USAT Network police crash investigation makes national news. Listen to our Westchester conversation.

The "Driving Force" investigation by USA TODAY Network-New York is making national news.

The investigative project launched Feb. 13 in New York. "Driving Force" is looking across all of New York at how police officers sometimes flout laws when they are driving and crash their vehicles into cars, pedestrians and buildings.

Since the data project launched, it has run in the main position on usatoday.com and the launch story "Grave injuries. Shallow consequences. Police crashes have the potential to wreck lives" is the cover story on the Feb. 26 Page A1 of USA TODAY nationwide.

Deshane Levere stands at the intersection of Onondaga Avenue and Bellevue Avenue in Syracuse, NY on Friday, September 15, 2023. A decade prior, a Syracuse police cruiser ran a redlight and crashed into Levere's four-door sedan, injuring her back.
Deshane Levere stands at the intersection of Onondaga Avenue and Bellevue Avenue in Syracuse, NY on Friday, September 15, 2023. A decade prior, a Syracuse police cruiser ran a redlight and crashed into Levere's four-door sedan, injuring her back.

Over the last decade, hundreds of officers around New York state have run stop signs and red lights, made unsafe road maneuvers in icy weather or rear-ended other police or civilian vehicles.

More often than not, officers behind the wheel face little to no discipline.

Read our investigation Devastating injuries. Very few consequences. How frequent NY police crashes wreck lives.

Listen to two journalists from Driving Force talk about it Feb. 26

USA Today Network-New York journalists Beryl Lipton and David Robinson will be talking at noon Monday Feb. 26 on the show called "Connections" with Evan Dawson.

Check out the conversation online on WXXI.

Our striking findings and the data supporting them are part of an investigation from the USA TODAY Network-New York, Syracuse University’s Newhouse School and The Central Current into police vehicle crashes in New York — an effort that started with the pursuit of police discipline records, made public in the state in 2020. 

The USA TODAY front page from Feb. 26, 2024, features the launch piece from the New York newsroom for Gannett.
The USA TODAY front page from Feb. 26, 2024, features the launch piece from the New York newsroom for Gannett.

In 2020, New York changed its laws around police misconduct records, repealing Section 50-a of the state’s Civil Rights Law that effectively hid police misconduct from the public.

Within a week of the law taking effect, MuckRock journalist Beryl Lipton delivered hundreds of Freedom of Information Law requests to police department email inboxes around the state. Soon, Lipton started working with a USA TODAY Network-New York reporting team to pursue responses to these requests.

Lipton now works as police discipline data coordinator for the Network in New York.

David Robinson is an award-winning, experienced health and investigative reporter on the Network's New York state team.

This story is part of Driving Force, a police accountability project meant to expose and document the prevalence of police vehicle accidents in New York.

This joint investigation between USA TODAY Network-New York and Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications was supported with funding from the Data-Driven Reporting Project. That project is funded by the Google News Initiative in partnership with Northwestern University-Medill.

This reporting was completed in partnership with The Central Current, a Syracuse-based nonprofit newsroom.

Reporters, visual journalists, editors, designers and project partners include Maria Birnell, Evan Butow, Kayla Canne, Daniel DeLoach, Anna Ginelli, Jon Glass, Seth Harrison, Nausheen Husain, Hayden Kim, Chris Libonati, Beryl Lipton, Tina MacIntyre-Yee, Peter Pietrangelo, William Ramsey, David Robinson, Kyle Slagle, Eden Stratton, Sarah Taddeo, Jodi Upton and Marili Vaca.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: New York police car crash investigation makes national news