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New Law Punishes Motorists Who Strike Pedestrians

A recent traffic accident involving a pedestrian at the corner of Astoria Boulevard and 80th Street highlights the importance of new traffic law designed to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. The new law is a part of the mayor's Vision Zeroprogram-a program that is attempting to bring traffic fatalities in New York City down to zero.

The law punishes motorists who violate a pedestrian or bicyclist's right of way, and punishes them more severely if that right-of-way violation leads to the injury of a pedestrian or bicyclist.

The Accident

The pedestrian accident occurred the night of Wednesday, September 10. After getting off a bus, the victim attempted to cross Astoria Boulevard at a marked crosswalk. However, as the victim was crossing the street at a marked crosswalk, the bus struck the victim while turning. The victim was later pronounced dead. Because the bus was turning, it appears likely that the victim would have had the right of way, making the accident eligible under the new law.

The New Law

The new law that will soon apply to situations like this pedestrian accident, is noted in section 19-190 of the New York City administrative code. This section comes in two parts. The first part of the new law governs all cases in which a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian or cyclist when they have right of way. That failure to yield, regardless of whether any injury is associated with it, comes with a fine of up to $50 and up to 15 days in prison. It also comes with a civil penalty of up to $100.

The second part of the new law deals with a failure to yield that causes a physical injury to the cyclist or pedestrian. When a pedestrian injury is involved, the penalties increase up to a possible $250 fine, and imprisonment for up to 30 days. Once again, there is a civil penalty as well, which has been increased to a possible maximum of $250.

While these new state-imposed penalties may help protect some pedestrians, victims can also use the law to protect themselves. If you or a loved one was recently involved in a pedestrian accident, please contact a compassionate New York City personal injury attorney today. Our firm can help ensure that your rights are fully represented in front of the court.

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