The rise in car violence in NYC has definitely alarmed local residents especially since many of these crashes have not been properly investigated by the NYPD. Compacted with the fact that the cops have seemed to found time to continue their winter ticketing blitz of cyclists involved in traffic violations.
Time’s Up is taking action and leading a tour of sites where cyclists and pedestrians have been killed in recent months to draw attention to the seriousness of car violence and the need for the NYPD to change its policy.
Here is more information from Time’s Up.
TIME’S UP! LEADS BICYCLE TOUR TO 7 MEMORIALS FOR PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS KILLED BY LAW-BREAKING DRIVERS ABSOLVED OF CRIMINALITY BY N.Y.P.D.
Bicycle-ride to seven locations in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn where memorials will be made for pedestrians and cyclists killed by drivers who committed traffic violations, yet within hours of each crash the NYPD declared there was “No Criminality Suspected,” and the accident investigation reports were never released to the public, including members of the victims’ families.
Friday, March 15, 2013
10am, ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street, Manhattan
New York, NY – On March 15, 2013, Time’s Up! will lead a bicycle tour to seven memorials that will be erected for pedestrians and cyclists that were killed by automobiles that committed at least one traffic violation.
“The NYPD is charged with investigating serious crashes and enforcing traffic laws including the requirement that motor vehicles be driven with due care, yet in each of these cases, and in the vast majority of cases in which pedestrians and cyclists are killed by automobile, the NYPD declared “no criminality suspected” within hours of the crash, and the accident investigation reports that could support demands for safer streets have not been released to the public, including families of the victims,” notes traffic analyst Charles Komanoff.
Last year, the city council held an extremely critical hearing of the NYPD’s traffic investigations (see the attached video). In response, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent a March 4th letter to City Council Chair James Vacca detailing changes that will be made. In it, he says the department will replace the word accident with collision, increase its staff by 10 people, and begin investigating instances of critical injury as well as death. However, less than two weeks later, Tenzin Drudik was killed by a van that sped onto a sidewalk and the driver was released with “no criminal charges” because they deemed the crash an “accident.” The driver spilled milk on his lap. Over the last 6 days, seven pedestrians and cyclists have been killed by automobile and not a single driver has been charged with a crime.
Attorney and traffic-law expert Steve Vaccaro urges that, “In clearly delineated situations, acts of traffic violence should be presumptively criminal–no matter how prevalent instances of such violence may be at present — with an opportunity for the driver to rebut the presumption.”
“By declaring ‘no criminality suspected’ within hours of deadly crashes and yet refusing to release their investigations, the NYPD is whitewashing traffic violence to the public, withholding potentially emotionally-healing information from grieving families, and robbing safer-streets activists of the information they need to best advocate for a livable city,” says organizer Keegan Stephan.
The Criminality Suspected Ride will highlight this question, asked of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly by an art installation at each memorial: “Why, Ray, Why?”
Video from last year’s hearing in which City Council members were critical of the NYPD’s response to crashes:
Time’s Up! and Charlie Komanoff’s response to the NYPD Crash Investigation Reform: