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Columbus, Ohio Adds New Downtown Bus Lanes, Confuses Rush Hour Drivers

Friday, July 29, 2016

To every day cyclists, their safety depends on the knowledge of cycling laws and being able to read the markings on the road. While many motorists still consider cycling to and from work something of a "fringe" movement, it is not. Cyclists have just as much right to the road as cars do, especially when there is marked bicycle lanes.

In Columbus, Ohio, the city took new strides to accommodate its growing community of cyclists by adding in bicycle lanes on its downtown 3rd and 4th streets, two streets that are crucial for ferrying traffic to the highway. While they hoped this would improve times for both bicyclists and motorists who previously had to leave room on the outside lanes for the cycling community, much to their own danger, it seems the transition is not going smoothly.

Columbus motorists are unfamiliar with the new markings which have caused traffic to pile up during rush hour. It has also resulted in cars dangerously darting across the bicycle lanes in order to get where they need to be. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the new bicycle lanes have faces scrutiny. During their construction, motorists and cyclists alike complained of their placement, stating it would be easier to just remove a lane for a dedicated bike trail.

While the lanes make it easier for novice cyclists to navigate downtown, they will still need to be on the lookout until motorists in Columbus can learn how to drive on roads with bicycle lanes. City officials have stated that motorists must remember that they can only cross road lines on the dashed side, and remembering that basic rule of the road will make this new transition safer for everyone.

Until motorists and cyclists learn to share the road together, it sounds like the people of Columbus may be at risk for a bicycling accident. Have you are a family member been a victim of a bicycling accident? Contact the bicycling law attorney Gary Brustin today for a free consultation to see if there is something the law can do for you.

The Right to Ride

Friday, July 22, 2016

In many places around the country, cyclists can feel like second-class citizens when they are sharing the road with motor vehicle drivers. This shouldn't be the case. Cyclists have every bit as much of a right to use most public roadways as cars and trucks do.

Under the motor vehicle codes of all fifty states, bicycles are treated as vehicles. This means that bicycles have an equal right to use public roadways, subject to the specific rules of a state's vehicle code. Also, under the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, an international treaty that the United States has signed, bicycles have the same legal status and right to use the road as motor vehicles. What is crucial to understand is that laws pertaining to bicycle travel are not creating a right to travel by bicycle. Rather, these laws are merely defining safety rules.

When cyclists are cut-off from public roadways, their very right to get around in the town in which they live is infringed. There is a very good legal argument that freedom of movement is a constitutional right. For cyclists, exercising this freedom requires access to public roadways.

Riding a bike is a healthy and enjoyable activity. For some, it is an only means of transportation. Cyclists have a legal right to use public roadways and to access public spaces safely. Governments should not promote transportation by car while at the same time neglecting to implement safe accommodations for bicycle travel. The right to ride a bicycle is just as strong as the right to drive a car. If you have a comment or would like more information about issue, please contact us!

Tragic Bicycle Accident In Western Michigan

Friday, July 15, 2016

Many bicyclists across the country have focused their attention on news of a tragic Western Michigan crash that took the lives of five bicyclists and seriously injured four others. It is one of the worst bicycle accidents in some time. 

The accident happened in Cooper Township, just south of Grand Rapids, around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7, according to CBS News.

Police Received Calls Before Crash

In the minutes before the fatal crash, various law enforcement agencies received complaints about a pickup truck traveling erratically. Police then searched for the pickup before the fatal accident.

One witness told a local reporter he was leaving a local park when he was nearly struck by the pickup truck. He did not have time to warn the bicyclists, and he witnessed the pickup strike the group of bicyclists soon thereafter.

Motorist Flees

After the vehicle struck the bicyclists, it reportedly spun around and came to a stop in a front yard. The 50-year-old male motorist reportedly fled the scene, although he was captured while on foot a short time later.

Emergency personnel transported four bicyclists with serious injuries to area hospitals, and five bicyclists died at the scene.

When bicyclists are injured or killed due to a motorist's negligence of a driver, it is possible for victims and survivors to seek compensation for a variety of losses, including but not limited to, medical expenses, pain, suffering and lost wages. When a bicyclist dies, survivors often seek compensation for loss of companionship and burial expenses.

If you or a loved one is in a bicycle accident, it is possible to discuss the matter with a bicycle accident lawyer. Our firm does not charge for this consultation. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us.

Bicycle Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids This Summer

Friday, July 08, 2016

Now that school is out for the summer, there is a chance that your kids will be hitting the roads on their bikes a lot more frequently than they do throughout the school year. Although you might be happy about your kids getting out and being active, however, you might also be worried about their safety. Luckily, teaching them these bicycle safety tips can help you ensure that they stay safe when they're out on their bikes this summer.

Always Wear Safety Gear

First and foremost, it is important for your kids to wear their proper safety gear. Invest in a properly fitting helmet and elbow and knee pads, and make sure that your kids wear clothing that isn't too loose and baggy, which could get caught in the chain or in a tire spoke.

Inspect Your Bike

Teach your kids how to inspect their bikes for rust, loose chains, flat tires and other issues. Go over them yourself every now and then to ensure that repairs do not need to be made.

Ride in the Right Places

At first, you may want your children to stay off of the roads, at least until they are a little older. Instead, consider encouraging them to ride their bikes around the neighborhood or on local bike trails.

Let Someone Know Where You're Going

Teach your kids to let you or another responsible adult know where they will be going on their bikes and about how long they expect to be gone. Then, if you don't hear from them in a reasonable time frame, you'll know where to look.

Keep an Eye Out

Make sure that you teach your kids about the importance of watching out for potholes or other imperfections that could cause an accident, other bicyclists, vehicles and pedestrians to help keep themselves and others safe.

Get Off Your Bike at Night

With younger kids, you might prefer that they get off of their bikes before nighttime, when they can be more difficult to see. If your kids do ride their bikes at night, ask them to wear reflective clothing.

Teaching your kids these safety tips can help keep them safer when they hit the roads and bike trails this summer. Also, if you are looking for a bicycle injury attorney, you should know that you can always contact us at the Law Office of Gary Brustin.



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