9 people including 7 pedestrians and bicyclists died in NYC car crashes in the first 10 days of 2017. In a recent statement, Paul Steely White, the Transportation Alternatives Executive Director, expressed his outrage and asked the city of New York to accelerate street redesigns. He also wants the New York police to change their attitude and be more accountable.
In his statement, Steely White, noted that 7 of the 9 fatal crashes occurred in locations that have been previously identified by Vision Zero as “priority areas”. Transportation Alternatives asks the city to allocate immediate funding to redesign these high crashes locations.
Steely White also expressed his outrage towards NYPD investigators behavior. The NYPD has a horrible habit of blaming the victims and exonerating drivers. For example, the driver of the box truck who fatally struck Rafael Nieves last week and left the scene of the accident was let go without his case being referred to the district attorney (see previous blog). The police also didn’t charge the driver who killed 43 year old Marlon Palacios. The driver told the police his leg had become stiff and got stuck on the accelerator. The police have the power to act as a judge and a jury while a court should make such decision. Additionally the police are supposed to deter dangerous driving in New York City but they often blame the victims and let go reckless drivers.
Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets want to meet with Police Commissioner James O’Neil to express their concerns. Both advocacy groups want the police to stop blaming the victims and hold reckless drivers accountable. They also want the commissioner’s support for allowing the installation of speed cameras in school areas. Additionally, they also want to reform the way the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad investigates motor vehicle crashes across New York City.
Read the complete statement here