NYC’s Vision Zero Program Saved $90 Million in Medicaid Costs

While traffic fatalities remain far above zero, the city saw fewer injuries compared to areas without Vision Zero initiatives.

1 minute read

May 12, 2024, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Low shot of red painted bus lane on New York City street with blurred bus, pedestrians, and buildings in background.

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In a piece for The New York Times, James Barron assesses the progress made since New York City first announced its Vision Zero pledge 10 years ago.

According to a new study in The American Journal of Public Health, Vision Zero did more than save lives: it saved Medicaid over $90 million in reimbursements in its first five years. The study found that traffic-related injuries fell significantly compared to counties without Vision Zero programs. “The study also found that low-income New Yorkers had fewer injuries from crashes involving automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians. The sharpest drop in traffic-related injuries, the study said, was among Black New Yorkers.” 

The Vision Zero initiative reduced speed limits from 30 miles per hour to 25 mph, made physical safety improvements on city streets, and boosted traffic enforcement, including red light cameras. “The state authorization for red-light cameras will expire this year unless the State Legislature reauthorizes the program. The city has asked to expand it, noting that the cameras have reduced red-light running by 73 percent.”

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