Mayor de Blasio signs 11 bills into law as part of Vision Zero initiative

New speed restriction signs along Eastern Parkway in New speed restriction signs along Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Friday, June 20, 2014. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

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Mayor Bill de Blasio bolstered his pledge to reduce traffic fatalities with legislation Monday, signing into law 11 bills relating to his Vision Zero initiative, near the Queens site where an 8-year-old boy was killed by a tractor-trailer.

Noshat Nahian's parents attended the news conference in the schoolyard of PS 152, which their son was walking toward in December when he was fatally struck. The school was also the location de Blasio chose in January to announce the Vision Zero push to end pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

The intersection where Noshat was struck -- Northern Boulevard and 61st Street in Woodside -- has been improved with pedestrian islands, re-timed traffic signals and enhanced crosswalks and parking regulations, de Blasio said.

The mayor said other intersections can expect such upgrades.

De Blasio called the changes a "crucial piece of what we need to do to protect our people."

Among the 11 pieces of legislation are measures that require the Department of Transportation to install seven "neighborhood slow zones" by lowering speeds to 15 mph or 20 mph near schools; prohibit stunts on motorcycles; establish penalties for vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists; and require the Taxi and Limousine Commission to suspend drivers involved in crashes with deaths or critical injuries.

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"The vision is to end traffic fatalities in the city," de Blasio said. "It's not easy."

Several of the laws are effective immediately.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Taxi and Limousine Commission Chair Meera Joshi and NYPD Chief Thomas Chan attended the event in support of the new laws.

Members of the Families for Safe Streets advocacy group and about a dozen City Council members also marked the bills' signing.

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, (D-Manhattan), chair of the council's transportation committee, said the measures "will change the culture" of how motorists interact with pedestrians and bicyclists.

The mayor lauded Albany lawmakers for permitting the city to lower its default citywide speed limit to 25 mph from 30 mph.

City officials said about 4,000 New Yorkers are seriously injured and 250 killed each year in traffic crashes.

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