After a string of high profile fatal accidents, ten City Council members have introduced legislation reforming the NYPD’s approach to crash investigation and traffic regulation enforcement. The package of legislation announced on July 24th includes the Crash Investigation Reform Act, which creates a task force to inspect and restructure the NYPD’s crash investigation procedures. A thorough investigation of accidents involving serious injuries is necessary both to provide justice to the victims of traffic accidents, and to discourage drivers from reckless road behavior, according to Brad Lander(D-Brooklyn). Lander introduced the bill with James Vacca (D-Bronx).
The proposed task force would examine all agencies involved in traffic regulation and assess their successes and failures in preventing traffic deaths. Representatives from the NYPD, the District Attorneys’ offices, the New York Department of Transportation, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Office of Management and Budget, crash victims, and transportation safety advocates would work together on the overhaul process. Accompanying bills require the police to report whether a driver in a crash was issued a summons or administered a sobriety test, to maintain online crash data reports for five years, and to publish a traffic safety plan and the contact information for the traffic safety officer on each precinct’s webpage. The legislation also contains resolutions calling on the Police Department to assign five officers charged with investigating serious crashes to each precinct, and to investigate crashes that involve serious injury as well as those involving death.
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