NYC cyclists demand an investigation if they're killed by cars
A group of New York City cyclists have a message for the NYPD: They may not be dead yet, but they hope that their deaths don't go unnoticed like hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians before them.
A number of cyclists have teamed up with Time's Up!, an environmental group which aims to promote a more sustainable city, to make a video living will calling for the NYPD to take action should they die in a motor vehicle accident.
Cyclists also teamed up with the organization last week to spray paint body outlines at seven spots throughout the city where pedestrians and cyclists were killed by motorists who never faced criminal charges for striking them.
There were 155 pedestrian and cyclist deaths and over 15,000 were injured from motor vehicle accidents in New York City in 2012. According to StreetsBlog, less than half of the drivers who struck a pedestrian or cyclist didn't even receive a citation for careless driving.
A cyclist or pedestrian will be killed about once every two and a half days, according to Brennan Cavanaugh, one of the video's participants.
"And in the majority of these cases, within hours of the incident, the NYPD declared 'no criminality suspected,'" Jennifer Horonjeff said. This information is never made available publicly or to the victims' families.
These cyclists want the NYPD to suspect criminality and make a full investigation if they were to die in a motor vehicle accident, and to make that information public so that their families won't have to wonder what happened to them.
The participants hope that the transparency will make people more aware and keep the streets of New York City safe.
"So it may help people to find out where, why, and how we can make the streets safer-not just for people on bikes, but for everyone," Liz Patek said.
NYPD protocol is already evolving. The New York Times reported last week that the NYPD use the term "collision" instead of "accident" and they will expand investigation on crashes resulting in critical injury; previously, the Accident Investigation Squad was only sent to a scene when at least one victim died or was "likely to die."