Press Release - 09-10-2018

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 10, 2018

Contacts:
Lisa Koumjian
Lisa.Koumjian@dmv.ny.gov

Joe Morrissey
Joseph.Morrissey@dot.ny.gov

Gary Holmes
press@health.ny.gov  

 

NEW YORK STATE ANNOUNCES PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ACTION PLAN EARNS NATIONAL RECOGNITION

$110M Multi-Agency Initiative is State’s First-Ever Comprehensive Pedestrian Safety Plan

New York State today announced that its groundbreaking, multi-agency plan to improve pedestrian safety statewide has been nationally recognized. The $110 million New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan received the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) for significant contributions to pedestrian and motorist safety. The five year initiative is being implemented cooperatively by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the State Department of Health.

“This award is a testament to Governor Cuomo’s commitment to keeping pedestrians safe and the progress we are making across the state,” said Acting GTSC Chair and DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “We are proud to share this honor with DOT and DOH, who are our traffic safety partners not only in this plan, but in many other initiatives to improve traffic safety statewide. We look forward to continuing to implement the PSAP and enhance our roadways for all who use them.”

New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, “Governor Cuomo’s pedestrian safety initiative focusing on engineering solutions, public education and increased law enforcement has led to safer roads for all users.  This award is a testament to the great work of all involved.  At the Department of Transportation, we’re installing new crosswalks, high-visibility signs and pedestrian signals along state highways across New York, and will continue working with our partner agencies to further enhance pedestrian facilities.”

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “This honor highlights a strong partnership not just between state agencies, but also community groups, municipalities and law enforcement in addressing a critically important issue.  Safer roads lead to healthier communities, and the significant progress achieved through Governor Cuomo’s Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is commendable.”

When selecting the award winner, GHSA looked at the accomplishments of the program, how it addresses the problem it is targeting, and how the program utilizes partnerships to achieve its goals. Two main goals of New York’s Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP), which Governor Cuomo launched in June of 2016, are to reduce pedestrian fatalities by 20 percent and reduce pedestrian injuries by 10 percent statewide by 2021. The initiative combines engineering, education and enforcement to proactively address safety issues and reduce the potential for pedestrian-involved crashes on state and local roads.

This past June, Governor Cuomo announced a $62 million investment as part of the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. More than $22 million is funding the first round of pedestrian safety projects at 4,400 crosswalks and intersections on state-owned roads. These improvements include the installation of high-visibility crosswalk markings, additional signs, and enhancements to signals. The remaining $40 million is being used for similarly cost-effective improvements on local roadways.

In addition, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee provides annual training for law enforcement and justice officials, holds pedestrian safety workshops and organizes annual “Operation See! Be Seen!” police enforcement and education campaigns. 

During the two-week operation, police in Upstate New York and Long Island communities with the highest rate of pedestrian crashes issue warning notices, informative tip cards, and tickets to both motorists and pedestrians found violating the law. In June, during the most recent mobilization, law enforcement spent nearly 1,000 hours interacting with more than 2,200 pedestrians and motorists. They issued more than 420 tickets for pedestrian safety violations. 

 

A public service announcement (PSA), one of three produced so far by the Department of Health, is also being aired across the state. The PSA highlights the rules of the road for both pedestrians and motorists at intersections. To date, more than 51,000 educational materials have also been shared with the public and various educational tools are available on the Governor’s Pedestrian Safety website, including a pedestrian safety tool kit designed to help communities implement PSAP educational strategies.

Pedestrian safety is a major priority for New York. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, approximately 300 pedestrians are killed and 15,000 injured statewide each year. Pedestrians account for more than 25 percent of the fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes in New York State. 

For more information about the New York’s pedestrian safety efforts, visit the pedestrian safety web site at www.ny.gov/pedsafety.

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