As the City of New York tightens driving regulations in an effort to make City streets safer, critics of the NYPD say the police aren’t doing enough to enforce traffic laws already on the books. According to a recent report by the City’s leading transportation advocacy agency, New York auto accidents still claim the life of one City dweller every 33 hours. Additionally, every three hours a non-fatal traffic accident leaves a New Yorker suffering dismemberment, disfigurement, or permanent disability.
Those statistics seems shocking to some, especially since the Mayor’s Office and NYPD spokesperson John McCarthy have been so vocal about how much safer the streets already are. It’s true that traffic-related fatalities have dropped 30% in the last 12 years alone, however, with less than a day and a half between auto-related fatalities, critics say the publicity is being used as a smoke screen to cover up the police department’s failings.
These critics (including the authors of the Transportation Alternatives report “The Enforcement Gap: How the NYPD Ignores What’s Killing New Yorkers“) say that if the police were enforcing important laws already on the books instead focusing on inconsequential regulations (such as illegally tinted windows) there would be far fewer accidents still on the city streets.
This criticism comes even as Mayor Bloomberg’s office announced recently that the number of “slow zones” in the city would expand dramatically and the City and the NYPD would be cracking down even harder on distracted driving. Indeed, in a recent push to increase the safety of the traveling public, the NYPD and Councilman David Greenfield have teamed up to catch drivers who ignore school bus warning lights and pass when children are entering or exiting the vehicles in the 66th precinct.
According to the Transportation Alternatives report, NYPD data gathered by the Collision Investigation Squad’s accident recreations, a full 60% of all fatal crashes are caused by speeding and/or failure to yield the right of way. The report also claims that the NYPD is prioritizing other less serious infractions (including citations for tinted windows-according to the NYPD’s own MV-104 report).
The report implies that while NYPD officers are seemingly “wasting” valuable time and resources penalizing drivers for seemingly minor infractions, while people are still dying on New York City streets at an alarming rate.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash caused by another driver’s carelessness, contact an expert New York auto accident attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.