A new study by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia found few, if any, motorists involved in fatal crashes with vulnerable users (pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists) are ever charged by law enforcement.
About 16 percent of people who kill vulnerable road users in Philadelphia are charged after the fact, according to numbers acquired by the Philadelphia Police Department. Thirty percent of the cases we reviewed were closed with no charges and no data was provided for 46 percent of the cases.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia began looking into this shortly after the death of 11-year-old Julian Angelucci, who was killed by a driver at 10th and Shunk Streets. No charges were ever filed against the driver.
Upon initial research, we found few fatal crashes we’d researched or seen in the news resulted in charges for the driver—even in some of the most egregious cases.
When we began meeting with Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia, many families we spoke with said they hadn’t received justice in their cases, either. Worse, many families we’ve worked with claimed they didn’t know what, if any, investigation occurred after their family member was killed.
Those families will deliver this report, and several demands for the city, the state, and law enforcement on Thursday, February 28th at 11th and Spruce Streets.
Our organizations’ goals is not to see more people go to prison, but the families of traffic victims deserve justice or, at least, a transparent process for understanding what became of the case involving their family member.
That’s why, in our report, we’ve made five recommendations for law enforcement in Philadelphia, including a publicly transparent database, a policy for pursuing penalties, new software that allows police to read data recorders already built into motor vehicles, among other things.
To read the entire report, click here.
Join us on February 28 as Families for Safe Streets makes its demands. We will meet at 8am at 11th and Spruce Streets, with the press conference beginning at 8:30am.
RSVP to attend the human-protected bike lane demonstration alongside our press conference.