NYC, Transport Workers Union Settle Suit Over Pedestrian Safety Program

September 3, 2015

New York City has reached a settlement with the Transport Workers Union regarding a lawsuit over the mayor’s recently implemented “Vision Zero” program that aims to eliminate all pedestrian deaths.

TWU Local 100 had filed suit claiming a provision in the law was unconstitutionally vague and led to the arrests of six bus drivers.

The provision elevated a traffic infraction to a criminal misdemeanor when a driver fails to exercise “due care” in an accident that injures a pedestrian or bicyclist in a crosswalk.

“This settlement makes explicit what the City, the NYPD and District Attorneys mean by `due care,’ and the standard we are using as we implement this law,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement announcing the settlement Monday.

“Protecting New Yorkers is our top priority and the Right of Way Law is a powerful tool to keep pedestrians safe,” de Blasio said.

TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen released a statement hailing the agreement as a “huge victory.”

“Under this well-intentioned but poorly crafted law, Bus Operators were arrested and handcuffed like common criminals,” Samuelsen said. “This settlement safeguards all Bus Operators and other transit workers who drive MTA motor vehicles from arrest if involved in an accident lacking recklessness.”

The Vision Zero initiative has implemented tougher penalties on reckless drivers, more speed bumps on busy streets and a reduced speed limit across many densely populated areas.

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