|Attorney Michael Keating of Keating Law Offices being interviewed by FOX Chicago.|
As technology advances and the financial costs associated with it decrease, there will soon be a day where a camera strapped to a bicycle is very commonplace. While this will greatly assist law enforcement agencies and attorneys that litigate bicycle crashes, the threat of video surveillance alone may not have a direct effect on reducing the number of bicycle crashes. After all, most bicycle accidents occur when a motorist makes some unintentional mistake. Unlike a criminal action where a criminal intends to harm another person, most bicycle accidents stem from a "human error," not some malicious intent.
In fact, far too often the refrain from a motorist who hits a bicyclist is "I didn't even see" the bicyclist. This raises the questions of what CAN be done to reduce the number of bicycle crashes in Illinois? Yesterday we posted a lengthy post on the Governors Highway Safety Association's excellent report on the growing number of fatalities nationwide that stem from bicycle accidents. Between 2010 and 2012 the study found that nationwide there was a 16% increase in the number of fatal bicycle crashes.
The report of the GHSA concluded that the following actions, in their professional opinion, would reduce the number of collisions and injuries:
- Implementation or amendment of existing bicycle-related laws and enforcement of those laws;
- Increased education of both motorists and bicyclists;
- Increased and improved bicycle infrastructure and road sharing;
- Efforts to to increase use of helmets and the visibility of bicycles and bicyclists;
- Reduce speeds of motor vehicles;
- Reduce drunk bicycling.
In particular, federal funding that can lead to increased bicycle infrastructure would create roadways and bike lanes that would permanently be more conducive to safe bicycling. Particularly in congested urban areas, the presence of protected or buffered bike lanes can create a "safe zone" between bicycles and motor vehicles that would lead to fewer bicycle collisions. With more funding for these initiatives, the goal of safer bicycling could become a reality.