On the nightwatch: NYPD and DOT launches ‘Dusk and Darkness’ campaign to boost street safety in winter

With New York Metropolis turning the clocks again an hour this weekend, the 5 Boroughs will expertise earlier darkness in the weeks forward — growing the hazards for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists alike.

In response, the NYPD launched Thursday its annual “Dusk and Darkness” campaign warning drivers to be cautious of low visibility throughout the winter months whereas additionally deploying higher outreach to assist save lives.

NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster, assistant commissioner for schooling and outreach at the Division of Transportation Kim Wiley-Schwartz, and others spoke about the significance of remaining vigilant as the evening rolls in earlier throughout a Nov. 4 press convention exterior One Police Plaza.

“Historical data has told us that pedestrians and cyclists are more frequently struck by vehicles in the early evening hours during the months there’s fewer daylight hours such as November, December, and January,” mentioned Royster.

That is the program’s sixth fall/winter season since Mayor Invoice de Blasio launched it in 2016. With extra drivers and pedestrian visitors anticipated to be out and about this winter, in comparability to final yr thanks to COVID-19 vaccines, Royster informed amNewYork Metro that safety is extra vital than ever.

“More people are on the roads. Not only is the city opening up, more people are choosing to drive and take public transportation, so we will be aware,” Royster mentioned.

A poster reveals simply how briskly drivers can lose visibility. Picture by Dean Moses

The NYPD can be conducting outreach applications to assist educate drivers on the risks of low visibility. The first academic instrument is a poster displaying images of two halves of the similar street, the photos taken 20 minutes earlier than and 20 minutes after sundown. The stark distinction confirmed simply how swiftly readability and visibility can diminish in the late fall and early winter months.

As well as to the academic promotion, Royster defined that officers can be deployed at places the place cyclists and these on foot are extra possible to be injured by drivers, whereas additionally affirming that the NYPD can be observing driver habits.

“Officers will be deployed at sunset and will focus on drivers that fail to yield to pedestrians and cyclists and who speed and drive recklessly. Precinct traffic and safety teams in the seven precincts will be at vehicle safety checkpoints around the city, focusing on hazardous violations that put our pedestrians, cyclists, seniors, and children at risk. Police officers will focus on drivers that fail to yield, text, and use their cell phones. Now traffic safety agents, which are our eyes and ears in the department, they will be addressing vehicles that block the bus lanes and the bike lanes, and are double-parked,” Royster mentioned.

Commissioner for Training and Outreach at the Division of Transportation Kim Wiley-Schwartz. Picture by Dean Moses

Partnering with the NYPD, Wiley-Schwartz reiterated simply how lethal the early nights could be.

“This Sunday at 2 a.m. marks the end of daylight saving time, and so as the chief said we’re back again for Dusk and Darkness campaign to remind motorists that darker evening hours that start next week create the most dangerous times of the year,” Wiley-Schwartz mentioned. “As we enter into this darker fall in winter months, we asked drivers to slow down and be mindful of pedestrians in the crosswalk. Children walking home from school or perhaps to eat at an open restaurant.”

 For these failing to respect visitors legal guidelines this winter, the NYPD warns criminals that they’ll face the full wrath of the males and girls in blue.

 “One fatality is one too many and we believe that traffic is public safety,” Royster mentioned. 

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