NEW YORK, NY- The nydailynew.com writes that the City Council is considering a bill that would force drivers to stay three feet away from cyclists on New York City’s roadways. The current law is somewhat vague regarding the amount of space a driver must give cyclists. The language says drivers must stay a “safe” distance from people on bikes when passing them. If the bill is passed, a driver who gets closer than three feet away from a cyclist will face a $50 fine.
The proposal is one of five road safety bills currently being evaluated by the Council. Those in favor of the bill commend the precise language, which gives guidance to drivers.
Part of the message to drivers is that when there is not much room on a roadway, it might be necessary to wait to pass when there is more space or an intersection.
Another proposal would require that trucks contracted by the city would have to have side guards to protect from cyclists and pedestrians falling under those vehicles.
Less than two weeks before the hearing, the 25thcyclist fatality this year in the city occurred.
While New York has been focused on traffic safety through the Swedish-inspired Vision Zero plan, many safety advocates have complained that cyclists are no well enough protected on the road. In general, the program initially showed progress. However, the traffic-related death toll has risen more recently, showing that much more must be done if the city has any chance of reaching its zero-fatality goal by the year 2024.
New laws and regulations are just some of the improvements needed, along with traffic law enforcement, lower speed limits, and infrastructure changes. Fortunately, recent developments in crash preventative technology may also help the city improve road safety.
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