Four individuals were killed by motorists in New York City last weekend, a powerful reminder of the serious risks pedestrians and cyclists face on the road and of the need to continue to improve roadway safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
One of the victims was a pedestrian, while two were cyclists. Sources weren’t clear about the fourth victim, but did say that three of the crashes were hit-and-runs. Hit-and-run, of course, is a serious crime, not only because it puts an accident victim at increased risk of fatality, but also because it represents a failure to take responsibility for harm done to another human being.
Neither were sources clear about the circumstances of all the crashes, though at least one of the crashes occurred while the victim had the right of way. Different cities have different local laws, but New York City’s Right of Way Law imposes punishments on motorists who harm pedestrians and cyclists who are abiding by all traffic regulations at the time of the accident. Cab drivers, under another law, can have their license revoked for killing walkers or bikers who have the right of way. As some commentators have pointed out, though, these laws are not consistently enforced or pursued by prosecutors.
For pedestrians and cyclists who have been harmed by a motorist, achieving justice can be a frustrating task. Particularly with cyclists, law enforcement is not always responsive to their interests when it comes to investigating accidents and issuing citations. In our next post, we’ll pick up on this point and look at the importance of working with an experienced personal injury attorney to recover damages in such cases.
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