Council Transpo Committee Passes NYPD Hit-and-Run Transparency Bill

The City Council transportation committee passed a bill today that would require NYPD to issue quarterly reports on hit-and-run crashes and investigations.

Originally, Intro 1055 would have had NYPD report to the council every two years on hit-and-runs resulting in serious injury or death. The language of the bill was tightened after sponsor Leroy Comrie and other committee members heard testimony from transportation experts and family members of victims earlier this month.

In its current iteration, the bill would mandate that the department report in writing every three months on the total number of “critical injury” hit-and-run crashes, the number of crashes that resulted in arrest, and the number of crashes for which no arrest was made. “Additionally,” the bill reads, “the department shall provide to the speaker of the council in writing a brief description of what steps were taken to investigate each such incident, noting the cross streets of the incident.”

The bill defines critical injury as “any injury determined to be critical by the emergency medical service personnel responding to any such incident.”

The bill passed with an unanimous 11-0 vote, with no abstentions. It is expected to be voted on by the full council tomorrow, at the last stated meeting of the year. The law would not take effect until July of 2015.

NYPD did not show up for the December 4 hearing. Streetsblog has a message in with the public information office asking if the department has a position on the bill.

Said bill co-sponsor Peter Koo: “Today’s piece of legislation will increase transparency and accountability, ensuring NYPD is using all the tools at its disposal to investigate hit-and-run accidents.”

“This is not the first time the council has heard testimony from families of individuals who feel they have not received enough information,” said James Vacca, who was chairing his last transportation committee meeting of the current term.

Of his chairmanship, Vacca said, “This has been a wonderful experience. Transportation affects everyone.”

It is not known if Vacca will continue to occupy the transportation post or move to a different committee chairmanship. “I want to continue doing something here,” he said, “and we’ll see what that is.”

  • SteveVaccaro

    Glad the reporting periods were cut down to quarterly. Too bad only critical injury cases are included in the analysis because there is a problem with NYPD shirking the investigation of serious but not critical cases.

  • StepUpAndSaySomething

    I agree. Not sure why an organization the size of the world’s 3rd largest army would have such a problem writing down every hit and run case (let alone investigating it). I’d pay for an APP on crimestat. Though this is the organization that would only post pdf’s since though thought posting Excel would let people going to the site change the numbers.

    Remember when that cop got side swiped and they shut down a bridge to try to find the perp? Wish they cared about our kids and grandma’s that get killed that much.

    Shout out to Leroy Comrie for standing up for the little guy.

  • qrt145

    I don’t know where this myth that the NYPD is the world’s third largest army came from, but it’s obviously not true. I guess it depends on what you mean by “army”; if you use it loosely as “a country’s active military personnel”, it might come up around 80th place (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel ). If you are talking strictly about a military formation with “army” in the name (as in “Sixth United States Army”), it’s harder to tell, but I still doubt that the NYPD would come up 3rd. According to Wikipedia, a field army typically has between 80,000 and 200,000 members, which means that even the smallest field army is bigger than the NYPD (and there are countries with more than one field army).

    EDITED: See also http://americablog.com/2011/12/bloomberg-wrong-about-nypd-being-7th-largest-army-in-the-world-try-96th.html . Apparently Bloomberg himself if behind this myth, although he said 7th, not 3rd.

  • JK

    Who defines “critical” and “serious” injuries? Do hospitals have uniform, written criteria? Who audits hospital injury reporting? If PD defines the injury, this law doesn’t mean much.

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