The number of bicycle accident s in New York City is on the rise even as the city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on safety improvements in order to decrease the number of traffic fatalities in all Five Boroughs. However, to alleviate that danger a new policy has been instituted allowing bicyclists to ride through walk signals at intersections.
Under this pilot program, bicyclists are no longer required to dismount and walk their bicycle with the rest of the pedestrians or wait for the light to turn green. While traffic law generally treats a mounted bicyclist the same as a driver of an automobile, this new approach may indeed decrease the risk of collisions. The change was made to give cyclists the right of way and allow them a little lead time before cars can enter intersections.
The program was modelled after a similar program that let pedestrians walk freely by leaving the “walk” signal on for several seconds before the signal light for motorized traffic changed. That program has enjoyed great success and after a little learning curve, it seems to be working well.
For now, this new program created to decrease the total number of bicycle accidents in New York only affects 50 intersections. However, statistics at those intersections will be monitored closely and if accidents are reduced, lawmakers will likely extend the change citywide.
Drivers are currently still responsible for giving cyclists and pedestrians the right of way when traffic conditions require it. Under New York, in the event a bicyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, the injured bicyclist would be entitled to no-fault benefits for medical expenses and lost wages from the vehicle’s insurance company. This is separate and apart from a claim that the bicyclist can make against the driver and owner of the motor vehicle for the injuries sustained in the accident.
If you’ve been struck by a reckless, careless, or distracted driver, contact an experienced New York City bicycle accident attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 right now.