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De Blasio: Under Vision Zero, 2015 Safest Year Ever On NYC Streets

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that under the city's Vision Zero program, 2015 was officially the safest year ever on New York City streets since record keeping began in 1910.

De Blasio made the announcement along Queens Boulevard, where the mayor said there have been significant safety improvements. According to de Blasio, Queens Boulevard, nicknamed the "boulevard of death," had no fatalities last year, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.

"We are serious about saving lives. Vision Zero is working," he said. "Today there are children and grandparents who we might have lost, but who are instead coming home, safe and sound, because of these efforts."

"We at DOT are extremely proud that 2015 was the safest year on record for pedestrians on New York City's streets," said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. "However, we recognize that any fatalities mean we have more work to do. Thanks to Mayor de Blasio's leadership and vision, we will remain dedicated to making our streets safer for all."

Officials said there were 231 traffic fatalities in 2015, 66 lower than the 297 fatalities that occurred in 2013, the year before Vision Zero began. 

Pedestrian deaths also fell 27 percent during that period to a historic low of 134 in 2015, officials said. The previous lows were 2011 with 249 traffic fatalities and 2014 with 139 pedestrian fatalities.

Vision Zero aims to reduce traffic injuries and deaths by cracking down on careless drivers and redesigning dangerous intersections, among other initiatives, which also included reducing the speed limit citywide.

"This progress is just the beginning and Vision Zero is going to move ahead with even more intensity in the coming year," said de Blasio.

For 2016, the mayor unveiled $115 million in new capital investment for plans to calm traffic and expand efforts to crack down on dangerous driving, make hazardous left-turns safer and expand enforcement.

"2015 was the safest year for everyone on our streets. For cyclists, for motorists, and for pedestrians since 1910," de Blasio said.

The city also released the Vision Zero Year-Two Report detailing the progress made in the last year. To see the report, click here.

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