In recent years, New York City has seen a steady and alarming increase in traffic-related fatalities. In 2021, the city saw over 50,000 traffic-related injuries and 273 traffic fatalities, marking a record high in fatalities since the Vision Zero NYC legislation was launched in 2014. Traditional legal system responses to driving-related incidents such as fines or incarceration not only fail to address the root problems but also frequently result in increased socioeconomic and racial disparities. This evaluation of the Driver Accountability Program, an alternative sentencing program for individuals arrested for driving-related incidents, found that the program contributes to safer driving among participants.
Additionally, participants who were interviewed had generally positive feedback on the course’s impact on their driving, as well as on the structure and content of the session itself. As the program continues to expand throughout the city, participant-focused evaluation results can help inform programmatic changes, with the ultimate goal of safer streets and communities.