NYC: outrage over automotive terror —at last

Hundreds of bicyclists staged a "die-in" in New York's Washington Square Park July 9, expressing outrage over the spate of killings of cyclists on the city's streets. Three deaths came in a one-week period, finally prompting demands for public action: Robyn Hightman, a 20-year-old bicycle messenger and track racer, was killed by a truck driver in Manhattan. Ernest Askew, 57, riding an e-bike in Brooklyn, was hit and killed by a teen driver. And Devra Freelander, 28, an artist, was killed by a cement truck driver, also in Brooklyn.  (Bicycling, July 10) Hundreds of people gathered at 6th Avenue and West 23rd Street after the slaying of Hightman there on June 24. Hightman was the 12th cyclist killed on New York City streets in 2019; 10 were killed in all of 2018. (Gothamist, June 25) 

Hightman was found by police laying on the street, unconscious and unresponsive, with head trauma. The driver initially fled, but later returned to the scene. Media reports did not indicate that he was arrested. As The Villager reports, Hightman had been an advocate for bicylists, who had recently posted on social media:

As a homeless youth deeply entrenched in the trappings of poverty and parental abuse and neglect, my first bicycle offered a way to seek respite from the horrors of my surroundings and human experience, if only for a few glorious minutes. My bicycle established a sense of independence, strengthened my ability to be self sufficient, and provided me with the confidence necessary to advocate for myself, my rights, and my needs in public space... Eventually, my bicycle allowed me to provide for myself when I began working a full time job at the age of fourteen. My bicycle provided me with the socioeconomic mobility necessary to escape. My bicycle saved my life.

City Council member Brad Lander has introduced a bill to impound vehicles that rack up five or more moving violations in any 12-month period. (Streetsblog, July 10) But Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has made traffic safety a supposed priority with his Vision Zero campaign, sparked further outrage just a few days later by  defending a police officer who "forcefully stopped" a cyclist in the East Village—running over his CitiBike in the process.

The incident took place on Ave. A near Tompkins Square Park July 5—just three days after the mayor announced a new campaign to protect cyclists in response to the recent killings. A widely-shared video of the confrontation shows an unidentified officer—his SUV jack-knifed across the bike lane, the mangled CitiBike stuck under its wheels—accusing the cyclist of riding recklessly. "I'm going to use whatever means necessary to stop you, and that's for your safety," the officer tells him, drawing gasps and guffaws from the gathered crowd. (Gothamist, July 8)

The headline announcing the new safety campaign in the Daily News July 2 was all too telling: "NYPD announces plan to temporarily improve bike safety after slew of cyclist deaths." Temporarily. Right, let's wait for the news cycle to move on, then we can go back to killing bicyclists like normal.

Indeed, the NYPD has been escalating harassment of bicyclists of late. As Gothamist reported April 22:

For six years, bike messenger Shardy Nieves, 38, has organized the 4/20 Race and Bake relay bike race without any major issues with the NYPD. "At the finish line we have cookies, pizza, cupcakes, local bakeries sometimes sponsor it, it's just a way to bring the community together," Nieves told Gothamist.

But on Saturday afternoon, when Nieves arrived at the starting point for this year's race, Tompkins Square Park, he said he was greeted by name by an NYPD Lieutenant. "The officer had a manila envelope, and inside that envelope was screenshots of my social media and screenshots of the event," Nieves says. A few minutes later, Nieves was in handcuffs.

Nieves was told he was being arrested for an outstanding warrant stemming from an open container ticket he got in 2015.

And the automotive carnage that we have been documenting for years likewise escalates...

James Buzzell,  76, was fatally struck by a box truck backing into a parking spot near Union Square in May.  (Daily News, May 21) Earlier that month, police charged the driver of a Smart car who plowed into two people in Battery Park City, severing one victims' foot. (Daily News, May 11) Also that month, a car rammed into a man crossing Northern Blvd., critically injuring him. The city is supposedly planning a makeover of the Queens thoroughfare because of an alarming uptick in pedestrian fatalities there. (Daily News May 11)

Arlene Kalfus, 81, was struck and killed by a shuttle bus near Battery Park in April. No arrest was reported at the time. (The Villager, April 11)

Another metro area bicycling advocate, David Schlichting, 66, of Great Neck, who helped found the Five Boro Bike Tour more than four decades ago, was killed in March when he was struck by a minivan while riding his bike in Lake Success, Long Island. (Newsday, March 19)

Similar news is reported from across the country. In Washington DC, bicyclist and safe-streets advocate Dave Salovesh, 54, was killed by a speeding driver on Florida Ave. NE—another thoroughfare with a notoriously deadly reputation. Just days after Salovesh's death in April, Bronx resident Abdul Seck, 31, was fatally struck by a vehicle while visiting DC's Anacostia neighborhood. (SmartCities, April 30)

In June, an off-duty police officer lost control of his vehicle while allegedly driving drunk and plowed into a restaurant in Chicago's South Side, killing a woman who was dining inside. (ABC News, June 12)

In Los Angeles, where 21 bicyclists were killed last year, city officials aim to raise awareness of the issue by placing signs memorializing bike riders "who died in crashes."  (LA Curbed, April 8) Note that we take issue with this terminology.

In a truly perverse case, a trap set along a Colorado Springs bike trail severely injured a 69-year-old rider in March. Nard Claar suffered a broken right clavicle, three broken ribs, a concussion, and "road rash" when his bike got caught in a parachute cord intentionally strung across the trail. (Bicycling, April 17)

And in Guatemala back in March, more than 30 people were killed when a truck plowed into a crowd gathered at the site of a road collision that had left one dead. There was no report of an arrest. The "accident" (sic) took place in the municipality of Nahula, Sololá department. (Sky News, March 28)

But while this is of course a global pathology, the escalating road carnage in the United States is clearly linked to the current fascistic zeitgeist in the country.

As Vice reported April 24:

Researchers have now found an explanation for why many drivers act out toward cyclists: They are actually dehumanizing people who ride bikes, according to an April study by Australian researchers in the journal Transportation Research. And this dehumanization—the belief that a group of people are less than human—correlates to drivers' self-reported aggressive behavior.

Since 2010, cyclist fatalities have increased by 25 percent in the US. A total of 777 bicyclists were killed in crashes with drivers in 2017, and 45,000 were injured from crashes in 2015. Data compiled by the League of American Bicyclists also suggests that, in some states, bicyclists are overrepresented in the number of traffic fatalities.  

Added the municipal affairs website Strong Towns:

If anything else—a disease, terrorists, gun-wielding crazies—killed as many Americans as cars do, we'd regard it as a national emergency. Especially if the death rate had grown by 50 percent in less than a decade. But as new data from the Governor's Highway Safety Association (via Streetsblog) show, that's exactly what's happened with the pedestrian death toll in the U.S. In the nine years from 2009 to 2018, pedestrian deaths increased 51 percent from 4,109 to 6,227.

We have pointed out before that by any objective standard, cars are worse than terrorism. The escalating carnage may also be linked to the current depressed oil prices—reversing the downward trend in road fatalities during the oil shock a decade ago. But this issue brings together concerns of foreign wars for control of oil, the domestic police state, global climate destabilization, and the particular manifestation of Ugly Americanism evidenced under Donald Trump. It is long, long past due that we start viewing trafic "accidents" (sic) as a political issue, and a form of systemic oppression of those who (whether consciously or not) dissent from the hegemonic and ecocidal car culture.

Context on anti-bicycle backlash

So far this year, 81 New Yorkers have been killed in traffic "accidents." Exactly one of those deaths was caused by a bicyclist—and it was the first since 2017. (Vision Zero, Gothamist) Yet double-standard anger directed at bicyclists on supposed "safety" grounds continued to be manifested in the comments section of The Villager.

Motorist kills art teacher in Brooklyn

An art instructor and avid yoga teacher who rode her bike everywhere became the city's 18th cyclist fatality when she swerved into the path of a vehicle while trying to avoid an opening car door. M. Samolewicz, 30, was traveling on Third Ave. in Sunset Park when she was hit by the 10-wheeler semi. (Daily News)

...while NY Post fears 'bike supremacy'

A New York Post editorial against Mayor de Blasio's "Green Wave Bicycle Plan" is entitled "'Bike supremacy' is ruining the city." Bike supremacy? Is that like "special rights" or "reverse racism"?

Traffic 'state of emergency' for San Francisco?

San Francisco's deadly year for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists has street-safety advocates clamoring for city leaders to formally declare a "state of emergency."

The call comes in the aftermath of two pedestrian deaths in just four days. Benjamin Dean was struck and killed by the driver of Tesla who ran a red light at Taylor and O'Farrell streets on July 21. The 39-year-old was visiting from Clovis to celebrate a wedding anniversary, with his wife, Kelly Dean, who was seriously injured. Three days earlier, the driver of a big rig fatally struck 54-year-old Michael Evans, dragging him two blocks to Fifth and Market streets before fleeing the scene.

On July 23, outside City Hall—where the Deans were married—street-safety advocates and San Francisco representatives called on Mayor London Breed to formally proclaim a citywide emergency. Doing so could unlock funds needed to speed up street-safety projects, advocates urged. (SF Weekly)

Propaganda wars in NYC car-nage

Michael Collopy, 60, died of his injuries after being struck by a bicyclist at 23rd St and 8th Ave, The Villager reports. This is terrible (of course), although we note, first, that the medical examiner is disputing the police account that he died as a result of being struck. And, secondly, that he was standing in the bike lane.

But we can already hear the hypocritical anti-bicycle reaction. He is the third pedestrian killed by a cyclist in NYC in as many years. There have already been 88 New Yorkers (including 18 bicyclists) killed by motorists so far this year. The most recent cyclist to die was Em Samolewicz, 30, an art teacher, struck by a truck in Sunset Park July 29. (Daily News) No arrests were reported in either case.

I called out the double standard in a letter to The Villager last week, in response to the unseemly anti-bicycle pile-on in their comments section.

Iris Crespo: Say her name.

An elderly woman walking in Chelsea was killed on Aug. 8, after being hit by a taxi around 1 p.m., according to police. The 77-year-old victim was identified as Iris Crespo, of 60 Amsterdam Ave. She was trying to cross W. 22nd St. at Eighth Ave., and was within the marked crosswalk, when she was struck by the taxi heading uptown on Eighth Ave. The force of the collision caused Crespo to land underneath a parked car, officials said.

After hitting Crespo, the hack, Daniel Fusaro, 82, a Queens resident, continued driving north before ramming into a parked vehicle, police said.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Crespo unconscious and unresponsive on the street, with trauma to her head and body. EMS took her to Bellevue Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The cabbie was taken into custody and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield to a pedestrian, failure to obey a traffic signal and failure to exercise due care. An investigation into the incident is ongoing by the Police Department’s Collision Investigation Squad. (The Villager)

Jose Alzorriz: say his name

From the Daily News, Aug. 11:

A teen driver who blew through a red light in Brooklyn caused a chain-reaction car crash Sunday that took the life of a bicyclist — the 19th killed on city streets this year.

A silver Dodge Charger zooming down Coney Island Ave. in Midwood barreled through the light and smacked into a Honda Pilot heading east on Avenue L at about 12:30 p.m.

The impact pushed the Honda into the cyclist, 52-year-old Jose Alzorriz of Park Slope, and sprayed debris onto a pedestrian, said police. The Honda careened onto the sidewalk, and pinned Alzorriz against a building.

The suspect was released without charges.

Melissa McClure: say her name.

A Chelsea woman died of her injuries Aug. 13 after being hit by a turning pick-up truck three days earlier. Police said Melissa McClure, 67, and another woman, age 59, were crossing W. 15th St. at Sixth Ave. when they were hit by the front of the vehicle, knocking them down. The pickup truck’s driver remained at the scene and was not injured. There were no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing. (The Villager)

This was not a 'crash'

From the Daily News, Sept. 2:

A bicycle-riding burglary suspect was killed Monday as revenge by one of his victims — an incensed SUV driver who mowed him down in a crazed caught-on-camera crash in Brooklyn, police sources said.

Once again, "crash" as a euphemism for homicide.

More anti-bicycle propaganda from NY Post

More blame-the-victim propaganda from the evil NY Post. Amid a wave of motorist slayings of bicyclists this, is what they choose to run—an editorial entitled "NYC bicyclists are killing pedestrians and the city won't stop it." Complete with emotionally manipulative image of a wounded child—who, contrary to the implication of the headline, was not killed, and suffered no critical injuries. Three people have been killed by bicyclists in NYC in the past three years. So far this year, 121 have been killed by motorists. The figure for 2018 was an even 200. The figure for 2017 was 221. DO NOT EAT THIS VOMIT.

Enzo Farachio: say his name

An out-of-control driver mounted the sidewalk and ran over 10-year-old Enzo Farachio, who was waiting at a bus stop in Midwood, killing him. (Streetsblog, Sept. 10)

Police are also investigating an incident in Bushwick in which an SUV driver apparently chased down and intentionally killed a man on a bicycle, who had tried to break into his car. He was the 21st bicyclists killed in the city this year. (Streetsblog, Sept. 2)

De Blasio mulls licenses for bicyclists

During a press conference last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he was considering making CitiBike riders wear helmets and require all cyclists to get licenses. (The Villager)

This licenses-for-bicyclists jive is victim-blaming bollocks of the lowest order. It is disincentivizing the solution to the plague of traffic fatalities—or a big part of it. Instead of burdening bicyclists with bureaucracy there should be a vigorous crackdown on lawless motorists. As of today, there have been 123 traffic fatalities in New York City this year. Two of those were due to bicyclists. The rest due to motorists. This focus on bicyclists as the problem is out of wack in the extreme.

SUV kills tot in Bronx

A 1-year-old child has died after a vehicle involved in a two-car crash jumped a curb and struck a stroller in the Bronx. The driver has since been taken into custody. (WABC)

Mario Valenzuela: say his name

From ABC7-NY:

A teenager riding his bike was killed when he was run over by a dump truck in Queens.

The truck driver and the bicyclist were traveling east on Borden Avenue in Long Island City on Saturday afternoon.

When the driver made a right turn on 11th Street, he struck the bicyclist with his back wheels. Officials say the wheels of the truck then ran over the cyclist.

Mario Valenzuela died at the scene.

A witness says the truck driver was devastated. He stayed on the scene.

"He said he was coming in and he didn't even notice that the cyclist just went into the back tire of the truck," said Victor Fernandez. "He was crying, I felt bad for the guy."

Police have made no arrests.

City records show Valenzuela is the 22nd bicyclist to die in a crash this year.

Relevant lines: "crash" and "no arrests."

Elou Rakhminov: say his name

From the NY Daily News

A tight-knit Queens family was reeling Sunday after the death of a retired watch repairman who was mowed down on a busy Kew Gardens Hills roadway — exactly seven months after his wife was struck and injured on the same street, blocks away.

Elou Rakhminov, 75, was killed Saturday night crossing Jewel Ave. near 140th St. The 30-year-old driver remained at the scene, and no charges were immediately filed.

Incredibly, his wife, Tamara Rakhminova, was struck at 147th St. on Feb. 21, the couple's devastated daughter, Basanda Rakhminova, told the Daily News.

Anne McLaughlin: say her name.

From the Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 28:

ST. PETERSBURG — Bicyclists dying on local streets is an all too common tragedy, but the recent death of Anne McLaughlin was all the more painful because she was struck and killed along a stretch of roadway that had been reworked for safer pedaling.

On Saturday morning, St. Pete Bike Co-op organized a memorial ride for the 25-year-old McLaughlin past the 2800 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, where she was killed Sept. 19 while crossing at a flashing beacon.

The ride also memorialized all cyclists and pedestrians who have become casualties of the street.

Dalerjon Shahobiddinov: say his name

From the NY Post:

A 10-year-old boy riding a bicycle was struck and killed by an unlicensed driver Saturday — just steps away from his Brooklyn home, police said.

Dalerjon Shahobiddinov was riding his orange bicycle in the crosswalk near Seton Place and Foster Avenue in Kensington at about 10:30 a.m. when he was mowed down by a man in a 2002 Ford Explorer who was making a left turn, police said.

He was just around the corner from his family's home when he was struck, police said.

Shahobiddinov was rushed to Maimonides Hospital in critical condition with severe body trauma, but could not be saved, officials said.

The 29-year-old driver, identified by police as Victor Majia, remained on the scene and was arrested shortly after the accident, according to officials.

He was charged with motor vehicle failure to yield to a bicyclist, motor vehicle license violation, and failure to exercise due care.

The boy's death is the 23rd accidental bike fatality this year — more than double last year’s numbers.

Motoring notes from all over

From Raw Story, Sept. 19:

A Wisconsin police officer will not face charges after he chased and killed a black man who did not have a bicycle light.

According to WITI, Police Sgt. Eric Giese of Mount Pleasant will not be charged in the killing of 18-year-old Ty’Rese West.

Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson said that she determined that Giese actions "fall under the privilege of self-defense."

From Berkeleyside, Oct. 2:

Michael Diehl, whose work with the homeless and poor on Berkeley's streets earned him the nickname "the Mayor of Berkeley streets," was killed Sunday when a driver struck him around 8:30 p.m. in Newark, according to authorities.

Diehl was not in a crosswalk when he traversed busy Newark Boulevard just north of Cedar Boulevard, according to Newark Police Capt. Jonathan Arguello. The 36-year-old Pinole driver who struck Diehl is cooperating in the investigation.

"There's no indication of any wrongdoing," said Arguello.

Diehl, 64, was one of Berkeley's most visible activists, having worked on a range of issues the last 40 years including keeping the punk rock club 924 Gilman Street Project open, protesting the placement of volleyball courts and housing in People's Park, and advocating for better treatment of the poor, the homeless and those with mental illnesses.

From The Telegraph, Oct. 2:

An Australian teenager has been charged over the deaths of 20 kangaroos, which he allegedly mowed down with his truck in a killing spree that lasted an hour.

The dead kangaroos, including two joeys, were found littered over roads in Tura Beach, 280 miles south of Sydney, on Sunday morning.

At least three other joeys were orphaned as a result of the disturbing attack, according to wildlife rescue group WIRES.

Police said on Wednesday the man, 19, had been arrested and charged with animal cruelty offences on Tuesday.

The man allegedly hit and killed the marsupials with his utility vehicle late on Saturday night.

Portland activist killed by SUV

From Portland Mercury, Oct. 12:

Early Saturday morning, Sean D. Kealiher, a 23-year-old Portland activist, was killed after being struck by an SUV near the Cider Riot taphouse in Northeast Portland. Kealiher's death is being investigated as a homicide.

Trump defends automotive terror

From The Independent, Oct. 10:

Donald Trump has defended the wife of a US diplomat accused of killing a British teenager in a road accident, suggesting it is difficult to drive on the other side of the road and that "it happens".

Speaking at the White House after a conversation with prime minister Boris Johnson, during which he apparently rejected a request to consider waiving the woman's diplomatic immunity and her returning to Britain to face the police, the president said he wanted to try and bring about "healing".

Mr Trump said the US would shortly be speaking to the woman, and that there were many Americans who sympathised with the plight of teenager's parents, who he said was killed in a "terrible accident".

Yet he also appeared to back the diplomat's wife, Anne Sacoolas, saying that it could be difficult "driving on the opposite side of the road".

"The woman was driving on the wrong side of the road. That can happen," he said. "Those are the opposite side of the road. I won’t say it ever happened to me, but it but it did."

'Fleetwide' hack attack feared

From the LA Daily News, July 31:

Advanced technologies have greatly improved the functionality of cars, but Internet connections to critical safety systems in the top 2020 vehicles leave them vulnerable to fleetwide hacks, according to a new report.

The study, "Kill Switch: Why Connected Cars Can Be Killing Machines And How To Turn Them Off," was compiled over a period of five months by Los Angeles-based Consumer Watchdog with the help of car industry technologists. Unveiled at a press conference Wednesday, the report warns that a fleetwide attack at rush hour could disable the brakes, steering or airbags on vehicles, resulting in a 9-11 scale catastrophe with as many as 3,000 deaths.

Automakers have acknowledged that cyberattacks pose a threat as Internet connectivity plays an increasingly bigger role in the operation of vehicles.

Air quality drops under Trump

From The Independent, Oct. 25:

A new study shows that air quality in the United States suffered between 2016 and 2018, after seven straight years of improvement starting during the first years of Barack Obama's administration.

The rise in pollution— which data shows started in 2016, just before Donald Trump took office and after years of economic recovery in the United States — has led to thousands of premature deaths across the country, according to the economists from Carnegie Mellon University who studied Environmental Protection Agency data from those time periods.

The causes of the rise in particulate matter comes from a variety of sources, the researchers said, including a strong US economy, the burning of wildfires in parched areas of the country, and the destruction of American environmental protection rules, which Donald Trump's administration has pursued vigorously.

Yes, he has.

Eduardo Calleabril: say his name

From WPIX, Oct. 22:

An employee for the Department of Transportation was killed when he was accidentally struck and run over by a colleague driving a truck near Gracie Mansion in Upper Manhattan early Tuesday, police said.

According to the FDNY, a call came in just after 1 a.m. for a person struck on East 88th Street, between York and East End avenues, less than a block from Gracie Mansion.

When police arrived, they found 44-year-old Eduardo Calleabril, of Queens, lying in the road, unconscious and unresponsive, with injuries to his body, the NYPD said.

Victim-blaming in Lindenhurst

From Newsday, Oct. 20:

Lindenhurst Village became the latest municipality to crack down on reckless bicyclists after trustees voted to confiscate bikes from dangerous riders.

The village board held a public hearing before voting to follow neighboring Babylon Village in prosecuting those who purposely block traffic, drive toward oncoming vehicles, make unsafe maneuvers and antagonize drivers...

Under the law, either Suffolk County Police or a village public safety officer could seize the bike, and if the rider is a minor, call the parents and later release the bike.

Those of legal age found to have violated traffic law could be subject to a fine up to $250.

Plan to 'revolutionize' NYC streets?

From Gothamist, Oct. 30:

The City Council approved a plan...aimed at "revolutionizing" the way pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders move through the five boroughs.

Spearheaded by Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the so-called "streets master plan" passed the council by a vote of 37 to 9, with two abstentions. The legislation requires the city to to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes over a five-year period. It also mandates construction of one million square feet of pedestrian space in the first two years, as well new accessibility upgrades...

But don't expect drivers to relinquish their grip on city streets immediately. In order to secure Mayor Bill de Blasio's support, it was announced this week that the first of two master plans won't be due until December 2021—one month before the current mayor leaves office. Prior to that compromise, the ambitious benchmarks would've been outlined in the coming weeks, and put into place starting next year...

While the mayor had repeatedly expressed reservations about the bill's targets, a City Hall spokesperson told Gothamist this week that he'd "always supported the goals behind the Master Plan building on our Vision Zero agenda."

The spokesperson also noted that engineers will start planning for the comprehensive street redesigns immediately, citing Johnson's calls for a "total reshaping" of the Department of Transportation. It's unclear why, six years after that start of Vision Zero, the transportation agency does not currently have the resources in place to begin work on a master streets plan.

De Blasio's signature transportation initiative has faced a barrage of criticism in recent months, as the number of cyclists killed this year has spiked to 26, the highest total in two decades. Until the new plan takes effect in 2022, the city will continue with its current commitment to building 30 miles of protected bike lanes annually.

Outrage over bust of Oregon cyclist

From Oregon Live, Oct. 24:

Oregon State Police this week publicly released the body camera footage of the controversial arrest of a 21-year-old Oregon State University student who was stopped by a trooper last week for allegedly riding her bicycle on the wrong side of a Corvallis street.

At a news conference Tuesday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People expressed concerns over “implicit bias” and “systemic racism” after the Oct. 13 arrest of Genesis Hansen, who describes herself in the body cam video as "an African American mixed woman."

No charges for car terrorist

From JTA, Oct. 24:

A grand jury declined to indict a former US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer who drove his truck into a row of Jewish protesters at an ICE detention center.

Capt. Thomas Woodworth resigned his position days after the August incident at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls [RI], where protesters were blocking an entrance. The demonstrators were part of Never Again Action, a new Jewish group protesting ICE and US immigration policy by getting arrested at ICE detention facilities.

Norman Hood Jr: say his name

From KCRA, Sacramento, Nov. 7:

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Michigan State Police have released dashboard camera footage from the night an 11-year-old boy was hit and killed by a deputy's cruiser.

The deputy was responding to a burglary call when he struck and killed Norman Hood Jr. May 28 crash in Battle Creek. He hadn’t activated his vehicle’s overhead lights and siren.

Fox 17 reports police say the deputy was going 66 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The sheriff’s office believes the boy turned his minibike into the path of the patrol car.

The prosecutor declined to press charges but Hood’s family has filed a lawsuit seeking $25 million. It lists the county and unnamed deputy as defendants.

27th bicyclist of 2017 killed in NYC —in hit-and-run

From ABC 7:

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) — Police are searching for the driver who fatally struck a bicyclist in East Harlem early Saturday.

The incident happened at about 3 a.m. at East 125th Street and First Avenue.

The 25-year-old bicyclist was found in the middle of an intersection and rushed to Harlem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators determined a Kenworth dump truck traveling southbound on First Avenue made an illegal left turn onto East 125th Street attempting to enter the Willis Avenue Bridge and struck the bicyclist traveling southbound on a bike path coming off the bridge.

The truck kept on going and was last seen heading north on the Willis Avenue Bridge. It is not yet clear whether the driver realized that someone had been hit.

Police are reviewing video of the crash. So far there have been no arrests.

The victim's identity has not yet been released.

Amish family hospitalized after truck strikes buggy

From The Detroit News, Aug. 26:

Camden Township, Mich. — An Amish family of four was airlifted to a hospital after their buggy was struck by a truck Saturday, according to published reports.

Witnesses told the Hillsdale Daily News that a silver pickup truck struck the horse-drawn buggy carrying an adult male, his wife, a small child and an infant at about 11 a.m. Saturday. said the crash happened on Dimmers Road just east of South Edon Road.

Four helicopters arrived to airlift the family to hospitals in neighboring counties, Lansing reported. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured.

The crash is the latest in a number of buggy-vehicle crashes. In June, three children were killed in California Township in southern Michigan when the Amish buggy they were riding in was struck by a truck.

In July, six children were injured in a crash on the state's west side after a vehicle struck a buggy carrying eight people.

Eight people died in 135 accidents involving the horse-drawn carriages from 2014 to 2019, according to the Michigan State Police. The figure doesn’t include the June accident.

We have also noted such incidents before.

Border Patrol agent gets probation for running over migrant

From Phoenix New Times, Nov. 20:

Matthew Bowen, a Nogales Border Patrol agent accused of intentionally running over a Guatemalan man in 2017 and then lying about it, was sentenced today to three years of probation and a possible $8,000 in restitution fees...

On December 3, 2017, Bowen hit Antolin Rolando Lopez-Aguilar, a Guatemalan migrant, with his official Border Patrol truck, nearly running him over after Lopez-Aguilar appeared to be trying to cross into the United States illegally, according to court documents.

During the hearing, federal prosecutors said Lopez-Aguilar, who was out of state and had declined to attend, had reported that he thought he was going to die at the time of the attack. Prosecutors also said he has been unable to continue needed physical therapy for injuries to his hands, knees, and back due to lack of money, and regularly wakes up due to the terror and the ongoing pain the incident caused.

Bowen, who's 39, admits he intentionally struck Lopez-Aguilar.

Good news, bad news on NYC road carnage

Timothy Cardinal Dolan joins with other faith leaders from New York to issue a statement entitled "We can no longer accept traffic deaths," online at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Meanwhile, from the Daily News, Nov. 16:

It took only seconds for an off-duty cop’s early morning FDR Drive joyride to veer into tragedy.

A three-year veteran NYPD cop racing his speeding Lexus against another car along the East Side highway was killed early Saturday after plowing his vehicle into a concrete median, catapulting a female passenger and her rookie FDNY boyfriend into oncoming traffic, police said.

The woman’s right foot was severed, while the firefighter was fighting for his life with massive injuries following the horrifying one-car wreck.

Officer Garman Chen, 25, was driving at a high rate of speed just north of the E. 23rd St. exit when he lost control of the black luxury car at 2:38 a.m. and slammed into the barrier as the one-car wreck sent a shower of gigantic orange sparks into the night sky before grinding to a halt atop the median, police said.

A high-ranking police source said it appeared Chen, who was pinned inside the twisted remains of his car, was racing against another vehicle when the fatal crash occurred.

Shortly after first responders finally cut the unconscious cop out of the crumpled vehicle, the young officer was declared dead at Bellevue Hospital.

Off-duty rookie firefighter Kenneth Larkin of Ladder Co. 10 was listed in extremely critical condition after he landed on the southbound side of the FDR, where he somehow avoided getting run down by another car, cops said. His girlfriend Amanda Remy, 25, was also sent sailing from the speeding Lexus and taken with him to Bellevue Hospital, police said.

Demand justice for Martina Standley

From the Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 19:

A Chicago police officer recklessly turned his police car into a weapon in the South Shore neighborhood when the officer ran over an unarmed woman, causing her to suffer a traumatic brain injury, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Martina Standley, 32, had "attempted to communicate" with officers inside a police SUV when the officer behind the wheel accelerated from a parked position and turned into her, causing Standley's head to strike the ground, the lawsuit stated.

NY cops persecute victims

Gothamist runs a maddening story (with gut-wrenching video) of a delivery cyclist who was sent flying and injured after getting "doored" by a car he had to swerve around because it was in the bike lane—and then the cop who showed up while he was still unresponsive on the ground threatened to give him a summons for riding outside of the bike lane! This touches on the legal ambiguity of whether cyclists are required to be in the bike lanes. Gothamist says they are, which we protest as tyranny—and raises the question of what rights cyclists have on streets where there are no bike lanes. It is not clear the cyclist was in fact given a summons—or if the motorist was penalized or even reprimanded.

Unlicensed motorist kills Harlem tot

From Streetsblog, Dec. 9:

An unlicensed pickup truck driver ran over and killed a little boy, and injured his mother, as she pushed the tot in a stroller on a Harlem street on Monday morning, cops said — the third 3-year-old child and the sixth under the age of 11 who have been fatally struck by drivers so far this year.

According to the NYPD, 59-year-old Jaime Sabogal was collared shortly after the crash and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, plus failure to yield and failure to exercise due care

29th bicyclist of the year killed NYC —amid semantic confusion

The 29th bicyclist of the year was slain in New York City Dec. 18, run down by a schoolbus full of kids on Fifth Ave. at 96th St. The driver was not arrested (of course). (Gothamist)

Even coverage sympathetic to cyclists continues to use the problemaic word "crash." CityLimits asks: "What's Behind NYC's Mounting Cyclist Death Toll?"

As of mid-December, NYPD data lists 27 cyclists who’ve been struck and killed by vehicles this year, though advocacy groups put the count at 28. That's up from a record-low of 10 cyclist fatalities in 2018, and experts say it's hard to pinpoint a direct or single cause behind the increase. They instead point to a confluence of factors, including an increasing population, more cars and larger vehicles on city streets, and insufficient bike infrastructure that hasn't kept up with the growing popularity of cycling...

The increase is in line with other city and national trends: While New York’s overall traffic deaths hit a record low in 2018, pedestrian deaths rose from the year before, to 115 fatalities (in 2019 so far, there have been 112 crashes where pedestrians were killed, NYPD data shows). Nationwide, 857 cyclists were killed in traffic last year, up 22 percent from 2017, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Similar analysis, and unfortunate terminology, is offered by Gothamist:

It has been a dangerous year to ride a bike in New York City. More cyclists have died in 2019 than any other year since 2000. While overall risk cyclists face has significantly decreased this century, as more and more New Yorkers bike, the city is still struggling to meet its stated goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2024. Overall traffic deaths have increased compared to the same time last year—205 up from 192 according to the Department of Transportation. Cycling deaths have nearly tripled this year compared to last.

Since January 1st we have reported on the preliminary investigations, the ensuing cyclist ticketing blitzs, and the occasional criminal charges. Eighteen crashes took place in Brooklyn. Twelve involved a truck. All but one involved a driver. Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged the crisis in July, and committed to accelerating the installation of protected bike lanes in underserved neighborhoods like Brownsville and Corona. Since the mayor announced these efforts, ten more cyclists have been killed by drivers.

Even CityLab, in a piece exploring "How Media Coverage of Car Crashes Downplays the Role of Drivers," unconsciously plays into the very propaganda it decries...

Since 2013, deaths among pedestrians and cyclists on U.S. roads have risen by nearly 30 percent and 14 percent respectively. Yet the public reaction to this spike in deaths has been fairly muted. Why?

One possible reason: road safety advocates have long complained that media outlets tend to blame pedestrians and cyclists who are hit by cars. A paper published earlier this year in a journal of the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board offers proof that they’re right.

Authored by a team of researchers at Rutgers University, Arizona State University, and Texas A&M University, the paper asks two main questions. First: how do news articles apportion blame in crashes between drivers on the one hand, and pedestrians and cyclists on the other? (The paper refers to pedestrians and cyclists collectively as "vulnerable road users," or VRUs.) And second, to what extent do news stories frame these crashes as a public health problem, and therefore preventable, rather than as "accidents" (a word that implies they are unavoidable)?

Using an automated script and a news aggregator, the authors (Kelcie Ralph, Evan Iacobucci, Calvin G. Thigpen, and Tara Goddard) collected more than 4,000 articles about crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists published in local news outlets in February and March 2018. Out of these, they selected a sample of 200 for detailed content analysis. Half of the pieces in the sample (100 articles) concerned a crash involving someone who was walking, while the other half reported on a crash involving a cyclist.

News stories overwhelmingly (but often subtly) shift blame onto pedestrians and cyclists, the researchers found. "Coverage almost always obscures the public health nature of the problem by treating crashes as isolated incidents, by referring to crashes as accidents, and by failing to include input from planners, engineers, and other road safety experts," they write.

Despite its suggestion of inevitability and faultlessness, ‘"accident" was the most commonly used term for crashes, occurring in 47 percent of sentences in articles’ body text and 11 percent of titles across the sample. News reports were also much more likely to use phrases like "a pedestrian or cyclist was hit by a car" instead of "a driver hit a pedestrian." (Journalists, it should be noted, have legal obligations to avoid placing blame on either party without an official determination by police or other authorities.)

OK, all very interesting... but how exactly is the word "crash" any better than "accident"? Sorry. When a pedestrian or bicyclist is killed by a motorist, it isn't a "crash." It's homicide—involuntary manslaughter, at best.

Automotive terror in Des Moines and Portland

A Des Moines woman has been charged with attempted murder after she told police she intentionally ran over a 14-year-old girl because she believed the teen was Mexican. (Detroit News)

Meanwhile in Oregon, a local Portland personality survived being hit by a car. Brian Kidd, better known as his unicycle-riding bagpipe playing alter-ego, the Unipiper, was hit while riding a bicycle through the Buckman neighborhood. (The Oregonian)

Katherine Miller: say her name

From The Village Sun, Dec. 23:

A Hell’s Kitchen woman was killed by a reversing box truck while she was on her way to an exercise class in Soho last Thursday.

The Daily News reported that Katherine Miller, 26, above, was in the crosswalk at Broadway and Howard St. when a Ferraro Foods truck that had backed up an entire block struck her.

The truck driver stayed at the scene and has not been charged.

Miller—who was headed to a Pilates class—was a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, native and a Bucknell University graduate. She worked at Burt Americas, Inc., a Swedish tech start-up, and donated some of her free time to a local soup kitchen. She was set to marry her fiance, Anil Prakash, on Sept. 4, the News reported...

The young tech employee was one of six pedestrians fatally struck by cars and trucks in the city in a three-day stretch last week. Also in Manhattan, a man in his 30s was killed on Friday by a private recycling truck making a left turn at 10th Ave. and 49th St. in Hell’s Kitchen around 4:40 a.m. The driver was arrested for failing to yield to a pedestrian and exercise due care. The victim’s name is not being released publicly yet pending family notification.

The other fatalities included one in Queens and three more in Brooklyn.

Bicycle delivery workers protest in Italy

In Turin, bicycle riders took to the streets to protest Glovo delivery service in support of a worker identified as Zohaib, a young Pakistani immigrat who is fighting for his life after being struck by a car. Cyclcists occupied the city's  Piazza Castello. (La Stampa, Dissapore)

NYC traffic fatality total for 2019

Citing NYC Department of Transportation figures, Eyewitness News reported Dec. 31 a total of 218 traffic fatalities in 2019, including 121 pedestrians and 28 bicyclists—although earlier reports had put the number of cyclists killed at 29. In any case, that’s a 200% increase in cyclist fatalities over 2018. Cyclists were themselves responsible for two of the 218 deaths.

NYC parents stand up to automotive terror

From NBC New York, Jan. 11:

Parents in New York City are calling for safer streets.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams stood with parents on Saturday to call on lawmakers to pass the Reckless Drive Accountability Act. The bill would strip driving privileges from people who have multiple violations.

New York City has seen five pedestrian deaths in the first weeks of 2020. Among the victims, a 10-year-old child hit by a city sanitation truck.

90-year-old man killed by city car on Canal St.

From the Village Sun:

An elderly man was fatally struck by a city vehicle at Canal and Elizabeth Sts. on Saturday around 6:30 a.m., police said.

Responding to a 911 call, officers found the victim, 90, lying in the street with trauma to the body. E.M.S. medics transported him to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead...

The driver remained at the scene and was not charged. The investigation is ongoing.

A police spokesperson confirmed the driver is a Sanitation employee...

Police have the victim’s name but, following usual protocol, are not releasing it publicly until they notify his family first.

Win Lu Hon: say his name.

Police have released the name of the elderly man who was fatally struck by a Department of Sanitation vehicle while crossing Canal St. early on the morning of Jan. 25. A department spokesperson identified the victim as Win Lu Hon, 90, who lived at 236 Mulberry St., just seven blocks from where he was hit. (Village Sun)

Bob Nill: say his name

From WDAF in Kansas City, Feb. 19:

Crossing guard, 88, dies saving kids from speeding car outside school
KANSAS CITY, Kan.  – An 88-year-old school crossing guard is being hailed as a hero after he saved two kids in front of a Kansas school from an approaching car before he was fatally struck.

Bob Nill, 88, was working the crosswalk Tuesday morning in front of Christ the King Parish School, a private Catholic school in Kansas City, Kansas. Officials say a speeding car hit and killed the crossing guard while he was out doing his job. He was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Witnesses told police he protected two kids by pushing them out of the way of the approaching vehicle.

Bob Nill's family says his actions are no surprise and that extraordinary kindness and generosity were a part of his DNA. He had worked the crosswalk in front of the school for five years.

10-year-old girl killed by a school bus in Brooklyn

A 10-year-old girl killed by a school bus in Brooklyn brings to over 20 the number of pedestrians slain by motorists on New York City streets this year. (NYT, Feb. 25)

Patience Albert: say her name

From the NY Post, Feb. 25:

The school bus driver accused of fatally mowing down a 10-year-old girl in Brooklyn early Tuesday has been arrested, police said.

Pedro Colon, 61, was slapped with charges of failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care for the 6:45 a.m. collision that left little Patience Albert dead, cops said.

Speeding up in NYC amid COVID-19 crisis

New York's normally congested streets are empty because of the coronavirus pandemic—and some drivers are taking this as an invitation to speed. Data from the Department of Finance shows that tickets issued by speed cameras jumped in the month of March, even as traffic dropped dramatically. According to Streetsblog, which first reported on the data, there were 180,718 tickets issued on the weekdays from March 5 to March 24, representing a jump of more than 12 percent over the same period in January. (Curbed)

Cyclist killed by bus driver in Flatbush 'danger zone'

A cyclist, apparently making a delivery, was killed by an on-duty MTA bus driver on April 28 afternoon at a dangerous intersection in Flatbush.

According to police, both Tadeusz Czajkowski, 67, and the bus driver were traveling northbound on Rogers Ave. when Czajkowski "attempted to make a left turn on to Clarendon Road," where he was hit by the bus. The 47-year-old driver, whose name was not released, remained at the scene and was not charged. A video of the incident suggests the bus was traveling at a high rate of speed, relative to the e-bike-riding cyclist. It also brings into question the police narrative that the cyclist was preparing to "make a left turn."

Czajkowski is the second cyclist killed this year—and the first since January. Fatalities and crashes are down significantly this year because there are so many fewer cars on the road during the COVID-19 lockdown, which began in mid-March. Statistics show that the total number of miles being driven in automobiles is down nearly 90%. Pedestrian deaths have also plummeted as a result of the reduction in driving. (Streetsblog)

Janette Sadik-Khan on global bicycle agenda

Former NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and co-author Seth Solomonow happily have a piece in the March/April edition of Foreign Affairs, foremost forum of the policy elite, "Mean Streets: The Global Traffic Death Crisis." It is a sign of hope to see such ideas expressed there—including a brief discussion of the terminology dilemma. These ideas are all the more timely in light of COVID-19...

In the United States, federal and state street-design guidelines explicitly promote wider lanes, even though they are known to be deadlier. In other words, far from being "accidents"—and indeed, the World Health Organization and other traffic-safety proponents have shunned that term—traffic deaths are caused by roads that are operating exactly as designed...

Between 2007 and 2013, the [NYC] Department of Transportation redesigned lengthy portions of 137 streets and revamped 113 intersections—expanding the space to walk, decreasing crossing distances for pedestrians, and making streets navigable enough for children, senior citizens, and people with physical disabilities to cross...

What's more, we converted 180 acres of New York City road space into bike lanes, bus lanes, and new pedestrian space. This included making 2.5 acres in Times Square car free: Broadway was transformed from a taxi-choked corridor into a walkable haven...

The results were visible in every borough—in the crowded avenues of Manhattan, the residential side streets of Brooklyn, the commercial centers of Queens, and the busy boulevards of the Bronx and Staten Island, many of which hadn't changed in generations. From 2001 to 2019, traffic deaths along all of New York City's 6,000 miles of roadway dropped by over 44 percent—from 394 to just 219—even as the number of pedestrians on the city's streets increased and bike ridership tripled. The city saw a 37 percent drop in pedestrian deaths and similar reductions for those injured in a car...

In cities as different as Chicago and Los Angeles, there is frequent talk of licensing bike riders or requiring them to wear bike helmets. Although bike helmets are a reasonable precaution, legally requiring them for all riders only reduces the number of cyclists on the street and thus the traffic-calming effect that they bring. In many Australian cities, for example, helmet laws have not lowered traffic deaths; instead, they have merely hobbled public bike-share systems, whose riders don't want to carry a helmet wherever they go. Helmets aren’t what make biking safer. There are no helmet requirements in Denmark, the Netherlands, or Norway—countries where bikes are widely used for transportation and that nonetheless report fewer bike deaths per mile ridden than the United States.

Thank you, Janette.

Senior cyclist killed in Manhattan still nameless

From The Village Sun, May 24:

Police still have not released the identity of a septugenarian cyclist who was fatally struck by an SUV outside Stuyvesant Town on Tues., May 5.

On that day, around 10:18 a.m., officers responded to a 911 call of a cyclist hit on E. 14th St. near First Ave. Cops found a 72-year-old woman unconscious and unresponsive with severe trauma to the head.

An E.M.S. ambulance transported the victim to Bellevue Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

According to a preliminary police investigation, a 33-year-old man was driving a 2019 Cadillac SUV eastbound on 14th St., when he reversed into a parking space. The cyclist was crossing E. 14th St. from north to south midblock, when she was struck by the SUV as it was backing up.

The vehicle’s operator remained at the scene. The investigation remains ongoing.

Apparently, the woman did have ID on her. But police spokespersons told The Village Sun that while they do know the woman’s identity, per department protocol, they cannot release her name until they first notify her family.

However, to date, police have been unable to track down any family members for her.

Susan Feterman: say her name

The senior citizen killed on East 14th St. on May 5 is now identified as Susan Feterman. Her friends and neighbors remember her as an avid bicyclist. (The Village Sun)

NYPD use cars as weapons

Police are using their squad cars as weapons in their repression of protesters decrying police violence, Streetsblog reports. Videos filmed on May 30 by witnesses show multiple incidents of NYPD officers using their vehicles to intimidate, endanger and willfully attempt to injure. Most of the videos were taken along Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn.

Another cyclist killed in NYC —third this month

An MTA bus driver struck and killed a cyclist in midtown Manhattan on June 16. According to police, the unidentified cyclist was heading south on Fifth Avenue when the bus caught up to her and struck her near the corner of 59th Street. She died at the scene from head trauma. Although her name has not been released, she was reported to be 19 years old.

The death marks the seventh person to be killed on a bicycle in the city this year, a slight dip from the 12 deaths recorded by this point in 2019. Still, advocates worry this year is shaping up to be just as tragic as last year for cyclists, when 29 people died by the end of the year on bikes, the highest number since at least 1999. Two other cyclists were killed earlier this month, both in the Bronx. (Daily NewsStreetsblog)

Vehicle attacks rise as extremists target protesters

From NPR, June 21:

Right-wing extremists are turning cars into weapons, with reports of at least 50 vehicle-ramming incidents since protests against police violence erupted nationwide in late May.

At least 18 are categorized as deliberate attacks; another two dozen are unclear as to motivation or are still under investigation, according to a count released Friday by Ari Weil, a terrorism researcher at the University of Chicago's Chicago Project on Security and Threats. Weil has tracked vehicle-ramming attacks, or VRAs, since protests began.

The 20 people facing prosecution in the rammings include a state leader of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan, as well as a California man who was charged with attempted murder after antagonizing protesters and then driving into them, striking a teenage girl. Video footage of some attacks shows drivers yelling at or threatening Black Lives Matter protesters before hitting the gas.

NYPD commish defends automotive terror

NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea, testifying in an online public hearing on the police response to the recent protests, responded to a question from New York Attorney General Letitia James, saying officers who drove their cars into demonstrators did not violate use-of-force policy. (The Hill)

Road fatalities down but ratio of deadly 'crashes' up

Overall road fatalities are down following the COVID-19 lockdowns, but the ratio of deadly "crashes" is dramatically up, as motorists apparently take empty streets as a license to speed. In New York City, the ratio of fatal crashes to all collisions rose 167% in April from a year ago. The increase was 292% in Chicago and 65% in Boston. Across the ocean, in Madrid, Spain, the rate of fatal collisions was 470% higher. (Reuters)

Protesters as 'speed bumps'

From the Des Moines Register, June 30:

The Sioux Rapids City Council voted Monday to temporarily suspend the city's police chief after he made a Facebook post appearing to call Des Moines Black Lives Matter demonstrators "road bumps."

During a June 20 protest outside a Hy-Vee store on Southeast 14th Street in Des Moines, a man drove his pickup truck through a crowd of activists. Television station KCCI posted a video of the incident on Facebook, where Sioux Rapids Police Chief Tim Porter commented in all caps "hit the gas and hang on over the road bumps."

Detroit police car ploughs into protesters

From the Detroit Metro Times, June 29:

Detroit police released videos from inside two squad cars that drove through a crowd of protesters on Sunday.

Police Chief James Craig defended his officers' actions on Monday, saying they were surrounded by potentially violent protesters."They felt a clear and present threat, and they decided to leave the location," Craig told city council members today.

Protesters said they were peaceful and only responded because a squad car drove through the crowd of marchers.

Cell phone videos of a squad car appearing to plow through a crowd of protesters set off debates on social media Monday.

Detroit City Council is investigating the officers' actions.

Seattle motorist ploughs into protesters

Two people have been hospitalized, one with life-threatening injuries, after a vehicle barreled past a police barrier and into protesters on a freeway in Seattle. Washington State Patrol said that the driver of the white Jaguar sedan, a 27-year-old man, is in custody. At this point, officers have not offered a motive, although the suspect was reportedly not impaired. (NPR)

Seattle protester struck by a car dies of wounds

A 24-year-old activist who was struck by a vehicle during a protest in Seattle early July 4 morning has died, a spokesperson for UW Medicine told CNN. Summer Taylor, the protester, was fatally injured when a man drove onto the closed Interstate 5 and into a crowd of protesters.

Another protester, 32-year-old Diaz Love, was also struck by the car and is in serious condition in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center. 

Motorist ploughs into protesters in Times Square

BoingBoing is citing reports on social media that an SUV just plowed through protesters on 42nd street in Manhattan. Injuries still being assessed.

No charge for Times Square motor-assailant

The Daily News rather too neutrally writes that "A motorist nabbed by cops for driving off after getting into a confrontation with Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square has been released without charges."

Carless future in NY Times

Farhad Manjoo writes in a NY Times op-ed, "I've Seen a Future Without Cars, and It's Amazing."

As coronavirus lockdowns crept across the globe this winter and spring, an unusual sound fell over the world’s metropolises: the hush of streets that were suddenly, blessedly free of cars. City dwellers reported hearing bird song, wind and the rustling of leaves. (Along with, in New York City, the intermittent screams of sirens.)

You could smell the absence of cars, too. From New York to Los Angeles to New Delhi, air pollution plummeted, and the soupy, exhaust-choked haze over the world’s dirtiest cities lifted to reveal brilliant blue skies.

Cars took a break from killing people, too. About 10 pedestrians die on New York City’s streets in an ordinary month. Under lockdown, the city went a record two months without a single pedestrian fatality. In California, vehicle collisions plummeted 50 percent, reducing accidents resulting in injuries or death by about 6,000 per month.

As the roads became freer of cars, they grew full of possibility. Rollerblading and skateboarding have come back into fashion. Sales of bicycles and electric bikes have skyrocketed.

But there is a catch: Cities are beginning to cautiously open back up again, and people are wondering how they’re going to get in to work. Many are worried about the spread of the virus on public transit. Are cars our only option? How will we find space for all of them?

In much of Manhattan, the average speed of traffic before the pandemic had fallen to 7 miles per hour. In Midtown, it was less than 5 m.p.h. That’s only slightly faster than walking and slower than riding a bike. Will traffic soon be worse than ever?

Not if we choose another path.

Driver smashes through outdoor dining area in Queens

From the Queens Daily Eagle, July 7:

At least one person was removed by stretcher after a driver crashed his SUV through an outdoor seating area and into a Jackson Heights restaurant Sunday night. the entire white 2019 Toyota Highlander stuck inside 12 Corazones Restaurant and Bar, an Ecuadorian eatery on Roosevelt Avenue near 86th Street. The restaurant was crowded with patrons and employees when the driver crashed into the building... The driver was given a summons and released.

EMS took five people to Elmhurst Hospital for non-life threatening injuries, according to the NYPD. ABC News reported one person was in critical condition, based on information from the FDNY.

Roosevelt Avenue, a bustling commercial corridor beneath the No. 7 train tracks that marks the border between Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, is one of Queens’ most dangerous streets.

Over 60 motorist attacks on BLM protesters

From, July 9:

At least 68 people have driven their cars into Black Lives Matter protesters since May 25. The incidents, most incited by civilians and some by police, represent an alarming trend in counter-protest violence against those marching in the streets. On foot, protesters are often defenseless against attacks by speeding vehicles; many have been injured and at least one person has died.

Data collected since late May by Ari Weil, deputy research director at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats of the University of Chicago, shows that vehicle assaults on protesters are increasingly common. According to NPR, Weil's research has found that 18 of the attacks were "deliberate," with many more still under investigation.

NYPD out of traffic enforcement

From Streetsblog, June 19:

The de Blasio administration must make an ambitious, and wholehearted, break from the past and remove the NYPD from its disproportionately large oversight of traffic enforcement in the city, to make our streets safer from crashes, but also protect people of color from the cops themselves, a new report argues.

The new report, "The Case for Self-Enforcing Streets" from Transportation Alternatives [PDF], offers a slate of recommendations — some new and some older ideas that have resurfaced, thanks to the current debate over the future of policing, specifically in public space, where "armed policing" causes "harm."

"It has become abundantly clear that the NYPD's approach to traffic safety is not working, especially for New Yorkers of color," said Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Marco Conner DiAquoi. "We know what works, and that’s street design that is always on duty, and automated enforcement technology that doesn’t discriminate. This is an inflection point, and our elected leaders have a choice: will New York become a leader in progressive, racially-just traffic safety, or will we continue with the police-dominant status quo?"

We aren't so sure about that "automated enforcement technology"...

Carnage at Floyd Bennett Field

An 11-year-old boy and two teenagers died in a car crash at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn the night of July 11, while another 17-year-old male remains in critical condition. Police believe drag-racing was involved. (Gothamist)

More automotive terror —this time in Rhode Island

A Rhode Island driver is being accused of hitting a 63-year-old man with his car after the man had confronted him about not wearing a face mask into a local convenience store. (Raw Story)

Deadly hit-and-run on Chelsea street

Detectives are looking for the van driver who struck and killed a 29-year-old woman on a Chelsea street. The incident happened at on Aug. 2 at the corner of West 23rd St. and 7th Ave. Officers from the 13th Precinct and EMS units responded to a 911 call about the collision. Upon arrival, cops found the victim unconscious and unresponsive with head and body trauma. (AMNY)

Note: "Collision" is our source's word. We submit that the better word is "assault."

Motorist ploughs into protesters in Times Square —again

The driver of a black Ford Taurus rammed into a crowd of protesters marching against police brutality in Times Square on Sept. 3, leading to multiple injuries. Police were hunting for the car. (Gothamist, Daily News)

Trafic fatalities surge in NYC

From the New York Times, Sept. 1:

9 Major N.Y.C. Roads Get Lower Speed Limits as Traffic Deaths Surge
More drivers, passengers and motorcyclists have been killed so far this year than all of last year. Reckless driving is a major factor, officials say.

When the pandemic emptied New York of its usual traffic, the city’s streets transformed into an open speedway where drivers drag raced down major roads, racked up thousands of tickets and in some cases left fatal wreckage in their wake.

At the time, city officials saw the rash of reckless driving as an aberration that would vanish when the city’s usual traffic reappeared.

But as restrictions lifted this summer and traffic crept back toward pre-pandemic levels, the spate of speeding — and fatal collisions — did not end.

Now, alarmed by the sustained rise in fatalities and bracing for the possibility of a second lockdown that could worsen the current speeding crisis, city officials are reducing speed limits by five miles per hour on nine of the most dangerous streets across the five boroughs.

No charges in Times Square automotive terror: report

A pro-Trump counterprotester who was in the car that drove through a crowd of Black Lives Matter marchers in Times Square says she and everyone else in the car spoke to detectives and were let go without charges. (, CBS)

Automotive terror in Denver

At least one woman was injured Sept. 23 when a man drove into a crowd of demonstrators who had taken to the streets of Denver to protest a grand jury decision not to charge any police officers with the killing of Breonna Taylor. (Daily News)

License to kill in NYC ...again

A man died in Manhattan last week after he was hit by a car while crossing the street in Midtown, police have revealed. Upon arrival at the scene, officers found 69-year-old Richard G. Brode lying in the roadway with trauma to his head. The motorist remained on the scene, but no arrest was made. (AMNY)

Automotive terror in NYC... again

An SUV driver sped into a crowd of cyclist protesters demonstrating against police brutality in Manhattan on the evening of Oct. 3, sending two to the hospital. (Gothamist)

Cars have hit demonstrators 104 times this year

There have been at least 104 incidents of people driving vehicles into protests from May 27 through Sept. 5, including 96 by civilians and eight by police, according to Ari Weil, a researcher at the University of Chicago's Project on Security and Threats. There have been at least two fatalities, in Seattle and in Bakersfield. (USA Today, July 9)

Note: This story just came to our attention, but the figure must be considerably higher today, as several more such incidents are cited above...

Sofia Gomez: say her name

New York Attorney General Letitia James has announced that her office is investigating the death of a 20-year-old woman who was struck by a police car in the Bronx. James said her Special Investigations & Prosecutions Unit is looking into the crash that killed Sofia Gomez last week. Gomez died three days after an NYPD vehicle struck her Oct. 5 in an intersection near her home.

Police said the marked patrol car had its flashing lights and siren on as it responded to another officer's call for backup at a traffic stop on the Throgs Neck Bridge. The backup call was said to be nased on a "false report" of shots fired. (AP, WABC)

More evidence: car culture is fascist

So a MAGA "cavalry" of pick-up trucks and SUVs charged a Biden-Harris tour bus on the interstate outside Austin, trying to force it off the road, and prompting Biden to cancel his rally in the city. "I LOVE TEXAS!" Trump tweeted in response to the news. (See coverage at Daily Beast, Forbes)

Trump digs in on support for automotive terrorism

In response to the news that the FBI is investigating the Texas highway incident, Trump tweeted: "In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong. Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!" (Texas Tribune)

Further evidence: car culture is fascist

A homeless activist claims Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Robert McKinzie got behind the wheel of a pick-up truck and ran over a homeless man’s tent to force him to leave an encampment earlier this year. The alleged incident occurred in April, according to a Sept. 22 complaint that homeless advocate Jeff Weinberger sent to the Broward County Office of the Inspector General. (Sun-Sentinel)

More automotive terror in Queens

Car crashes into NYC bakery on opening day after road rage dispute
FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- At least four people were injured in an apparent road rage incident that ended with a car smashing through the front of a Queens bakery that was marking its grand opening Monday.

It happened just after 4 p.m. on Kissena Boulevard in Flushing, where police say two cars with two occupants each became involved in a dispute over a parking space or a vehicle.

The occupants of one car allegedly exited with a baseball bat and approached the other vehicle, at which point authorities say that driver attempted to run the two men over and instead plowed into the Rainbow Bakery.

Automotive terror in Germany

At least five people were killed, including a 9-month-old baby, and several others injured when a man plowed his car into a group of people in a pedestrian zone in the southwest German city of Trier. Police arrested the driver of the car, a 51-year-old German national. He will be prosecuted for murder and manslaughte, police said. (CNN)

Motorist ploughs into protesters in Manhattan —again

A driver who ploughed into a crowd of 50 protesters in New York City on Dec. 11 has been charged with reckless endangerment. Six people at the Black Lives Matter protest in Manhattan's Murray Hill were hit by the vehicle. A number were taken to hospital though none of the injuries were life-threatening, police said. (BBC News)

Hit-and-run driver strikes stroller; baby dies on Christmas

A hit-and-run driver struck a woman pushing her one-year-old grandchild in a stroller, putting the grandmother in critical condition and causing the baby to die Christmas morning. The child, Amara White, was being pushed on Londondale Parkway in Newark, Ohio, just before 3 PM when both were struck by a vehicle. The driver did not provide aid and immediately took off. (AP)

Automotive terrorist walks in Iowa

From AP, Jan. 8:

A white man who deliberately sped his car through a crowd of racial injustice protesters in Iowa City, striking several, will avoid prison and have the incident erased from his record if he stays out of trouble for three years.

A judge last month granted a deferred judgment for Michael Ray Stepanek, 45, who told police he drove his Toyota Camry through the crowd in August because the protesters needed "an attitude adjustment."

Police automotive terror in Tacoma

From NPR, Jan. 25:

Protests erupted late Sunday in Tacoma, Wash., in response to an incident a day earlier in which a police officer used his patrol vehicle to plow through a crowd, hitting several people and injuring at least two.

The incident involving the police officer was captured on cellphone video and posted on social media. Law enforcement officials said the officer, who was not named, is on paid administrative leave during an investigation.

Those who took to the streets in the city's downtown area on Sunday evening were carrying signs that read: "Defund TPD," the abbreviation for Tacoma Police Department...

Police autmotive terror in Philadelphia

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 8:

Philadelphia Police Officer Gregory Campbell was allegedly intoxicated Saturday night and driving "at least" 70 miles per hour in his Dodge Dart when he blew past a stop sign and slammed into a house down the street from the headquarters of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, breaking a woman's legs and collapsing her lung while she was lying on the couch with her husband, according to court documents.

The 53-year-old woman, a mother of three, was "dragged and pinned" under Campbell's car and was hospitalized in critical condition, the criminal complaint states. Her 45-year-old husband required medical treatment for less severe injuries to his arm, hand, hip, leg, and back.

One of their dogs was killed.

The impact of the crash left the couple's house, on a tidy block of Comly Road in the Far Northeast, looking as if it had been partially bulldozed. A jagged hole revealed splintered wood, dangling shards of sheet rock, and overturned furniture.

Arrest in Lower East Side motorist assault on bicyclist

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- An investigation is underway after a pizza delivery worker on a bike was struck by a vehicle in Manhattan Monday night, according to officials.

Police say the incident happened just after 6 p.m. at Delancey Street and Columbia Street on the Lower East Side.

They say 21-year-old Dylan Penalo was driving a Honda Accord going westbound on Delancey Street when he collided with a bicyclist, who was going southbound on Columbia Street.

The victim, who was found unconscious and unresponsive, was a pizza delivery worker in his 40s.

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.

According to police, the driver of the car fled on foot but later returned, identified himself, and complained of wrist pain.

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition and is in police custody.

Penalo is now charged with assault, reckless endangerment, and leaving the scene of an accident with a serious injury.

A testament to the American way of life

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — A pileup involving more than 130 vehicles along Interstate-35W in Fort Worth shut down the highway Thursday and left multiple people trapped in their vehicles.

During an update Thursday afternoon, officials in Fort Worth confirmed at least six people, who have not been publicly identified, were killed in the crash.

Officials said at least 36 people were transported to hospitals and that a total of 65 people sought medical attention from the crash.

The pileup that involved a total of 133 vehicles, according to officials, happened around 6:30 a.m. after freezing rain and sleet fell overnight and into the morning, leaving roadways across North Texas wet and slick.

More police automotive terror in NYC

From the NY Daily News, Dec. 17:

The NYPD is investigating two officers for their roles in a potential coverup of a 2018 high-speed chase through Queens that ended in a fatal crash, the Daily News has learned.

The officers — Andrew Diaz and Oscar Lopez — were in hot pursuit of motorcyclist Steven Goddard and his girlfriend Amy Gutierrez through the rainy streets of Sunnyside on Nov. 10, 2018, which resulted in the deaths of Goddard and Gutierrez when the bike collided with another car, city lawyers admitted this week. Both were thrown from the Suzuki motorcycle and died in a nearby hospital.

In police reports and information given out to the media the following day, there was no mention of a chase — just a tragic accident.

But video obtained by the Daily News in March showed the pursuit in the rain, during which an unmarked car with flashing police lights chases the motorcycle.

Another testament to the American way of life

Authorities are investigating whether human smuggling was involved after a crash March 2 involving an SUV packed with 25 people and a tractor-trailer that left 13 people dead and bodies strewn across a Highway 115 near the US-Mexico border. (AP)

Oklahoma bill: immunity for drivers who run over protesters

Republican legislators in the Oklahoma House of Representatives approved a bill cracking down on "riots," and granting immunity to drivers who hit protesters demonstrating on public roadways. (Jurist)

Propaganda of 'bicycle accidents'

From Slate, March 17:

On Jan. 20, former Dallas Mavericks center Shawn Bradley was riding his bike when he was hit from behind by a car. He has a traumatic spinal cord injury, the Mavericks said in a statement on Wednesday, that has left him paralyzed.

In that statement—and in the trending Twitter topic that accompanied its release on Wednesday—Bradley’s injury is referred to as an accident. Twitter calls it a bicycle accident.

A child falling off his bike in the park is a bicycle accident. A wipeout on the Tour de France is a bicycle accident. Getting rammed from behind by a car is not a bicycle accident... The details are right there in the Mavs’ press release: He “was struck from behind by an automobile while riding his bicycle a mere block from his home.”

Unfortunately, the only thing that makes this story unusual is that Bradley is a former NBA player. More than 800 Americans on bicycles were killed by cars in 2019; 49,000 were injured, though the real number is surely far higher. (The number of pedestrians killed by cars in 2019 was more than 6,200—up 45 percent since 2010.)

Black youth cuffed for unlicensed bike riding... uh, seriously?

From, April 20:

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating Perth Amboy Police’s seizure of four teenagers’ bikes and the handcuffing of one Black teenager in the city.

Hours after a video circulated on social media showing Perth Amboy police officers stopping a group of primarily Black and Latino teenagers riding their bicycles through the city before confiscating their bikes and handcuffing one of the teens, the Prosecutor’s Office announced it was reviewing the incident...

Several times, the first officer tells the group the police would not be taking their bikes, but that the group would eventually need to get licenses for their bicycles. License tags are required for bicycles, according to the Perth Amboy municipal ordinance...

It is unclear if charges were ultimately filed against the teenager who was handcuffed. The teenager says repeatedly that he is from Edison, not Perth Amboy, where license tags are required.

License tags are not required for bicycles in Edison, according to the municipal code.

The Prosecutor’s Office review was prompted by a Twitter post from Amol Sinha, the executive director of the ACLU New Jersey, where Sinha questioned the response of Perth Amboy police to the group of cyclists.

“This is Perth Amboy, NJ,” Amol Sinha, the executive director of the ACLU New Jersey, wrote on Twitter. “Are the police really arresting kids over bike registrations? Does it really require this many officers to address whatever situation this is? Police CANNOT continue to be our response to EVERYTHING.”

Oklahoma law protects drivers who run over protesters

If motorists in Oklahoma "unintentionally" injure or kill protesters with a vehicle, they might be exempt from civil or criminal liability, according to a bill Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law on April 11. People in the state have been protesting the legislation, which is one of many GOP-backed anti-protest measures proposed in 2021. (Now This)

Xing Long Lin: Say his name.

From the New York Times, April 29:

A 37-year-old man was fatally injured on Thursday evening when a car collided with his Yamaha motorbike and then crashed into an outdoor dining structure on a busy block of Astoria, Queens, the police said.

The man on the motorbike, who was identified on Friday as Xing Long Lin of Queens, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, the police said.

The driver of the vehicle, a 60-year-old woman, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, the police said. A third person, a 32-year-old woman who was dining at the restaurant had suffered injuries to her legs and was in stable condition, the police said.

Investigators were trying to determine what led to the crash. The police said on Thursday night that, according to preliminary information, the episode unfolded shortly before 8 p.m., when the driver of the vehicle, a 2013 Mercedes-Benz, was traveling north on 35th Street by Ditmars Boulevard, and tried to pass a slower-moving car by driving into a bicycle lane.
The Mercedes was moving at "an apparent high rate of speed," the police said... The Mercedes struck the motorcycle... then hit two other cars that were parked and unoccupied. The Mercedes then drove into an outdoor dining structure at the restaurant.

Officers who arrived at the scene found the motorcycle driver unconscious and unresponsive. The 32-year-old woman was struck by debris from the outdoor structure, the police said.

The authorities said that they had made no arrests and that the investigation was ongoing.

NYS bill to crack down on reckless motorists

Glad de Blasio is pushing this, but why did it take the death of a cop to make this an issue in Albany? Only "blue lives" (sic) matter? The rest of us pedestrians and bicycles are chopped liver? From Advance Media:

Mayor Bill de Blasio urged the state legislature to pass a bill "immediately" that would impose harsher penalties for reckless motorists.

The call to action comes the day after NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos, who was killed in the line of duty by an alleged drunk driver on the Long Island Expressway in Queens last week, was laid to rest.

The woman, Jessica Beauvais, admitted to driving drunk and faces a litany of charges including vehicular manslaughter in connection with the incident, ABC7 News reported. Beauvais, 32, has a history of traffic violations.

"The laws are too lenient for those who take a car and turn it into a de-facto weapon," de Blasio said Wednesday.

The Crash Victims Rights and Safety Act, the mayor said, would take very aggressive action for dangerous drivers and does more to support the victims.

Aiden Leos: say his name

From USA Today, May 22:

Hours after police said a 6-year-old boy was fatally shot in a Southern California road rage incident Friday, his sister tearfully pleaded for the public's help as police searched for the shooter.

The boy, identified by family as Aiden Leos, was sitting in the backseat of his mother's car as she drove him to kindergarten when another driver shot and killed him, authorities said. Aiden was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Alexis Cloonan, the boy's sister, said Aiden told his mother, "Mommy, my tummy hurts" after he was shot, according to a Fox 11 Los Angeles livestream of a news conference Friday. His mother saw blood on the boy's stomach and noticed him turning blue.

"And that was the last time my mom saw him alive," Cloonan said...

"She had to hold her little boy as he died," she said.

A GoFundMe page organized to help Aiden's mother pay for burial costs and replace her car has garnered more than $100,000 in donations.

More automotive terror in NYC

From AMNY:

A driver smashed his vehicle through a glass storefront in the Lower East Side late Monday afternoon.

At approximately 3:52 p.m. on May 24, police received a report of a vehicle crashing into the facade of a handcrafted specialty store at 37 Orchard St.

First responders from the FDNY and NYPD’s 7th Precinct immediately responded to the incident. Members of the police department and fire department found a Toyota Camry inside of a boutique...

According to police sources, no injuries were reported as a result of the accident. The driver — a 25-year-old-man — remained at the scene and according to preliminary investigations was not intoxicated.

Gee, what a relief. We'll say it again: What is at issue in such cases is not drugs but cars!

Automotive terror in Brooklyn

At least 16 people were injured when an MTA bus lost control and jumped a curb, crashing into a brownstone building in Brooklyn. The crash was reported at an apartment building on 174 Lincoln Road, the Prospect Lefferts Garden neighborhood. (WABC)

Islamophobic automotive terror in Ontario

The driver of a pickup truck in London, Ont., who ran down five pedestrians, killing four of them, chose his victims because they were Muslim, the police said. Mayor Ed Holder of London called it "an act of mass murder perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners and rooted in unspeakable hatred." (NYT)

Deona Knajdek: say her name

A woman identified as Deona Knajdekw as killed and three people injured in Minneapolis June 13 after a man drove a car into a Black Lives Matter protest. A suspect was arrested and taken into custody, the Minneapolis police confirmed on Twitter. The gathering has ben called to protest the death of Winston Smith, who was shot and killed by the police in Minneapolis 10 days earlier. (NYT, WCCO)

More automotive terror on Lower East Side

From the Daily News, June 15:

An SUV driver struck and killed a man in a Lower East Side crosswalk as the vehicle was changing lanes early Tuesday, police said.
The 52-year-old victim was crossing Delancey St. at Bowery, in the crosswalk, just before 3:40 a.m. when a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder heading west on Delancey struck him, police said.
Medics took the pedestrian to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, but he couldn’t be saved. His name has not yet been released.
The Pathfinder’s driver, also a 52-year-old man, remained on the scene. There were no immediate charges filed as the investigation continued, police said.

Antoinette Turrigiano: say her name

From The Village Sun, July 14:

A woman in her mid-80s was fatally struck by a huge tow truck at Union Square around 1:30 PM on Wednesday, police said.

Police identified the victim as Antoinette Turrigiano, 85, of Lindenwood, Queens.

According to a police spokesperson, Turrigiano was crossing midblock at E. 17th St. and Broadway when she was hit by a “heavy-duty” 2016 Peterbilt tow truck traveling westbound on 17th St. Apparently, it happened right in front of the Barnes & Noble superstore.

"She may have been jaywalking," a police spokesperson said, though adding that the information was still coming in.

Self-driving cars being tested on NYC streets

From CBS New York, July 23:

Fully self-driving cars are now being tested on New York City streets.

Two Ford Fusion models were specially customized by Mobileye, an Israeli firm owned by Intel.

The company received a special permit allowing its test drivers to keep their hands fully off the steering wheel while the cars drive themselves.

The city allowed it after reviewing the results of Mobileye’s testing in other crowded cities, like Tokyo, Tel Aviv and Detroit.

Deadly Sept. 11 in NYC

From the Daily News, Sept. 11:

A 28-year-old cyclist was killed early Saturday in a hit-and-run crash on the Upper West Side, police said.

Pedro Garcia Gomez and a relative who was riding the same bike were injured, said cops.

The two men — possibly cousins — were riding together on the bicycle at the intersection of Amsterdam Ave. and W. 99th St. just before 1:30 a.m. when they were struck by a dark-colored sedan that fled the scene.

Both men were rushed to Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Medical Center, where Garcia Gomez died. His relative, 19, was listed in stable condition.

The sedan drove north on Amsterdam. The driver was being sought by police.

From the NY Post, Sept. 11:

A hit-and-run driver going the wrong way on a Brooklyn street set in motion a deadly chain of events that killed a three-month-old girl, left her mother in critical condition and injured three other people on Saturday evening, police and law-enforcement sources said.

The erratic motorist first T-boned a black 2020 Honda Civic at the intersection of Gates and Vanderbilt Avenues in Clinton Hill at around 6:20 p.m., injuring the driver, a 49-year-old woman, according to the NYPD.

The impact caused one or both of the vehicles to barrel into the 32-year-old mother, who was pushing her daughter in a stroller, police said. A 39-year-old man was also injured, according to cops.

The baby was sent flying 15 to 20 feet, according to one witness. She was taken to Brooklyn Hospital in critical condition, and was later pronounced dead, police and the sources said.

From the NY Post, Sept. 11:

[I]n Brooklyn, at 3:50 a.m., a 63-year-old bicyclist was seriously injured after being struck by a hit-and-run motorist in at 1 Brookdale Plaza– across the street from the emergency room of Brookdale Hospital on Linden Boulevard and Rockaway Parkway, police said.

The driver fled the scene and the victim was admitted to Brookdale in critical condition, police said.

From the NY Post, Sept. 11:

A driver backing out of a parking spot hit and killed a 73-year-old woman in Manhattan Saturday morning, police said.

Ilse Falcone was fatally struck by the SUV at West 66th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side just after 8 a.m., according to the NYPD.

A 51-year-old man sitting in a 2007 Hyundai SUV on the south side of West 66th Street reversed, striking the neighborhood resident, cops said.

She sustained traumatic head and body injuries and was left unconscious and unresponsive. Falcone was taken to Mount Sinai West, where she was pronounced dead, cops said.

The driver stayed on the scene of the crash, according to police.

The NYPD said its Highway Collision Investigation Squad was still investigating Saturday evening.

Texas teen trucker runs over multiple cyclists

A 16-year-old truck driver ran over six cyclists on a road near Houston, Tex., sending four of them to the hospital. The cyclists riding along a highway in Houston when a black diesel pickup truck intentionally slowed down and then accelerated in front of them to blow exhaust on the cyclists, one of the riders told local media. (Insider)

No arrest yet for Texas truck assailant

A 16-year-old truck driver ran over six cyclists out on a training ride Sept. 25, in Waller County, Texas. The driver was attempting to "roll coal" on the the cyclists when he hit them, according to witnesses. The driver has not yet been arrested, sparking outrage in the cycling community. The county District Attorney's office has stated, though, that it views what happened as an assault at minimum. (Yahoo)

Mablen Jones: say her name

From The Village Sun, Nov. 11:

A 78-year-old Hudson Square author and photographer was struck and killed by a full-size pickup truck as she was crossing West Street at Canal Street on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Police responding to a 911 call arrived at the scene around 2:40 p.m. They found Mablen Jones of nearby 99 Vandam Street, unconscious and lying on the ground, with body trauma. An E.M.S. ambulance transported her to Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side, where she was pronounced dead.

According to the investigation so far by the Police Department’s Collision Investigation Squad, a 2017 Toyota Tundra, operated by a 70-year-old male driver, was stopped at a traffic light in the right lane of West Street (West Side Highway), just north of the westbound Canal Street intersection.

When the traffic signal turned green, the truck began to travel south, striking and running over Jones, who was trying to cross West Street from west to east, in a part of the roadway with no crosswalks or pedestrian signals. The driver remained at the scene and was not arrested.

Of course not. A driver's license is a license to kill.

Automotive terror in Wisconsin

From WDJT in Milwaukee:

There are multiple people dead and several injured after an SUV drove through the Waukesha Holiday Parade route on Sunday, Nov. 21.

More than 20 people, including children, were taken to six area hospitals. Authorities did not indicate the exact number of deaths due to family notifications.

Five dead in Wisconsin terror

So at least five are dead in the Waukesha attack, and several children are among the injured. Yet authorities are saying the incident does not appear "at this time" to be an act of terrorism. (BBC News)

We are curious what criteria are being used to make this judgment.

No 'terrorism' charge in Wisconsin attack

Officials in Wisconsin will charge a motorist who ploughed into a Christmas parade in the town of Waukesha with five counts of intentional homicide. Police say Darrell Edward Brooks Jr, 39, killed five people, aged between 52 and 81, and injured 48 others, including young children. Brooks was fleeing a domestic disturbance when he mowed into the crowd, they said. Waukesha police also said the incident was not an "act of terrorism." (BBC News)

Darrell Edward Brooks, eh? We ask yet again: why always three names for these assholes?

Brooks had been arrested repeatedly since he was a teenager, accused of battery and domestic abuse and resisting the police. Earlier this month, he intentionally ran over a woman he knew with a Ford Escape, prosecutors in Milwaukee say. But he was quickly released on what prosecutors now admit was an inappropriately low bail. (NYT)

And we ask again: What criteria are being used here to exclude "terrorism"?

Child dies in Waukesha automotive terror attack

An 8-year-old boy has become the sixth victim to die after a vehicle plowed through the Christmas Parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In a GoFundMe, family members identified boy as Jackson Sparks.

The child was one of 16 children admitted to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, facility officials said in a news release. (CNN, CBS Chicago)

NYC's Vision Zero program assessed

Gothamist offers an assessment of of Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero program in the final days of his administration. One way to measure de Blasio’s success with Vision Zero is examining whether there was a steady decline in the number of people killed by vehicles. So far this year, the DOT reports 255 people have been killed by drivers, the highest number of deaths since 2013, the year before de Blasio took office, when 279 people died.

During the first year of Vision Zero, 2014, the city passed the Right of Way law that allows police to ticket drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians. The tickets, which were a maximum of $250 and 30 days in jail if someone was killed, were often dismissed, according to records from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, or OATH, the agency that adjudicates the tickets.

It’s harder to judge the success of Vision Zero when looking at the number of cyclists killed year over year. There were dips followed by increases over the last eight years, with a low of 10 people killed in 2018 and a high of 27 in 2019. The year before de Blasio took office in 2013, there were 13 cyclists killed; this year 18 have died so far.

European cities that have instated Vision Zero progams have fared better. Helsinki recorded no traffic deaths in 2019, while Oslo, Norway went from 41 deaths in 1975 to 0 by 2019.

Another necessary sacrifice for the American way of life

From AP, Dec. 27:

MAYS LANDING — Three people died and one person was injured when a vehicle crashed into a toll booth and burst into flames, New Jersey State Police said.

The crash happened Sunday night at the Egg Harbor Toll Plaza along the Atlantic City Expressway, news outlets reported.

Photos from the scene showed the vehicle engulfed in flames. The driver and two passengers died, and a fourth person was taken to a hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening, police said.

The victims were later identified as Reachthon Khiev, 31, and Reachsieh Khiev, 27, of Manchester, New Hampshire and 14-year-old Keotepie Khiev of Atlantic City.

Owner blows up his Tesla

From the Daily Mail, Dec. 23:

A disgruntled Finnish Tesla owner has detonated his electric vehicle - along with an effigy of Tesla founder Elon Musk - to protest the cost of a replacement battery.

Tuomas Katainen blew up his 2013 Tesla S Model 2012 with 66lbs of dynamite after its battery failed and he was faced with the £17,000 ($22,000) repair bill.

Instead of stumping up the cash, the 26-year-old contacted the local Youtubers Pommijätkät 'bomb dudes' to blow up the car - for which prices now start at £73,990 ($100,000).

15-year-old girl killed in Brooklyn hit-and-run

From WABC:

A bus driver has been arrested and charged after a 15-year-old girl was killed in a hit-and-run in Brooklyn Monday morning.

Police arrested the driver, 55-year-old Brooklyn resident Aleksandr Patlakh, and charged him with a failure to stop for a pedestrian and failure to use due care. He was issued a desk appearance ticket.

According to officials, the suspect did not turn himself in - instead, police tracked him down and took him into custody somewhere in Brooklyn.

Witnesses say the bus had kids onboard when the incident occurred just before 8 a.m.

The bus was transporting children to a nearby Jewish school as classes are still in session for non-public schools.

The driver was making a slow right turn at the Bedford Avenue and Quentin Road intersection in Sheepshead Bay.

The victim, identified as 15-year-old Antonina Zatulovska, had the right-of-way, and was in the crosswalk when she was struck.

Why do we accept this as normal?

From PIX11, Feb. 6:

MANHATTAN BEACH, Brooklyn  — A 99-year-old man was fatally struck on Saturday as he crossed a Brooklyn street in a wheelchair, police said.

Jack Mikulincer was just down the block from his home when he was struck at Coleridge Street and Oriental Boulevard.

Officers determined Mikulincer was crossing the intersection northbound on Coleridge Street when a 52-year-old driver headed westbound on Oriental Boulevard in a BMW crashed into him. The driver stayed at the scene.

Why do we accept this as normal?

From MSN, Feb. 10:

Two Crashes Across NYC Leave Girl, 10, Dead And Boy Injured
NEW YORK CITY — Two pedestrian crashes across New York City left a girl dead and a boy critically injured, authorities said.

Davina Afokba, 10, died Wednesday after a car struck her as she stood on a Far Rockaway sidewalk, NYPD officials said.

A 2009 Mazda driven by a woman, 34, pinned Afokba against a building on Beach Channel Drive near Dix Avenue, authorities said. Medics declared her dead while a second pedestrian — a 33-year-old woman — was taken to a hospital in stable condition, officials said.

The crash unfolded at 4:13 p.m., barely an hour after another pedestrian crash in Brooklyn involving a child.

A boy, 5, was struck by a BMW driven by a 49-year-old woman trying to park in a Midwood driveway, police said.

And no, they were not "crashes." They were vehicular assault. Drivers should be charged with involuntary manslaughter (at the very least).

Man critically injured in Instagram car stunt

From The Village Sun:

A man was seriously injured in Hudson Square as he tried to film a driver doing donuts in a souped-up car.

According to cops, on Sat., March 19, at midnight, the driver was spinning his car in tight, tire-burning circles at Vandam and Greenwich Streets, on the east side of the U.P.S. building.

Instagram 'stunt' perp surrenders

The driver who seriously injured a man in Manhattan's Hudson Square while doing tire-burning donuts last week has been arrested. Tyler Greer, 22, of Piscataway, New Jersey, was charged with assault, leaving the scene of an accident / serious injury, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. (The Village Sun)

More context on social construct of 'jay-walking'

We have been noting the development of the social construct of "jay-walking," and its links to oppression, ecological degradation, and damage to human communities. This is summed up brilliantly in a comment on Facebook by our friend David Dartley:

In cities, jaywalking laws and the conditions that fostered them are evil and incompatible with a city keeping or attaining its optimum wonderfulness. I'm absolutely serious. Here's just one angle: before, approximately, the Model T era (when cars became ubiquitous), Grandma could exit her mid-block building and walk directly across the street to her mid-block greengrocer. Within a few years, she was required to go out of her way twice, because she was now required to cross at the corner. There, she also had to then wait her turn, because there were now signals telling her she must not cross, all because car traffic congestion (not her fault) was starting to get out of hand. These signals were timed to manage car traffic; to hell with how slowly Grandma (or a mom with a toddler) walked. This AND the detours to the corner both prolonged her trip, prolonging her exposure to weather, which drivers are sheltered from. And if she took "too long" crossing, then the drivers who couldn't see her (because they were behind the car at the front of the queue) started honking, which harmed other drivers and all innocent bystanders, even inside buildings--schoolkids trying to learn, moms trying to put babies down for naps, other pedestrians, everyone. Cars are ruinous to cities. I'm not even saying kick all of them out of cities. I'm just pointing out that they are ruinous to them. The person I wrote this in response to complained about how they'd seen pedestrians create "dangerous situations." I said that I prefered to talk about actual danger, not "dangerous situations." I urged them to take a look at the @curbjumpingnyc twitter feed. Look how often they post. And curb-jumping accounts for only a tiny fraction of all vehicle collisions in NYC every week, and that twitter account catches only a few of those incidents anyway!

NYPD van kills pedestrian

From Gothamist, April 8:

A police officer driving a marked NYPD van struck and killed a pedestrian on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn Thursday night, police officials said.

The 53-year-old victim was standing in the center of Eastern Parkway between opposing lanes of traffic near the intersection of Schenectady Avenue when he was struck just after 8 p.m., officials said. First responders rushed the man, who suffered severe body trauma, to Kings County Hospital where he was officially pronounced dead.

Police declined to say what color the light was at the time of impact, and no one had been arrested Friday morning. An investigation was ongoing. The deceased man’s identity was being withheld pending notification of his family.

Road carnage soars despite oil price hike

It is extremely disconcerting that traffic fatalities are soaring despite the current jump in fuel prices—a break with the usual reverse correlation. From the NY Post, April 23:

The city will spend more than $900 million over the next five years on expanding bike lanes and other safety measures to help New Yorkers “reclaim” their streets from dangerous drivers, Mayor Eric Adams announced Saturday amid soaring traffic deaths across the Big Apple...

As of April 17, traffic fatalities in New York City have surged by 21.6 percent as 62 people — including pedestrians — died in car crashes, compared to 51 over the same period in 2021, according to NYPD data.

And an op-ed in the NY Times April 21, "Riding a Bike in America Should Not Be This Dangerous" by Farhad Manjoo:

The United States is in the midst of a traffic fatality crisis. Nearly 39,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes on American roadways in 2020, the most since 2007. American roads have grown especially dangerous to nonoccupants of vehicles (that is, bicyclists and pedestrians). In 2011, 16 percent of traffic deaths were of nonoccupants; in 2020 it was 20 percent. The trends are a major reversal; from the 1970s until the late 2000s, deaths on American roadways of bicyclists, pedestrians and people in cars had steadily declined. There are a number of possible reasons for rising deaths — among them, many more of our cars are big and deadly S.U.V.s, states keep raising speed limits, ride-sharing vehicles have made our roads more chaotic, and people drove much more recklessly during the pandemic. But while many cities and states and the federal government have unveiled plans to mitigate the horror, progress has been elusive.

We despair that the efforts of either Eric Adams or Farhad Manjoo will be sufficient, while we appreciate them raising the alarm. Our culture is so deeply conditioned to accept this carnage as a part of "normalcy" (sic).

Eric Salitsky: say his name

From New York's Jewish Week, May 6:

A sanitation truck fatally struck a 35-year-old man riding a bicycle at approximately 8:23 on Thursday morning in Borough Park, Brooklyn, on 9th Avenue between 37th and 38th St.

The truck driver fled the scene. The police have not released the name of the victim, but Boro Park 24 News identified him as Eric Salitsky, a Jewish architect. Salitsky was taken to Maimonides Hospital but died from his injuries shortly after.

Salitsky was an architectural designer working at ESKW/Architects in Manhattan. He focused on the power of multi-faith initiatives to bring people of different religions together through design and space.

"To me, multifaith spaces can potentially serve as living rebuttals to tribalism and divisiveness, showing how people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs can successfully worship in the same space without conflict," he wrote on his website.

Raife Milligan: say his name

From The Village Sun, May 6:

A 21-year-old New York University student was fatally struck by an allegedly drunk driver on the Lower East Side early Monday morning.

The victim was identified as Raife Milligan, a pre-med student from Indiana. He was hit by Chevrolet Camaro as he was crossing the busy crosstown boulevard near First Avenue shortly before 3 a.m. Milligan was taken to Bellevue Hospital but could not be saved.

The driver, identified as Michael de Guzman, stayed at the scene and was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired, according to police. The Daily News reported de Guzman was released without bail. According to the New York Post, it’s likely that charges against de Guzman will be upgraded in light of Milligan’s death.

According to StreetsBlog, the number of deaths on New York City’s streets in 2022 — including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcylcists, motor-vehicle occupants and others — already stands at 69 only one-third of the way into the year, already topping the totals for each of the previous seven years.

Karina Larino: say her name

Gothamist reports May 7: "Two pedestrians were struck in separate incidents in Astoria on Friday, during a deadly week where five people died in traffic collisions." One, Karina Larino, was hit by a turning SUV while crossing at an intersection. We are told that the driver "remained at the scene," but not that any arrest was made or charges filed. The other slain pedestrian, unnamed, was the victim of a hit-and-run.

Chicago: outrage over automotive terror

Amid a spate of motorist killings of bicyclists in Chicago over the past weeks, groups such as Bike Lane Uprising are protesting that the city's plans to expand bicycle infrastructure are insufficient in a system built to prioritize cars. (NPR)

More automotive terror in Manhattan

From NBC News. June 20:

A New York City taxi driver hit a bicyclist and then veered onto the sidewalk, striking three pedestrians, authorities said Monday.

Six people, including the 60-year-old cab driver, were taken to NYC Health & Hospitals/Bellevue. He and the bicyclist, described as a 50-year-old man, were stable, according to a Tuesday update from the New York Police Department.

Two of the pedestrians were in critical condition with severe leg injuries, the department said, adding one was a 48-year-old woman and the other was a 32-year-old woman. A third pedestrian, also a 32-year-old woman, was stable with bruising about the body.

The incident happened near the intersection of Broadway and 29th Street, about four blocks south of the Empire State Building, about 1 p.m. ET, the Fire Department of New York said.

More automotive terror in Brooklyn

From NBC New York, June 25:

67-Year-Old Grandmother Dead, 4 Hurt in Brooklyn Wreck: NYPD
The woman's 8-year-old grandson is said to be fighting for his life

One person died and four others were hurt, one of them critically, in a Brooklyn car crash Saturday evening that senior law enforcement officials say started as an attempted traffic stop.

The wreck claimed the life of a 67-year-old grandmother and left her 8-year-old grandson fighting for survival, according to two senior NYPD officials.

Two of the other survivors in the 7 p.m. crash at Macon Street and Ralph Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant had serious injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening, fire officials said. The fifth victim wasn't badly hurt.

The deadly crash started as an attempted traffic stop related to mismatched plates on the suspect's vehicle, the two officials said. One person was in custody late Saturday, but a second was still wanted by police. Charges were pending.

The Daily News reports that Mayor Eric Adams, who lives nearby and actually visited the scene, is blaming bail reform, apparently on the assumption the driver of the stolen car might otherwise have been behind bars. We blame cars.

More automotive terror in NYC

From the Daily News, June 30:

Two e-bike riders were separate New York City crashes less than 24 hours apart, police said.

In the latest incident, a 57-year-old woman was biking against traffic on Fort Hamilton Parkway in Borough Park, Brooklyn, when she slammed into a truck at 59th St. just before 2:30 p.m., cops said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the truck — who was traveling with traffic northbound on the parkway — stayed at the accident scene and was not immediately facing charges.

About 14 hours earlier, Victoriano Angeles, 26, was zipping down E. 149th St. in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx when he collided with a 2013 Chevrolet Impala at St. Anns Ave. just before midnight Wednesday, cops said.

First responders found him sprawled out on the asphalt suffering from a head injury. He was rushed to Lincoln Hospital but couldn’t be saved.

Christian Catalan: say his name

From WABC, July 7:

SOUNDVIEW, The Bronx -- An emotional gathering was held Thursday night for a 21-year-old delivery worker killed by a hit-and-run driver in the Bronx.

Christian Catalan's family members are pleading for the driver who killed the 21-year-old delivery worker to turn herself in.

"He does have a family. He does have people that love him so much," Christian Catalan's aunt Elizabeth Carino said. "And we expect, you know, for these people to have a little heart, step up to the plate, and face the consequences."

"She needs to be found and she needs to serve consequences," family member Ivelisse Rosario-Balbuena said. "It's not right. You know, he's a young vibrant kid who was just trying to earn a living."

On Sunday, a woman driving a stolen Jeep, was, according to witnesses, leaving a barber shop, when she sped away after an argument with someone and then struck Catalan at East 172nd Street and Metcalf Avenue.

She then fled the scene in another car after calmly removing a baby in a car seat from the stolen vehicle and placing the child in the other car.

At the vigil for Catalan at the scene of the hit and run, his family says that driver needs to do the right thing now.

"I'm just hoping that she knows, as a mother, what my nephew's mother's going through," Carino said.

The crash at the intersection that killed Catalan, happened in an especially deadly week for young delivery men on bikes.

The NYC Food Delivery Movement says three more were killed by cars around the city and one is in critical condition after being beaten and robbed of his bike.

"People order food, and someone's gotta deliver it. And this is a tough job," said Roberto Martinez of NYC Food Delivery Movement.

The organization is helping raise money for a funeral here, and a burial in Mexico. Catalan was born here but was sending money to his mom in Mexico ever since his dad passed away.

"He was the sole supporter of his mom, with his four siblings in Mexico," Carino said.

Tiburcio Castillo: say his name

Delivery worker Tiburcio Castillo died in a Bronx hospital two wees after he was brutally beaten by an unknown assailant who stole his bicycle. There is a GoFundMe page seeking donations to return his body to Mexico and support his family.

Carling Mott: say her name

From Patch:

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Years before this week's fatal crash that cost a young Upper East Side cyclist her life, influential locals including the film director Woody Allen defeated a plan to install a bike lane on the street where she was killed, according to city records and reports.

Allen reportedly objected to the bike lane on East 85th Street — where police say Carling Mott, 28, was killed riding a CitiBike — because it could not be installed "in a graceful way."

The famous director was among many Upper East Siders who spoke out in 2016 against a proposed network of bike lanes that would have included the block between Park and Madison avenues where Mott was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer, Streetsblog reported at the time.

Automotive terror in Tompkins Square Park

From the East Village local EVGrieve website:

The NYPD was on the scene early this morning after someone attempted to drive a car through Tompkins Square Park before crashing into a fence.

The working assumption is that the car entered the Park on Ninth Street and Avenue A ... and headed east before colliding with a fence just past the dog run.
At this point, we don't have any other details, such as the condition of the driver or the number of passengers.
On Sunday morning, a man drove into the Park after allegedly hitting a female companion and sparring with people who came to her aid.

Further details at The Village Sun.

US traffic deaths hit 20-year high

From WaPo, Aug. 17:

More than 9,500 people were killed in traffic crashes in the first three months of this year, federal transportation officials said Wednesday — a figure that represents the deadliest start to a year on U.S. roads in two decades.

In seven states and the District, officials estimated crash deaths jumped at least 50 percent. Nationwide, deaths were up 7 percent compared with the same period last year.

The figures are preliminary estimates, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not release breakdowns of the causes of crashes. Officials say a surge in traffic fatalities that started in 2020 as the pandemic began has continued unabated.

"The overall numbers are still moving in the wrong direction," said Steven Cliff, the head of NHTSA. "Now is the time for all states to double down on traffic safety."

Calls for NJ politician to resign over hit-and-run

From NBC New York, July 27:

A councilwoman in a New Jersey city is facing calls for her resignation after she allegedly struck a bicyclist with her SUV but never even slowed down to help, in an incident that was caught on camera.

The incident occurred around 8 a.m. on July 19, as first-term Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise was seen on the city's closed circuit TV cameras driving north on Martin Luther King Drive. She had a green light and was going through the intersection when her Nissan Rogue struck the bike, sending the rider flying into the street.

The 31-year-old rider, Andrew Black, could be seen falling to the ground, and appeared stunned and shaken as he got back up.

"Someone of prestige would fall to the point where they would ignore the law," Black said in an interview with HudPost.

At first, Black claimed he had the green light, but officials say he was mistaken. However, it's not who had the right-of-way in the incident that has people upset — it's what DeGise did immediately afterward that people said was wrong. The driver, the daughter of longtime Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, didn't stop or even slow down to check on the cyclist.

Be Tran: say his name

From NBC, Aug. 19:

A DoorDash delivery driver who was killed Sunday night in a hit-and-run accident in New York City was extremely hard-working and providing for his larger extended family, his daughter said.

“All he ever wanted was to make us happy and wanted us to live our lives,” Anh Tran, 25, told NBC News. "He never asked for much.”

Be Tran, 74, of the Queens borough, was finishing up a delivery run when a black BMW slammed into him while he was crossing the street last weekend, according to police. He was left to die on the street as the vehicle fled the scene, police said.

The New York City Police Department's Highway Collision Investigation Squad said it’s investigating and the search is still on for the driver.

Automotive terror in Queens

From NBC New York:

A dispute between two women turned deadly when one jumped behind the wheel of a car and plowed into a pair of innocent bystanders standing on a nearby street corner in Queens, police said.

The tragic scene unfolded Saturday morning around 7 a.m. in Far Rockaway. NYPD officials said the two women were engaged in a physical fight near Beach 201st Street.

Their fight escalated when one of the women, 27, climbed into a black sedan and jumped a curb in an attempt to strike the other woman, according to police. Instead, she slammed into two men standing on the corner of the street.

A 59-year-old man suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at St. John's Hospital. The man standing on the corner with him, a 37-year-old, had minor injuries to his back.

The driver took off in the car before abandoning it and fleeing on foot, police said.

Propaganda wars in NYC car-nage redux

The Village Sun runs a tribute to Gavin Lee, 44, who died after being mowed down by a hit-and-run bicyclist while crossing Eighth Ave. at W. 22nd St. on Aug. 11. Howls of outrage from the anti-bicycle hypocrites are already seen in the comments section. I have responded to the first:

First of all:  Shame, shame, shame on the hit-and-run cyclist in this case, and (if applicable) the employer or app pressuring the cyclist to put speed ahead of safety. However, that said, we badly need some perspective on this question. Gavin Lee was the first New Yorker killed by a bicyclist since 2019. Over 255 were killed by motorists last year. The outrage at bicyclists is dangerously mis-placed.

So while I am 100% with the above commenter in his outrage at the delivery apps and Uber and Lyft... I am equally opposed to his blaming the modest efforts to accommodate bicyclists put in place by Janette Sadik-Khan. The problem is precisely that they didn't go nearly far ENOUGH, and cyclists are still forced into a Darwinian struggle with the toxin-belching death-machines that dominate the streets. Sorry.

US traffic fatalities at 20-year high

Traffic fatalities in the United States are the highest they've been in 20 years, with 46,000 recorded last year by the National Safety Counicl—a 10% jump . This constitutes the worst increase on record. The spike in road fatalities since the pandemic marks a reversal of a downward trend since the 1970s, due to advances in vehicle safety standards, road design and seatbelt compliance. And there has been a shift over the past years, with urban traffic fatalities now exceeding those on rural roads. "Our roadways were turned into race-tracks, and excessive speeds really went through the roof" with the pandemic, said Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety. (KCUR, Clarksville Online)

More automotive terror in the Bronx

At least 10 people were injured after a police car collided with another vehicle before mounting the sidewalk in the Bronx on Oct. 5, police and fire officials said. Ten people, including two NYPD officers, were taken to nearby hospitals. (NY1)

Kala Santiago: say her name

From CBS New York:

NEW YORK -- A bicyclist was struck and killed by a truck during the Wednesday morning commute in Brooklyn.

It happened just after 7 a.m. on Parkside Avenue off Parade Place outside Prospect Park.

Police said 25-year-old Kala Santiago was heading eastbound when her bike fell under the truck's tires on the passenger side.

She died on the scene.

Police say the driver will not face charges.

Same shit, different city

Nearly 200 transit activists formed a human bike lane along one of Portland's busiest intersections Oct. 12 to demand safety upgrades to a street where a truck hit and killed cyclist Sarah Pliner the week before. The protesters called for immediate changes to managment of traffic on Powell Blvd., a major arterial that runs through Southeast Portland. The road has become one of the city's most dangerous, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians. (Oregon Live)

Marcelino Vitinio: say his name

A vigil was held for Marcelino Vitinio, another slain Mexican immigrant delivery worker—this one in the East Village in a hold-up of his bicycle. (ConexionMigrante, Daily News)

NYPD protect (and perpetrate) automotive terror

From Jalopnik, Nov. 15:

NYPD Arrests Cyclist For Uncovering Obscured License Plate, Lets Driver Go
The driver, who racked up more than $2,000 in traffic fines in NYC alone, was not charged with any crime

In a perfect world, you’d think the NYPD would have it out for drivers who illegally obscure their license plates. After all, New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently called for a crackdown on so-called “ghost cars.” But if you know anything about the NYPD, you won’t be surprised to hear that a cyclist who pulled a piece of plastic off an illegally obscured license plate ended up being arrested, while the offending driver was let go.

Hell Gate reports that cyclist Adam White, who is also a lawyer, saw the piece of plastic covering a letter of the license plate on this Chevy Suburban and pulled it off. Generally speaking, you should leave other people’s cars alone. But when they illegally cover their license plate so they can avoid tolls, evade red-light cameras and speed cameras, and generally put others at risk, we say go for it.

Also note this story Jalopnik links back to, from Oct. 7:

New York Cops Injure 10 in Crash While Racing to Prevent a Car Theft: Reports
Four people were rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, including a 5-year-old child

New York Police injured 10 people Thursday afternoon after a cruiser rushing to the scene of a potential car theft at high speed in a busy Bronx neighborhood clipped another car and jumped onto the sidewalk, striking a group of people, according to reports.

NYC gets memorial to road violence victims

On Nov. 20, members of Families for Safe Streets and other road safety advocates will join with Adams administration officials to formally open the Memorial Grove for Victims of Traffic Violence—what might be the first monument to the victims of road violence in the United States, where more than 40,000 people die every year in crashes. The grove is located in Lincoln Terrace/Arthur S. Somers Park where Crown Heights meets Brownsville in Brooklyn. (StreetsBlog

Man Chang: say her name

From Washington Square News, Dec. 5:

An 83-year-old woman was struck and killed by the driver of a pickup truck just outside of Lafayette Hall, on the corner of Lafayette Street and White Street in Chinatown, at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 5. First responders arrived at the scene shortly afterward, where they found the woman seriously injured, according to police. The woman was transported to Bellevue Hospital and soon pronounced dead. Police later identified her as Man Chang, of lower Manhattan.

Joe Liberatore, the residence hall director at NYU’s nearby Lafayette Hall dorm, informed residents of the incident shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday. He confirmed that the individual who was struck was not affiliated with NYU and noted that there would be an increased NYPD presence at the intersection while the incident was investigated. He also referred to the incident as a hit-and-run, but the driver of the 2022 Dodge Ram, a 35-year-old man, remained on the scene where he was questioned by police. The NYPD Highway Collision Investigation Squad is investigating the incident.

Again, no arrest. #LicenseToKill

NYPD officers face trial in automotive terror

Two NYPD officers accused of driving into a crowd during the 2020 protests following the murder of George Floyd will stand trial before an administrative judge this week. It's one of the last cases still unresolved out of hundreds of complaints filed against officers who responded to the mass demonstrations.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board has charged officers Daniel Alvarez and Andrey Samusev with violating the New York Police Department’s use of force policy when they plowed their patrol cruisers into a throng of protesters blocking Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. A video of the incident went viral. (Gothamist)


From NBC News, Dec. 23:

4 dead in pileup with at least 46 vehicles in Ohio, authorities say

Multiple people were injured in the pileup. Buses were being used to take people from the crash site to a local facility so they can stay warm.

Four people died and multiple others were injured in a massive car crash involving at least 46 vehicles, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Friday.

The crash occurred in the eastbound lanes on the Ohio Turnpike in Erie County. A stretch of the westbound lanes of the turnpike reopened at 11:25 p.m., at least 12 hours after the crash, but the eastbound lanes remained closed.

Fifteen commercial vehicles were being cleared from the turnpike late Friday, and “white-out conditions persist,” highway patrol said.

And from Ars Technica, Dec. 22:

Eight-car Thanksgiving pileup blamed on Tesla “Full Self-Driving” software

California Highway Patrol say only Tesla knows if the system was active.

An eight-car collision on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) is now being blamed on Tesla's "Full Self-Driving" (FSD) assistance system. The crash took place in the Bay Area in California on I-80 and left one person hospitalized and eight others with minor injuries.

According to Reuters, a California Highway Patrol report on the incident says that a Tesla Model S traveling on I-80 at 55 mph crossed several lanes of traffic and then slowed abruptly to just 20 mph, at which point it triggered the crash as other cars still traveling at highway speed had no chance to avoid the slow-moving electric vehicle.

Reuters says that the driver blamed the crash on the controversial "Full Self-Driving" system, which he claimed "malfunctioned but police were unable to determine if the software was in operation or if his statement was accurate."

In fact, it seems that the police may not be able to clear that up. CNN spoke with a CHP spokesperson who told the outlet that "it would not determine if 'Full Self-Driving' was active, and Tesla would have that information."

More automotive terror in Manhattan

From NBC New York, Jan. 3:

20 Hurt as Uber Crashes Into Outdoor Dining Area in Manhattan
An Audi apparently sped out of a nearby gas station, hitting the Uber and triggering the chain reaction accident in Inwood before fleeing the scene, police say

Three children were among 20 people hurt when an Uber crashed into an outdoor dining area in Manhattan Monday night after being hit by an Audi that fled the scene, officials say.

Fire officials responded to the scene at 204th Street and Broadway after getting a call about the crash around 9 p.m. None of the injuries to the victims were believed to be serious.

Surveillance video recorded just before the accident shows the SUV being hit by an Audi speeding out of a nearby gas station. Police say the Audi kept going and had not been located as of mid-morning Tuesday.

The Uber driver also appeared to be OK. He told reporters Monday night that the Audi collision is what sent him careening into the restaurant. He has not been charged.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Trial begins in NYC 'car intifada' case

Opening arguments have kicked off in the federal trial of Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek immigrant who in 2017 plowed a rented pickup truck on a New York City bike path, killing eight people. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, marking the first federal death penalty trial under President Joe Biden's administration. Saipov was charged with 28 counts including eight counts of murder, attempted murder, and one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State terrorist group. (NBC)

We love it. Because this guy was apparently inspired by ISIS and killed eight people "intentionally," he is charged with "terrorism." But the hundreds of pedestrians and bicyclists killed in New York each year due to motorists' depraved indifference to human life is accepted as normal.

Guilty verdict in NYC 'car intifada' case

Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek national who drove a rented truck down a Manhattan bike path along the Hudson River in an ISIS-inspired terror attack that killed eight people, was convicted Jan. 26 by a federal court jury of murder, attempted murder and providing material support to ISIS, making him eligible for the death penalty. Jurors will next decide whether Saipov should face the death penalty next month. (WABC)

Sarah Schick: say her name

From Gothamist, Jan. 13:

A cyclist’s death this week on a dangerous stretch of Ninth Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn, could have been avoided if the city had implemented better safety measures following earlier deaths, residents and activists say.

Sarah Schick, a 37-year-old mother of two, is the fourth person to have died within a half-mile of the intersection with Second Avenue since 2017, according to the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

On Tuesday, Schick was waiting for the green light on Ninth Street at Second Avenue just after 7 AM. A box truck approached as she began to pedal when the light turned green. As the 39-year-old driver "was overtaking" the cyclist, she veered into the truck's path, police say. Her handlebars struck the truck and then the driver ran her over. The driver has not been charged and the investigation is ongoing.

Streetsblog reports that cyclists held a "die-in" at the site of the killing on Jan. 20.

Lucas Jimenez Aburto: say his name

Lucas Jimenez Aburto, 53, an employee from Ray’s Pizza in the East Village, was struck by a hit-and-run driver at St. Mark’s Place and Third Avenue on Nov. 27. He died at Bellevue Hospital. (McKeoneLaw, EVGrieve)

Brooklyn: one dead, eight injured by U-Haul in 'violent rampage'

From NY1, Feb. 13:

A U-Haul driver killed one and injured at least eight during a "violent rampage" in Brooklyn Monday morning that lasted approximately an hour, the NYPD said.

A 44-year-old man died after being struck by the U-Haul and sustaining head injuries near Bay Ridge Parkway and Fifth Avenue...

Police responded to Bay Ridge around 10:50 a.m. after a man driving a U-Haul truck hit several people, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a news briefing. Police named 62-year-old Weng Sor as the suspected driver.

After a lengthy pursuit through Bay Ridge, officers managed to stop the U-Haul in Red Hook, near the entrance to the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, where he was taken into custody, police said.

Automotive terror in Quebec

Two people were killed and nine others injured March 13 when pedestrians were hit by a pick-up truck in the town of Amqui, in northern Quebec. The driver of the vehicle, a 38-year-old local man, was arrested after turning himself in to police. Investigators are trying to determine if the incident was a deliberate attack. It comes just a month after two children were killed when a bus driver drove into a Montreal daycare center. (BBC News)

More automotive terror in Manhattan

Six were injured, including two children, when a stolen car ploughed into pedestrians on the sidewalk in Washington Heights March 15. The driver, an apparently homeless woman, was criminally charged. (WABC)

Mohammed Pasha: say his name

From The Village Sun, March 17:

Police have made an arrest in an alleged hit-and-run that left a man dead on the F.D.R. Drive at the start of fall.

On March 6, cops said that Mohammed Pasha, 64, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, which carries a maximum penalty of up to seven years in prison, plus a fine of $2,000 to $5,000.

On Sun., Sept. 25, around 7:45 p.m., officers responded to a 911 call of a motor vehicle collision on the southbound F.D.R. Drive around 14th Street. Upon arrival, they found an unidentified male lying in the roadway with severe body trauma.

An investigation revealed the man was walking in the southbound roadway when the vehicle struck him, after which the driver did not stay at the scene.

OK, under the law, Pasha should not have been in the roadway. But of course the greater crime (by far!) was killing him in a hit-and-run.

More automotive terror in New Jersey

From WABC, March 21:

UNION, New Jersey — Investigators are determining what caused an SUV to slam into a cafe in New Jersey.

It happened Tuesday morning at the Van Gogh's Ear Cafe on Stuyvesant Avenue before 9 a.m.

NewsCopter 7 was over the scene where the vehicle could be seen entirely inside the restaurant.

Police say the driver told them his brakes malfunctioned.

No injuries were reported.

The restaurant said it was closed at the time of the crash so no one was inside.

Note: This appears to be Union Township, not Union City (which are confusingly in different counties).