Data on City's 28,000-Vehicle Fleet Shows More to be Done to Achieve Vision Zero Initiative

NEW YORK, NY – On the eve of the City’s newly-implemented 25 mile-per-hour speed limit, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released a new ClaimStat Alert today highlighting the human and financial cost of pedestrian personal injury claims against the City of New York.

“New Yorkers know all too well the dangers faced by pedestrians on our City streets,” Comptroller Stringer said. “We need to reduce claims, not merely maintain the status quo. This ClaimStat Alert shows that City agencies must do more to improve safety on our streets and do their part to further the goals of the Mayor’s ambitious Vision Zero initiative.”

From FY 2007-FY 2014, there were 1,213 pedestrian personal injury claims filed against the City, including 22 claims related to pedestrian fatalities. In addition to the human cost associated with these claims, taxpayers pay millions of dollars a year in settlements and judgments for personal injury claims by pedestrians-a total of $88,134,915 over the same time period.

The report examined all City agencies, but highlights trends at the Police Department, Department of Sanitation, Department of Education and the Fire Department. Findings include:

  • Manhattan had the highest number of claims, with 378 from FY07-FY14, but Brooklyn saw the highest amount of settlements and judgments over that time period, with $29.1 million.
  • While the total number of claims has been relatively flat over the last eight years, the number of claims at certain agencies, including the Departments of Sanitation and Education, spiked in FY 2014.
  • The highest number of claims occur in pedestrian-heavy districts, such as Midtown Manhattan. However, no neighborhood in New York City is immune from harm.

“The City should employ best practices to reduce risk to pedestrians, examine the hot spots identified by this data and determine whether additional traffic calming measures may be needed,” Stringer said.

The ClaimStat report found that pedestrian personal injury claims come from every corner of the City:

  • Police Department claims center in the Manhattan core, but also the Melrose/Morissania neighborhoods of the Bronx;
  • There have been no Fire Department claims in Staten Island over the past eight years;
  • Sanitation Department “hot spots” include East Harlem, Inwood, Washington Heights in Manhattan and Maspeth, Glendale, Middle Village and Ridgewood Queens;
  • The largest number of claims against the Department of Education came from Community District 11 in Brooklyn and Corona, Elmhurst and Lefrak City in Queens.

In July, Comptroller Stringer launched ClaimStat, a data-driven tool designed to drive down the cost of judgments and settlements by empowering City agencies to reduce claims through changes in training or resource delivery.

To see the full ClaimStat Alert on the pedestrian personal injury claims, please click here. To explore the interactive map of pedestrian personal injury claims, click here.