Extra Extra : Transportation

Mean Streets: Tracking traffic deaths in New York City

More than half of the 27 pedestrians killed by cars in New York City this year died on major roadways. That’s just one of the findings of a new WNYC analysis of traffic deaths, Mean Streets

WNYC worked with the NYPD to compile an accurate list of traffic deaths after finding discrepancies between its statistics and those kept by advocacy groups.

The station is tracking each death using an interactive database that includes names, dates, locations, street view maps and brief descriptions of the deaths.

Cabbies in Nevada taking the long way, preying on locals and tourists

The Nevada Taxicab Authority, the state agency that regulates the taxicab industry, has a lax record of enforcing the law, with its citations to drivers dropping significantly in 2013, an investigation by the Las Vegas Review-Journal found.

The authority, a law enforcement agency with 26 officers, issued just two tickets in December 2013 to cabbies for long-hauling passengers, or taking them on longer than needed routes. In 2013, a state audit determined that nearly a fourth of trips from the Las Vegas airport to hotels on the Strip are long-hauls, costing passengers about $15 million annually.

Data shows car accidents spike when sun aligns with Toronto street grid

Global News obtained 11 years of collision data and found that “Torontohenge,” when the setting sun aligns with Toronto’s east-west street grid and forces drivers to squint through salt-crusted windshields, coincides with the third-worst day of the year for car accidents.

Get the full story and graphic.

Extra Extra Special Edition: Vehicle recalls, police misconduct, U.S. Border Patrol tactics

We took a break from publishing Extra Extra during the 2014 CAR Conference. Here are some of the stories that ran while we were away:

 

Fords with faulty transmissions not recalled | WTAE Pittsburgh

Following the redesign of Ford Fiesta and Focus transmissions in 2011, hundreds around the country said they're concerned about the safety of the vehicles. They have reported difficulty shifting as well as odd crunching and grinding noises as the cars change gears.

Dozens of consumers in Western Pennsylvania filed lawsuits alleging that, despite assurances from dealers, the vehicles do not function properly. The cars have not ...

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Chicago ride-sharing company admits its screening missed convictions

A Chicago ride-sharing company did not run complete criminal background checks on thousands of drivers, the Chicago Tribune reported this morning.

The Tribune learned of the lax oversight when it tried to profile a driver for the company, Uber. The driver selected for the story had a felony conviction for residential burglary.

The company later admitted its background checks had missed county-level criminal convictions.

Read the full story here.

Under Christie, business booms for Port Authority's chief

It pays to be friends with Chris Christie, WNYC reported last month.

“The governorship of Chris Christie has been very good for David Samson, a close associate he installed as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - and who has emerged as a central figure in the scandals swirling around the New Jersey governor. Records show that his law firm's lobbying revenues have skyrocketed during Christie's tenure, and its business as a bond counsel has quadrupled.

The story continued Tuesday as WNYC detailed Samson’s many opportunities to advance his own interests as Port ...

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No tracking for hazardous materials traveling across Iowa

“Each day, trucks and railcars hauling hazardous materials share roadways with Iowa drivers and pass through Iowa towns and fields. But unless there is an accident, officials often don’t know what materials pass through the state.” Read the full story from IowaWatch/Investigative News Network here.

Highway exhaust plagues many schools in Washington state

An InvestigateWest analysis found nearly 30 public schools in Washington sit within 500 feet of a major road, which decades of study have shown cause lifelong respiratory problems and asthma attacks through air polution and can boost school absenteeism. In one case of a school that re-opened in close proximity to a highway, 21 months passed between a concerned email from a health expert and action from the Seattle Schools officials. The re-opening of that school, John Marshall Junior High, accordign to InvestigateWest represents "one example of how, when it comes to air pollution near roads, Washington state school policies ...

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Florida's chronic, tragic record of pedestrian crashes

The Orlando Sentinel completed its three-part series “Blood In the Streets” this week, examining Central Florida’s chronic, tragic record of pedestrian crashes, the worst in the country. Using state and federal data, reporters Scott Powers and Arelis Hernandez reviewed thousands of pedestrian crashes to target scores of interviews. Their findings: The problems are rooted in many decades of sprawling development and road planning and a careless culture. Drivers who kill pedestrians face life-changing grief and guilt. Victims and families find little support and no closure from the justice system. And no transportation plans address the ultimate problem: high speed.

Extra Extra Monday: Female inmates wrongly sterilized, hazardous chemical program flawed, postal service snooping

U.S. well sites in 2012 discharged more than Valdez | EnergyWire
"It was one of the more than 6,000 spills and other mishaps reported at onshore oil and gas sites in 2012, compiled in a months-long review of state and federal data by EnergyWire. That's an average of more than 16 spills a day. And it's a significant increase since 2010. In the 12 states where comparable data were available, spills were up about 17 percent."

Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval | The Center for Investigative Reporting
“Doctors under contract with the California Department of ...

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