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What Say Thee, Seniors for Safety?

March 12, 2012

Clyde Haberman files this excellent piece on the sad reality — and even sadder acceptance — of traffic deaths in New York City:

Not surprisingly, no group is more vulnerable than older New Yorkers. Maybe it’s because they don’t step as lively as they once did to avoid, say, a driver who barrels into an intersection. If hit, they may be more likely than younger people to die of their injuries.

In the city and surrounding counties, the death rate for pedestrians age 60 and up was three times that of younger people, Ms. Slevin’s group reported last June. Those 75 and older were nearly four times as likely to be killed.

Numbers like these will only acquire greater urgency over time, for we New Yorkers are getting steadily older. The city’s Department for the Aging says that 16 percent of us are at least 60 years old; within two decades, that figure is projected to rise to 20 percent.

Haberman writes that “traffic deaths are not acts of nature.”  It nicely sums up what livable streets advocates have been saying for years.

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