If you follow the news, you may have heard the story of a woman who struck a family crossing the street in New York and killed two small children and injured a pregnant woman. The accident itself spawned rage, but her actions following the crash furthered that aggression toward her. In a photograph, she was seen on the gurney, texting on her phone casually as if she had not just killed two small children.
The woman, Ms. Bruns is age 40 from Staten Island and has not been charged with a crime. Even the city’s mayor was disappointed that the woman had not been charged or even under arrest.
Vision Zero might be in New York, but the project itself has spewed into nearby states, and many states are following New York’s lead to work to reduce the number of fatalities for pedestrians and motor vehicle passengers. Vision Zero focuses on a comprehensive effort around the city to use engineering, education, and enforcement so that they can reduce accidents. So far, New York City has seen a decrease in traffic fatalities, and they plan to continue the trend for 2018.
While Vision Zero’s plan has been useful, there are distinct limitations. The tragedy in New York last month shows the limits of that plan. Even though it has been largely successful, using speed cameras to reduce crashes and even the number of pedestrian deaths has increased by 32 percent, the automation used by Vision Zero has reduced one crucial factor: the number of physical police officers in the area.
A camera can detect a speeding driver, but there is not an officer nearby that could pull over that driver and see if there is an issue.
In the case of Ms. Bruns, she was speeding, but also suspected to suffer a seizure at the time of the accident. Had a physical officer been in the area, she may have been intercepted, and the accident never occurred.
Furthermore, Vision Zero puts more of the responsibility on citizens rather than legislature and law enforcement. Drivers are supposed to self-monitor, report, and be aware. While it does work, not having physical police presence or repercussions for accidents that take lives like the one mentioned above leaves gaping holes and opportunities for more incidents like this to occur in the future.
Pedestrian versus automobile accidents often involves pedestrians unaware until they are struck by a motor vehicle. Most accidents are linked directly to negligent drivers – whether the driver was under the influence or utterly failed to take precautions to avoid striking a pedestrian. The most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
The injuries associated with these accidents are severe. Often a victim will endure the consequences of that accident the rest of his or her life – whether that is from permanent disability, emotional trauma, or physical deformities.
Just some of the injuries seen in these catastrophic accidents include:
If you or a loved one is struck by a vehicle, regardless of whether that driver is charged criminally, you can make them liable for your injuries. The law allows you to seek compensation for your losses, including medical costs, pain, suffering, or the death of a loved one.
Hold them responsible even if law enforcement will not. Contact the attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP at one of our three convenient office locations or ask for more information online.