Next Wednesday the City Council will hold hearings on the NYPD's handling of accident investigations, with a special focus on crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians. Among those expected to speak is the mother of Mathieu Lefevre, a cyclist who was killed by a flatbed truck driver one night in Williamsburg last October. The Lefevre family had to sue the NYPD to get basic information about the investigation and find out why the driver was not charged with a hit-and-run. Now Lefevre's mother Erika is expected to make the trip from her home in Canada to demand accountability from the NYPD.
The joint hearing will be held by the City Council Committee on Public Safety and the Committee on Transportation, and will also focus on the NYPD's enforcement of traffic rules, or lack thereof. (If you'd like to attend, the hearing will be February 15th at 10:00 a.m. in the 14th Floor Committee Room, 250 Broadway.) Michelle Matson, another cyclist who was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver in Greenpoint,
is also expected to attend may attend. After Gothamist first reported Matson's futile attempt to find the driver who hit her, the Village Voice featured her in a cover story about the NYPD's failure to file charges against the car's owner.
Michael Murphy, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, tells us, "Last fall, we presented thousands of letters to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly asking him to enforce our traffic laws, vigorously investigate crashes that result in death or serious injury and stop letting dangerous drivers off the hook. The police responded to those pleas for justice with disdain, scoffing 'that's why they call it an accident.' But City Council Members Peter Vallone and James Vacca heard us and now the NYPD will have to answer for its consistent failure to hold dangerous drivers accountable."