NYPD Needs To Enforce Traffic Laws To Protect New Yorkers From Dangerous Driving
June 11, 2012
Michael Murphy 646-873-6008
According to data released by the New York City Department of Transportation on Friday, drivers are the biggest threat in New York City Traffic. Between October 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011, drivers injured 14,608 and killed 71 New Yorkers.
"The NYPD must prioritize the crimes that hurt the most people and hold reckless and lethal drivers accountable," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "These data make it crystal clear what the real danger on our streets is: drivers kill and maim New Yorkers at rates exponentially higher than bicyclists. But the NYPD consistently fails to charge drivers who cause serious injuries. That's why we're calling for a Traffic Enforcement Task Force to overhaul the NYPD's investigation practices and help ensure that New Yorkers are protected from the biggest danger in traffic."
The NYPD does not currently target its limited traffic enforcement resources at the biggest threats on city streets. At a City Council hearing in February on traffic enforcement, the Executive Officer of the NYPD Transportation Bureau, Deputy Chief John Cassidy, said the police issued 48,556 summonses to bicyclists in 2011. But they issued only about half that number, 25,000 tickets to truck drivers like the one that killed bicyclist Mathieu Lefevre last October.
Between October and December 2011, 26 pedestrians were injured in crashes with bicyclists; six bicyclists were injured in those incidents. In the same period of time, 4,336 bicyclists and pedestrians were injured by drivers. For every 356 injuries caused by car crashes, one pedestrian or bicyclist was injured in a bicycle-pedestrian crash. Or put another way: drivers are 365 times more dangerous than bike riders.
"These numbers serve as a chilling reminder of the risks all New Yorkers face at the hands of dangerous drivers," said White. "At the same time, it's important that bicyclists lead by example and respect the rules of the road, yield to pedestrians and to do their part in making our streets safe for everyone," he added.
In the last three months of 2011, 71 people were killed by drivers; there were no fatalities caused by bicyclists or pedestrians.
Local Law 13 of 2011 requires the NYC Department of Transportation to release the number of bicycle crashes, injuries and fatalities reported to the City.
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New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-629-8080 Fax: 212-629-8334