DA Candidate Cy Vance Outlines Traffic Safety Platform

Cy Vance has become the second contender for Manhattan district attorney to release a campaign plank on traffic crime.

vancemug.jpgCy Vance, Jr. Photo: Brad Aaron

Vance’s proposals, detailed on his campaign web site, are impressively broad in scope. On the legislative front, Vance says he would advocate for graduated penalties for repeat traffic offenders and increased penalties for traffic deaths and assaults where drugs and alcohol are not present.

Regarding the "Rule of Two" — a precedent that, when adhered to, requires a driver be suspected of two simultaneous offenses in order to be considered negligent, Vance says: "It is indisputable that it does not take two violations to kill
someone. Many violations — speeding, running a red light, or failing
to stop at a stop sign are more than dangerous enough to take a life." If elected, Vance promises to crack down on violations such as speeding, bringing tougher sanctions against first-time violators to discourage future offenses. As another preventative measure, Vance says he would work with police to reduce crashes at high-risk intersections and other areas.

Good stuff, but for many of these initiatives to come to fruition, law enforcers must begin treating crash sites as potential crime scenes. On that score, based from a beefed-up vehicular crimes unit, Vance says he would equip specialists in his office with thorough training in relevant state law and incident analysis, and that these prosecutors would interact closely with NYPD:

Death by vehicle requires stringent, serious, and methodical on-site
investigations by the NYPD and prosecutors. Assistant District
Attorneys must work cooperatively with the NYPD and both must be fully
trained in forensic accident reconstruction. My ultimate goal remains disciplined and sophisticated
case-by-case assessments of vehicular crimes.

Vance joins Richard Aborn in formally committing to major improvements in how the DA’s office approaches dangerous driving. (Like Aborn and Vance, Leslie Crocker Snyder has also pledged to take traffic crime seriously, though to our knowledge she has not made the issue a part of her platform.) These steps would represent nothing less than a sea change from the culture established by DA Robert Morgenthau, whose office continues to neglect and harass victims of vehicular violence.

Vance, Aborn and Snyder are all Democrats. With no Republicans in the race, voters will select the next Manhattan district attorney in the September 15 primary.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Cy Vance Wasn’t the Only Winner in the Race for Manhattan DA

|
Street safety wasn’t mentioned in today’s Daily News piece about Cy Vance, but Manhattan’s next district attorney made clear that he intends to pursue, as the News put it, a "fresh agenda." And after Transportation Alternatives literally brought Vance and his opponents to the table to discuss the plague of traffic crime, livable streets advocates […]

Manhattan DA Cy Vance Unveils Strategy to Expand Traffic Safety Resources

|
During last year’s campaign for Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance came out with a broad traffic safety platform, promising to beef up investigations into deaths caused by drivers. Many of those commitments turned into official policy today, as Vance announced a significant expansion of the DA’s vehicular crimes unit. Vance also pledged to support state […]

Vance Renews Traffic Safety Pledge at Meeting of Legal Minds

|
Cy Vance, far right, joined by (l-r) Oregon attorney Raymond F. Thomas, TA’s Peter Goldwasser, New York attorney Scott Glen Cerbin, and Nassau County prosecutor Maureen McCormick. Photo: Brad Aaron Judged by statistics on violent crime, New York may be the safest big city in America. But its amazingly low murder rate masks a less […]

Vance to Speak at Traffic Justice Symposium

|
Photo: New York Times Next Tuesday’s legal symposium on vehicular homicide, presented by Transportation Alternatives, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, will feature a prominent special guest: presumptive Manhattan DA-elect Cy Vance. Vance will deliver opening remarks at the symposium, set to convene at 9 a.m. at the Cardozo […]

This Week: A Conversation With Manhattan DA Cy Vance

|
This week in livable streets events, a conversation and Q&A with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. Also, the MTA and NYMTC continue to hold public meetings on Metro-North expansion and the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, respectively, and DOT presents a proposal to calm traffic on Lefferts Boulevard. Tuesday: The MTA will host a public information session […]