Speeding – Is it Worth it?

Speeding – Is it Worth it?

by Alex Ariza, Injury Prevention Coordinator

 

In the spring of 2020, NYC was locked down to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Despite fewer people driving, speeding tickets had doubled in many boroughs, including Queens.

Some drivers took advantage of the open roads driving at speeds nearly 85% greater than the speed limit. 

As businesses slowly began to open up in the summer and fall, traffic returned to normal levels. Unfortunately, some drivers are still speeding on highways and residential roads.

Speeding is dangerous and can lead to very serious consequences. 

Here are 5 reasons why drivers need to obey the speed limit.

It is illegal.

In 2014, Mayor De Blasio began Vision Zero, a campaign designed to reduce pedestrian deaths and motor vehicle collisions. Studies have shown that pedestrians struck by a vehicle at 25 mph or less had a higher likelihood of surviving than at faster speeds. A law was passed to reduce the city’s speed limit to 25 mph based on this research by our legislature.

Collisions at High Speeds Can Lead to Serious Injury or Death.

For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. 

Driving at higher speeds can increase the chance of losing control of your vehicle; reduces the effectiveness of protective equipment like airbags and seatbelts; increases the stopping distance due to the vehicle’s momentum, and many lives can be negatively impacted by a collision. Families, friends, and entire communities all suffer from fatalities directly related to speeding.

Even if no one is hurt or killed from your speeding, there are still consequences to pay.

Speeding Adds Points to Your License.

The Driver Violation Point System was designed to identify and take action against high-risk drivers. The DMV assigns points for speeding violations. If you get 11 points in 18 months, your driver’s license may be suspended. In more serious cases, a driver’s license may be revoked. These points affect your car insurance premiums leading to expensive rates. A driver can expect to receive 3 to 11 points against their license for driving over the speed limit. 

Speeding Tickets are Expensive

A major component of the Vision Zero campaign is law enforcement. Speed cameras have been installed on streets with a history of speeding and around school zones. The cost of a NY speeding ticket can range between $90 and $600. Speeding is expensive. Is it worth it?

You Are Sharing the Road

Cars share the road with cyclists and pedestrians. Speeding undermines the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. Most traffic crashes occur at intersections when a driver takes a turn quickly or tries to beat red lights putting others in danger. You must slow down on residential streets and school zones. If you see someone driving aggressively or speeding recklessly, jot down the license plate number and a description of the car to alert the authorities.   

Keep yourself and others safe, obey the law and follow the speed limit.

References:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/16/nyregion/coronavirus-nyc-speeding.html

https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/about-nys-driver-point-system

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding

https://newyorkspeedingfines.com/speeding-tickets-in-nyc-a-complete-guide/queens/

https://licpost.com/queens-drivers-slammed-with-millions-in-speed-camera-violations-since-programs-expansion

https://dmv.ny.gov/about-dmv/chapter-5-intersections-and-turns

5 Tips to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian

5 Tips to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian

Defensive Walking: Pedestrian Safety for Adults

Many people spend years practicing defensive driving, anticipating what the other driver might do. Walking also requires thinking ahead about what a driver might do. While the safest walking conditions may require changes to the physical environment – like sidewalks and traffic signals – or help from law enforcement in slowing speeding traffic, there are things that pedestrians can do to make them as safe as possible. Defensive walking is all about identifying situations that carry higher risks of being hit by a car and taking steps to control these situations as much as possible.

Crossing

  1. Intersections

Although intersections are where pedestrians should cross, intersections are often where you need to look in the most directions for vehicles.

What should a pedestrian do? Anticipate that a driver might run a red light. Look around before stepping into the road even when a light turns green or the walk signal appears. Check the direction that cars may be coming and make sure approaching drivers see you.

  1. Stepping off the curb

The first half of the crossing has its own risks. This is when a pedestrian may be the most difficult for a driver to see or expect and there is also less time for the pedestrian to react.

What should a pedestrian do? Check for cars before stepping out and make sure drivers see you.

  1. Visual screens

When there’s more than one lane of traffic in the same direction, one car that stops can act as a “visual screen,” so that the driver in the next lane does not see the pedestrian.

What should a pedestrian do? While crossing, as you come to the end of the first car, stop and look to see if another car is approaching. If so, can that driver see you? Does that driver have enough time to stop for you? If not, then allow the vehicle to pass before continuing.

  1. Crossing time at traffic signals

The walk signal might not provide enough time to comfortably cross the street.

What should a pedestrian do? If you’ve not started crossing and the “Don’t Walk” signal is flashing, then wait until the next walk signal begins. If you’re crossing and the signal starts to flash “Don’t Walk,” keep crossing the street. If the signal does not provide enough time to cross safely, the city transportation department needs to know. Give them a call.

 

Backing vehicles

There are three main situations in which pedestrians might encounter backing cars:

  • When a walkway crosses a driveway
  • When crossing between parked cars
  • In a parking lot

When backing up, a driver may not be able to see directly behind, or may not look for pedestrians. Likewise, pedestrians may be looking for moving cars, not parked cars about to move. Hybrid cars are particularly tricky because they have very quiet engines so there’s not the typical engine noise that pedestrians expect.

What should a pedestrian do? When possible, pick a route that doesn’t require walking behind cars. Look for brake lights and listen for engine noise and other cues that a car is about to move. Notice large parked vehicles that may block the view of smaller vehicles as they back up and look for vehicles backing out of driveways.

Being Seen

When pedestrians are hit by vehicles, the drivers often say that they did not see them. This may be because the drivers are paying attention to something besides driving or it’s dusk and difficult to see, or another reason. No matter what the case, it’s worth the extra effort to make sure that drivers see you.

What should a pedestrian do? Make eye contact with the approaching driver. Nod or wave if appropriate. That is the surest way to make sure you have the driver’s attention. Dress to be visible by wearing light, bright clothes with retro-reflective markings and carry a flashlight or other lighting when walking at twilight and dark.

Take a Moment to Check Again

People make mistakes, and driver mistakes can be costly to people walking. Just because the light says it’s your turn to cross does not mean that cars will yield. Sometimes situations make it hard for drivers to see, like when they are backing up or it’s dark outside. Defensive walking means counting on you as the final judge of what’s happening. Take a moment to make eye contact with a driver or wait until a car passes before continuing on your way.

Today, many cities and communities understand the value of walkable neighborhoods and much is being done to improve the walking environment. However, by staying alert and following these precautions, pedestrians can have more control of their safety wherever they walk.

The 4 Categories of Distracted Driving

The 4 Categories of Distracted Driving

Background

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2018

400,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers

2,841 lives were lost due to distracted driving

Of those lives lost

1,730 were drivers

605 were passengers

400 were pedestrians

And 77 were cyclists

Distracted driving affects everyone.


Introduction

In this video we will be looking at the four categories of distraction drivers may experience on the road. Distracted driving is when drivers engage in other activities that take away their attention from the road.


Visual Distractions

First let’s talk about visual distractions.

Visual distractions are anything that take your visual field away from the direction you are driving. This could range from things like billboards, a street sign, a nice car, a person on the street, your passenger, or your GPS or cellphone.

We all know that things can change quickly on the road, sometimes in just fractions of a second, so keeping your eyes focused on the road is critical for not just your safety, but the safety of others.

 

Physical Distractions

Physical distractions, also known as manual distractions, is anytime you take one or both your hands off the steering wheel while driving. This can include, eating and drinking, texting, searching for items that fell underneath the driver seat, or reaching for items in the passenger or back seat.

Physical distractions by its very nature reduces the amount of control you have of your vehicle. You must keep both your hands on the wheel to safely operate your vehicle, keeping yourself and others on the road safe.


Auditory Distractions

Auditory distractions are any noises that affect our ability to hear and take away our attention from driving. These distractions can include listening to music at a high volume, a phone conversation, a conversation with passengers, screaming children, and text notification rings or ringtones.

Ever wonder why when you get lost while driving you tend to turn down the volume of our car? The phrase, “hearing yourself think,” holds some truth. Many car manufacturers now offer features such as rearview cameras. If you listen closely, you’ll realize that the volume of your radio is automatically lowered in order to help you focus.

Keep your music playing at a reasonable level, educate your children about your need for focus while driving to keep them quiet, and stay off the phone while driving.


Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions occur when a driver diverts his or her attention to another mentally demanding tasks. Talking on a hands-free cell phone and using a voice-activated electronic system are two activities that produce almost purely cognitive distraction. Emotions can also alter our ability to drive. Feelings such as anger, sadness, or aloofness can keep you from driving with a clear mind at full attention. Your reaction time slows down significantly when your mind is preoccupied with other thoughts and mental tasks. 

Forest Hills Senior Center Falls Prevention Workshop

Organizer: Forest Hills Senior Center

Date: 9/26/2019

Address: 62-27 108th St, Forest Hills, NY 11375

Number of Attendees: 12

Participants: Senior Citizens

Description:

Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, unintentional injuries, and hospital admissions for trauma. Falls can take a serious toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence. To raise awareness, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Trauma Division’s injury prevention coordinator, Alex Ariza, will discuss some of the risk factors that lead to falls and what one can do to manage them. This includes everything from home safety, reviewing medications with your doctor, checking your vision frequently with your eye doctor, and adopting an exercise program designed to increase strength and balance as you age.

To learn more about Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Fall Prevention initiatives contact:

Alex Ariza
Injury Prevention Coordinator
aariza1@jhmc.org

Deshi Senior Center – Falls Prevention Workshop

Organizer: Deshi Senior Center

Date: 9/24/2019

Address: 83-10 Rockaway Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11416

Number of Attendees: 12

Participants: Senior Citizens

Description:

Older adults (people aged 65 years and older) represent only 13% of New York City’s population, but this population accounts for 37% of all pedestrian fatalities. Most pedestrian struck accidents and deaths occur just 10 blocks away from a victim’s home. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Trauma Division aims to raise awareness and discuss strategies with senior citizens to prevent these kinds accidents from happening. The workshop focuses on identifying risks such as reckless drivers, intersection hazards, backing vehichles, and visual screens to teach seniors how they utilize “defensive walking” to prevent tragedy.

To learn more about Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Pedestrian Safety initiatives contact:

Alex Ariza
Injury Prevention Coordinator
aariza1@jhmc.org

Benjamin Rosenthal Innovative Senior Center Falls Prevention Workshop

Organizer: Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center

Date: 9/23/2019

Address: 4533 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355

Number of Attendees: 46

Participants: Senior Center

Description:

Older adults (people aged 65 years and older) represent only 13% of New York City’s population, but this population accounts for 37% of all pedestrian fatalities. Most pedestrian struck accidents and deaths occur just 10 blocks away from a victim’s home. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Trauma Division aims to raise awareness and discuss strategies with senior citizens to prevent these kinds accidents from happening. The workshop focuses on identifying risks such as reckless drivers, intersection hazards, backing vehichles, and visual screens to teach seniors how they utilize “defensive walking” to prevent tragedy.

To learn more about Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Pedestrian Safety initiatives contact:

Alex Ariza
Injury Prevention Coordinator
aariza1@jhmc.org

Cypress Hills – Fulton Street Senior Center Falls Prevention Workshop

Organizer: Cypress Hills Fulton Street Senior Center

Date: 9/20/2019

Address: 3208 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11208

Number of Attendees: 33

Participants: Senior Citizens

Description:

Older adults (people aged 65 years and older) represent only 13% of New York City’s population, but this population accounts for 37% of all pedestrian fatalities. Most pedestrian struck accidents and deaths occur just 10 blocks away from a victim’s home. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Trauma Division aims to raise awareness and discuss strategies with senior citizens to prevent these kinds accidents from happening. The workshop focuses on identifying risks such as reckless drivers, intersection hazards, backing vehichles, and visual screens to teach seniors how they utilize “defensive walking” to prevent tragedy.

To learn more about Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Pedestrian Safety initiatives contact:

Alex Ariza
Injury Prevention Coordinator
aariza1@jhmc.org

Catholic Charities Howard Beach Senior Center Falls Prevention Workshop

Organizer: Howard Beach Senior Center

Date: 9/19/2019

Address: Howard Beach Senior Center – 155-55 Cross Bay Blvd, Howard Beach, NY 11414

Number of Attendees: 21

Participants: Senior Citizens

Description:

Older adults (people aged 65 years and older) represent only 13% of New York City’s population, but this population accounts for 37% of all pedestrian fatalities. Most pedestrian struck accidents and deaths occur just 10 blocks away from a victim’s home. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Trauma Division aims to raise awareness and discuss strategies with senior citizens to prevent these kinds accidents from happening. The workshop focuses on identifying risks such as reckless drivers, intersection hazards, backing vehichles, and visual screens to teach seniors how they utilize “defensive walking” to prevent tragedy.

To learn more about Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Pedestrian Safety initiatives contact:

Alex Ariza
Injury Prevention Coordinator
aariza1@jhmc.org

SelfHelp Austin Street Neighborhood Senior Center – Falls Prevention Workshop 2019

Organizer: SelfHelp Austin Street

Date: 9/18/2019 

Address: 106-06 Queens Blvd. 

Number of Attendees: 19

Participants: Senior Citizens

Description:

Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths,
unintentional injuries, and hospital admissions for trauma. Falls can take
a serious toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence. To raise
awareness, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Trauma Division’s injury
prevention coordinator, Alex Ariza, will discuss some of the risk factors
that lead to falls and what one can do to manage them. This includes
everything from home safety, reviewing medications with your doctor,
checking your vision frequently with your eye doctor, and adopting an
exercise program designed to increase strength and balance as you age.

To learn more about Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Fall Prevention
initiatives contact:

Alex Ariza
Injury Prevention Coordinator
aariza1@jhmc.org