Motor vehicle accidents killed more than 100 children under the age of 13 in New York City between 2003 and 2012, making such crashes the leading cause of injury death in that age group, according to a New York City Department of Health report. Two-thirds of children killed in motor vehicle-related accidents were pedestrians.
The announcement comes as New York has sought to implement a comprehensive plan by Mayor Bill de Blasio to reduce traffic deaths. The program, known as Vision Zero, reduced the speed limit, redesigned intersections and called for more forceful prosecution of traffic violations. Traffic deaths in the city hit a 100-year low last year, even with the program in its infancy.
The high-profile deaths of several children, often pedestrians, have drawn publicity to the program. “My son Sammy was one of the hundreds of children who have been killed in traffic. Each statistic represents an unfathomable loss,” said Amy Cohen, a member of Families for Safe Streets, in a press release. “We have an epidemic and must do all we can to make our streets more forgiving.”
Fire-related injuries, suffocation and falls are also among the leading killers. Together, they account for nearly two-thirds of child injury deaths, according to the report.