When a stray bullet kills a child, we want to know that bullet’s story. Who fired it, who were they trying to kill, what set did they claim in the city’s neighborhoods, and how could they be so careless as to put a child in harm’s way? But when a car kills a child, we treat it like the weather. These things happen.
In late 2013, Andrea Bernstein, the director of WNYC’s transportation bureau Transportation Nation, decided that had to change. Every year, hundreds of people died from car accidents on the streets of New York City, but their deaths weren’t given the same media attention as the more dramatic, more narratively coherent deaths that resulted from gun violence. Still, their deaths were just as tragic, and if the public knew more about them, it could be aroused to demand that New York City’s government pay as much attention to them as it does to its murders. Read more