While COVID-19 has reduced traffic density on New York City streets, bicyclists must still exhibit caution.
The latest example of the risks cyclists face on local roads occurred on May. 12, when a 67-year-old cyclist making a delivery was hit and killed by an on duty MTA bus driver.
In a statement released to the media, the NYPD said:
“The bicyclist veered into the path of the MTA bus, and was subsequently sideswiped by the vehicle, causing the bicyclist to be thrown to the pavement.”
Both the cyclist and the bus were headed north on Rogers Avenue in Flatbush. The collision occurred when both parties attempted to turn left on Clarendon Road.
While the cyclist may have unintentionally turned into the same lane as the bus, this particular intersection has drawn fire for being unsafe. Last year 38 crashes occurred near the intersection, which is located in one of the city’s deadliest precincts for motorists and cyclists.
The Latest Incident in NYC’s Struggle With Safe Cycling
Last year saw more than 20 cyclists die in road accidents, making it one of the city’s bloodiest years on record. The deaths sparked an outcry among cyclists for stronger penalties against careless drivers and new investments in cycling infrastructure.
While the city has taken steps in both directions and has invested millions in creating new bike lanes and safer intersections, collisions continue to occur at a high rate in recent years. One reason is the increasing number of cyclists on local streets — a development that continued through this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of pandemic-related budget issues, NYC officials are budgeting fewer dollars than expected for cycling safety this year — another development that has generated criticism from cycling advocacy groups.
Pressure to Enforce Laws Against Driver Negligence
In the May 12 incident, a report in StreetsBlog indicated that the driver of the MTA bus may have been speeding. StreetsBlog linked to a video that they claim shows the bus was moving at a high rate of speed and calls into question the police narrative that the cyclist was turning left.
That article contains a quote from a local cycling advocate who claims that police narratives have often prematurely cast blame at cyclists for their own deaths, while incorrectly absolving motorists for negligent driving.
These same advocates have also decried what they claim to be lenient charging practices from local prosecutors. The controversy was heated enough to cause Mayor Bill de Blasio to comment about the possibility of taking a harder line.
Finding the Right NY Bicycle Crash Attorney
At the Frankel Law Firm, we’ve been fighting for the rights of injured persons for more than 40 years. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at (212) 888-5100 or at www.Frankellawfirm.com. All plaintiff personal injury cases which are accepted are on a contingency basis which means that there will be no attorneys fee unless successful. Given the coronavirus pandemic, we can arrange for a free consultation by Facetime, Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. Please feel free to give us a call.
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