Further to last weeks post on cycling safety, another tragedy occurred last night when a young lady was struck by a car in Cambridge, MA. Cyclists and pedestrians need to be constantly vigilant when traveling aside today’s drivers
Texting while driving has become a national crisis rivaling drinking and Driving. I feel confident in assuming that there are millions of more people texting and driving as opposed to drinking a driving. How any state can allow a driver to be distracted so frequently is beyond me. This activity needs to be forbidden as nothing short of a national health hazard. On the surface, many of these accidents just look like … well … accidents. But as we dig deeper we find that road design, construction site set-ups, and texting are at the heart of many of these tragedies. Something has to be done. Unfortunate but true, our society only pays attention to these things when it reaches epidemic proportions, or when a law suit helps crystallize the argument.
The tragedy that happened in New Hampshire this weekend brings into stark focus the issue of cyclist safety. Our law firm’s affiliation with the Boston Cyclist Union has made us acutely aware of the dangers cyclists face from negligent drivers.
Be it texting while driving, drinking and driving, or just inattention, cyclists remain at risk. The New Hampshire State Police are treating this as a criminal matter, as they should. Who knows who may ultimately be at fault for this senseless act. But it’s high time that the entire country look to jurisdictions such as New Jersey, who are making it a crime to be texting someone who you know is driving. In other words, you don’t have to be the one behind the wheel to be responsible in such situations. We have gotten creative about bringing such actions and remain vigilant in this regard. Just glancing at a text message while driving can claim a life. Saddest part of all is that the texter’s life is not the only one at risk. Other motorists, and even more so, cyclists and pedestrians are at far greater risk of death or serious injury due to the sheer lack of protection. We as a society need to take aggressive steps to end the ability for drivers to send or receive texts. And that aim should be pursued as vigorously as steps to curb drunk driving.