New Yorkers killed by government-operated vehicles down despite cluster of traffic-related deaths
Officials report zero deaths by the city's fleet of vehicles and five from collisions with MTA buses so far in 2015.
The recent spate of traffic related deaths, including those by government-operated vehicles do not reflect gains made by the de Blasio administration's Vision Zero initiatives, officials said.
When it comes to deaths by vehicles operated by city agencies — including departments of transportation, sanitation, parks and others — there were none between October 2014 and October 2015, compared to eight the year before.
There were 351 reported injuries from collisions with city vehicles in 2015, down from 504 in 2014. Late Saturday, a 34-year-old man was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center after he was hit by a fire truck at East 15th Street and Irving Place as the vehicle left its station house in Gramercy.
There were 11 pedestrian or cyclists deaths related to MTA-buses in all of 2014.
So far in 2015, there have been five deaths from traffic collisions with MTA buses, which are operated by the state agency.
Those include the deaths last week of Leyla Enukasvili, 59, and Carol Bell, 70. Enukasvili died on Nov. 1 from injures to her head after an MTA bus driver struck her at the intersection of 71st Avenue and Kessel Street in Forest Hills.
Bell died on Tuesday morning after bus driver Paul Roper hit her with an out-of-service bus as he drove back to the East New York depot. Roper is accused of stopping for a few seconds after hitting Bell and driving off without reporting the accident.
At the end of last week, Mayor Bill deBlasiotold reporters last week was "a very, very tough week" but pointed tothe success of Vision Zero, which he launched soon after his 2014 inauguration to drive down traffic-related deaths across the city.
"Every death will be investigated and those responsible will be identified and prosecuted accordingly but there are so many things we can do proactively to protect lives," the mayor said.
Those changes include increasing the number of tickets for failure to yield to pedestrians, redesigning major intersections prone to collisions and increasing the speed limit citywide.
De Blasio also said he would work with the MTA to address newly designed buses and an alleged blindspot between the front windshield and driver's side rearview mirror.
The Amalgamated Transit Union, a union that represents MTA bus drivers, one more called for review of the mirrors following Bell's death.
ATU President Larry Hanley said "bus drivers are being unfairly blamed and even prosecuted for these preventable accidents" created by "poor bus design."
The union estimates fixes to the blindspot would cost $300 per bus.