New York City is more than a year into its much-touted Vision Zero campaign and some of the results are in. Some points may seem obvious to the New Yorker on the streets, like the importance of better markings where different types of vehicles mingle near bikes and pedestrians.
But a few important points may make you wonder because some specific vehicle types may be liable for more than their share of damage and injury in the Big Apple. An independent analysis of crash statistics shows that sport utility vehicles and similar large vehicles must be better controlled or Vision Zero may fail completely.
"Legally, the simplest way to do it is to create more car-free places that don't distinguish between types of vehicles," said a law professor who studies driving. "Regulators and automakers are really leaving cities no choice if they want to protect their citizens."
New York's law enforcement and municipal services agencies still operate hundreds of SUVs and similar vehicles. Their effect can be multiplied if drivers are reckless near people and property. A high-speed strike on a pedestrian can easily cause death, and a large vehicle's hit on a building could injure people inside and cause millions of dollars in damage.
An attorney may be a crash victim's best friend after a municipal vehicle crashes into their person, car or property. Legal representation during a claim for financial damages may make it easier to process as well as settle on a payout from the city or bring the issue to a jury verdict in civil court.