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New York City Mayor Looks to Create Safer Streets

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By 2024 New York City mayor, Bill De Blasio hopes to improve the safety of New York City streets by introducing new traffic regulations. De Blasio has been inspired by the safety of streets in Sweden, where only 264 people died in automobile related accidents in 2013. When you compare those numbers to the 290 deaths in New York City alone, there is reason for concern. In 1997, the government in Sweden created a law that states that no person shall die on the country’s roads, and the government will do whatever it takes to make the roads safer. The have implement dramatic procedures, like speed limits below 20mph, but they clearly have been successful. Although safety measures like the ones in Sweden would drive New Yorkers insane, they would definitely make the streets safer.

Bill De Blasio plans to consult with the Sweden government for more ways to ensure safer roads. Slower speed limits have already gone into action as most places throughout the city are reducing speed limits from 30mph to 25mph. 120 new cameras are also being built around schools to prevent people from speeding in those areas. Obviously, if caught speeding by the camera, they would be mailed a ticket.

Other ideas from the early planning include, recording taxi speeds, widening parking lanes, cops more strictly enforcing speed limits, and congestion charges in parts of the city. Although accident rates have fallen 26% since 2001, mayor Blasio wants to have the same goal as the Swedes: no deaths from car accidents.

Midtown New York City (
Midtown New York City (

Of the 6 proposed new safety regulations, 5 of them all benefit the government in a great way. To me, it seems like the main driver of these new regulations is the money that it will bring to the government. New York City is one of the most bustling cities in the world and very different from Sweden. To pull ideas from them to implement into a completely different culture seem a bit impractical and will likely infuriate many drivers.



  1. Jier Qiu
    Jier Qiu

    This is an interesting statement: “264 people died on the highways in all of Sweden last year, compared to 290 in just New York City.” This shows that they have the same mortality rate since Sweden and and New York City have the about the same population. The death rate in Sweden includes a lot of long and empty country roads too. While in New York, there are more congested traffic. Generally more traffic accidents happen in an urban environment but fewer fatalities due to low speed; there are fewer accidents on highway but a higher death rate. You can’t really just look at the similarities in stats between Sweden and NY. I don’t know if this guy can just do the same exact thing he did in Sweden to NYC.

    May 15, 2014
    • Good reality check!

      May 19, 2014
  2. heardd16

    I agree that such measures are impractical. New York City’s population is 8.3 million in 305 square miles, while Sweden’s is 9.5 million in 173,860 square miles. That comes out to 27,213 people per square mile in New York City and 55 people per square mile in Sweden. I do not really even see how the New York City mayor could seriously be considering modeling traffic regulation after a whole country with completely different demographic dynamics.

    May 15, 2014
  3. Kuangdi Zhao
    Kuangdi Zhao

    I did not know that more than 200 people died in automobile related accidents in New York City. I learned something today. From my observation, residents of New York do not seem to follow the traffic rules strictly. In fact, violations of traffic rules may seem more common. People drive 15 mph over the speed limit very often; pedestrians usually disregard street lights. These habits eventually put themselves into danger.

    May 15, 2014
  4. Peter Wittwer
    Peter Wittwer

    Being from New York, I can agree the streets are very unsafe. Traffic is unreal and taxi drivers drive extremely aggressively. Crosswalks are filled with pedestrians at all times and it’s not uncommon for pedestrians to try and j-walk, which can get extremely dangerous. I think the new regulations will hopefully make it easier for cars to travel in the city. I think the best strategy would maybe adding lanes, but due to how congested New York City is it will be very hard to widen or add any extra lanes to alleviate traffic. By reducing speed limits and forcing cops to regulate driving laws stricter more accidents will be avoided. but the lower speed limits will make traffic even slower and the travel by car in NYC will be close to impossible.

    May 15, 2014
  5. Louisa Ortiz
    Louisa Ortiz

    Reducing speed limits and charging congestion tolls will definitely make driving in New York much less inviting. Though I wouldn’t say its inviting today. Most likely this will force even more people to use public transportation. This will increase the safety of the roads even more if enough people switch over. Not only will they be going slower, maybe, eventually there will be less people using them.

    May 16, 2014

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