours, compared to other times of the year. The city responded with educational advertisements and literature as well as a ramped up enforcement between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., focusing on “violations with the greatest effect on pedestrian safety,” according to the mayor’s office.
In total, there were 66 deaths on city streets between this past November through March 7, compared to 89 deaths during that period the year before.
“We will continue our Dusk and Darkness campaign again next fall,” said Polly Trottenberg, the commissioner of the DOT, in a statement. “In the meantime, while we welcome the spring, longer days and warmer weather, we want to alert those who drive in morning darkness next week to make smart choices behind the wheel.”