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.