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Bicycle Law Develops Niche in NYC

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Gerry Oginski
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The New York Times is reporting on a handful of lawyers in the city, who are working to fight what they believe are improper summonses leveled against cyclists, because many of the accused have broken state laws not applicable within the city.

The class-action they now undertake involves laws -- such as the requirement to keep to the right or to ride one at a time rather than two abreast -- which only apply outside New York City. Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman, maintains that all summonses in question were handed out "for observed violations."

The legal world of bicycling has taken on increasing significance in recent years. This year, police enforcement of cycling traffic laws has increased from red-light violations to wearing headphones in only one ear, to not riding with a bell or helmet. Last week, a lawsuit challenging a Brooklyn bike lane, which was thrown out, gained some traction in the news.

Both bicyclists and even police officers are now being caught in an increasingly complicated web of bicycle law, such as the whether a bicycle is allowed to move out of a bike lane. Violators usually have to explain the reasons for their violations in court because contextualization so often does count. There is also the additional contention that cyclists should not pay the surcharge that automobile traffic violators must pay.

This increase in cycling law activity adds to the standard personal injury docket volume, and has allowed for what the New York Times considers to be the birth of a new breed of lawyers in New York City.

As a practicing medical malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury attorney in New York, I deal with the consequences of accidents, such as those suffered by cyclists, every day. If you would like more information about how negligence and accident cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website. If you have legal questions,  I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.

Category: Car Accidents

Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

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