Slow down! City Council examines speeding deaths

In 2009, car crashes in NYC killed 158 pedestrians, 98 drivers and passengers and 12 cyclists, according to the City Council.

The New York City Council wants to know why NYPD officers ticket drivers more often for tinted windows than speeding.

A Council hearing today will focus on dangerous driving, which advocates say contributes to the deaths of 317 New Yorkers each year in crashes.

The hearing will also examine the NYPD’s response to accidents and traffic enforcement. Transit advocates say the NYPD should crack down on infractions like speeding, noting that in 2010, the NYPD issued 76,000 tickets for excessive speeding, compared to 82,000 for tinted windows, according to Transportation Alternatives.

New Yorkers are more likely to die in car crashes than from gun violence, according to Council documents prepared for the hearing.

And drivers who speed cause more accidents than distracted or drunk drivers, according to the data.
One incident that caught the Council’s attention was the death of Mathieu Lefevre, a Canadian artist living in Brooklyn, who was killed in October when a flatbed truck hit him.

Lefevre was reportedly dragged and killed, and his family sued the NYPD to get information about the investigation.

His mother, Erika Lefevre, will testify today. She has criticized the NYPD’s investigation, which she said yielded no pictures of the crash scene, because the investigator’s camera was broken. And charges have still not been filed against the driver, she said, who dragged Lefevre’s body down the street after he was hit.

Members of the NYPD will also testify today.

By the numbers

   
34K
Between 2000 and 2009, 34,000 New York City car accidents resulted in serious injuries.
   
317
An average of 317 New Yorkers die as a result of car crashes each year, according to data from 2001 to 2009.
   
1,745
Between 2001 and 2010, 1,745 pedestrians and bicyclists have been killed in traffic.
   
142,485
Between 2001 and 2010, 142,485 pedestrians and cyclists have been injured.
   
Source: City Council data/   Transportation Alternatives

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro


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