Mark your calendars for the morning of Wednesday, June 3. That’s when the three declared candidates running for Manhattan District Attorney — Richard Aborn, Leslie Crocker Snyder, and Cyrus Vance — will sit down for a round table debate on traffic justice. Organized by Transportation Alternatives and the Criminal Justice Society of the Benjamin Cardozo Law School, the event will get each candidate on the record about vehicular crime and how the district attorney’s office can protect New Yorkers from dangerous drivers.
As we report on Streetsblog all too often, New York City’s district attorneys appear reluctant to prosecute dangerous and deadly drivers. And when they do, sentences are seldom commensurate with the pain inflicted on victims’ families.
In addition to deterring reckless driving, a tougher stance on traffic crime from the DA’s office is essential for improving police investigations of harmful crashes. With the departure of Robert Morgenthau from the position after 35 years of public service, the next Manhattan DA will have the chance to make the borough’s bustling streets safer for everyone who uses them.
"This is a significant event and we are hopeful that whoever the new DA is, he or she will take a serious and new approach towards prosecuting dangerous drivers in New York City," said TA General Counsel Peter Goldwasser in an email. "We believe that by agreeing to participate in this debate, each candidate is already signaling a new sense of respect and understanding towards the importance of the issue and the prominent role the office of the District Attorney can play."
The debate, which is free and open to the public, gets underway on June 3 at 8:30 a.m. in Cardozo’s Moot Court Room (55 Fifth Avenue at 12th Street).