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New York State Legislation to Push Pedestrian & Cyclist Bill

by Bike Shop Girl

With the state legislative session underway, Albany will soon turn its attention to business that lawmakers never got the chance to address last year. One bill to keep an eye on would give police and prosecutors a new tool to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

After two preschoolers were killed in Chinatown last January by a van driver who left his vehicle idling and unattended, lawmakers and advocates drafted “Hayley and Diego’s Law.” The bill is what’s known as a “vulnerable user law.” It would create a new offense called careless driving, which would carry penalties of up to $750 in fines and 15 days in jail for drivers who hit and injure vulnerable street users — including all pedestrians and cyclists.

Originally found at Streetsblog.org

$750 and 15 days in jail seems very light after hitting a street user.  In certain towns, like Annapolis, MD, the fee is much more strict and time in jail is the least of your worries.  Yes, a step forward but not the complete answer.

 
Burley nomad 229

3 Responses to “New York State Legislation to Push Pedestrian & Cyclist Bill”

  1. LoneRider says:

    I like the fact that drivers will at least face some penalty, but we all know the dangers of minimum penalties [like that 750$ fine or 15 day jail term] which is that if you set a minimum, that is usuallly all they get.

    Second, I do not appreciate the association of cyclists with pedestrians, as cyclists operate as vehicular road users. This association is common; some cities even have “bicycle and pedestrian” coordinators, but what this association does is confuse drivers at best and at worst, teach people that we are not vehicular road users and therefore should not be on the street but should adopt pedestrian behavior — going against traffic or being off the usuable road surface or on sidewalks or paths. These misconceptions can be crippling to the use of the bicycle as a form of transport or sport. already I have to worry is the driver sees me. I don’t want him to have to sit there and debate with himself whether or not I’m a vehicle and theretofore, whether or not he has to yield to me. If the city is going to deal with cyclists and pedestrians it’d be better to treat them as what they are, two distinct types of road users, rather than lumping them together and risking further misconception of the part of drivers, most of whom are already very ignorant of how cyclists operate on the street unless they happen to bicycle regularly themselves.

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