Arthur Chi’en of WPIX Has Raised the Bar for NYC Traffic Violence Reportage

If you haven’t seen it, you should have a look at Arthur Chi’en’s story on the growing movement to keep children safe from reckless New York City drivers, which aired last night on WPIX.

Chi’en spoke with Amy Tam and Hsi-Pei Liao, whose little girl Allison Liao was killed by a driver in a crosswalk in Flushing. The driver was summonsed for failure to yield to a pedestrian and careless driving. He was not charged with a crime for fatally striking Allison, which compounded her parents’ grief.

Chi’en also talked with attorney Steve Vaccaro, who represents Tam and Liao. Vaccaro said motorists should at least fear for their driving privileges in crashes like the one that killed Allison.

Chi’en said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is still investigating Allison’s case. It is extremely rare for district attorneys in New York City to charge a driver for killing unless he is drunk or flees the scene, a point Chi’en makes in the story.

Chi’en eschews the sensationalism and victim-blaming that normally pass for journalism on this beat. He avoids describing deadly crashes as “accidents.” This story should serve as the blueprint for reporters who write about vehicular violence in New York City.