Illegal driving cited in majority of fatal crashes

Delancey Street has often been called one of the most dangerous streets.

Illegal driving was cited in three out of five fatal crashes that involved pedestrians and bicyclists, according to a new report.

Transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives released a report yesterday that found that 60 percent of fatal pedestrian and bicycle crashes with known causes were the result of illegal driving like speeding, driving drunk or texting at the wheel.

The report analyzed New York State Department of Transportation data between 1995 and 2009.
 The group also found that  1,745 pedestrians and bicyclists died in New York City traffic between 2001 and 2010.

Critics have pointed out this summer that the NYPD’s Accident Investigation Squad has 19 trained investigators who handle fatal traffic accidents and collect crash scene evidence when a victim is dead or likely to die. Other incidents — including broken or amputated limbs or unexpected deaths — are not always investigated, critics say.

Michael Murphy, spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, said the NYPD needs to enforce driving rules more stringently.

“The solutions are on the table,” he told Metro. “It’s just a matter of making them happen.”
Transportation Alternatives reported that all crashes that do not involve fatalities receive a one-page report.

In these cases, evidence of possible criminal conduct other than drunk driving is not collected or investigated, the group said.

“That is a tragedy that repeats itself all the time,” Council Member Stephen Levin said last month while introducing legislation to bolster traffic investigations. “This is something that we can’t sit idly by and allow to happen.”


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