Steve Vaccaro’s latest “Street Justice” column explores Vision Zero legislation that criminalizes reckless drivers who strike pedestrians or cyclists in traffic accidents.
Last Thursday, the New York City Council passed Intro 238. This legislation makes it a misdemeanor for drivers to strike pedestrians or cyclists who have the right of way. Intro 238 has the potential to dramatically change driver behavior and advance the Vision Zero program of eliminating traffic fatalities. But without enforcement by NYPD and prosecutors, Intro 238 will be no more than an unheeded “message in a bottle.”
What makes Intro 238 potentially so revolutionary? And why should we expect law enforcement to embrace it? To answer those questions, let’s do a quick review of how and why this legislation came to pass.