Last week I gave a short presentation on traffic violence, and the role that the NYPD plays in it, leveraging data from crashmapper.org and my own site, movingviolations.nyc. I had left the NYPD out of the conversation when I initially began working on the presentation, and instead focused primarily on the impact bad street design has on crashes and injuries/fatalities. My topic shifted to include, and focus on their practices, when I experienced firsthand the result of NYPD’s non-existent concern over any traffic crashes that don’t result in the immediate death of those involved.
For those interested in the presentation, you can see it here.
I’d like to emphasize that my own experience with the NYPD in this case is unfortunately not unique. Stories abound of cyclists that are victims of traffic violence being falsely ticketed after being hit, or the NYPD ticketing cyclists after one has been killed, and even purposely ramming their squad cars into cyclists in the name of safety. As a bike commuter who religiously rides with a bike camera, a bright jacket, and two front and rear lights, I still know that every choice I make on the road will be heavily scrutinized by a police force that holds absolute disdain for the people they’re paid to protect. I can only hope that the work advocates, lawyers and elected officials are doing will improve this with time.
Finally, I want to send a strong thank to the Law office of Vaccaro and White for their assistance after the crash. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have had the slightest clue of what to do when filing and receiving my crash report from the NYPD.