Tag Archives: bicycle accidenet laws

Confront Dangerous Drivers? NOT A Good Idea…..

Bicyclists are back on our potholed Twin Tiers roads, and in addition to navigating around bad road conditions, we have to be mindful of the drivers around us. We’ve all gotten angry at thoughtless or careless drivers, and in that moment, did we confront? That’s a dangerous place to be.

Every bicyclist has at least one story (and usually many more) about careless, aggressive, and impatient drivers who have cut them off, turned in front of them, almost doored them, often without thinking about our safety. Bicyclists are invisible and insignificant to millions of drivers.

Eben Weiss

Eben Weiss, the author of the book “Bike Snob” and the blog Bike Snob NYC, has a great column in Outside magazine where he talks about the spur-of-the-moment decision all cyclists have to make when we’re wronged: Do we confront or let it go?

Eben’s column headline says it all: “Confronting a Driver From Your Bike Is Never Worth It.”

He’s right. With thousands and thousands of miles of cycling experience, I have had more than my fair share of encounters with angry motorists who apparently feel that bicyclists have no right to share the road. I have had things thrown at me, I have suffered dangerous brush-backs (also known as “punishment passes”), and I have been screamed at at close-range by teens trying to scare the bejeezus out of me.

I would like to say I have always reacted with calmness and good cheer.

Nope. Not even close.

I have f-bombed, I have given the finger, I have encouraged the cowardly, menacing drivers to have the guts to come back and confront me without the protection of their thousand pounds of steel armor.

With one exception – thankfully, a stoned 90-pound woman – no one has taken me up on the offer to come back. But I have been lucky so far.  And luck only works for so long.

So I have now reformed my ways.  No longer do I confront motorists and I STRONGLY urge cyclists to NOT confront motorists under any circumstances.

The bottom line is that any confrontation with a motorist could go wrong in so many way — a gun, a knife, a tire iron, the cyclist run over, etc. So the much smarter way to handle a nasty driver is to let it go and immediately report it to the police.

Eben Weiss is right when he writes this in Outside about bicyclists’ bad options:

No matter how justified, ultimately it’s never satisfying to fly into a rage; if anything, you just wind up feeling guilty and ashamed, like when you wake up on the couch covered in Cheetos after a Netflix binge. As for administering a devastating dressing-down with such surgical precision that the driver immediately questions all the life choices that led them up to this moment, no matter how clever you are, attempts to deliver the mot juste invariably backfire and leave you feeling even angrier.

I agree, Eben. Pick your fights!

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

 

Here Is A Summary Of Bike Laws In New York State And NYC To Keep Riders And Motorists Safe!

BFA 6

I see motorists and bicyclists break the law every day.

As a veteran bicycle law lawyer, I decided it was time to summarize our state laws so everyone sharing the road knows their rights.

Why These Laws Apply to Cyclists

NY Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) – §1231 – Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles – Every person riding a bicycle ….. upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

Rules of the City of N.Y. (RCNY) 4-02 (a) – The provisions of N.Y.C. Traffic Rules are applicable to bicycles and their operators.

Safe Passing Law:   Motor Vehicles Passing Bikes

Share-Road-Sign

Photo courtesy of RoadTrafficSigns.com. RoadTrafficSigns.com

VTL 1146 – Drivers to exercise due care. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist, pedestrian, or domestic animal upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary. For the purposes of this section, the term “domestic animal” shall mean domesticated sheep, cattle, and goats which are under the supervision and control of a pedestrian.
VTL 1122 – The operator of a vehicle overtaking, from behind, a bicycle proceeding on the same side of a roadway shall pass to the left of such bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear thereof.
VTL 1120 – All motorists must drive on the right side of a roadway, except in the following situations:
• When passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction;
• When passing a cyclist, pedestrian, animals, or obstructions in the roadway.
RCNY 19-190 – Right of Way –
Subdivision (a) provides that if a motor vehicle driver fails to yield to a pedestrian or bicyclist who has the right of way, the driver shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100, in addition to or as an alternative to the penalties that can be imposed for committing a traffic infraction as provided in the law. Subdivision (b) of Section 19-190 provides that if a driver violates subdivision (a) and the vehicle causes contact with the pedestrian or bicyclist, and thereby causes physical injury, the driver shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $250, in addition to or as an alternative to the penalties that can be imposed for committing a misdemeanor as provided in the law.

Bikes Passing on the Right

VTL 1123 – Overtaking on the right – The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

• When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
• Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in each direction;
• Upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles.
• (b) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. Such movement shall not be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway, except as permitted by section eleven hundred thirty-one of this article.

“Doorings”

220px-Door_zone_openVTL 1214 – Opening and closing vehicle doors – “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic, and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall a person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”
RCNY 4-12-(c) – Getting Out of a Vehicle – “No person shall get out of any vehicle from the side facing on the traveled part of the street in such manner as to interfere with the right of the operator of an approaching vehicle or a bicycle.”
“Doored” by a NYC Cab
RCNY 4-11(c) – “Taxis….while engaged in picking up or discharging passengers must be within 12 inches of the curb or parallel thereto “.
RCNY 4-11 (c) -Taxi and Cars for Hire – Picking up or discharging passengers shall not be made under such conditions as to obstruct the movement of traffic and in no instance so as to leave fewer than 10 feet available for the free movement of vehicular traffic; where stopping is prohibited; or within a bicycle lane.

Bike Lanes and Road Position for Cyclists

Bike-Lane-ArrowVTL 102-a – Definition of Bicycle Lane – A portion of the roadway which has been designated by striping, signing and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of bicycles.
VTL 1234. Riding on roadways, shoulders, bicycle or in-line skate lanes and bicycle or in-line skate paths. (a) Upon all roadways, any bicycle or in-line skate shall be driven either on a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane or, if a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane has not been provided, near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or upon a usable right-hand shoulder in such a manner as to prevent undue interference with the flow of traffic except when preparing for a left turn or when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that would make it unsafe to continue along near the right-hand curb or edge.
Conditions to be taken into consideration include, but are not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, in-line skates, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or traffic lanes too narrow for a bicycle or person on in-line skates and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane.
**VTL § 1234 Does Not apply in New York City. It is specifically superseded by 34 RCNY 4-02 (e) **
RCNY 4-12 (p)(1) Bicyclists may ride on either side of one-way roadways that are at least 40 feet wide.
RCNY 4-12 (p)(3) Bicyclists should ride in usable bike lanes, unless they are blocked or unsafe for any reason.
RCNY 4-12 (o) Bicycles are prohibited on expressways, drives, highways, interstate routes, bridges, and thruways unless authorized by signs.

Riding Single File or No More than 2 Abreast

VTL 1234 (b) Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast. Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a shoulder, bicycle or in-line skate lane, or bicycle or in-line skates path, intended for the use of bicycles or in-line skates may ride two or more abreast if sufficient space is available, except that when passing a vehicle, bicycle or person on in-line skates, or pedestrian, standing or proceeding along such shoulder, lane or path, persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates shall ride, skate, or glide single file. Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall ride, skate, or glide single file when being overtaken by a vehicle.

Stop Before Entering Roadway

VTL 1234 (c) Any person operating a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates who is entering the roadway from a private road, driveway, alley or over a curb shall come to a full stop before entering the roadway.

Cars Blocking or Obstructing Bike Lanes in NYC

A-Philly-bike-laneRCNY Section 4-08(e) – Block or obstructing a Bike lane – “No Stopping Zones (Stopping, standing, and parking prohibited in specified places). No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle in any bicycle lanes or within a designated bicycle lane….”
RCNY 4-12(p)(2) No person shall drive a vehicle on or across a designated bicycle lane, except when it is reasonable and necessary:
(i) to enter or leave a driveway; or
(ii) (ii) to enter or leave a legal curbside parking space; or
(iii) (iii) to cross an intersection; or
(iv) (iv) to make a turn within an intersection; or
(v) (v) to comply with the direction of any law enforcement officer or other person authorized to enforce this rule; or
(vi) (vi) to avoid an obstacle which leaves fewer than ten feet available for the free movement of vehicular traffic.
(vii) Notwithstanding any other rule, no person shall drive a vehicle on or across a designated bicycle lane in such manner as to interfere with the safety and passage of persons operating bicycles thereon.

Equipment

VTL 1236. Lamps and other equipment on bicycles. (a) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible during hours of darkness from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red or amber light visible to the rear for three hundred feet. Effective July first, nineteen hundred seventy-six, at least one of these lights shall be visible for two hundred feet from each side.

(b) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.

No Brakeless “Fixies” in NY

VTL 1236 (c) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

VTL 1236 (d) Every new bicycle shall be equipped with reflective tires or, alternately, a reflex reflector mounted on the spokes of each wheel, said tires and reflectors to be of types approved by the commissioner. The reflex reflector mounted on the front wheel shall be colorless or amber, and the reflex reflector mounted on the rear wheel shall be colorless or red.

VTL 1236 (e) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with reflective devices or material meeting the standards established by rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner; provided, however, that such standards shall not be inconsistent with or otherwise conflict with the requirements of subdivisions (a) and (d) of this section.

2 Earphones Are Unlawful

VTL 375 24-a – Use of earphones while driving or riding a bicycle – It shall be unlawful to operate upon any public highway in this state a motor vehicle, limited use automobile, limited use motorcycle or bicycle while the operator is wearing more than one earphone attached to a radio, tape player or other audio device.

Hands on the handle bars

VTL 235 – Carrying articles – No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle, or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars. No person skating or gliding on in-line skates shall carry any package, bundle, or article which obstructs his or her vision in any direction. No person operating a skate board shall carry any package, bundle, or article which obstructs his or her vision in any direction.
RCNY 4-12 (e) – Cyclists must have at least one hand on handlebars at all times.
Seats and Pedals
VTL § 1232 Cyclists must ride on a permanent seat, feet must be on pedals, and bike must carry only the number of persons for which it is designed and equipped.

Children on Bikes

boy with helmetVTL 1238 – Helmets and carrying children
• A child under age one is not permitted to ride on a bicycle.
• A child one or more years of age but less than five years of age must wear an approved helmet and be carried in a properly affixed child carrier.
• A child five or more years of age but less than fourteen years of age must wear an approved helmet.

Riding on the Sidewalk and in Parks in NYC

Admin Code – 19-176 – Bicycles ridden on sidewalks may be confiscated and riders may be subject to legal sanctions (see also: RCNY § 4-07(c) (3)
RCNY 4-07 (c) (3) No driving bikes on sidewalks, unless sign allows or wheels are less than 26 inches in diameter and rider is twelve years or younger
RCNY 4-14 (c) No person shall ride a bicycle in any park, except in places designated for bike riding; but persons may push bikes in single file to and from such places, except on beaches and boardwalks.

Riding on the Sidewalk in Other Municipalities

BFA 4The NY Vehicle and Traffic Law does not expressly regulate sidewalk bicycling. However, NY General Municipal Law (Section 180)6 states that NY municipalities can regulate bike riding on sidewalks. They cannot require that bicyclists use a sidewalk instead of a public roadway, but they can impose limits to sidewalk bicycling. So it is up to individual municipalities to regulate sidewalk cycling as they see fit.
Some municipalities have no sidewalk cycling regulations, while others do regulate sidewalk bicycling. For instance, the City of Elmira prohibits sidewalk cycling for persons 14 or older. The City of Ithaca prohibits cycling on the sidewalk for anyone older than 10 years old unless a person over 10 has a disability requiring the use of a bicycle as a means of transportation or mobility.

I wrote this compilation of laws with Daniel Flanzig of Flanzig and Flanzig, LLP, www.newyorkbikelawyers.com. We collaborated on this in our roles as Legal Advisers/Board Members to the New York Bicycling Coalition and as bicycle accident lawyers with BikeLaw.com.

DISCLAIMER: Please appreciate that this compilation of cycling laws is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Also appreciate that laws change on virtually a daily basis and accordingly whenever researching any legal issue, it is critically important to perform up-to-date research to determine the current state of the law.
If you have any legal question pertaining to cycling laws in the state of New York, please feel free to contact Jim Reed at [email protected].

Enjoy your bike and ride safely!

Thanks for reading,

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

 

HIT BY A CAR IN NY? YOU AUTOMATICALLY HAVE INSURANCE COVERAGE!

bicycle-accident-hit

I hear from NY bicyclists all the time who tell me they have been hit by a car and then refused to take an ambulance to the hospital.

Instead, they walked, called a family member or friend, and in some cases, got a ride from the driver who struck them!

Why?

Because they thought they were going to have to pay a big ambulance bill for the ride to the nearest hospital or huge medical expenses just for being checked out in the ER.

I certainly understand because ambulance rides don’t come cheap, and deductibles and co-pays can add up in a hurry these days.

But bicyclists need to know that there is a law in New York State that ensures that the DRIVER’S insurance pays for your medical bills after a crash – and even your lost wages if you are out of work because of your injuries.

It’s a great law in New York.

All privately owned motor vehicles registered in New York State are required to have something called PIP coverage.

Share-Road-Sign-K-4296PIP stands for “Personal Injury protection”, a form of “no-fault” insurance that covers medical bills and lost wages. NY requires every driver to carry minimum PIP limits of $50,000 to cover your medical bills and/or lost wages.  Many people (including myself!) carry APIP which is “Additional PIP” with limits over and above the minimum, required $50,000 coverage.

There is a reason PIP is called “no-fault.” It means that you’re covered no matter what happened – even if the bicyclist caused the crash, the rider is still eligible for PIP.

That’s because it often takes a long time for insurance companies to determine who was at fault in a crash, and people shouldn’t be forced to wait around for the insurance company’s decision while their medical bills are piling up.

PIP is a great safeguard, and even though $50,000 can be eaten up very quickly by medical expenses, PIP goes a long way toward helping people stay afloat after a bike crash.

So, if you are hit by a car in New York State, and it has state license plates, you don’t have to worry about paying for your initial medical treatment—just get in the ambulance!

As long as you have recorded the driver’s plate number, you can start a claim with their insurance and apply for PIP benefits.

If you need some guidance, send me an email at [email protected]. I’m always happy to help.

Safe riding!

Thanks for reading,

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

 

The Newest Way To Protect Bicyclists: Video Cameras

 

helmet mount cameraIn my almost 30 years of representing injured cyclists it has been interesting to watch the impact that various new technologies have had on cycling and the bicycle crash cases.  This has been both bad and good.  Some technologies are responsible for causing more bike/car collisions (I.e. Cell phones, GPS) and some technologies (surveillance videos, body-mounted cameras) are actually assisting cyclists in proving that their collisions were due to the actions of an unsafe driver.

In this post, I discuss the increasing importance played by body-mounted or bike-mounted cameras.

Sad to say but when there is a bike collision, even when the motorist was clearly at fault, it is VERY common that the motorist will NOT accept personal responsibility and will instead blame the cyclist.  Over and over again I have seen otherwise honest drivers falsely claim that the cyclist was the cause of the collision rather than admitting they were at fault.

I used to believe that most drivers intentionally lied to avoid liability but I now believe that there is a deeper psychological principal at work here– people simply can’t stomach the idea that they inadvertently hurt someone so their brain reprocesses how the accident occurred in a way that deflects blame from them and imposes it on someone else, anyone else.  It’s the grown up version of the little kid that adamantly and earnestly denies that he walked through the kitchen with his muddy shoes despite the long line of muddy footprints that convincingly prove otherwise.

Compounding the problem of driver’s adamantly denying fault is the fact that many police officers seem to have a strong predisposition to blame the cyclist.  Many times this occurs because the cyclist is badly injured so they are unable to tell their version of how the collision occurred so the police officer accepts the motorist’s version as gospel because that is the only version he has heard. Other times, the motorist tells one version, the cyclist tells another version, and the officer simply doesn’t take the time to thoroughly investigate (interview ALL witnesses, take photos and measurements of skid marks, physical evidence, etc.).

So in many of my bike accident cases it becomes tough to PROVE who was at fault.  One tool that can make a huge difference is video of how the collision occurred.  As the old saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

Many cyclists have now resorted to using a “black box” — a tough, mountable camera that records footage during a ride. The hi-res cameras could serve as a deterrent for motorists who may otherwise drive recklessly. They are there to provide footage for police in the unfortunate event a cyclist is hit or harassed by a driver.

The Huffington Post has a great story about a mother and her 1-year-old son who were struck by a car three years ago while walking in a crosswalk in Washington, D.C. An avid rider of a 100-pound cargo bike, the mother, Megan Odett, now wears a GoPro camera to help protect herself after close calls on her bike.

It’s sad that cyclist’s need to wear cameras to prove the fault of the drivers who often falsely claim that the cyclist was at fault. In my own cases, on many occasions, I find that the driver’s frequently lie and attempt to blame the victim.  Although I don’t wear a camera myself, I certainly think it’s a good idea for those cyclists who frequently ride on busy urban streets. Sad to say but sometimes one can’t be too careful….

Having a point-of-view camera is a huge help in hit-and-run cases, since the proximity to the vehicle as well as the image and audio quality are better than that of red light and surveillance cameras. In other cases, the camera is an impartial observer that can help determine which party was at fault, the reporter noted.

Fly6LightCamera

Fly6 Combination Light & Video Camera

The market is ready. In February, the Fly6, a combination rear bike light and audio/visual camera specifically designed to record drivers behind a cyclist who may rear-end, cut off or unsafely pass a biker was unveiled.

Australian cyclist Paul Ludlow was able to use Fly6 footage (here) after police initially believed the account of the driver who allegedly cut Ludlow off. (Go to settings and set it to .25 speed so you can see what really happened.)

“[The camera] proved everything,” Ludlow told HuffPost via email. “The police then advised me that they were going to charge the driver as he had failed to give way to an oncoming vehicle.”

Dina Driscoll, a 30-year-old Philadelphian who bikes with her kids, told the HuffPost she wears her camera mounted to her helmet.

“It’s the most visible to drivers,” she said. “I point to it sometimes if a driver is being really aggressive, [as if to say] ‘Hey, I notice you.’”

See the full story here.

Do you have a wearable camera or do you plan to soon buy one?

Tell us about your experience in the comments below if you already have a camera.

Thanks for reading!

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

 

 

Jim Reed Selected For National Bike Law Legal Network To Represent Injured NY Cyclists

I am pleased and honored to announce that I have been selected by Bike Law, a national network of attorneys who represent and advocate for bicyclists, to represent injured N.Y. bicyclists. The network, at www.bikelaw.com, was founded by attorneys like me who help victims of bicycle crashes and advocate for safe bicycling.

badge-nyI am just one of two New York State lawyers named to represent bicyclists through BikeLaw. I will be available to represent clients from Upstate New York (all counties North of Westchester County).

The other N.Y. lawyer selected by BikeLaw is my good friend and excellent bike crash lawyer Dan Flanzig of New York City.  Dan will represent N.Y.C. area (Westchester, Dutchess, N.Y.C. & Long Island) bike crash victims.

The Bike Law network was founded by Peter Wilborn of South Carolina and Ann Groniger of North Carolina. Joining Ann and Peter is Bob Mionske, a former professional cyclist and Olympian, and author of “Road Rights,” Bicycle Magazine’s monthly bike law column.

I am truly flattered to join this collective of the best bike crash lawyers in the country and I know that having access to so many of the most experienced bike accident attorneys in the country will greatly assist me in my own representation of injured cyclists.  As the old saying goes “two minds are better than one” and with this brain trust of dedicated bike lawyers we will have MANY minds to put to work!  🙂

badge

Joining BikeLaw, will also enhance my cycling advocacy work.  As many of my readers know, I enjoy serving on the board of the New York Bicycling Coalition, and I am also a legal adviser to NYBC.

If you or a loved one ever have the misfortune to be injured while cycling, please do not hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an E-mail as I represent bicyclists and their families from New York and Pennsylvania and have received many awards, including being selected Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America; a New York SuperLawyer for the last six years; and a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Thanks for reading, 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

Take A Free Ride This Summer, Thanks To Bike-Sharing Program, Says NY Bicycle Crash Lawyer

Bike-sharing programs in some of our bigger cities will cost riders some money, but not the programs in the Twin Tiers. They are free.

Bake sharing program in some bigger cities will cost riders some money, but not the programs in the Twin Tiers. They are free.

Bike sharing is catching on in the Twin Tiers just in time for the summer. People who can’t afford to buy a bike, or don’t have access to a bike for some other reason, have at least three really great options to find bikes to borrow in the Southern Tier:

  • Near the walking trail at Sperr Memorial Park in Big Flats, between Kahler and Hibbard roads.
  • At the Water Street entrance to the Lackawanna Rail Trail in Elmira.
  • At the Watkins Glen Village Marina Bar and Grill at 2 Seneca Harbor in Watkins Glen.

Bike shares are an awesome resource for riders from many different walks of life, including those who don’t have their own bikes; travelers who regularly ride but don’t want the hassle of dragging their own bikes along on their trips; and people who haven’t ridden bikes in years and want to try a short ride.

A bicycle is such a great way to explore a new area because you can quickly cover a much bigger area than you can walking and you can see more remote, quieter areas in a much better way than being trapped in a car on the busy main roads.

To learn more about bike sharing and how it works, check out the Southern Tier Bicycle League.

The Star-Gazette newspaper earlier this month featured the new Sperr bike share shed, which got a boost recently from Brendan Marshall of Big Flats, a junior at Horseheads High School who worked on the shed as his Eagle Scout project.

Brendan made many repairs, including painting the shed, replacing a wall and reshingling the roof.

“I used to ride my bike all the time before I got a car. This is one of the most useful things I’ve come across in my life,” Brendan told the Star-Gazette. “I believe it’s valuable for the community that everyone can have a mode of transportation that’s quick and easy. Everyone could use a bit of exercise.”

The bicycle shed has been at the park for about a year.

So go enjoy the ride. It is free and fun!

Thanks for reading,

Jim
NY & PA Bike Accident Lawyer

_________________________________

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

 

 

 

 

 

Look Left Twice To Save Lives! Column Reminds Left-Turning Drivers To Be Vigilant, Says NY and PA Bicycle Lawyer

kingsburys photo 2

Matt and Michele Miller and their son, Holden.

Matt Miller would be proud of his family and friends.

They have rallied to get the word out in the community about the dangers of left-turning drivers in the wake of Matt’s death in a bicycling accident in April. Matt was struck by a left-turning motorist and died the next day. He is survived by his wife and their 7-year-old son.

I recently happily did my part to help his family get the word out. I wrote a newspaper column about the very real dangers bicyclists face every time they put on their helmets and head down their driveways. We live at the mercy of those driving around us.

The column was published in the Sunday Star-Gazette which is our local paper widely distributed in the areas surrounding Elmira, Corning and Ithaca, NY. My column urged motorists to look twice to save lives when making left turns. That second look may save the lives of countless bicyclists, motorcyclists, runners and other pedestrians.

Remember this phrase as you are making your next left turn:

Look twice to save lives.

I hope you will take a few minutes and read the column.

And remember those five words.

Thanks,

Jim
NY & PA Bike Accident Lawyer

_________________________________

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

Bicyclists Should Take Survey To Help Guide Bicycling Master Plan In Elmira Area, Says NY and PA Bicycle Lawyer

Share-Road-Sign-K-4296The Southern Tier Bicycle League is surveying local bicyclists to ensure our voices are heard as the Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council develops a Bicycling Master Plan for our area.

Make sure to let our local planners know what you’re thinking — and please urge your friends to come to our website to get their copy of the survey as well.

Here is the survey: Bicyclist User Survey 2014 Ziff Law Firm.

Every voice counts. Maybe you just ride casually in Elmira, Corning or Bath, or down in the Valley in Waverly, Sayre or Athens. Perhaps you’re a seasoned rider from Big Flats or Mansfield or Horseheads.

Your skill and interest level don’t matter. If you enjoy riding a bike a little or a lot, take a few minutes and answer the survey questions.

One of the key questions: On which streets in the Elmira area would you like to see safety improvements be a priority? And what improvements are needed on the streets? You can also suggest a high-priority street, and they also ask you about the importance of making the following streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians: Pennsylvania Avenue in Elmira and Southport; Main Street; Church Street downtown and in West Elmira; Water Street; Broad Street in Horseheads; Lake Street; Grand Central Avenue; College Avenue; Hoffman Street and Broadway.

Take a ride now that it is warming up and see what you think, then come home and take the survey!

Please submit completed surveys to Kent Goben of the STBL by April 2.  His email is [email protected].

Learn more about the STBL here and here.

Thank you for reading and please tell me the following below: what one or two area streets are the most dangerous, and why? What do you suggest local officials do about the conditions? I will pass on your comments to the STBL.

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

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Police Get It Dead Wrong AGAIN In Death Of Cyclist In Kirkland, NY, Says NY and PA Bicycle Accident Lawyer

An Oneida County man admitted he was looking at a soybean field when he struck and killed a 74-year-old woman riding her bicycle Saturday in Kirkland, NY, according to a police report in the Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper.

yield_to_bicycle_signAnd police there have decided NOT to charge the admittedly distracted driver with any crime because, sadly, they apparently don’t understand the laws concerning bicyclists!

Police said Catherine Howard-Gilpin, of Clark Mills, was riding on the right side of Fountain Street, heading north, shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday when she was struck by a pickup truck driven by Franklin Frost, 68, of Sauquoit, who was driving the same direction Gilpin was riding, police said.

Frost told police he looked to the left side of the road into a soybean field. “When he looked back, the bicyclist was in his lane and he was unable to avoid the collision,” police said of Frost’s statement.Police said Frost was not injured.

The newspaper report said Gilpin was not wearing a helmet, according to police. She suffered head and internal injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kirkland police said they do not plan to charge Frost. A police officer said the accident happened on a narrow stretch of the road where there isn’t much of a shoulder.

Isn’t it interesting that despite the fact that the driver admitted he was NOT watching where he was driving, the police say they are not going to ticket him, even though his illegal and negligent inattention killed this poor woman …?

And isn’t it interesting that despite the fact that the law does NOT require a cyclist over the age of 14 to wear a helmet, the news media chooses to emphasize that fact in its headline? Although I am a huge proponent of ALWAYS wearing a helmet, many helmeted cyclists are killed every year, so the fact is that this cyclist may have died even if she was wearing a helmet.

And isn’t it interesting that the police say the cyclist was “in the driver’s lane”? The last time I read the NY Vehicle & Traffic laws, the lanes are for cars AND bicyclists, so the idea that the lane belonged to the driver is just dead wrong.

Hmmmmm, tough for a cyclist to get a break these days with everyone so quick to blame the victim ….

I would encourage all concerned readers to contact Kirkland Police Chief Daniel J. English to voice their outrage directly. His office number is (315) 853-2924 and his email is [email protected]

Please contact the chief today.

Please be safe out there this fall!

Thanks for reading.

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

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

NY and PA Bicycle Attorney: Donate Your Old Children’s Bikes to Help Others!

The Southern Tier Bicycle League would like your unused children's bikes.

Calling all local cyclists in the Elmira, Corning, Horseheads, Waverly, Sayre and Ithaca areas!

Do you have an old children’s bike in your garage that is just gathering dust and hasn’t been ridden in years? Would you like to feel good about donating that bike to a great cause?

Then please consider donating the bicycle to the Southern Tier Bicycle League.

The League is looking for old bikes to refurbish and provide to area children in need.

To help, call Bill Fischer at (607) 731-2737, send email to [email protected] or go to www.stblhelps.org.

The mission of the League is to promote year-round bicycling in the area through educational and recreational cycling activities for people of all ages.

Thanks, Jim

_________________________________

James B. Reed

NY & PA Bicycle Accident Attorney

Ziff Law Firm, LLP

Mailto: [email protected]

Office: (607)733-8866

Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)

Web: www.zifflaw.com