New York Institutes Reforms to Improve Bus and Bicycle Safety

Two new safety reforms should help keep New Yorkers safe on the Empire State's roads and highways.

Cuomo Funds New Bus Safety Inspection Program

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised $1 million to fund a new bus safety inspection system targeting the worst-performing companies.

Cuomo's decision came on the heels of a tumultuous year for New York fatal bus accidents. One accident last March resulted in the deaths of 15 people. The accident involved a bus which routinely shuttled gamblers from New York City to a popular Connecticut casino. Another accident last July injured 30 bus passengers. That month, Governor Cuomo suspended the licenses of eight bus companies after 100 buses in their fleets repeatedly failed safety inspections.

As a result of the new program, all companies will remain subject to two annual inspections, while those with the worst safety records will experience inspections even more frequently. Currently, New York state inspectors perform 160,000 safety inspections every year.

The new safety inspection program should help quell the number of serious New York bus accidents which occur across the state, and should ultimately help to keep passengers and other road users safe.

NYPD Steps Up Bicycle Accident Reporting Efforts

As cycling becomes a more popular mode of transportation in New York City, the New York Police Department (NYPD) is witnessing an increase in the number of traffic accidents involving bicyclists and is adapting its accident investigation methods to reflect its growing concern about these types of bicycle accidents.

Between 2009 and 2010, bicycle injuries in the city increased from about 3,000 to around 4,000, and bike fatalities also increased from 12 to 18. Cyclists are required to supply personal information in the event of a crash and must call the police if they have been injured.

Prior to the new initiative, police only filled out a brief card describing any accident involving a bicycle. Now, police must fill out a complete accident report, just as they would for an accident between motor vehicles. This change in policy demonstrates the seriousness with which the NYPD now aims to treat bicycle accidents.

Cyclists are required to follow all traffic laws and are held to the same road safety expectations as drivers. Cyclists are also expected to ride in designated bike lanes where available and where it is safe to do so.

Unfortunately, accidents between bicycles and cars are likely to cause serious injury and even death, as evidenced by New York City bicycle statistics. While better accident reporting may not cause injury and fatality rates to decrease, it will give police a better understanding of how many of these dangerous accidents occur. This data could then shape reforms to improve bicycle safety.

Both bus and bicycle accidents can cause serious injury and death, but New York is taking steps to improve road safety in order to help save lives and prevent injuries. If you or a loved has been injured in an accident involving a bus or a bike, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney to explore your options.