Contacts: Barbara Ross 917.494.8164, firstname.lastname@example.org
Benjamin Shepard 917.586.7952, Keegan Stephan 907.244.6426
Call for Safer Streets and NYPD Enforcement of Traffic Laws
Mathieu Lefevre Safety and Save a Life Ride to City Council Hearing
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
8:30am leave from Mathieu’s Street Memorial on Meserole and Morgan
9:00am leave from Manhattan entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge
9:45am arrive at Public Hearing at 250 Broadway, between Park Place and Murray Street
NEW YORK, NY (February 14, 2012) – On February 15, 2012, Time’s Up! will ride to a city council hearing in which the council will examine, “ the NYPD’s accident response and enforcement of traffic rules relating to cars, bikes, and trucks.” Time’s Up! will ride in support of the family of Mathieu Lefevre, a cyclist who was killed by a flatbed truck at the intersection of Morgan and Meserole on October 18th 2011. When the police did not release Lefevre’s accident report, his family filed a Freedom of Information Act request. The FOIL revealed that the accident report included background checks on Mathieu’s family members and pictures of them at public hearings and protests asking for the accident report, but not a single photo of the crime scene because the NYPD claimed their camera was broken.
A long-time analyst of traffic in NYC has this to say about the hearing: “The family of Mathieu Lefevre have refused to allow the NYPD to stonewall them from obtaining the truth about the crash that killed their son by denying them the accident report. The NYPD squandered evidence and refused to pursue a serious investigation and this case is laying bare the modus operandi of the NYPD. This family is saying to the NYPD that you are not going to do this to us or any other family that is victimized by the actions of motorists and the NYPD.”
“You should not have to take your life in your hands if you ride a bike in the city!” declared Times Up! volunteer Benjamin Shepard. “This is an extremely crowded city. There should be more space for cyclists and pedestrians. Today, it feels like we are second class citizens subject to harassment with little support from the city.”
“We encourage cyclists to show up en masse to demand that the City Council hold the NYPD accountable for the hundreds of deaths of pedestrians and cyclists every year,” says Time’s Up! volunteer Geoff Zink. “We want there to be stricter legislation that holds drivers who do not “exercise due care” and kill pedestrians and cyclists accountable for their actions. Currently, seriously injuring or killing a cyclist or pedestrian is only a summons-able offense, not a criminal one. James Vacca, the chair of the transportation committee in the City Council has spent years opposing life-saving bike lanes instead of focusing on the much more serious issue of death-by-automobile, and we ask that he change the focus of his work.”
# # #
For over twenty years Time’s Up! has increased bicycling and non-polluting transportation in the city with our confidence-building group rides, educational bike repair workshops, and direct action campaigns.