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“Ghost Bike” Memorials Being Erected for Bicyclists Who Died on New York Highways

Published August 21, 2012 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

In January we reported about the unveiling of the New York State Department of Transportation’s Web site – Bike NY. The website is dedicated to providing New Yorkers with information on bicycle safety, travel tips and the state’s bicycle routes. This site is a testament to the NY legislators who are dedicated to keeping bikers safe on our highways. Unfortunately, still far too many cyclists are dying on the highways. Now, fellow bikers across the country are raising awareness of those cyclists who have died while biking by erecting memorials at the accident sites.

Our Binghamton accident attorneys urge all drivers to stay alert to bicyclists on our roadways. As the start of the school year approaches, it is critical to also stay alert for children on bikes who may be darting around vehicles as they head to school. Biking is a great form of exercise and a key means of transportation for many New Yorkers. Please do your part to help keep them safe.

According to the Watertown Daily Times, there is a move afoot to erect memorials to serve “as remembrances of the dead and reminders of the struggle to share the road.” Cyclists are placing bikes that have been painted white at accident sites to honor the person who lost his/her life and to alert drivers to the hazards cyclists face on the highways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2010, 618 bicyclists were killed and another 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. In New York in 2010, of the 1,200 total traffic fatalities, 39 bicyclists lost their lives. These deaths represent 3% of all fatal traffic accidents in NY. The NHTSA also reports that more than 34 percent of fatal bicycle/motor vehicle accidents, involved alcohol—either of the driver or the bicyclist.

At least one website has been established to list and catalog the memorials across the world. GhostBikes.org reports since June 2005, 98 ghost bikes have been installed in New York City to commemorate 145 known fatalities. Albany is home to six ghost bikes, and Ithaca has one ghost bike.

According to Ghostbikes.org:

Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.

The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. Currently there are over 500 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 180 locations throughout the world. For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again — but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed.

Our Binghamton car accident attorneys urge everyone to do their part to keep cyclists safe on the New York roadways. We also ask bikers to follow the rules of the road and to wear proper safety equipment at all times.

Contact Our Binghamton Injury Law Attorneys Today

Experience counts. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries when bicycling in New York due to a careless driver, contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, to help. Our New York personal injury law office handles all types of accident, injury and medical malpractice cases.

As you work on recovering from your injuries, let our Binghamton, New York accident attorney’s office take care of the rest, including the paperwork, insurance documents and other legal issues related to your accident. Contact our personal injury attorney today at (607) 235-2754 or use our online contact form. There is no charge for the consultation.

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