DOT: 1,445 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 16 Killed in December [Updated]

Ovidio Jaramillo, Thomas Violante, Victoria Nicodemus, and Thomas Kirby
Ovidio Jaramillo, Thomas Violante, Victoria Nicodemus, and Thomas Kirby

Editors’ note: This post was edited after publication to include updated information pertaining to the crash that killed Brooklyn pedestrian Eleonora Shulkin.

Twenty-three people died in New York City traffic in December, and 4,657 were injured, according to the DOT Vision Zero View crash data map.

As of the end of December, DOT reported 149 pedestrians and cyclists killed by city motorists in 2015, and 14,888 injured, compared to 159 deaths and 14,967 injuries in 2014.

Citywide, at least 16 pedestrians were fatally struck by drivers last month. Among the victims were Victoria Nicodemus, Thomas Kirby, Ovidio Jaramillo, Ramnauth Mahabir, Eleonora Shulkin, Thomas Violante, Giovanna Livolsi, Suhuyn Park, and an unnamed female pedestrian in Brooklyn.

[Update: NYPD identified the unnamed female pedestrian as Mary Dagnese, 77.]

Motorists killed at least four seniors in December: Ramnauth Mahabir, 73; Thomas Violante, 72; Giovanna Livolsi, 76; and the unnamed Brooklyn pedestrian, whose age was reported as 77.

DOT reported no cyclist deaths in December.

Across the city, 1,152 pedestrians and 293 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles. Per NYPD policy, few of these crashes were investigated by trained officers.

Of nine fatal crashes on surface streets reported by Streetsblog and other outlets, no motorists were known to have been charged criminally for causing a death. Based on NYPD and media accounts, at least four victims were likely walking or cycling with the right of way when they were struck, but police and district attorneys are known to have applied the city’s Right of Way Law in only one of those crashes.

The Daily News reported that MTA bus driver Wayne Alman was charged under the Right of Way Law, code Section 19-190, for striking Eleonora Shulkin in a crosswalk in Sheepshead Bay. However, court records indicate Alman was cited for two traffic infractions under Section 19-190, but was not charged with a misdemeanor for harming the victim. The infraction provision of the Right of Way Law is supposed to apply to right-of-way violations that don’t result in injury. The top charge against Alman is a summons for careless driving, according to court records.

NYPD cited Zafrom Ghafoor with careless driving and failure to yield for fatally striking the unnamed Brooklyn pedestrian.

Victoria Nicodemus was hit on a Fort Greene sidewalk by an allegedly unlicensed driver who was not charged for taking her life and whose license was later reinstated. Thomas Kirby was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Bruckner Boulevard, where residents told the press they have tried for years to get the city to slow speeding motorists.

After Ovidio Jaramillo was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Northern Boulevard, Queens electeds held a press conference to admonish pedestrians. The bus driver who struck Eleonora Shulkin was making a turn that would have been eliminated by a shelved DOT proposal that was opposed by Council Member Chaim Deutsch and Brooklyn Community Board 15.

Thomas Violante was the sixth person known to have been killed by a driver while walking or biking on Hylan Boulevard in 2015, as Staten Island pols opposed speed enforcement and other street safety measures.

Giovanna Livolsi was killed in Middle Village by a hit-and-run driver who was not charged. NYPD blamed Livolsi for her own death. Suhuyn Park died when she was hit by an unattended yellow taxi that rolled onto a Midtown sidewalk. No charges were filed against the cab driver.

Historically, nearly half of motorists who kill a New York City pedestrian or cyclist do not receive so much as a citation for careless driving.

Seven motor vehicle occupants died in the city in December, according to DOT, and 3,212 were injured.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Trottenberg, Bratton, and DeBlasio bear a fair amount of responsibilty for these atrocities. it a shame they can’t Be held liable in a civil trial for negiligence

  • Reader

    The mayor likes to tout his Vision Zero successes, but it doesn’t look like he’s moving the needle on injuries at all.

  • Hard to say without knowing more about the severity of injuries, but the drop in fatalities suggests real improvement is happening.

    The mayor should be touting successes like speed cams and street redesigns, because we’ll need a lot more of that stuff to keep making progress.

  • Josh NYC

    With the new 25 mph speed limit,more pedestrians feel they can dart across the street and beat out slow moving vechicles. Most of the time they can except if the driver is distracted. Motorists can get distracted paying attention to the stupid 25 mph speed limit making sure they travel at 25 mph to avoid fines.What NYC Dot doesn’t realize the 25 mph speed limit creates a huge speed variance because not everyone will follow the 25 mph speed limit and travel at a speed they feel safe which is greater than 25.

  • r

    Citation please.

  • Steve O’Neill

    Ben, improvement is happening. However, this trend seems to pre-date Vision Zero by several years. See

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RuaS88VS7PTcVbgiyX3bnm2qHTsaDpaTHW_BwF5lLtQ/edit#gid=0

  • I’ve seen the trendline many times. The current long-term arc toward greater safety goes back to the early 1990s and predates a lot of things, including the circa 2007 breakthroughs in street design and DOT strategic priorities. We still acknowledge those changes made an impact and contributed to the trend.

    If the argument is that de Blasio could be doing more for street safety, I completely agree. That doesn’t contradict the fact that he’s already done stuff that worked. I would argue that accelerating the pace of change depends in no small part on showing how previous changes have paid off.

  • nanter

    lol

  • Steve O’Neill

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, that was the insinuation and I really like your logic here regarding accelerating the pace.

  • Citation is his fantasy, as justification to ignore the new law which saves lives. He wants to speed, because he doesn’t want to feel impeded, but also, doesn’t want to think of himself as a bad person, so he invents this fantasy to justify himself. Obviously, I’m making some assumptions here, but I think its a pretty reasonable explanation.

  • Alicia

    What NYC Dot doesn’t realize the 25 mph speed limit creates a huge speed variance

    How so? As far as I can tell, it reduces the speed variance between pedestrians, bicyclists, and the median auto speed.

  • Miles Bader

    Soooo you’re saying there’s basically no solution other than banning cars?

    Cool, ban away.

  • Josh NYC

    Todays vechicles aren’t built to travel at 25mph. All the slow speed limit does is increase travel times for everyone.

  • Josh NYC

    The new law doesn’t save lives people are still dying on NYC more often since Vision Zero took effect. Its a huge failure. Mayor De Blasio enjoys lying saying he made a difference. The only difference he made is more people are dying on NYC streets.

  • Uhh…I don’t think the Mayor has been particularly effective either, but this is clearly a positive step. You’re also clearly wrong, fewer people have died this year than in previous years. Not more. 231 deaths in 2015, to a previous low of 249 deaths. Of course, per capita those numbers are even better. You can’t just make up stuff to try and prove your point.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    if today’s motor vehicles ‘must’ drive people killing speeds, then only solution is to ban them from city streets. thanks for bringing this up

  • Josh NYC

    There are more injuries that aren’t being reported! De Blasio is trying to make himself look good.

  • That’s a new excuse for the Mayor’s tardiness; that he’s busy running around hospital emergency rooms telling victims of traffic violence not to report it.

  • stairbob

    So what you’re saying is that today’s motor vehicles have no place in urban areas? That’s just the kind of radical thinking I can get behind.

  • Alicia

    Sure, they are. It’s driver impatience, not the capabilities of the vehicle, that hurts enforcement efforts.

  • Alicia

    After looking at your comment history, it seems you just dusted off this account after a year to troll here. Sad.

  • And deaths are going unreported as well. I think you need your tinfoil hat back on.

  • Josh NYC

    What about pedestrian impatience? I am born and raised in NYC and motorists ,pedestrians and cyclists are all to blame for the injuries happing in NYC. I am pointing out it is not the fault of just motorists. Banning motor vechicles is a communist idea. If motor vechicles ge banned in NYC next will be bicycles than walking. Soon we won’t be allowed to move around in NYC.

  • Joe R.

    Here’s a little food for thought. If motor vehicles were banned from NYC then nobody here would be killed or injured by one. Problem solved.

    Pedestrian impatience? Consider how often we expect pedestrians to wait for motor vehicles in this city. Walking along some Manhattan avenues with the light timing you would be waiting 45 seconds every f-ing block if you were law-abiding. Do you blame people for taking any opportunity they can to make forward progress? Bad enough all these cars get in the way of people walking or biking. Waiting for them constantly is adding insult to injury. Cars work in rural Nebraska. They’re an abomination in NYC.

  • Alicia

    What about pedestrian impatience?

    Unlike car driver impatience, it doesn’t kill people.

    motorists ,pedestrians and cyclists are all to blame for the injuries happing in NYC.

    Classic false equivalency. No, they are not “all to blame” in equal numbers.

    Banning motor vechicles is a communist idea.

    LOL@”communist.” Also, a 25mph speed limit is not a “ban.”

    If motor vechicles ge banned in NYC next will be bicycles than walking. Soon we won’t be allowed to move around in NYC.

    LOL again. This is either paranoia or intentional trolling.

  • I’m still trying to wrap my head around hitting someone walking on the sidewalk not getting charged with violating the right-of-way law. Where in NYC would pedestrians have more right of way than in the freaking sidewalk?

  • stairbob

    But you already stated that today’s motor vehicles can’t operate safely in NYC. Not sure why you’re mentioning pedestrians now.

  • Andrew

    Motorists regularly kill pedestrians and cyclists who are legally crossing the street or are simply standing on the sidewalk. Pedestrians never kill motorists.

    If a pedestrian does something stupid that results in the death of a pedestrian, he’s been subjected to the death penalty. If a motorist does something stupid that results in the death of a pedestrian, he’ll probably make up a boneheaded excuse (e.g., “I didn’t see him!”) or simply lie about what happened, seeing as the dead pedestrian is in no position to contradict him and the NYPD often can’t be bothered to undertake an independent investigation.

    I suggest you look up communism. The word doesn’t refer to anything “Josh NYC” doesn’t like.

  • Josh NYC

    What point are you trying to make?

  • Frank Kotter

    The bump in injuries to deaths is a direct result of slower speeds. When the speeds are lower, the forces involved are less and the possibility of death is less. It is apparent that drivers in NYC will never operate safely, so they might as well become less deadly.

    Sorry if it puts a wrench in your ‘get the hell out of my way’ mornings.

  • Because of the new law wrecks involving pedestrians and cyclists are substantially less fatal, that means more injured because there are fewer dead, who are counted separately. Same wrecks with fewer dead means more injured.

  • Andrew

    If your vehicle is incapable of being operated at 25 mph, I suggest you bring it to the repair shop ASAP. Until then, you have no business operating it on city streets.

  • Andrew

    Source for your claim that injuries are being underreported at a greater rate now than prior to de Blasio?

  • Andrew

    That “pedestrian impatience” isn’t what’s killing pedestrians.

  • DS

    I was struck by a taxi at 26th st and 10th ave, 2 weeks ago, as I crossed with the light. The driver turned left onto 26th from 10th ave. His driver’s side mirror hit my elbo and luckily collapsed. To his credit, he did stop….

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