The NYPD only investigates—and not always particularly well—collisions between cars and bicycles in which someone dies, or is expected to die. But new legislation, proposed by Councilmember Steve Levin, would require the police to investigate all accidents that result in serious physical injury, the Brooklyn Paper reports. This is already state law, but the NYPD patrolman’s handbook is out of line with that requirement; Levin’s law would force cops to follow state law and would add hundreds of Accident Investigation Squad officers to precincts throughout the city, so that at least one would be on call 24 hours a day.
The law comes after at least four accidents that critics allege police did not adequately investigate. The most high-profile involves Williamsburg artist Mathieu Lefevre, who was struck and killed in October by a truck driver. “Cops made errors in the police report, failed to collect evidence at the scene, and are now facing a lawsuit from the victim’s family for allegedly withholding videos and documents from their investigation,” the Paper reports.
Safe-streets advocates like Transportation Alternatives support the bill, as do supporters of Mathieu Lefevre. “It’s a wonderful idea,” his family’s lawyer told the Paper. “Life-changing crashes deserve a meaningful assessment.”
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