The Weekly Carnage – Belated Edition

Sorry for posting this later than usual. This week, the Nassau County district attorney won a rare murder conviction against a DWI driver in a trial that received a lot of attention. "We would hope that this verdict sends a message that if you drink and drive and kill someone, you will be prosecuted for murder," the D.A. told the Times. Meanwhile, Suffolk County prosecutors decided not to prosecute a woman alleged to be drunk when she fatally struck a priest in East Hampton. 

  • alex

    One more late addition to the carnage would be the pedestrian hit on 8th Ave just below Columbus Circle on Friday night around 6:45pm or so. 8th ave was completely shut down and traffic was a mess. As a cyclist, this made my commute a bit safer as cars were forced to a stand-still. Word from witnesses of the accident is that the pedestrian was talking on a cell phone while he tried to run across the street after the light changed to allow cross traffic to proceed. As a daily cyclist, I can’t overstate how many oblivious pedestrians cross streets against the light. Many of them are sheeple following the other pedestrians in front of them under the assumption that the person in front of them correctly decided that the street was safe to cross.
    By no means am I trying to explain away the death of a pedestrian due to ignorance of the deceased. Rather, I am truly surprised these sort of accidents (between often speeding buses – not that I know whether or not the bus involved was actually speeding – and ovlivious pedestrians) do not occur more often. I am glad that these accidents are relatively rare. But, I think the low profile, and percieved rarity of such accidents contributes to pedestrian ambivalence about their own safety.

  • AD

    Ah, the mixed blessing of the cellular telephone. It’s bad when pedestrians talk on them and ignore their surroundings, but its worse when drivers do. It is supposedly illegal for drivers to talk on handheld cellphones while driving, but I see it every day.

  • Not sure why you highlighted Monk’s op-ed — was essentially a big apology for deadly chaos on Long Island roads.

  • Orcutt – I think it was a shocking reminder of how people just don’t take reducing auto-related deaths that seriously. He seemed to conclude that something should be done, but he couldn’t really figure out much to do. And he overlooked the best way to stop crashes – get as many people out of their cars and into mass transportation, walkable downtown areas, etc. But that’s just not part of the conversation there right now.

    In the short term, I’ve long thought that the only way you are going to get people to take the rules of the road seriously is to continuously test them through their life on the rules of the road and probably have practical tests for older drivers to make sure they’re still able to drive.

  • ddartley

    Yep, one can see drivers talking on cell phones while driving usually a few times every day. Last week I saw a cop driving a cop car laughing and gabbing away on her handheld phone. Next to her sat her helpful partner. I guess I do want a camera phone after all.

  • AD

    Well, I highlighted the op/ed because I was shocked to see that people were at least discussing the issue and admitting that it is a problem. Of course, as Glenn said, they brought up just about every solution possible (roadway reconfiguration, easing teens into driving, etc.) except the one that would work best: reducing VMT.

  • Following the Newsday piece, I’m waiting to hear County Execs Suozzi and Levy tell us traffic deaths in Long Island are not out of line with comparable places. The rest of the piece is old news/waste of paper. We’ve been pushing the fact that Suffolk has the worst death toll on the East Coast. Academics are so helpful!

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