The Weekly Carnage

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This week, New York State authorities launched a probe into the gap between Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains and platforms. After that, the National Transportation Safety Board launched its own probe, which like the state’s follows the tragic death of a Minnesota teenager who fell through such a gap boarding an L.I.R.R. train on Aug. 5. These probes are a good idea, but why the obsession with making the safest mode of transportation even safer when someone dies in a tri-state traffic crash every three and a half hours? This week we learned that U.S. traffic deaths rose to 43,443 in 2005, the highest level in 15 years and 16 times the number of U.S. casualties in the Iraq war to date. Imagine what those figures might be if public authorities were as focused on eliminating fatalities on our roads as they are on our rails. Here are news articles about some of the regional traffic deaths and injuries that occured this week.

  • moxieb

    An update on the 10 year old girl who was hit by a car last week while riding her bike in Williamsburg:

    Her father lives in my building, and told me that she opened her eyes for the first time yesterday (she’s still in the ICU.)

    The driver has been cited, and apparently was drinking. According to my other neighbors, he was racing to avoid a red light. While I didn’t witness the accident, neighbors also said that she was already out in the street, not darting out to the street from parked cars. Paints a different picture of the accident then this excerpt from the Daily News did:

    “Cops said there was no criminality in the accident and no summonses were issued. Police did not identify the driver.

    The driver is a construction worker with a 9-year-old daughter, said his friend Tommy Kapron, 22. He was coming home from work when the accident occurred.

    “She came off the sidewalk and he hit her,” Kapron said. ‘It was a very unfortunate accident.'”

  • podsednik

    When I grow up, I want “racing to avoid a red light” to be a crime every time, regardless of whether alcohol is involved or not.

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  • drewo

    The description “accident” can often be replaced more accurately with the words “carelessness” or “negligence”.

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