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by Peter Moskos

April 21, 2014

Sorry, but...

From the Daily News: "Devastated mom to sue city, driver over Queens creek crash that killed four friends"

I'm sorry for your loss, but my first thought upon hearing of this -- actually my second thought since my first thought was "Where the hell is there a creek in Astoria you can drive a car into?!" - was not sympathy but, "I'm happy the speeding bastard drove into the water rather than driving into me!"

This is about a mile from my house and even I didn't know of Steinway Creek existed. (Yes, that Steinway, next to where the make the pianos, and turns out this unknown creek also goes by the name Luyster Creek).

See, massive speeding is not OK. No more so than drunk driving (maybe even less). If you can't stop quick enough to see an even poorly labeled end of the road, you can't stop enough to see me crossing the street. If a speeding car kills me biking or jaywalking, it's considered my fault. So if a speeding car kills the passengers in that car... why is that also my fault? Here's a good rule, if you're speeding (or drinking, or texting, or putting on makeup, or cooking on the passenger seat with a 12-volt plug-in hibachi grill) and then crash it is your fault.

“How could they have ended up in the water?” said Fletcher’s brother. “There was a lack of barriers, signage, anything that would prevent that tragedy. There was nothing to identify that was the end of the road."

You know what signifies the end of the road? The end of the road:
Stop speeding. Or if you must speed, accept the consequences of your actions. You were driving too fast. You and and your friends didn't deserve to die. And that's a tragedy. But it's not the city's fault. And as a New York City taxpayer, I don't want to pay one red cent.

[And as criminal justice tidbit, 19th Avenue was formerly Rikers Avenue. (Yes, that Rikers, next to where they hold all the arrested folks)


Kyle W said...

Why is it your fault if your biking and a speeder kills you?

PCM said...

Beat me.

As a rule of thumb, at least in New York, if a car crashes into anything another than another car, the car is never to blame. A licensed sober non-hit-and-run driver is never charged for a crash. The bike or pedestrian is always blamed.

This was the worst case, but lesser version happen all the time.


Cab veers toward bike. Doesn't see bike. Bike bangs on side of cab. Cabbie gets mad, accelerate into bike. Biker now on hood of car. Cab then hops curb, hits tourist and severs her leg. Cab blames bike. Strangely, this is pretty much the *cab driver's* version.

No charges were filed.

If the bike dies, driver says, "I didn't see him" or "he came out of nowhere" or "he ran the light." No charges are ever filed.

Kyle W said...

How... just... no charges at all? Is this specific to NYC?

PCM said...

I don't know...