Crash Not Accident Logo and Pledge created by Transportation Alternatives NYC
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia officially request the renaming of the Accident Investigation Division within the Philadelphia Police Department.
Using the term “accident” is no longer considered acceptable in the field of traffic safety, especially not for a city that has a vision zero goal and practices the safe system approach to traffic violence. The word “accident” implies unavoidable circumstances, when in fact, traffic crashes are completely avoidable. In fact, the National Highway Safety Administration banned the word from government publications in 1997. Traffic crashes are fixable problems, caused by dangerous streets and unsafe drivers. They are not accidents. Perpetuating the use of the word accident is an insult to the families of victims.
The Philadelphia Police Department is one of the only large U.S. cities left in the United States that has not changed the name of their traffic safety investigation division. For example:
- Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Collision Investigation Unit,
- Baltimore PD Police Crash Team
- Phoenix Police Department Vehicular Crimes Unit
- NYPD Crash Investigation Unit
- Metropolitan Police (Wash DC) Major Crash Investigations Unit
On behalf of all Philadelphia traffic safety advocates, including Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia, we request that you authorize Captain Overwise to proceed with changing the name of the Accident Investigation Division (AID) to a more appropriate name for this important public safety function.