A recent bicycle accident in Manhattan left a 20-year-old bicycle messenger dead. The accident happened near the intersection of 6th Avenue and West 23rd Street when a truck hit the 20-year-old bicyclist. Both the truck driver and the bicyclist were traveling north on 6th Avenue. The truck driver told police he was unaware he hit someone. Additionally, reports indicate that while there is a bicycle lane on 6th Avenue, the bicyclist was not traveling in the bicycle lane at the time of the accident.
The New York Police Department issued multiple summonses to the truck driver, however, the summonses related to truck inspection violations and not related to the fatal accident. It is unclear whether the truck driver will face any criminal charges stemming from the accident.
Hundreds of fellow bicyclists (many of whom are bicycle messengers in New York City), gathered at the accident site to mourn the loss of the 20-year-old woman and voice their frustration with how many bicyclists are injured and killed in accidents. The 20-year-old victim is the twelfth bicyclist to be killed in 2019 from an accident. In 2018, the total number of bicyclists killed for the entire year was ten. As such, bicycle accidents and deaths are on the rise in 2019, and we are only halfway through the year.
The bicycle and messenger communities believe more needs to be done to prevent large trucks from hitting bicyclists throughout New York City. Also, according to some bicyclists, an existing program in place called “Vision Zero” does not help protect bicycle safety, but rather has regulations to ticket bicyclists while failing to address the role large trucks play. One possibility for providing a safer environment for bicyclists, according to some, is to limit the size of trucks allowed on city streets. Whether such a measure will be implemented is unknown at this time.
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