Council pushes NYPD to investigate traffic injuries

Jake Deter said his father was killed by a driver who admitted speeding but was not thoroughly investigated by police.

Police fill out the same form for traffic accidents, whether they involve a broken taillight or a broken neck.
 
That’s what Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams said today, joining a chorus of officials criticizing the NYPD’s handling of traffic cases.
 
The police investigate cases when the victim is dead or likely to die, according to advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.
 
Critics say this leads to losing evidence when police do not actively investigate cases, even when someone later dies or perhaps loses a limb.
 
At the City Hall press conference was Jacob Stevens, whose wife Clara Heyworth was killed as she stepped across the street to meet him in Fort Greene.
 
The driver was issued just a traffic violation, he said.
 
“This should not happen in this city,” he said.
 
Council members introduced the Crash Investigation Reform Act, which would establish a task force to identify better ways to investigate traffic crashes.
 
Brooklyn Councilman Stephen Levin also introduced separate legislation pushing the NYPD to assign five officers to traffic crashes in each precinct — right now 19 are on the citywide Accident Investigation Squad.
 
“You can’t have the same type of report for a broken taillight as you have for a broken neck,” Williams said.  



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