This week NYC Council members Brad Lander, D-Park Slope, and James Vacca, D-Bronx, unveiled their plan to do something about what they perceive as a problem with crash investigations. They are calling it the Crash Investigation Reform Act and it is meant which to assess the NYPD’s traffic safety enforcement and accident investigation protocols. Both Lander and Vacca have said publicly they do not believe the NYPD keeping the streets safe enough when it comes to vehicle collisions.
Lander and Vacca are not the only ones who believe there is a problem with the way NYPD investigates accidents. Transportation Alternatives, a transportation advocacy organization that works to make better biking, walking and public transit throughout NYC and the surrounding communities, reported that 21 cyclists died in vehicle crashes in New York City in 2011, yet only two drivers were arrested. They point to this as an example of the failure inherent in the current system; an inability of the NYPD to correctly evaluate a crash scene and determine who is at fault.
For Vacca and Lander, the Assessment is just the first step of a more lengthy process. Their goal is that after the assessment, the Act will help implement the most effective ways to lower the number of fatalities and injuries and bring justice to those injured or killed in vehicle collisions.
Whatever ultimately comes of these efforts it seems likely that NYC streets will soon be a safer place for everyone who uses them.