The New York City Council and Transportation Alternatives are working on new legislation they hope will lower the number of people seriously hurt or killed in traffic accidents. The new bill aims to create a task force to analyze and update the NYPD's current traffic enforcement and crash investigation procedures.
At a recent hearing, two councilmembers presented the Crash Investigation Reform Act, which has the purpose of assessing the NYPD's current accident investigation and traffic safety enforcement strategies. The councilmembers said that current protocols are not doing an adequate job of keeping New York City's streets safe.
Once the assessment has been completed, the Act would require the implementation of the most effective methods to reduce the amount of injuries and fatalities.
Currently, the NYPD has a total of 19 police officers working in the Accident Investigation Squad. These officers are responsible for the entire city. Because the unit is short-staffed, officers only come to accident scenes if someone has been killed or is likely to die. Otherwise, accidents are not investigated.
Some of the proposed changes include ensuring that five officers are assigned to each precinct for investigating serious and fatal accidents and investigating all crashes that result in serious physical injuries.
Legislation like this can be extremely beneficial to those who have suffered serious injury or lost loved ones in auto accidents. In a personal injury lawsuit, success hinges on proving who was at fault. A police report can go a long way towards establishing the chain of events.