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Days After N.Y. Speed Cameras Go Full-Time, Two Pedestrians Die in Crash

Two pedestrians were killed Wednesday morning in northern Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood after two vehicles collided, the police said.

A BMW sedan traveling northon Sherman Avenue at the intersection with 207th Street hit another vehicle moving south, the police said. The second vehicle then struck two parked cars.

Two men, a 31-year-old and a 32-year-old, died. Police officials said they were investigating where the two victims were when the crash occurred and which vehicle had struck them.

City administrations have grappled with reducing traffic fatalities for years. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would tame traffic fatalities when he took office. But he was still struggling to deliver on that promise by the end of his term last year.

In 2013, 184 pedestrians were killed on city streets, a number that had dropped to 94 by 2020, according to data from Vision Zero, the city’s traffic death initiative. That trend reversed last year, however, when traffic deaths surged to their highest in nearly a decade — with 125 pedestrians killed.

As of Aug. 1 of this year, 60 pedestrians had been killed throughout New York City, according to city data. By comparison, 70 had died by this time in 2021.

Vision Zero, started under Mr. de Blasio in 2014, is aimed at eliminating serious traffic-related injuries and fatalities in New York City. The leading cause of injury-related deaths for children under the age of 14 is being struck by a vehicle, according to the city.

Through a network of agencies and programs, like automated speed cameras, Vision Zero has been working to reduce fatalities on the city’s deadly streets.

Police investigators were looking into where the two victims had been standing and which vehicle struck them. Credit…Dakota Santiago for The New York Times

Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s department of transportation announced that speed cameras would operate around the clock starting on Monday, after a new state law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul allowed them to function at all hours of the day. In the past, the city’s 2,000 automated cameras were authorized to operate only on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

“Speed cameras work: They save lives, reduce speeding, and help protect New Yorkers all across the city,” Mr. Adams said in a news release two days before the new cameras were turned on full-time. “And we are expanding this proven program to ensure that New Yorkers have that protection at any time of any day.”

Mr. Adams promised to invest $900 million over five years to the city’s safe streets program in April, which would include money for infrastructure upgrades to protect bike lanes and pedestrian areas.

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