21 New Yorkers died last year in bicycle accidents, but only two of the involved drivers were arrested. As family members of bike accident victims are filing civil suits, and the cycling community is pressing district attorneys to explain why drivers are not being prosecuted for causing these deaths, the NYPD and public officials are trying to find the answer to these concerns. As the City of New York has installed many more dedicated bicycle lanes, usage of the City’s streets has increased in recent years.
New York’s Response To Bicycle Accidents
District attorneys cite a major reason for the lack of arrests in bicycle accidents: the likelihood of convicting motorists for traffic accident as crimes is difficult. The courts usually require eye witness testimony for these charges and cooperating witnesses are difficult to obtain. Police often receive conflicting accounts of the accident, which makes reconstructing the crime scene difficult especially when footage from video cameras is inconclusive.
However, these excuses are not good enough for the families of bicycle accident victims since little has improved in the way the city handles its investigation of these cases.
Lipsig Law Firm Supports The Bicycling Community
Bike advocates protested earlier this year outside of NYPD police headquarters to support the family of cyclists killed by motorists.
At a New York City Council hearing, the issue of whether there are enough officers in the Police Department’s Accident Investigation Squad to follow up on all fatality cases was examined. There are apparently only 19 officers currently serving the entire City of New York City in the Accident Investigation Squad that handles fatal vehicular accidents. NYPD Deputy Chief John Cassidy stated that traffic deaths are at an all time low and that overall traffic control efforts by the NYPD are reducing these traffic injuries and death. However, he was unable to account for how many times a driver causing a fatal bicyclist accident was actually prosecuted and convicted, citing that the NYPD does not track cases this way.
In order to bring justice and peace of mind to the families of NYC bicycle accident victims, the city needs to make improvements to its current procedures, its Police Department staffing and its approach to a bicycle or pedestrian death.
Injured In A Cycling Accident?
The personal injury lawyers of Lipsig Law Firm fight for the bicyclists and pedestrians of New York City. In many of our cases, the Lipsig is able win significant judgments and settlements for pedestrians and bicyclist who are struck by a motor vehicle here in New York City and its many suburbs and surrounding areas and roads.
We have worked for many victims of bicycling accidents and injuries; we do our own detailed accident reconstruction and investigation of what happened to our clients and why it happened.
We are committed to helping improve the roads in New York City for our bicycling clients so they can ride with safety and for our clients who are pedestrians injured by motor vehicle driver negligence.