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Monday, April 9, 2012

Killed While Cycling: Why So Few Fatal Bike Crashes Lead to Arrest in NYC [Transportation Nation]



A "bike lift" in silence during a memorial ride for killed cylists, March 2012 (Photo by Alex Goldmark)
Last year, 21 cyclists died in vehicle crashes.  But only two drivers were arrested and local district attorneys are hard pressed to cite convictions for cyclist deaths.  Instead, they say, cyclists and their advocates don’t understand how tough it is to call a traffic crash a crime.
As far as intersections go, Bowery and Delancey is a pretty big one, eight lanes cross six. It’s never really empty, not even at 1:30 in the morning. It was that time of night about four years ago when Rasha Shamoon was fatally struck there by a Range Rover while riding her bike home.
As is standard procedure in traffic deaths, the police arrived and treated the intersection as a crime scene. They interviewed the three people in the car, but no other witnesses were mentioned in the police report — several people had called 911 from the scene, but we’ll never know if they saw the crash or not. Police determined Rasha Shamoon caused the crash and let the driver go.

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