And in another report StreetBlog.org warms pedestrians and cyclists to beware of men in blue with badges who drive recklessly
According to a recent report in STREETSblog.com, The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) is letting some states set their own auto injury targets for their roadways by setting the bar for pedestrian and cyclist fatalities so high it takes some of the pressure off of those responsible for improving the YOY safety of city and state streets and highways in the U.S.
The FHA recently released a state-by-state map that contrasts which regions are actually setting aggressive goals to end bloodshed on their roadways, with those that are artificially setting goals so high they can boast when actual vehicle injury and death statistics come in lower than their pre-determined injury and fatality targets have predicted.
“You read that right,” Jay W. Dankner, managing partner of the top midtown New York auto accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. said. “Eighteen states set safety goals so high that even though vehicle-related injuries and deaths increased over the preceding year the state could show improvements when compared to statistics that predicted an even greater increase in vehicle-related carnage for the year.”
A 2019 report from pedestrian safety watchdog group Dangerous by Design highlighted the federal highway group’s laissez-faire policy toward the setting of state safety targets, adding that seven of the so-called “Dirty 18 states” — Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Oklahoma — are also among the top 20 most dangerous states in the nation for people on bikes and on foot. The other 11 states that report YOY auto accident injury statistics down based on predicted numbers intentionally set higher for the current year when compared to actual injuries and deaths in the preceding year are Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Utah.
“We can and must,” Dankner said, “force states like New York to set realistic vehicle safety targets that hold states to realistic standards, and not to highly inflated predictions. However, to make this vision a reality, we need strong city, state and federal policies with binding enforceable requirements to reduce vehicle injuries and fatalities.”
Such policies, Danker said, could be crucial in holding departments of transportation accountable for the pedestrian and cyclist mayhem that happens in their cities and states daily. States that are allowed to set their own safety benchmarks, after all, can all too easily issue self-congratulatory press releases that they met or beat their own self-determined targets.
NYPD IS BLAMING CYCLISTS FOR ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY RECKLESS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS BEHIND THE WHEEL
The NYPD again launched a ticket blitz against cyclists after a fatal hit-and run set off yet another firestorm against New York’s Finest and Mayor de Blasio for targeting the victims of dangerous driving instead of the perpetrators, it was reported recently in Streetblog.org.
The targeted enforcement follows a familiar pattern. Last month, cops went on a ticket blitz against cyclists after a 72-year-old man was struck and killed on Eighth Avenue near 45th Street in Manhattan. Days later an NYPD police officer issued a biker a summons for not wearing a helmet, which is not against the law, and another cop tackled a cyclist to stop him for riding outside a bike lane blocked by a police vehicle.
Streetsblog.org has chronicled many post-death crackdowns against cyclists. According to the pedestrian safety blog: “There is one thing New Yorkers can pretty much count on after reckless driving by a police officer injures or kills someone on a bike or on foot. The NYPD cracks down on cyclists in the vicinity of the incident for behavior that may or may not even be illegal.
“If you ride a bike in New York City,” Dankner said, “it’s hard not to feel like the NYPD is the older sibling who occasionally grabs you by the wrists and forces you to punch yourself in the face.”
Mayor de Blasio continues to defend the NYPD enforcement strategy, saying cops will stop anyone who breaks the law in order to keep everyone safe — yet ignore the fact that reckless driving by police officers cause hundreds of accidents and injuries each year.
Transportation experts virtually unanimously say there’s a better way to make the roads safer for everyone without targeting cyclists: fix the streets and install better bike infrastructure.
A reminder from Jay Dankner: Cars are 3,000-pound machines. Drivers of those vehicles, be they civilians or members of the NYPD, caused more than 200,000 crashes last year, injuring roughly 15,000 cyclists and pedestrians, killing 131, city statistics show. Bicycles weigh about 50 pounds and their operators killed no one last year.
For more information, or if you have been in an auto accident and are injured contact the top New York auto accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. by calling 212-751-8000. Or you can E-mail one of the firm’s lawyers for a free consultation.