New York City wins global award for improving urban road safety

Special mentions for Australian automated vehicle testing initiative and Kenyan cargo drone project

Leipzig, 24 May 2018 | New York City is the winner of the 2018 Transport Achievement Award of the International Transport Forum at the OECD.

The NYC Department of Transportation will receive the award for its “Vision Zero” road safety programme to drastically cut, and ultimately eliminate, traffic deaths in the city.

The prestigious award will be presented on 24 May in the presence of transport ministers from around the world at their summit in Leipzig, Germany.

Since “Vision Zero” was launched in January 2014 by Mayor Bill de Blasio,

  • the number of traffic deaths on New York’s streets fell by 28%;
  • pedestrian fatalities dropped by almost half (45%);
  • the city achieved the lowest number of traffic fatalities (214 in 2017) since recordkeeping began in 1910.

New York City’s road safety results are bucking the national trend: The number of road deaths across the United States grew by more than 13% between 2013 and 2016. Cyclist, motorcyclist and car passenger fatalities were also up in New York City in 2017, however.

Some results indicate that aiming for zero road deaths is not as utopian as it may sound:

  • Only a single fatality, a 13-year old boy, occurred in 2017 among school-age children. Prior to “Vision Zero”, collision with a vehicle was the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14 years.
  • Once known as “Boulevard of Death”, Queens Boulevard had a third consecutive year without pedestrian or cyclist fatality in 2017, after numerous safety improvements.

Announcing the Award, ITF Secretary-General Young-Tae Kim said:

“New York City has created an exemplary road safety programme that is a showcase for addressing urban road safety as a public health issue”.

“The Jury particularly appreciated the inclusive approach, the solid implementation process, and the thorough evaluation of results that characterise New York City’s Vision Zero programme.”

“Cities around the world look to New York for new ideas, solutions that work and good practices. We are proud New York City is sharing its experiences as member of Safer City Streets, our global network of 48 cities that work together to improve urban road safety.” 

Michael Replogle, Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the NYC Department of Transportation, will receive the Award in a ceremony at the Summit on 24 May at 17:30h CET.

Photos of the Award ceremony will be available for free download after the event at www.flickr.com/photos/internationaltransportforum

More about New York City’s “Vision Zero” Initiative: http://www.nyc.gov/visionzero

The jury also highlighted two other projects as worthy of commendation:

  • RAC Western Australia receives a special mention in the Transport Achievement category for its Intellibus Automated Vehicle Trial. The Jury commended the very comprehensive approach to study and prepare the deployment of automated vehicles as part of collective passenger transport. More info at www.rac.com.au/intellibus
  • Astral Aerial Solutions, Kenya, receive a special mention in the Promising Transport Innovation category for their “Flyox” cargo drone project conceived to deliver payloads of up to 2 tonnes in remote an inaccessible areas. The jury noted that Flyox has significant potential for goods delivery in developing countries and can help avoid less safe means of transport. More info at: http://astral-aerial.com/index.php/service/