As traffic fatalities are on the rise in New York City, an environmental advocacy organization is focusing on protecting a particularly vulnerable group of commuters – bicyclists. The group, Time’s Up!, is taking action to spread awareness about the frequent lack of criminal charges filed against motorists who cause fatal collisions with bicyclists.
Recently, the group of volunteers rode around the city, stopping at locations in which a fatal bicycle accident had occurred. At each location, the group spray-painted the outline of a body on the cement, along with details about the accident and the words, “No Criminality Suspected.” The phrase refers to the New York Police Department’s explanation when criminal charges are not sought following such accidents.
The following day, the group returned to each of the sites and spread their message that law enforcement officers ought to enforce traffic laws protecting bicyclists and pedestrians more stringently.
Of course, even if criminal penalties are not sought, the injured party may still recover damages due to the harm caused. In addition, families who have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident may be entitled to damages in a wrongful death suit.
Avoid dangerous bicycle accidents in New York City
According to the New York City Department of Transportation, the number of traffic fatalities rose 23 percent across the city between 2011 and 2012. In 2012, over 150 people were killed in New York City who were traveling either by bike or by foot.
The most recent national statistics provide a valuable baseline to consider the New York City specific data. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 618 bicyclists were killed in the United States in motor vehicle accidents in 2010. Compared to the data from New York City alone, it is clear that the city can be a particularly dangerous area for bicyclists.
As would be expected, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that most bicyclist fatalities occur in urban areas. In fact, according to the NHTSA statistics, approximately 72 percent of all bicyclists who are killed in auto accidents were in urban areas when the accident took place.
Consequently, it is particularly important for law enforcement officers in New York City to ensure traffic laws are strictly enforced. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident in New York City, you may be entitled to compensation. Seeking the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney will ensure that your rights are protected.