“Dusk and Darkness” campaign returns despite improved pedestrian safety on city streets in record number


| Photo by Pranay Pareek on Unsplash

NEW YORK – The “Dusk and Darkness” public campaign to keep New Yorkers safe on city streets returns on its third consecutive year. According to city officials, with the city on track for the lowest number of pedestrian deaths in recorded history in 2023, this year’s campaign focuses on the scourge of reckless driving. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) will expand its enforcement of dangerous moving violations during the evening and overnight hours, traditionally proven most hazardous to pedestrians.

“We’re taking action across our city to prevent traffic violence, and that’s why we’re on track to hit a historic low for pedestrian fatalities on our streets,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “But one death on our streets is still one too many — and the data shows us that when the clocks fall back, crashes go up. Our targeted ‘Dusk to Darkness’ campaign will help keep our streets safe during rush hour.”

Philip P. Rivera, NYPD Chief of Transportation, noted as daylight saving time ends, “it is historically the most dangerous time of the year for pedestrians and cyclists. “NYPD officers and traffic agents will be focusing on precautionary measures designed to keep all road users safe, including increased education and enforcement,” he said.

The Dusk and Darkness campaign combines proven tactics to combat elevated rates of fatal crashes. During fall evenings, rush hour occurs when sunlight and visibility are dramatically and suddenly reduced, leading to some of the highest fatal crash rates of the calendar year.

According to the City’s data, this campaign has improved safety on city streets — reducing the average number of evening and overnight fatalities each year by 13.5 percent over the years it has been in place compared to the previous five years. In 2023, pedestrian fatalities are at the fewest ever seen in New York City’s 114-year recorded history, down to 21.7 percent, while pedestrian deaths nationwide have increased to a 40-year high. The average number of motor vehicle occupant fatalities dropped by 25.8 percent.

The Dusk and Darkness campaign is a part of New York City’s multi-pronged Vision Zero approach to enforcement, education, and street redesign.

–With Jay Domingo/PDM

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