New York City Traffic Fatalities Fell in 2017 by 7%, Report Says

Traffic fatalities fell 7% in New York City last year, according to a report released by Mayor Bill de Blasio Friday.

Pedestrian deaths last year dropped from 148 to 101, but driver, cyclist and motorcycle fatalities each rose.

Marco Conner, legislative director for Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group, praised the reduction in pedestrian fatalities, “but there is still much more than can be done," citing the need for more bike lanes and speed cameras in school zones.

Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, launched an effort in 2014 called "Vision Zero,” a 10-year effort to get the city down to zero traffic deaths. According to the report, since the launch of that program there has been a 28 percent decline in traffic fatalities, and a 45 percent decline in pedestrian fatalities.

As part of the program, the city has lowered speed limits, redesigned streets—closing some more areas of the city to car traffic—and amped up law enforcement against traffic violations.

Mr. de Blasio earlier this month called on Albany to go further, with an expansion of the city’s speed-camera program, an increase in fines for violations caught on camera and the ability to suspend registrations on cars that repeatedly speed in a school zone or run a red light, among other restrictions. The measures would have to be approved by the state legislature.

The issue has gained renewed attention in recent weeks after two children were struck and killed by a car while in a crosswalk in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn at an intersection that has long been considered hazardous for pedestrians.

Abigail Blumenstein, age 4, and Joshua Lew, 20 months old, were killed in the March 5 crash. Abigail’s mother, Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, and Joshua’s mother, Lauren Lew, were among the injured.

The driver of the car, 44-year-old Dorothy Bruns of Staten Island, said she had a seizure at the time of the incident, according to police. The license plate that was on the car involved in the crash had been cited four times for running red lights and four times for speeding in school zones since July 2016.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of city records of violations issued by automated red-light and speed-zone cameras shows there are thousands of repeat offenders, yet current state law makes it possible for repeat violators to go unpunished.

Write to Mike Vilensky at mike.vilensky@dowjones.com and Melanie Grayce West at melanie.west@wsj.com

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