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Advocates Hope Crash Data Will Bolster Traffic Safety

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Police will be required to provide monthly reports of traffic accidents and summonses under a package of bills passed unanimously by the City Council Wednesday. The legislation requires the information to be searchable by precincts and even intersections.

Council members and safety advocates said such data will help pinpoint where improvements and enforcement are needed.

“We know anecdotally where there are dangerous intersections in our communities, but this lets us move beyond rumor into fact,” said Manhattan Councilwoman Jessica Lappin. “And once we have that information, communities can work with their elected officials and the city to make those corners safer.”

Paul Steely White with the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives hailed the legislation as a victory for all New Yorkers.

“The public availability of traffic injuries and fatality, and summonsing data will really empower and enable many more New Yorkers to take an interest and make a difference in reducing traffic fatalities,” said White.

The bills passed Wednesday will also require the city's Department of Transportation to begin annual reporting on the number of bike and pedestrian crashes broken down by police precincts. The DOT will also have to provide detailed explanation any time it denies a request by a community board or a council member for a traffic control device.

A spokesperson for Mayor Bloomberg said the administration worked with the Council to produce bills that made sense of the crash data, and the mayor is expected to sign them into law.

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