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Yet Again, Tragedy Proceeds Bicycle Law Reform

Friday, September 30, 2016

In Illinois, the state laws insist that cyclists have the same rights as automobile drivers. However, a fatality and a tossed traffic ticket proves how utterly wrong that is, but for long as Illinois joins other states prompted to sure up their cycling safety laws after a poorly handled bicycle accident.

In October 2015, army veteran 68-year-old Dennis Jurs was biking in Kane County when he collided with a vehicle. The accident happened at an intersection where north and southbound traffic had stop signs, but east and westbound traffic did not have to stop. Jurs was travelling eastbound, but a northbound driver failed to yield and collided with him.

While Jurs passed away, his family still sought justice, but the court case was thrown out after conflicting Illinois laws showed just how unbalanced the rights of cyclists are to automobiles. The driver in question would also later have his sole punishment, a simple traffic ticket, thrown out as well.

However, while the driver may have gotten off, the state did not. This accident has forced them to change c cycling laws with House Bill 5912 that specifically states that all cyclists on the highway are entitled to the same rights as automobiles, effectively making it so that careless drivers will no longer be able to get off without appropriate punishment. While many state officials were willing to let this incident slide off the radar, it was only thanks to a few politicians, all avid bikers themselves, and the family of Jurs whose persistence saw the law reformed.

Are you the victim of a cycling accident due to unclear or non-existent laws for cyclists? Contact us today to see what legal action you may be entitled to.

Cycling While Intoxicated - Is It Illegal?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Say you have had a few rounds with your friends and it is time to go home. You know absolutely where you stand if you get behind the wheel of a car when you are above the legal limit, but what about your bike? Sure, watching drunk cyclists may be funny on YouTube, but it is just as dangerous as driving under the influence, but could it be just as illegal?

Yes and no.

The state laws and courts in the United States are actually pretty split on the subject of drunk biking. While cycling under the influence is typically not as deadly to others, it is dangerous to your own person and the property of others. Some laws acknowledge this and have laws against cycling under the influence to protect yourself while other states have a more laissez faire attitude considering the nature of a bicycle.

When considering cycling while drunk, even if you do not know your state's stance, keep in mind that state's with larger metropolises like Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York are likely to have laws against it while more rural areas are likely just to let it slide.

If caught by police in one of these more populous areas, you put yourself at risk of a DUI as well as a hefty fine. If you do happen to get into a cycling accident while intoxicated, depending on the severity of the accident, you may be at risk for a civil lawsuit and even a Class F felony charge if anyone else is injured due to your intoxication.

So the moral of the story is that even if you are riding a bike, it is still illegal to do it if you are intoxicated. If you have been in an accident that was the fault of a drunk cyclist, contact us today to see if your state's laws merit legal action.

How To Get Your Child To Wear Their Helmet

Friday, September 16, 2016

Every cyclist, particularly those who have been in an accident, knows the importance of a helmet. Helmets can reduce the chance of severe head injuries by 88 percent. Unfortunately, helmets aren't "cool" and up to 50 percent of child cyclists forgo wearing them while on their bikes. So how can you get them to protect their heads?

Start Early

If your child isn't already cycling the neighborhood, introduce the helmet early, as in the very first day of teaching them to ride a bike. Be sure to stress how important it is to wear a helmet each time they ride a bike.

Wear a Helmet Yourself

If you aren't wearing one, why should they? It is as simple as that. Children need their parents to lead by example.

Reach Out to Non-Helmet Parents

One of the easiest ways to get a child to do something, is to get their friends to do it. If your child refuses to wear their helmet because the other kids don't have to, talk to those other kids parents and ask if they could persuade their children to wear a helmet as well.

Stress Why You Need to Wear a Helmet

There are a hundred little tricks to help your child take to wearing a helmet while cycling, but let's not forget that children are people too. Be real with them for a moment and let them know why they need to be wearing a helmet. Tell them you want to make sure their heads are protected and that you care about their safety. It is cheesy, but surprisingly effective.

Getting a child to wear a helmet is difficult, but it will protect them in case of accident. If you have been in a cycling accident, or worse, your child already has, contact us today to see if you have legal action available to you.


Harassment Forcing Women to Be Less Obedient of Cycling Laws

Friday, September 09, 2016

Philadelphia has an abundant population of cyclists, but it stands out from the pack by having one of the largest female cycling communities - about 32 percent compared to the national 24 percent average. Unfortunately, with a larger female cycling community comes a larger amount of incidents involving cat calls and harassment, and it is forcing these women to break the law out of fear.

A voice for these women, who talked with a local Philadelphia newspaper, is Leigh Goldenberg. She was a model cyclist, stopping at red lights and cautiously rolling through stop signs like everyone should. Even after getting pregnant, so continued to cycle, slapping a baby on board sign to remind drivers to be cautious too. That's when the harassment started. She can cite hundreds of incidents of drivers laying on their horns or shouting that she deserves to be hit for biking when pregnant. Even after giving birth and cycling her baby around in a cargo seat, the harassment continued. Now she, like many other women, are running red lights just to get away or to get a head start on their abusers.

However, it is not just pregnant women getting abused by drivers, it is all women. Several other cyclists state that they feel safe running through an empty intersection than coming to a stop and waiting for their attackers to roll up. After all, a cyclist taking off from a dead stop is much less efficient than a car doing the same thing.

While cycling laws have done wonders for the protection of cyclists, the fear still remains and it is this fear over taking caution that leads to horrific cycling accidents. If you have been the victim of abuse that led to a cycling accident, contact us today to see if you are entitled to legal action.

New North Carolina Law Changes Rules of the Road for Both Cyclists and Drivers

Friday, September 02, 2016

According to North Carolina's Department of Transportation, around 19 cyclists are killed and more the 650 are injured per year in the state. However, in an effort to make the road safer for both cyclists and drivers, the state has set down some new safety laws and intends to roll out stricter punishments to enforce them.

The majority of North Carolina's bicycling accidents can be blamed on impatient drivers that illegally pass cyclists or push them off the road. The new law covers this in three main parts.

Drivers will now be able to legally pass bicycles in no passing zones, providing they keep a buffer of four feet. This is raised from the previous two-foot buffer. Aggressive drivers who push bicycles off the road or cause them to crash will now face stiffer penalties, including loss of license and higher fines. As for bicyclists, the new law now forces them to learn new safety hand signals, add a light to the back of their bike, and wear reflective clothing at night.

The addition of these new rules of the road comes after the initiative of countless cyclists in the state. Due to the poor conduct of drivers, cyclists, particularly in rural areas, had taken to wearing front and back cameras so that they could bring in pictures and video to police and law-making officials just to show how dangerous being a cyclist can be.

Yet, not every state will pay mind to the initiative of endangered cyclists. If you have suffered a bicycle accident due to the aggressiveness of driver, contact us today.


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