BikeLaw Lawyer Jim Reed makes the Huffington Post!

My wife Meg and me with author and wine lover Stefani Jackenthal (right).

My wife Meg and me with author and wine lover Stefani Jackenthal, right. (Photo courtesy of Huffington Post/Stefani Jackenthal.)

It’s not every day that you see your name (and worse yet, your photo in lycra!) on the Huffington Post but I recently had that pleasure/horror in a very nice article about the CycleAdirondacks bicycle riding event held this past August. As many of my readers know, my wife Meg and I love getting away for cycling weekends and vacations. We look for new places to visit and ride year-round all over the country and world, but our favorite places are closer to our home on Seneca Lake in New York State. Yes, we do love New York!

logoIn August, while we were riding in Cycle Adirondacks on our tandem, we met Stefani Jackenthal,  a former professional athlete who now works as a travel and wine journalist, educator, and consultant.

Meg and I love to ride, and love wine, too, so the three of us became fast friends, and now Stefani has published an account of her visit to the Adirondacks in a great post on Huffington Post.

The Reeds are flattered to be a part of Stefani’s account of the terrific weekend ride.

We highly recommend watching for the third annual Cycle Adirondacks!

We met Stefani on a steep, winding uphill part of the course and we rode much of the next three days together.

Comfy Campers provided our weekend accommodations. (Photo courtesy of Huffington Post/Stefani Jackenthal.

Comfy Campers provided our weekend accommodations. (Photo courtesy of Huffington Post/Stefani Jackenthal.

I told Stefani we were encouraged by friends who participated in the first event in 2015 to give it a try, and I also told her how much we were enjoying “glamping” (see photo at left). Comfy Campers provides a tent, air mattress and chair for weary riders like us.

Check out all of Stefani’s terrific story (there are many photos), and to learn more about her, click here and here.

To learn more about the 2017 Cycle Adirondacks, click here.

The ride benefits, in part, Wildlife Conservation Society promoting many community-based programs in the Adirondacks.

Message me using the link below if you have any questions about the event!

Thanks for reading,

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

Police were Wrong but the Judge Gets It Right In Fatal NYC Bike Crash Case

Actress Caitlin Venedam.

Actress Caitlin Venedam.

An actress who struck and killed a bicyclist in 2014 while distracted by her cell phone has been barred from driving in New York state – not by police or a criminal court judge, but by an administrative law judge.

Many times I have had the unfortunate experience of the police simply not getting it right, so this case, where the police were wrong and the administrative law judge was right, is especially impressive.

Police said Caitlin Venedam, 28, a standup comic and actress who portrayed “Chastity” in the TV series “Gossip Girl,” ran down Matthew Brenner, 29, at about 9:30 p.m. on July 6, 2014. Police let her drive away without any charges.

But according to a report on dnainfo.com:

State Administrative Law Judge Regina A. Rinaldi decided that “a contributing factor in Matthew Brenner’s death was (Venedam’s) failure to exercise due care to avoid striking (the cyclist).”

Rinaldi barred Venedam from driving in New York state, starting in March 2016. She can still drive in her home state of New Jersey.

My friend and fellow BikeLaw lawyer, Dan Flanzig, represented the bicyclist’s Estate.  Dan did a great job of exposing evidence that would not have come out but for his efforts.

Daniel Flanzig.

Daniel Flanzig.

“But for our civil suit, certain things would never have been brought to light, including that she was using Google Maps to guide her,” said Flanzig, who said the actress would still be driving in New York were it not for information uncovered in the civil suit.

“That should have been used by (NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad). The Administrative Law judge would never have had the evidence necessary to revoke her license. The CIS work alone was completely insufficient.”

According to dnainfo.com, the actress told lawyers in a deposition that she was coming from her home in Point Pleasant, N.J., and was rushing to pick up a friend at LaGuardia, but ended up driving away from the airport on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

The report says:

Venedam got off the highway at Sands Street to call her friend and consult Google Maps on her cellphone because she was lost.

With her phone still open to Google Maps sitting on the passenger seat, Venedam drove down the street and veered across a safety triangle in order to make it back on to the BQE, according to the report.

The actress testified that she was traveling between 25 and 30 mph and was using audio prompts from the location app.

A video of the crash shows the actress trailing close behind a car that veered out of the way to avoid Brenner, then she smashed into the cyclist in the safety triangle as he tried to make his way to a bike path on the other side of the entrance ramp.

Police originally blamed Brenner for riding his bike across the ramp to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, but the video shows he was not in the roadway.

Venedam was cited four times from 2006 to 2012 for unsafe driving, speeding, not wearing a seat belt and blocking traffic, according to New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission records.

Flanzig said criminal charges would be difficult to bring against her because distracted driver statutes require the driver to be holding the cellphone.

Thanks for reading,

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

Blog Post Tells Harrowing Tale Of One Rider’s Personal Hell After Collision

 

bicycle-accident-hit

The Cycling In The South Bay blog had a great post recently that captures very well the agony/frustration/despair that often afflicts my clients who have suffered life-changing bike crashes.

The blog post looks at a January 2015 collision Deb Banks suffered when she was run down  by a drunk driver. She suffered multiple serious injuries:  a fractured pelvis, a huge gash on her arm , and most devastating, severe life-changing leg injuries.

Deb has endured five surgeries since then, and is still fighting for recovery every day. The driver was sentenced to nine years in jail. Sadly, Deb will suffer much longer than those nine years as she will have a lifetime of pain and hurdles to overcome on the road to recovery.

To understand all that she has endured, read the blog post here. It’s heartbreaking, and probably hard for many cyclists to read. But you should read it. Now. It could happen to any of us at any time we are riding.

The blog post has a couple important messages for all of us who ride bikes:

  • “First, it’s an explicit command for you to check your auto liability insurance and make sure that you have at least $500,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If your carrier won’t let you insure to that amount, change carriers.”
  • “Second, it’s a commentary on the trajectory of injury. We see Facebook posts of friends in the hospital, or gory aftermath photos, or black-and-white images of pins and bolts drilled into bone, and then we move on to the next item. It’s difficult to comprehend that after we’ve glanced at the photo, the person is still living with the injury, suffering from it, and in some cases is going to be dealing with it the rest of their life.”
  • “Third, this is the story of how one person deals with having her entire life upended as a result of one drunk driver. It’s not an easy story or a saccharine one, and it doesn’t have a happy ending because there is no ‘ending.’ There’s just a story about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and moving forward with what you’ve got left.”

The blog post writer concludes with some comments worth highlighting here:

  • “The real jail sentence has been the collateral life damage, and it’s something that every injured cyclist knows about intimately.”
  • Deb’s leg injury “requires constant daily care. It hurts all the time. It gets infected. She can’t swim, can’t bike, can barely walk, sleeps with her leg on a foam pad, and can’t sleep under the covers. In other words, her life has completely changed as she’s been thrust into the alt-universe of the catastrophically injured, i.e., those who carry massive disruptions to their daily life and emotional well-being along with the catastrophic physical injuries.”
  • “… If the ankle never mends, life today becomes a template for the rest of life, which means dealing with a leg that is permanently disabled.”
  • “One unexpected benefit to constantly struggling is empathy. Deb now ‘gets it’ in a profound way. However big her challenges are, she understands and empathizes with people who are in even bigger pain, in even more dire straits with no hope, ever, of recovery.”
  • “… She wants to prove that she can come back, that she can do it again, and then maybe she’ll be done with it. It’s occurred to her that cycling for hundreds of miles may not be her thing anymore, but if she does bow out, she’s vowed to do it on her terms, not on the terms of (driver) Gabriel Ray. ‘He doesn’t get to decide how I choose to live my life. He doesn’t.’”

Thanks for reading, and be sure to read the complete blog post!

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

Gear Up To See Washington By Bicycle! DC Cycling Concierge Offers Great Bike Tours

 

blog1.jpg

Arnold Schwarzenegger with Jeff Miller of DC Cycling Concierge.

Jeff Miller, the former Executive Director of the national Alliance for Biking and Walking, and a recent consultant to the New York Bicycling Coalition (I am NYBC Board President), has come up with a cool business idea in Washington, D.C.: he runs bicycle tours of the nation’s capital!

What a great way to see all the beautiful monuments in Washington!

DC cyclingJeff’s new venture, DC Cycling Concierge, is just taking off but he’s already rubbed elbows with the rich, powerful and famous, like former California Gov. (and movie star) Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Here is what Jeff wrote in his blog about meeting Arnold:

“Yes, I got to be Arnold’s personal bike guide barely a month after my launch. It started with a call from a hotel concierge, asking my availability to take a VIP guest for a ride.

“Later that evening, I had arranged everything and took the governor for a ride around D.C. and several monuments he wanted to visit. It was pretty surreal, riding with someone so famous and watching the wave of reaction from people walking, biking, and driving around D.C. as we rolled by.

“From an article in the Washington Post to his posts on Instagram (with over 200,000 likes!), Facebook and Snapchat, it created a fun stir on social media.

Jeff Miller took the The Beghetto family of Italy to the Arts of Peace monument, which was made in Italy in 1950. It is on Lincoln Memorial Circle in West Potomac Park.

Jeff Miller took the the Beghetto family of Italy to the Arts of Peace monument, which was made in Italy in 1950. It is on Lincoln Memorial Circle in West Potomac Park.

“Halfway through our ride, I mentioned a slight detour option and the governor replied, ‘Maybe we can do that tomorrow.’

“And indeed, we went for another ride the next day with a trip to the Capitol that included an impromptu and personal tour of the Capitol Building by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.”

Jeff has already had guests from all over the country and world, he said. “Many are experiencing their first visit to DC. Others grew up here, but enjoy the convenience of having someone else handle the details, safety, and route.”

Take your own bike or Jeff will help you arrange a rental. So next time you are in Washington, check out the DC Cycling Concierge!

 

Thanks for reading,

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

Downstate Reporter Urges Better Safe Passing Law For Bicyclists

bicycle_commuters

The Journal News, a downstate newspaper that serves Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties, recently featured a story about bicycling accidents and deaths downstate, written by David McKay Wilson, a reporter, bicycling advocate and former board member for the Westchester Cycle Club. My hope is this story will help win over hearts and minds downstate about the importance of making our roads safer statewide for bicyclists! Albany, are you listening? It’s time to improve the state’s vague safe passing law!

David recently toured accident sites in the Lower Hudson Valley where bicyclists were killed and checked on cases involving motorists facing changes in bicyclists deaths downstate. What he found was the disposition of cases involving cyclists’ deaths varied dramatically.

David called me for comment and I had this to say in the story:

Attorney Jim Reed of the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira, who represents cyclists injured on the road, said the disposition of cases depends on several factors: the aggressiveness of the police investigation and local prosecutors, as well as the existence of aggravating factors, such as drug or alcohol use by the driver.

“If there’s an aggravating factor, the prosecutor has more power to bring the hammer down,” said Reed, who also serves as president of the New York Bicycling Coalition, a statewide advocacy group. “If not, there are large deficiencies in New York’s law.”

Public outcry also has impact as well.

“If you are not a squeaky wheel, the police are moving on to their next collision or drug bust,” Reed said. “Having local advocates raise hell can help.”

David’s story makes some key points worth noting here:

  • There are more bike commuters downstate. NYC bicyclists are crossing the George Washington Bridge and riding north to Rockland County while more bike commuters are also going to work locally or riding to Metro-North train stations, destined for the city.
  • Bicycle commuting is on the rise nationally, growing by more than 62 percent from 2000 to 2013, according to the League of American Bicyclists.
  • In 2014, according to the state, 47 cyclists were killed statewide and 5,694 were injured. Nationally, 720 bicyclists were killed, up 4 percent from the year before, according to the Insurance Institute for National Highway Safety.
  • Among New York’s 47 fatalities, 11 resulted from drivers failing to grant the right-of-way to cyclists while nine were caused by driver inattention or distraction. Cyclist error was the contributing factor in 19 of the fatalities, according to the state report. In addition, 19 of the fatalities occurred at night – between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

David also wrote the following about the statewide drive for a better safe passing law, something I have lobbied for in Albany as the president of the NYBC:

Efforts in Albany in 2016 to strengthen New York’s Safe Passing Law, which cycling advocates say will give prosecutors stronger tools to enforce road sharing, failed to come for a vote in the state Assembly. The current law, which was passed in 2010, requires that motorists pass at a safe distance. The bill would require that motorists pass cyclists by at least three feet.

It passed in the Senate but failed to emerge from the Assembly Transportation Committee, chaired by Assemblyman David Gantt, D-Rochester. A phone message to Gantt’s office was not returned.

Thanks for reading,

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

 

Are You Traveling To A Big City? New Study Shows City Bike Shares Are Very Safe

3032905-poster-3028632-poster-p-citibike-2

The next time you’re in a big city with a bike-sharing program, and you’re worried about riding a shared bike on unfamiliar busy streets, remember a new study out that reports that bike sharing, which has seen rapid growth in the last 10  years, has not led to a death of any cyclists yet.

Using the metropolitan bike shares (like Citi Bikes in NYC or Hubway Bikes in Boston) is safe and fun! While many critics worried that city bike shares would be dangerous, the actual evidence from millions of rides from across the U.S, is that bike shares are very safe.

Bicycle safety experts have long known that the single biggest factor to increased bike safety is an increased number of bikes on the road because motorists become more aware of the presence of bikes, and bike sharing in cities once again proves that point.

bike_share1_750 foto 2Researchers found that bike-share riders tend to get into far fewer crashes than other cyclists, according to a report from the Mineta Transportation Institute, which looked at data from bike-share systems in Washington, D,C., San Francisco, and Minneapolis.

A Vox story on the report has some great links worth checking out, too.

Here is a summary of the study ….

Remember these numbers:

  1. Bike-sharing systems are in more than 90 cities and riders have taken more than 35 million trips.
  2. No deaths reported in bike sharing, while the overall estimated cycling fatality rate is 21 deaths per 100 million trips.

Among the study’s conclusions:

  • Design matters. Bike-share bikes are heavier and have wider tires, so they are built for rough use and potholes, a big source of accidents for cyclists.
  • The bikes have fewer gears, so riders can’t go very fast.
  • Their drum brakes perform better when it’s wet.
  • They are usually painted bright colors and feature flashing lights, so they are easier for drivers and others to see them.
  • Drivers are more alert and usually drive slower in congested city downtowns, so they are less likely to hit bicyclists.
  • Bike-sharing often attracts new and inexperienced riders, who are more likely to be cautious and alert.
  • Bike-sharing riders use helmets less than other riders. Some say drivers are more careful around cyclists without helmets.  With that said, I want to be clear that I ALWAYS recommend that everyone wear a helmet because helmets certainly do help in some situations and helmet-use sets a good example for children who are legally required to wear a helmet.

I recommend reading the full report.

Have you ever used a bike share? If you have, what do you think of the study’s conclusions? What was your experience like? Please share your comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

What To Do If Your Bike Is Stolen! Try Rejjee … And Other Advice From A Veteran Bicycle Law Lawyer

bike lock 4-4

There is nothing worse than having your beloved bicycle stolen.

If it is stolen, you want to do everything in your power to get it back. Have you registered your bike?

NYBC logoIf you haven’t already done it, go to Rejjee’s website or its mobile app and discover the smart and FREE way to manage all of your valuables. Rejjee has been selected by the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC), a state advocacy group for bicyclists (I am the president of the NYBC board), to be the group’s official bicycle registry to help reduce bike theft and increase the recovery of stolen bikes.

RejjeePlease take a moment to register your bike there now using the code NYBC and $3 will be donated to help NYBC’s mission – making New York State a safer, more accessible, and enjoyable state to ride your bike in.

Rejjee allows people to register an unlimited number of valuables, and it includes a real-time loss/theft reporting tool. The platform also includes a neighborhood lost and found!

Founded in 2014, Rejjee’s mission is to take $1 billion in stolen goods off the Internet.

Here is another option for bicyclists:

Bob Mionske

Bob Mionske

My friend Bob Mionske, a great bicycle law lawyer and member of the BikeLaw.com network, has a terrific website with great advice about keeping your bike safe and secure.

He offers this advice, in part, if your bike is stolen:

  • First, notify law enforcement by filing a stolen bike report. This is where your file documenting ownership of your bike will first be utilized — you will want to provide law enforcement with the bike’s serial number and a photo of the bike. (Do you have the serial number and a photo?)
  • Next, you should conduct your own search for the bike. Look on online sites, such as Craigslist and eBay. Be aware that thieves will sometimes steal a bike in one city and advertise it for sale in another city.
  • Bring a photo of the bike and make the rounds of the pawn shops and secondhand stores in your area. If a thief tries to sell your stolen bike to them, they may recognize the bike. If they have already bought the bike, the documentation you have filed, along with the stolen bike report, will be proof that the bike is yours, and you will be entitled to recover the bike through procedures established by state law—check with your local law enforcement agency for those procedures.
  • You should also make the rounds of the bike shops in your area. Thieves will sometimes attempt to sell stolen bikes to bike shops, especially if the shop sells used bikes.
  • Finally, check the police impound yard from time to time — your bike will end up there if it is recovered. Law enforcement should notify you, but just in case they’re not as diligent as you, it won’t hurt to look. Also, check the impound yard of your local transit agency — you’d be surprised how many bikes are left behind on buses.
  • If you do find your bike, notify law enforcement for assistance in recovering your bike. If law enforcement recovers your bike, they should notify you, based upon the stolen bike report you filed.

Bicycling.com also has some great advice worth reading, too. Check it out here.

The bottom line is: Protect your bicycle today. Register it with Rejjee or take a photo of the serial number and the bike!

Thanks for reading,

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

New Elmira-To-Big-Flats Trail Planned For Bicyclists! Here Is How To Get Involved, Says NY and PA Bicycle Law Lawyer

Chemung County and the City of Elmira want to build on the success of their Lackawanna Rail Trail (above and below) by building a path that links Elmira and Big Flats.

Chemung County and the City of Elmira want to build on the success of their Lackawanna Rail Trail (above and below) by building a path that links Elmira and Big Flats.

Twin Tiers bicyclists who have been seeking a safe bicycle route from downtown Elmira to the shopping areas in Big Flats can learn more and speak out starting Tuesday at one of two community meetings on a proposed bicycle path’s three routes.

Lackawanna Rail Trail 01Many people say they would love to ride their bikes but they are concerned about the dangers of riding on the road. (And no one wants to ride a bike on the Miracle Mile!) Dedicated bike trails give these people a safe, secure place to ride their bikes. Also, these trails are a wonderful place to teach children how to safely ride their bikes.

Of the three proposed routes, it is Route 3 that Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council transportation analyst Mike Perry told the Elmira Star-Gazette is the best and safest choice.

He’s right!

It takes bicyclists along David Street to Oakwood Avenue in Elmira Heights to Grand Central Avenue in Horseheads.

The first meeting is the Tuesday meeting of the Southern Tier Bicycle League at 3 p.m. at 400 E. Church St., in the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce at the Lake Street intersection.

Learn more about the proposals here.

If you miss Tuesday’s meeting, the transportation council’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meet at 10 a.m. April 15, also in the chamber offices.

The Elmira-Chemung Bicycle Pedestrian Trail 2035 Plan, a study finished a year ago, used community ideas to establish a network of bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly routes.

Labella Associates mapped out the following routes to the Arnot Mall:

  • Route 1, the Miracle Mile, would cost $4,116,000 to build.

  • Route 2, which follows Madison Avenue, Lake Street and Main Street, would cost $849,000.

  • Route 3 would cost $793,000.

If Route 3 is selected, there will be a lot of work to be done. A railroad crossing in Elmira Heights would need work. A culvert on Upper Oakwood Avenue would have to be wider. Grand Central Avenue near Interstate 86 would need to be wider, too, as well as the shoulders on Sing Sing Road, Colonial Drive and Arnot Road.

Construction could begin as soon as sometime in 2017, transportation officials said.

I would encourage area bicyclists to get behind the project and learn more about it. A SAFE bike and pedestrian path connecting Big Flats and Elmira would benefit all parts of the county!

Thanks for reading — and please get involved by learning more about the options and speaking out!

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

Horrific NC Crash That Hurt 4 Bicyclists Is Exhibit A for Why We Need a 3-Foot Passing Law in NY

 

As President of the New York Bicycling Coalition, I am urging New York State residents to get involved to help save the lives of bicyclists by urging their state legislators to pass a three-foot safe passing law. The unenforceable law on the books now in New York State defines the passing distance only as a “safe distance,” which police say is difficult to enforce.carchex-3-feet

A horrific car/bike crash last weekend in Angier, N.C., is sadly the latest evidence that all states need the three-foot passing law.

What makes it even more sad for me personally is because one of the injured riders, Mike Dayton, is a friend of mine who I know through my work with BikeLaw.com.  Mike is one of the nicest guys I have ever met.  More importantly, he is one of the safest and most experienced riders I have ever met.  Despite that fact, as discussed in detail below, Mike is laying in a NC ICU right now with a bad head injury because he was mowed down from behind while riding in a line of four single-file riders.  Trust me, if this could happen to Mike, this could happen to any of us who enjoy riding our bikes.

Like New York, North Carolina is another state behind the times without a defined passing distance law.  If the driver in Mike’s case would have just given these riders 3′ of passing distance, Mike would be happy at work rather than in the ICU…….

You can read the full news reports here and here:

 

Long story short, 4 experienced bike riders who were riding single-file were mowed down from behind by a passing car. The driver, Donnie Marie Williams, told a TV station that when she saw the bicyclists, there was no room to move over because a vehicle was coming in the other direction. “It happened so quick,” she said.

Apparently, it never occurred to this driver that she could have avoided this tragedy had she simply slowed down and waited for the on-coming car to pass.  If NC had a 3′ passing law, and had this driver learned that she MUST ALWAYS permit at least 3′ of passing distance, this crash would have never occurred.

I know that simply changing the law won’t prevent all future bike crashes but I also know from what I have seen over the years with seatbelt use, DWI penalties, etc., a change in the law CAN dramatically change motorist behavior.

Passing a 3′ law is an important first step in changing motorist behavior when passing people who ride bikes.  If you agree, please take 2 minutes to email your legislator by using this easy-to-use form.

Thanks for reading — and please remember to contact your state legislators in New York!

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

Tell Albany We Need A Safe 3-Foot Passing Law NOW, Says NY and PA Bicycle Law Lawyer

It’s time for action.

When I was elected president of the board recently of the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC), a group that advocates for a safer New York State for bicyclists, I decided improving New York’s safe passing law would be at the top of my legislative agenda in Albany.

I need YOUR help (and it is real easy to help). Let me explain.

NYBC logoThe NYBC is urging a 3-foot safe passing law in New York to replace our ineffective current law, which only says that a car must pass at a “safe” distance but doesn’t give any guidance on what is a “safe” distance. Unfortunately, with such an ambiguous standard, many police and prosecutors take the position that any distance, even 6 inches, must have been “safe” if the car didn’t actually hit the cyclist, which is clearly ridiculous and very unsafe.

We need our state law to spell it out specifically for motorists and cyclists: that a minimum safe passing distance is 3 feet.

Many states say 3 feet is a safe passing distance, but Pennsylvania says it's 4 feet.

State Senator Tom O’Mara has agreed to sponsor the 3-foot passing distance amendment because he is dedicated to improving cycling safety for all New Yorkers.\

Now I need my fellow New Yorkers to join the fight.

First, please click on this link to send an email to your state legislators, asking them to co-sponsor or support the 3-foot passing law.

IN ADDITION, if you can spare a little more time, please schedule a visit with your legislator to ask them face-to-face to support this amendment – because it is the most effective way to really get a Senator or Assemblyman to support the proposed law.

Here are links to the state Senate and state Assembly so you can find your local legislators.

I have handled hundreds of bicycle accident cases in my almost 30 years as a lawyer. I have represented cyclists from all over the state, and I know all too well the dangers we all face every time we ride. It is my personal goal to see fewer fatalities and injuries, and I hope to achieve that goal while working hard on behalf of NYBC.

Thank you for helping to make our roads safer!

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com