New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a report on Thursday showing that pedestrian injuries caused by city vehicles have cost New York City taxpayers almost $90 million in settlements since 2007. That’s a lot of money! So who is to blame? You will probably be unsurprised to learn the answer is the NYPD.
Over the last seven years, the city was sued over 1,213 injuries inflicted by municipal vehicles, and it paid out $88,134,915 in damages. Slightly fewer than half of those (about 520) were caused by NYPD vehicles. Now, to be fair, the NYPD is responsible for the largest share of the city’s 27,000-vehicle fleet, and the number of injury claims against the department is trending downward — only 56 so far this year, compared with 67 in 2012 and 85 in 2010.
Still, 56 is a pretty high number. In fact, it’s only slightly less than the number of injury claims filed against the Department of Sanitation, Department of Education, and Fire Department combined: 61.
According to the comptroller’s analysis, claims against the Department of Education (injuries caused by school buses, presumably) and Department of Sanitation (garbage trucks) are on the rise. Both agencies recorded higher numbers of injury claims this year than in any year in the past seven.
The report also drew some interesting conclusions about in which neighborhoods pedestrians were most likely to be struck by vehicles from which agencies.
For example, the comptroller noted that most claims against the police stem from incidents in Manhattan, but there are also high numbers of claims centered in the Melrose/Morrisania neighborhoods of the Bronx. Pedestrian injury “hotspots” for the Sanitation Department (as the comptroller called them) are East Harlem, Inwood, and Washington Heights in Manhattan, and Maspeth, Glendale, Middle Village, and Ridgewood in Queens. For the Department of Education, it’s Community District 11 in Brooklyn (Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Mapleton) and Elmhurst and LeFrak City in Queens.
Can’t get enough of pedestrian injury claim statistics? You’re in luck! The comptroller has created an interactive map plotting all pedestrian personal injury claims. No word on how much that cost New York City taxpayers…
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 23, 2014