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.

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Photo: NYC Mayor's Office

Yesterday’s Times Square Toll Was Terrible — But So Is a Typical Day of NYC Traffic Violence

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Given the high-profile location, the number of victims, and recent instances of people using vehicles to kill for ideology, it's understandable that yesterday's crash drew so much attention. But it's important to recognize that as terrible as the Times Square carnage was for a single incident, the same human toll occurs on a daily basis on NYC streets -- it's just dispersed across the city.