Queens Motorist Fatalities Double Driver Injuries Hiked 72 Percent

Steadily increasing traffic accidents have more than doubled the number of motorists deaths in Queens during 1999, according to a Police Department study obtained by the Queens courier.
The report revealed that during an average day last year, 190 traffic accidents caused 76 deaths and injuries along Queens streets and highways.
According to figures released by the New York State Governors Traffic Safety Committee, last years rise in Queens traffic fatalities was the boroughs first increase in nearly a decade.
Compiled by its Queens North and queens south commands, the police report compared 1999 with 1998 traffic accident and casualty rates.
Motorist fatalities jumped an alarming 108 percent (from 12 to 25 deaths).
Motorist injuries increased a sharp 72 percent (from 4,217 to 7,262 injuries).
 While Queens motorists fatalities and injuries soared during 1999, pedestrian, auto passenger, cyclist, and auto passenger casualty rates remained about the same, or sharply declined.
A.A.A. Traffic Engineer Mark Kulewics said that the high incidence of motorist casualties in the initial report indicated that drivers may be becoming increasingly aggressive during rush hours. He also urged closer attention to the potential impact of increasing number of sports utility vehicles. Federal studies indicate that some SUVs flip over during accidents because of a higher center of gravity.
Spurred by heavy business and construction developments, Queens vehicular registrations and volumes are building. At least a million trucks and autos most of them rush hour drivers drive along its 2,011.6 miles of streets and highways each day.
Dan Andrews, spokesman for Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, said that the borough president was steadfast in her determination to improve vehicular and pedestrian safety.
During recent years her office has launched a series of campaigns designed to enhance her agencys ongoing vehicular and pedestrian safety programs. These efforts range from a $2 million allocation to improve pedestrian safety on Queens Boulevard, to the establishment of New York Citys only Traffic Safety Board, which meets regularly to promote traffic safety engineering, enforcement and education programs on local streets.
According to a city Transportation Department street inventory report, Queens has over 980,000 registered motorists, who drive along more miles of streets and city blocks (29,076) than in any city borough. Three northeast Queens community boards (CBs 7, 8, and 11) have as many miles of streets as the borough of Manhattan.

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