Effort to make left turns safer in New York City

- The latest Vision Zero initiative is targeting left turns and any motorist, pedestrian or cyclist that makes them 

The traffic safety program created by the de Blasio administration is piloting new treatments for left-turns.

According to the Department of Transportation, three times as many injuries and deaths occur during left-turns than right-turns.

From 2010-2014, there were 108 traffic-related deaths during left-turns and 30 percent of cyclist and pedestrian injuries occur when motorists make left-turns.

The average age of pedestrians killed in left-turn crashes is age 67, significantly higher than the median age of 50 for other crashes.  

Transportation officials say left-turns are often more complicated to maneuver and more dangerous for motorists.

The driver needs to calculate how long it will take to turn onto the road based on the time left on the traffic light, whether pedestrians are in the crosswalk and drivers behind honking.

"Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable when vehicles wishing to turn left compete with people using a crosswalk, said Assembly Member Deborah Glick. "These proposed changes are a welcomed protection for both pedestrians and vehicles. These are the key goals of Vision Zero and show how this program addresses long standing safety issues."

The new initiative includes adding more Leading Pedestrian Intervals or signals that give pedestrians a head-start, protected bike lanes, left-turn restrictions and left-turn only signals.

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