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Recent NYC deaths showcase the dangers for pedestrians, cyclists on roadway, P.2

Last time, we mentioned a spate of pedestrian and cyclist accident in New York City, pointing out that three of the four accidents were hit-and-run incidents. As we noted last time, pedestrians and cyclists sometimes face challenges with the criminal justice system in having accidents fairly investigated.

In some cases, law enforcement officers have been known to make incorrect assumptions about fault when investigating an accident. When offices are afflicted with bias against cyclists, and sometimes pedestrians, to it can translate into a failure to cite an at-fault party for a violation or failure to take more widespread action to address unsafe driving practices that put pedestrians and cyclists at risk. 

Cyclists, in particular, face a fair amount of mistreatment and bias from motorists and law enforcement. Part of the problem, of course, is that some cyclists habitually and blatantly violate basic traffic laws. Running red lights and stop signs, failing to move to the shoulder of the road when it is safe and possible to do so, failing to alert motorists about turns, and so on. When a cyclist violates traffic rules, it is fairly obvious and has a way of generating anger among motorists.

Traffic violations aside, cyclists and pedestrians have a right to seek damages when they are harmed by a negligent motorist. Those who were injured while violating the law have that much greater a need for strong advocacy, since they could end up having their damages reduced if they are deemed to have contributed to their own injuries. We’ll look further at this issue in our next post. 

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