In 2024, Queens saw a sharp increase in traffic deaths, with five fatalities over the weekend, making it one of the deadliest years in the Vision Zero era. Despite efforts to improve street safety, traffic deaths are up 43% this year.

Deadly Weekend in Queens Marks Worst Traffic Safety Record

Over the weekend, Queens, New York, was struck by a series of fatal traffic crashes, claiming the lives of five individuals, including a 5-year-old boy. These incidents have intensified concerns about road safety, with 2024 now tied as the deadliest year for the borough under Vision Zero.

The tragedies began on Saturday night when an SUV fatally struck a 5-year-old boy outside Poppenhusen Playground. The next morning, a 22-year-old man was struck and killed by an NYPD vehicle while crossing the Van Wyck Expressway. Shortly after, a hit-and-run driver claimed the lives of two men riding a moped, and another person died in an overturned vehicle on the Grand Central Parkway.

Transportation Alternatives, a street safety group, expressed dismay over the fatalities, emphasizing the preventable nature of traffic crashes. Elizabeth Adams, the organization's deputy executive director, highlighted the effectiveness of street redesigns in reducing accidents but lamented the city's failure to implement such measures adequately.

Despite ongoing efforts by the Department of Transportation to enhance street safety, including improvements at intersections and the ability to lower speed limits, challenges persist. Local resistance and delays in meeting NYC Streets Plan requirements hinder progress, leaving many vulnerable road users at risk.

The tragedies underscore the urgent need for Mayor Adams to recommit to Vision Zero goals and prioritize life-saving safety measures. With SUVs cited as a significant contributor to the rising number of crashes, addressing road safety concerns requires collaborative efforts and decisive action from city officials and communities alike.