New Report Indicates Law Violations Responsible for Most Pedestrian and Bike Accidents
Transportation Alternatives, an NYC transportation advocacy group, released a study this week that found three out of every five deadly pedestrian and bicycle crashes in New York City are caused by “illegal driving behavior.” They, like many others, are hoping the city will soon change how they investigate such accidents so that drivers can be held responsible for the tragedy they leave behind.
According to the Transportation Alternatives website, “Deadly Driving Unlimited: How the NYPD Lets Dangerous Drivers Run Wild” looks at how the lack of investigations and repercussions for drivers involved in these fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents only makes the problem worse.
The report analyzed data from the Department of Transportation. It found that 60 percent of fatal cyclist and pedestrian accidents with known causes were caused by illegal driving behavior betwee 1995 and 2009. These illegal driving behaviors could be anything from speeding, to running a red light, or drinking and driving.
Between 2001 and 2010, 1,7,45 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in accidents involving drivers in the city.
The report makes clear that the NYPD lacks sufficient resources to hold dangerous drivers accountable. The NYPD’s Accident Investigation Squad (AIS) has 19 trained investigators that handled 304 cases in 2011. They take photographs of the crash scene, record witness statements, and perform other thorough investigative work. These officers are only called to the scene of a crash when a victim is dead or likely to die. Only these 19 officers are allowed to collect crash scene evidence which can determine whether a motorist violated the law. All crashes which do not involve an actual or likely fatality receive cursory treatment in a one-page report (the MV-104). In those cases, even when the injuries are very severe, evidence of possible criminal conduct other than drunk driving is not collected. State law requires the police to provide thorough investigations of the type AIS performs whenever a person is seriously injured in traffic, and not only those who are dead or dying.
The group released their findings on the heels of the City Council announcing the Crash Investigation Reform Act. They, like so many others, believe the NYPD could do more to keep the city streets safe for everyone who uses them, by allocating more officers for investigations and by increasing the type of accidents investigated.
When you are involved in a serious bicycle or pedestrian accident, you want to feel like someone cares about the situation—like your injuries won’t go unnoticed. The driver who hurt you can be held responsible. The personal injury attorneys of Omrani & Taub can offer a free consultation and valuable legal advice.