Kelly: NYPD to Add 10 Investigators to Crash Team

Ray Kelly says NYPD’s revamped crash investigation team will be increased by half.

At a City Council budget hearing this morning, Kelly told council members that the Accident Investigation Squad, soon to be known as the Collision Investigation Squad, will add 10 officers. The unit currently has a staff of 19 investigators.

According to the guidelines announced by Kelly last week, crash investigators will in the future be “notified to respond” to crashes involving critical injury. While it seems more crashes will be investigated once the department abandons the “dead or likely to die” rule, the new protocol will apparently continue to exclude many collisions, despite state law that requires a full-scale inquiry into all crashes that result in serious injury. Serious injuries are defined by the state Department of Motor Vehicles as a broken bone or worse.

As we reported yesterday, there were 2,942 serious injury crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists in 2011. There were 250 fatal crashes. Not that crashes occur at regular intervals, but that’s an average of just under nine per day.

In the days since Kelly’s March 4 letter to the City Council outlining the new policies, at least four pedestrians and cyclists have been killed by motorists who remained at the scene. Among the victims are a senior killed last night in the Bronx, and 16-year-old Drudak Tenzin, struck Monday morning by a driver who police say was speeding and distracted. No charges have been announced in that case, or any of the other three.