According to a report from The Buffalo News, Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa recently introduced a plan to bring smart traffic signals to the town. The goal is to better manage traffic flow and, even more importantly, improve pedestrian safety. However, some Amherst residents have raised questions about their right to privacy. Here, our pedestrian injury attorneys provide an overview of the proposal and the general pedestrian safety issues in New York.
Smart Traffic Signals Aim to Reduce Pedestrian Risk
Amherst Supervisor Kulpa wants to install smart intersection technology. Already used in a few other municipalities in the United States, such as Detroit and Phoenix, the smart traffic signals proposed rely on the use of high definition (HD) cameras. By capturing a 360-degree view of the intersection, the advanced traffic signals can feed that information into a computer network and then adjust in a manner that better protects pedestrians and bicyclists. They are able to pick up overall traffic flow, the speed of vehicles, and the presence of pedestrians.
Notably, the Town of Amherst has had some serious issues with pedestrian safety in recent years. As an example, the heavily trafficked I-90 and I-290 intersections with Main Street are notoriously difficult areas to navigate for pedestrians. While emphasizing the importance of transparency, the AAA of Western and Central New York supports the proposed roll-out of new traffic safety technology in Amherst. As currently proposed, the system would retain HD video footage of intersections. Town officials state that the video is purely for traffic safety purposes and that no red light tickets would be issued based on it. Still, there are people raising privacy concerns about the system.
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Pedestrian Accidents Are a Serious Public Safety Problem
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents affect virtually every community in our country. They are not merely a public safety problem in large urban areas. The New York State Department of Health reports that an average of 12,506 pedestrians are hospitalized and 312 are killed each year. In Erie County alone, more than 100 people per year require emergency medical attention after a pedestrian collision. Some of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving;
- Texting while driving;
- Running red lights;
- Running stop signs;
- Inattentive left turns; and
- Intoxicated driving.
Of course, driver negligence is not the only problem. In many cases, the risk of pedestrian accidents is made higher by poor road design, lack of sidewalks, or issues with traffic signals. Amherst officials hope that smart traffic technology will advance public safety.
Call Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
At Richmond Vona, LLC, our pedestrian collision attorneys fight aggressively to protect the rights of victims. If you or someone you know one was hurt in a crash in Western New York, we are here to offer support.
To get your free case evaluation, please contact us right away. With an office in Buffalo, we represent injured pedestrians throughout Erie County, including in Amherst, Lackawanna, Lackawanna, Orchard Park, and West Seneca.