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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signs legislation to curb pedestrian deaths and injuries

Mayor Bill de Blasio, as part of his Vision Zero initiative on pedestrian accidents, signs bills with new curbs on traffic speed in New York and warns pedestrians police will be tougher on jaywalking.

By Frances Burns
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signs legislation to curb pedestrian deaths and injuries
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio UPI/Seth Wenig/Pool | License Photo

NEW YORK, June 23 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation Monday aimed at curbing pedestrian deaths and fatalities outside the school attended by a boy killed by a truck.

The 11 bills are part of de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative, City officials say about 250 pedestrians and bicyclists are killed and 4,000 injured every year when they are hit by cars and trucks.

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The parents of Noshat Nosian, 8, listened in the schoolyard at P.S. 152 in the Woodside neighborhood of Queens as the mayor described his goals. Nosian was on his way to the school in December when he was hit by a tractor-trailer.

De Blasio said the intersection where the boy died has been made safer for pedestrians with islands added and the lights re-timed to allow those on foot to cross when no vehicles are moving.

The 11-bill package includes new speed restrictions, penalizing drivers who do not yield to pedestrians and cyclists, and suspending taxi drivers involved in fatal crashes and those that cause serious injury. Pedestrians can also expect police to crack down on jaywalking, de Blasio said.

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"These bills really do important things for our city," de Blasio said. "We are fundamentally committed to Vision Zero, and we're doing more every day. The vision is to end traffic fatalities in the city. It's not easy."

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