For many people, the most important job of law enforcement is to prevent violent crimes. Some people believe that police should spend their time investigating murders rather than issuing tickets for drivers who go too fast or who run a stop sign.
The reality, however, is that police could perhaps save many more lives if the focus was on preventing traffic violence. Some cities are already recognizing the benefits of a focus on traffic crimes and undergoing a paradigm shift. Boston could benefit from doing the same.
An experienced car accident attorney in Worcester can help victims of collisions to pursue a damage claim after an accident. Anyone who has ever been seriously hurt or who has lost a loved one knows that traffic violence can be every bit as devastating as violence caused by criminals who engage in wrongful and illegal acts. Police may be better able to prevent traffic violence, though, as most people will obey the rules of the road if they are aware that they face a good chance of getting a ticket from a law enforcement officer.
A Focus on Traffic Accidents Could Save Lives
Mayor Bill DeBlasio of New York City is illustrating what could be possible if police focused as much or more attention on preventing traffic violence as they do on investigating other violent crimes. DeBlasio’s goal is to have zero motor-vehicle fatalities in New York City and so police in the city have been told to prioritize enforcement of traffic safety laws including bans on jaywalking.
While traditionally meetings of commanders involved reporting on investigations of murder and robbery, now the same amount of weight is being given to traffic issues. Some police question whether this is a wise use of limited resources, but statistics on the disparity of traffic deaths versus violent crimes support the move.
In Massachusetts, for example, there were 121 murder offenses in the state in 2012. This was down from 184 murders in 2011 and was a decrease in fatalities from the 214 murders in 2010.
When considering traffic violence, on the other hand, there were 314 traffic deaths in Massachusetts in 2010 and 334 traffic fatalities in the state in 2009.
With so many more deaths due to traffic incidents than murders, it is easy to justify why more police should focus on preventing traffic crimes. Police clearly have their work cut out for them to keep motorists in Massachusetts safe and more resources allocated towards accomplishing this goal could be a significantly wiser use of funds and manpower and resources.
If you were involved in a Boston car accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.
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Accused Drunk Driver Strikes Pedestrian in Lawrence, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 2, 2014