A 19-year-old cyclist struck actress Nicole Kidman on a sidewalk outside a Manhattan hotel yesterday, knocking her to the ground. Fortunately for Kidman, she was only a little shaken up after the crash, and was able to walk away without any serious injuries (though she’s still pressing charges against the cyclist).
According to Newsday, the cyclist was issued three summonses: one for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk (which is justified), another for riding without a helmet (which is not), and a third for reckless endangerment.
On the same day, the driver of an SUV drove onto a sidewalk in Queens, injuring five children. One child suffered a broken hip and a broken leg. Another had multiple fractures to her vertebrae. The others were all treated for lacerations.
Seeing how hard the NYPD came down on the cyclist, you’d expect they’d throw the book at the SUV driver. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Why not? Because running down five children on a sidewalk is evidently legal in New York City, and, as Council Member Elizabeth Crowley sees it, this was just an accident.
“He hit the gas instead of the brake” [...] “This had everything to do with being an accident.”
In a city where drivers routinely jump the curb and injure and kill pedestrians, and where the biggest threat to schoolchildren is motorists, one would hope elected officials and the NYPD would take these things more seriously.
According to Streetsblog, the driver of the SUV has not been charged or summonsed, but the case is still open, and is in the hands of the Crash Investigation Squad.