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New York implements safety plan to help protect pedestrians

Being a pedestrian here in New York City can mean taking your life in your hands, as we all know. The same is true throughout the state. That's why Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced a new comprehensive pedestrian safety plan -- the New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. It's the first of its kind in New York and is scheduled to run through the 2020 state fiscal year.

The plan, which is slated to cost $110 million (most of it federal funding), will provide safety improvements over the next five years on Long Island and upstate in the areas with the worst records for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Over 70 percent of New York accidents involving pedestrians occurred on roads that are locally owned, rather than interstates and state highways.

The plan includes enforcement campaigns and greater use of law enforcement resources. It also includes engineering improvements. These include more signals, signs at markings at crosswalks, longer crossing times and more countdowns on signals.

Education is also an important part of the campaign. That means educating both drivers and pedestrians. Statewide data shows that over 60 percent of pedestrian-related crashes were caused by drivers -- most commonly by failure to yield and inattention. Meanwhile, 37 percent are the fault of pedestrians.

Gov. Cuomo says that the plan will set a new safety standard for pedestrians and motorists and help make this state's roadways safer for all: "Through these efforts, we will help prevent avoidable tragedies and save lives."

Pedestrian-vehicle crashes rarely end well for the person on foot. Injuries can be permanent and devastating, assuming that the person is fortunate enough to survive. That's why it's essential to get the compensation that you need to heal and to cover lost wages and other financial challenges.

Source: LongIsland.com, "Governor Cuomo Launches $110 Million Initiative to Keep Pedestrians Safe Across New York State," June 21, 2016

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