Would More Left Turn Signals Prevent Pedestrians Injuries and Deaths?

Anyone who drives in New York City has likely experienced the frustration and anxiety that often accompanies attempting to make a left-hand turn in the city. While left turn signals make the maneuver easy and safe, such signals are woefully absent from many busy intersections throughout the city, forcing many drivers to attempt to make left-hand turns under extremely dangerous conditions.

Congested traffic conditions coupled with a driver who is increasingly impatient and frustrated that he or she isn't able to turn left, is a recipe for a serious accident. Not only may an impatient driver attempt to turn in front of oncoming traffic, but he or she may also attempt to do so when a pedestrian has the right of way or after a traffic light has already turned red.

A recent bill, which was introduced and presented to City Council members by Public Advocate Letitia James, calls upon the city to erect left-turn signals at 100 intersections throughout the city. Those intersections identified as being in need of left-turn signals have also been identified as being among the busiest and most dangerous in the city.

James and other public safety advocates contend that this simple and relatively inexpensive solution will go a long way towards solving the city's public safety problem with regard to pedestrian injuries and deaths. Additionally, an increase in the number of left-turn signals in the city will help promote the safety of all drivers and passengers.

James also introduced another bill that calls upon Department of Transportation officials to provide data related to pedestrian accidents and right-of-way violations. If passed, this bill would provide vital statistics to help identify additional intersections that warrant left-turn signals.


New York Daily News, "Public Advocate Letitia James pushing left-turn signals on 100 intersections to increase driver, pedestrian safety," Dan Rivoli, Aug. 13, 2015

Andrew Levine
Andrew J. Levine is a partner at Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, in New York, NY. A graduate of Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. For 15 years he has been widely trusted and respected as a formidable attorney but acknowledged as a reasonable and ethical collaborator who impresses clients, judges and jurors alike. Andrew has been featured in New York Magazine as one of New York’s “Top Personal Injury Litigators” and recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in New York.”
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