A man was killed by a tow truck driver while crossing the street in the Bronx this morning. According to an NYPD release, 57-year-old Jose Torres was crossing from east to west on East 181st Street and Southern Boulevard at approximately 10:30 a.m. when he was hit by the tow truck, which was traveling north on Southern Boulevard. Torres was crossing inside the crosswalk, but an NYPD spokesman said it was still unclear whether he had the right of way. The driver remained on the scene and has not been issued a summons, and the investigation is ongoing.
In related news: Streetsblog reports that the City Council's transportation committee was told by NYPD representatives this morning that the department opposed a bill that would require them to give the locations of traffic crashes and fatalities to the New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications [DOITT] so that the agency, which also operates the city's 311 service, could map the data.
“Putting it on a map is inherently somewhat misleading,” NYPD Legal Affairs Assistant Commissioner Susan Petito said. “The utility of a street address, I can’t sit here and tell you that would add anything.”
Petito acknowledged that the data is meaningful—but only in the hands of the NYPD. “We look at it a little differently from the way a member of the public would. We have access to so much more information, including everything on the police accident report.”
Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca said after the hearing, “I’m not worried about confusing the public. I think people understand what’s released more than the police department would give them credit for, and I think we should have the information.”