Emergency Medicine Advocacy, Policy & Government Affairs
Faculty in NYU Langone’s Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine are active advocates for commonsense policies that improve the health and safety of our communities.
We have lobbied to implement a range of practices that protect New York City pedestrians and passengers from being injured in traffic accidents. Our efforts have included a bill requiring the use of seat belts for all backseat passengers, policies to create faster routes for ambulances en route to emergency departments (EDs), and safety camera installation in front of schools to prevent drivers from speeding in areas crowded with students.
We have also supported healthcare legislation that is more inclusive and reduces the use of EDs as primary points of care for nonemergency situations.
Our goal is to reduce the number of preventable injuries and illnesses that occur with alarming frequency in New York City and across the country. By lending our expertise to this cause, we believe we can effect positive change.
Tougher Seat Belt Laws
We strongly support efforts to strengthen seat belt laws in New York State. Members of the department have been pressing for passage of a bill before the New York State legislature to require everyone over the age of 16 to use a seat belt when riding in the back seat of a motor vehicle. Current New York State law only requires children younger than 16 to be restrained in the back seat.
Staff in the ED at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, the entry point for our Level 1 Trauma Center, see the consequences of unrestrained backseat passengers involved in vehicle crashes. In 2017, 34 people over age 16 were killed and 2,600 were injured in New York State because they were not buckled up in the back seat.
This is an important health and public safety issue, and the legislation is vital to saving lives and decreasing serious injury among all passengers involved in a car accident.
Speed Safety Cameras
The Department of Emergency Medicine led NYU Langone’s advocacy efforts aimed at maintaining speed safety cameras in New York City. Along with a coalition of hundreds of organizations, we supported the successful renewal and expansion of speed safety cameras in school zones.
The change in state law increased the number of cameras at schools, helping to ensure that students, pedestrians, and others using our roadways are protected by deterring motorists from operating their vehicles above posted school zone speed limits.