The driver of a tractor-trailer truck hit and killed a 25-year-old cyclist in Brooklyn last week. According to a report by Streetsblog, the incident occurred on Parkside Avenue near Parade Place, close to Prospect Park, on Wednesday, October 12th around 7am. Both the driver and the cyclist were traveling eastbound on Parkside Avenue when the collision occurred,” per a NYPD press release. The driver was not charged at the scene, and said in an interview with Streetsblog that the cyclist “fell into his truck.”
A subsequent report by Streetsblog noted that the driver remained uncharged two days later, even though Parkside Avenue is not a designated truck route. The report describes video of the incident that suggests the driver was traveling above the speed limit; it also notes that the driver saw the cyclist in front of his vehicle “but passed her anyway, triggering a series of events that caused her death.” The report observes further that New York state law requires drivers to yield to cyclists and pedestrians. One legal expert suggested to Streetsblog that the driver may also have violated New York City’s failure-to-yield law, which provides that “any driver of a motor vehicle who fails to yield to a pedestrian or person riding a bicycle when such pedestrian or person has the right of way shall be guilty of a traffic infraction.” The law also says that drivers whose vehicles cause contact with a cyclist “and thereby causes physical injury, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
In a statement about the fatal crash, the executive director of transit safety nonprofit Transportation Alternatives called for officials to ramp up their efforts to make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users. “Asking multi-ton tractor trailers and people riding bikes to share space on our streets results in preventable tragedies such as this one,” he said. “People riding bikes deserve safe streets, free of the threats posed by massive tractor-trailers. Mayor Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez must fast-track the construction of protected bike lanes across the city and meet the requirements of the NYC Streets Plan to build 30 new miles this year. Lives are on the line.”
According to the nonprofit’s press release, 15 cyclists have died in traffic violence incidents this year, and 161 people have been injured on Parkside Avenue between Coney Island and Ocean Avenue in the last five years.
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