Traffic Deaths in NYC

The New York Times recently noted in an article entitled: “Deaths Rise for Drivers, Bikers and Walkers on City Streets” that traffic deaths resulting from automobile accidents increased 23% from 2010 to 2011 to 291 deaths, and that these fatalities are the result of speeding, driving while intoxicated, running red lights or stop signs, and other reckless behavior by drivers.

The loss of a loved one in a car accident is a tragedy that repeats itself year after year.

An aspect of this continuing problem of traffic deaths is the complete inadequacy of insurance coverage for 99% of the victims in the State of New York. The mandatory minimum insurance coverage required in our state is $25,000 per accident and $50,000 for a death.

I have had countless automobile accidents involving the death of pedestrians in crosswalks with green lights, where traffic rules were disregarded by a driver, and where this resulted in tragedy. A recompense of $50,000, the amount of insurance required to be held by drivers in the State of New York, is inadequate to cover the loss afflicting the families left behind.

It is time for our legislature and governor to mandate higher insurance for motorists in the State of New York.

A number of years ago Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the New York City Council required taxi cabs to have $100,000 minimum insurance. The same should be done for all motor vehicles in our state. The cost per driver is minimal; the recompense to bereaved families would be a bit fairer.

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