NYPD: We're Also Investigating Critical Collisions, Not Just Fatal Ones

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In its first City Council hearing since revamping its Collision Investigation Squad, NYPD officers said the unit was investigating more crashes -- and staffing up.

The unit -- once known as the Accident Investigation Squad -- recently came under fire for not investigating enough pedestrian crashes. Officers formerly only investigated collisions in which a victim was either dead -- or likely to die.

Now, under new protocols effective since April, patrol officers confer with the Fire Department EMS to determine whether a patient is critically injured. 

John Cassidy, the NYPD's chief of transportation, told a Council oversight committee that "a critically injured patient is defined as a patient either receiving CPR, in respiratory arrest, or requiring and receiving life sustaining ventilator or circulatory support.”

He said the number of cases handled by the CIS rose to 293 in 2013 from 238 in 2012. The CIS has also staffed up; it currently has 22 investigators, and Cassidy says there are plans to add five more "in the near future."

Later in the hearing, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who co-chairs the transportation committee, asked Cassidy what the NYPD was doing about speeding. "We could save lives, and save injuries," he said, "if we got these people off the streets who think this is the Daytona 500. And that's what many people driving cars do think." He said he wants the department to crack down on speeding.

Cassidy said the NYPD "is out there addressing those conditions."

He added that "year to date, for 2013 as of 8/31, we've given out 56,420 speeding summonses in the city of New York. Now, could that number be higher? Absolutely. We are working vigorously and giving in the attention that it truly deserves."