No Jail Time for Murderous Motorists, Study Finds

Inaction By NYC District Attorneys Allows Open Season on Pedestrians and Bicyclists; In 1992, One Killer Driver Given Time, 299 Walkers and Cyclists Killed

New research by Transportation Alternatives on the prosecution and conviction of killer drivers reveals that the City and State Justice system allows the vast majority of drivers who kill and maim to avoid any jail time. In 1992, only one motorist was sentenced to serve time for vehicular homicide in NYC while 282 pedestrians, and 17 cyclists were killed by cars. State Criminal Justice records further reveal that in NYC in 1992, only 16 drivers were sentenced to jail for vehicular assault though 13,599 pedestrians and 3,520 cyclists were hit by cars.

Though some accidents are the pedestrians or cyclists fault, the NYC DOT estimates that at least 53% of fatal collisions between cars and people are completely the motorists fault. That means at least 158 of the walkers and cyclists killed in 1992 were essentially murdered by motorists. Of those walkers killed, about 72 were struck down while standing on the curb, or crossing with the light in a cross walk.

Transportation Alternatives' John Kaehny observes "It is insane. The message from our political leaders seems to be 'when you get behind the wheel of a car you are exempt from laws and moral behavior-you are free to kill and maim at will.'"