NEW YORK (AP) -- The NYPD is taking a closer look at traffic deaths involving vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
The New York Times reports that the Collision Investigation Squad has been bolstered with more detectives, high-tech mapping tools and a new mandate to investigate about three times as many crashes as last year.
Until recently, the unit responded only to fatal crashes or those in which a victim was likely to die. It was previously called the Accident Investigation Squad.
Now the squad responds whenever a paramedic lists a victim as critical.
Prosecutors have welcomed the change. They say it already has generated more cases.
Not all crashes lead to criminal charges.
In 2012, 274 people died in traffic-related deaths, up from 245 a year earlier and the most since 2008.