NYPD needs to improve car crash investigations: Report
Most fatal car crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists are caused by lawbreaking drivers, according to a new report.
Between 2001 and 2010, 1,745 people were killed on city streets by cars, according to a report released Monday by Transportation Alternatives, which said 60% of crashes could have been prevented with better enforcement by the NYPD. Distracted drivers were to blame for 36% of those deaths, it said.
Paul Steely White, the group's executive director, said police are doing a poor job probing car accidents.
"The New York City Police Department is failing to hold these drivers accountable," White said. "There needs to be an overhaul of the NYPD's traffic enforcement practices to make sure the police protect New Yorkers from the lethal danger of lawbreaking drivers."
During a February hearing on the NYPD's response to car crashes, police officials said the 19-member Accident Investigation Squad is only called when a person is expected to die.
New York Police Department spokesmen and Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not return requests for comment.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), who chairs the council's public safety committee, said that while the NYPD needs more officers and tougher laws, there needs to be "better enforcement" of current laws.
"What the police department is saying is that unless you kill someone, we're not gonna even investigate it, no less charge you with a crime," Vallone said.