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Update: NYPD crash investigation reform efforts

Posted by Smiley & Smiley on Aug 27, 2013 5:24:26 PM

Earlier this month, many New York City residents became deeply frustrated when they learned that a taxi driver who had run into several pedestrians and a cyclist would not be charged criminally in regards to the incident. Though the Manhattan district attorney is now investigating the taxi cab accident and may still choose to bring criminal charges against the driver, the public remains outraged because the authorities’ initial response to this accident is not an anomaly.

When a driver causes a crash in New York City while he or she is sober and remains at the scene of the crash, the NYPD and city prosecutors do not generally respond to any reckless behavior on the driver’s part with a sense of urgency. This latest high-profile taxi cab accident involved a sober driver who did not flee the scene. The lack of consequences this driver has benefited from so far perfectly illustrates why NYC drivers are so frustrated at the city’s response to these kinds of crashes.

In these cases, victims and their families may seek out the counsel of experienced personal injury attorneys in order to hold reckless drivers accountable for physical harm and property damage resulting from these kinds of accidents. Civil actions may help families and victims obtain necessary financial restitution. However, reckless drivers should often be held criminally responsible for their harmful actions as well. Yet, the NYPD and city prosecutors do not always treat sober, on-scene accidents with the urgency they deserve.

We have previously written about some recent reforms that the NYPD has instituted in regards to crash scene investigations. It may be time for city authorities to reform their responses to sober, on-scene crashes specifically.

Source: StreetsBlog, “Reforming NYPD Crash Investigations: What’s Next?” Steve Vaccaro, Aug. 21, 2013

Topics: car accidents

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