Streetsblog: “Why Doesn’t NYPD Apply ‘Broken Windows’ to Traffic Violence?”

In his weekly “Street Justice” column in Streetsblog, Steve Vaccaro dissects NYPD’s failure to investigate traffic crashes that don’t result in critical injury, and the impact of this policy on thousands of crash victims.

Our firm can cite many other similar examples of NYPD failing to investigate hit-and-run drivers who threaten the lives, seriously injure, or destroy the property of cyclists. These are cases in which criminality should not only be suspected, but in which police arrive at the scene to find it has almost already been proven. (As Bike Snob has observed, the investigation of such cases “would be like a nine second episode of ‘Law and Order.’” NYPD’s disparate treatment of gun violence and traffic violence — which kill and injure comparable numbers of New Yorkers each year — is patently bad policy and unfair to crash victims. To paraphrase Commander McCormack’s words: people deserve to walk — or bike — to the train stop, the store, their job or their school without fear of getting killed. It’s time for NYPD to stop ignoring the routine traffic crimes that are the “broken windows” threatening New Yorkers’ personal security on city streets.

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