More Bike Lanes Mean More Right of Way Tickets
Late last year, New York City announced a plan to complete an additional 75 miles of bike lanes throughout the city. These lanes will extend out through all five boroughs and should be completed by the year’s end. While the bicycling community is looking forward to the improvements, drivers need to heighten their bicycle awareness. More cyclists on the road mean more potential driving hazards and more right of way tickets.
Remember the Rules of the Road
When you are driving, it’s always imperative to exercise extreme caution for your own and for other’s safety, but when you’re dealing with unfamiliar new bike paths, you also need to be hyper aware. New York City traffic enforcement agents take bicycle safety very seriously, and in May 2016, officers implemented a Bicycle Safe Passage initiative, which imposed a stricter watch over drivers who stray into bike lanes or fail to yield the right of way to cyclists.
What to Expect
With the opening of the new lanes, it is highly likely that traffic police will increase their patrols to ensure that drivers are not only yielding the right of way but also leaving enough room between cars and bikes. Although you are not always obligated to yield the right of way before crossing or merging into bike lanes, it may be necessary to allow any cyclists in the area to continue past before you continue on your way. As you acclimate to the inclusion of the new bike lanes on your daily trek, make a conscious effort to look for yield signs that will alert you to the safety procedures that apply to the intersections that you travel. And keep in mind that these same rules apply to yielding for pedestrians in crosswalks.
Bike Lane Violations
If you’ve been issued a failure to yield ticket for a bike lane violation, it may seem like a minor infraction, but it can present serious complications and should never be taken lightly. Such a ticket can add three points to your driving record, and under New York traffic law, you can’t have more than 10 points on your record in any given 18-month period; more than 10 can lead to a temporary suspension of your license.
Contact an Experienced New York Traffic Lawyer Today
If you are facing a failure to yield violation that involves either a cyclist or a bike lane violation, do not hesitate to contact one of the experienced defense attorneys at Hirsch & Hirsch. We have the skill, the experience, and the expertise to keep you on the road, so give us a call at 516-486-8500 or contact us online today.