Driver Flips Car Where Neighbors Have Waited a Year for DOT Speed Hump

Neighbors say this driver, who will not face charges or even receive a traffic ticket, was speeding when he flipped the car yesterday. DOT has installed a speed hump sign, but not an actual speed hump. Photo: Jay Shuffield
Neighbors say this driver, who will not face charges or receive a traffic ticket, was speeding when he flipped his car yesterday. DOT has installed a speed hump sign, but not an actual speed hump. Photo: Jay Shuffield

A driver who neighbors say was speeding flipped his vehicle Sunday evening on a Bronx street that’s been waiting over a year for a speed hump as part of the Norwood neighborhood Slow Zone.

“We were home making dinner and we just heard a loud bang and a crunch and another loud bang and a crunch, two of them, because he had ricocheted off cars,” said Elisabeth von Uhl, who lives on Hull Avenue between E. 207th Street and E. 209th Street. Von Uhl’s husband and a neighbor went outside to deflate the airbag and pull the driver from the passenger side of the black van at approximately 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The block has been waiting more than a year for its speed hump (in red). DOT says it can't install it until school construction on the block is finished. Map: DOT [PDF]
DOT says it can’t install the speed hump circled in red until school construction on the block is finished. Map: DOT [PDF]
On a typical weekend evening, the street is busy with children playing, but most were inside because of the rain, von Uhl said. “Our three year-old is always out on the sidewalk either with sidewalk chalk or out on his scooter, and we always have neighborhood kids join us,” she said. “We just kind of sit on our stoops and let the kids play.”

The driver was transported to St. Barnabas Hospital with minor injuries. “It didn’t amount to any collision investigation or anything like that,” said an NYPD spokesperson. The driver was not arrested and did not receive a moving violation. “There was no criminality involved. Vehicle looks like it just crashed and rolled over,” he said. “It’s just a vehicle accident.”

“Wow, not even a ticket for speeding,” von Uhl said when she learned that there would be no consequences for the driver.

The street is part of the Norwood neighborhood Slow Zone, which was installed last year to calm traffic and reduce the speed limit to 20 mph. After a street receives speed humps, injury crashes drop by 40 percent and speeding falls 20 percent, according to DOT. Pedestrians struck by drivers going 20 mph are four times less likely to die than those driving 30 mph [PDF].

DOT says it installed two other speed humps last April on Hull Avenue, between E. Gun Hill Road and E. 209th Street and between E. 205th Street and E. 207th Street. But neighbors on von Uhl’s block are still waiting. DOT installed signage, but not the speed hump itself, because of ongoing work by the School Construction Authority at PS 56.

“DOT has been in constant contact with officials, including the School Construction Authority, regarding the construction project at PS 56 and will continue to do so,” said a DOT spokesperson. “Speed hump installations cannot happen while active construction is in progress.”

Photo: Jay Shuffield
Barriers for construction at PS 56 are visible on the right. Photo: Jay Shuffield

Von Uhl said she would like to see DOT’s Bronx office be more flexible. “My question is, can it be relocated? Because it’s a long street and construction is only on part of the street,” she said. “There has to be a protocol for this, like a temporary speed bump or something, because I can’t believe this is the first time in New York City history that they had to install a speed hump with construction going on.”

“We’re grateful for the school construction and the work that DOT has done with the Norwood Slow Zone. We just really need a speed bump there,” she said. “The drivers do speed up on our block because we’re the one that doesn’t have a speed hump. We just have the sign.”

  • armyvet00

    How the hell do you flip a car under normal driving conditions? In NYC of all places we can’t get a police force trained and considerate enough to investigate that question?

  • urbanresidue

    I simply do not believe that DOT cannot complete necessary street work when there is construction on an adjacent property. Would they wait years to fill a major pot hole next to a construction site? A sink hole? If there were a water main break or a rupture on a gas line, would they really say they couldn’t work on the street?
    This is a matter of priorities, and DOT’s actions are demonstrating that Slow Zones are not a priority.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    revoke license – this driver is obviously unsafe at any speed

  • Matt

    ““There was no criminality involved. Vehicle looks like it just crashed and rolled over,” he said. “It’s just a vehicle accident.””

    They’re effing trolling us at this point. They’re speaking as if this is what cars do, “Cars just gonna be cars, ya know?”

  • BBnet3000

    Presumably they couldn’t complete the speed hump all the way to the curb because of the barriers in the parking lane, but that’s not actually necessary anyway.

    In lots of places they don’t bother to run the speed humps all the way to the curb AND they put gaps in them for people riding bicycles to get through without the bump.

  • Matthias

    Idiotic. Vehicles don’t just roll over at 25mph unless you’re doing something seriously wrong.

  • gneiss

    Yet again we have the police acting as if cars are already self driving machines with drivers acting as unwitting agents watching the steering wheels turn and the gas pedals depressing themselves. Amazing how the language they use around car crashes influences how responsibility gets assigned away from the people who actually cause the crashes in the first place.

  • They definitely don’t roll over at 20mph, which is the maximum the driver should have been going.

  • HamTech87

    If somebody shoots a gun and it doesn’t hit someone but lodges in a nearby building, would there also be no ticket?

  • urbanresidue

    Temporarily remove the barriers, get the work done, then let the construction project resume.

    I’m sure DOT retains the right to reenter the property. The City has broad rights to enter onto private property to complete necessary work in the public interest, it surely has the ability to perform work on its own property. It is a courtesy to allow construction to encroach on the public way; that courtesy can be suspended when there is a more pressing public interest.

  • Cold Shoaler

    How is it not criminal negligence to drive in such a manner? This is insane. This person could easily have killed someone and should be treated appropriately under the law.

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