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New York Legislation Aims to Ban Cell Phone Use While Operating a Bicycle

According to law enforcement data, bicyclists in Central Park have struck pedestrians at least 35 times in 2014, killing two and fracturing the skulls of three others.   Just recently in September of 2014, Jill Tarlov was struck and killed by a bicyclist while she was walking in Central Park.

In response to high numbers of bicycle-pedestrian accidents in New York City, Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger introduced a new piece of legislation on Thursday, November 13, 2014. If adopted, the legislation would effectively prohibit bicyclists from using their cellphones while riding in New York City.

According to the legislation, a first offense where there were no injuries or property damage would only require the bicyclist to take a safety course. However, subsequent offenses within a year would bring fines ranging from $50 to $200.

The new legislation would provide, however, that bicyclists, like motorists, would be able to talk on their cellphones if they use a hands-free device. Already, the proposed legislation is reported to have the backing of the City Council’s transportation committee chairman.

However, advocates of bicycle and pedestrian rights have mixed opinions about the legislative proposal. Indeed, some argue that legislators should concentrate on motorists. Regardless, the data suggests that some measures should be taken to address bicyclist-caused accidents and injuries.

If the legislation is adopted, the Department of Transportation would be required to consult with the NYPD to create bicycle safety courses. Currently, Chicago has a similar ban enacted. Moreover, California has considered implementing similar measures.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for you medical bills, pain & suffering, lost wages, and much more. For more information about recovering compensation for your injuries, contact our experienced New York Personal Injury attorneys at The Law Office of Ernest Holzberg & Associates.


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