NYPD Just Not That Into Reporting Traffic Fatalities

December 16, 2014 | Bucky Turco

Despite its “stated policy” to notify reporters about every traffic death, the NYPD only sends the data around 25 percent of the time WNYC reports. These findings come on the heels of the nation’s largest police force facing intense scrutiny for not aggressively investigating drivers involved in fatal crashes, for selectively enforcing traffic laws against cyclists, and for beating up jaywalking pedestrians.

“It’s outrageous that there are still, today, in the Vision Zero era, so many deaths, so many crashes that are falling through the cracks,” said Transportation Alternative’s Paul Steely White to WNYC.

That’s not the only issue either — the city’s numbers don’t line up with the NYPD’s:

Even when the the police post information about traffic deaths, WNYC has found, the city under counts it.

The data exists in several places. The NYPD posts a monthly count on its website. Since May, the police have also reported crashes to a central city website. WNYC also keeps a count, adding in information gleaned from tips, news reports, and social media.

Those counts never match. For example: in early November, police listed more than 210 deaths, while the city had about 180. WNYC put the total at 220.

Underreporting death: the only path to Vision Zero!

(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)