Daily Archives: May 17, 2016

Nassau County Officials Remind Drivers to Share the Road with Motorcyclists

It is important that we remember to be mindful of motorcyclists and share the roads with them. For more information and tips on how to keep the roads safe for all drivers, see the full article below:

With warmer weather ahead, drivers should recognize they share the roadway with motorcyclists, Nassau County officials say.

Climbing temperatures are sure to prompt an increase in motorcycle use, so County Executive Edward Mangano and acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter in a news release stressed some safety guidelines for drivers.

Lacking such safety devices as seat belts and air bags, motorcyclists can be more prone to injury in crashes with passenger vehicles, the Friday news release said.

And because of their size and mobility in traffic, motorcycles often are undetected by other motorists — until it’s too late.

With that in mind, Mangano and Krumpter offered some safety rules for drivers:

Check blind spots. Motorcycles can easily slip into a driver’s blind spot — especially when they attempt to pass. Before changing lanes, check your blind spots. Use your mirrors.

Follow the four-second rule. Increase your driving distance when you’re behind a motorcycle. Maintain a cushion of at least four seconds.

Respect Mother Nature. Inclement weather, including strong winds, is even more hazardous for bikers than for drivers. Bad weather conditions reduce visibility and may make motorcycles more difficult to see. Drivers need to give themselves more space when in traffic with motorcycles.

Look before turning. A whopping 44 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2013 were the result of a car trying to turn left while the motorcycle went straight, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Initiate your turn signal sooner than you normally would when you know there is a motorcycle nearby.

Night riding. Nighttime hours can be treacherous for motorcycle drivers. Motorists should increase their following distance and ensure that their high-beam lights are turned off. Also, when motorcycles are approaching, motorists should refrain from passing.

Be extra cautious. Winds generated by a passing truck or car can make a motorcycle unstable. Maintain an adequate following distance and a safe lane of traffic. Keep several car lengths between vehicles.

Photo: Newsday

NYPD is Working Overtime to Protect Bike Riders

The weather is getting warmer and New Yorkers are opting for bike riding instead of driving or taking the subway. This week Mayor DeBlasio is cracking down on motorists who drive or idle in stop lanes.

Read below for the full article:

The NYPD is cracking down on road hogs blocking bike lanes.

All 77 Police Department precincts will take part in a week-long crackdown that started Monday specifically targeting motorists blocking bike lanes or idling in no-standing zones. It’s part of a new Bicycle Safe Passage initiative to promote Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of Vision Zero.

“We believe in protecting everyone on our streets,” de Blasio said in a statement. “This targeted initiative will make sure New Yorkers on bikes have clear bike lanes and safe conditions as more and more people take to the streets.”

Launched during Bike Month, the NYPD wants to correct bad behaviors as summer cyclists hit the street.

“We see, as the weather gets better, more cyclists in New York City and we want to make sure they can utilize the bike lanes in a safe manner,” said NYPD Transit Chief Thomas Chan at a press conference Monday.

Since 1990, daily cycling trips in the city have increased by 320 percent, according to a Department of Transportation report released in May.

As more cyclists ride in the city, safe streets advocates have questioned the NYPD’s commitment to Vision Zero.

At March’s Vision Zero Conference, Police Commissioner William Bratton told the crowd that the idea of reaching zero traffic deaths would “probably remain elusive.”

“We are focusing on violations that can endanger our city’s cyclists, and making sure New Yorkers can safely travel on bike lanes throughout the five boroughs,” Bratton said in a statement supporting the initiative.

Chan said that the NYPD has remained dedicated since the mayor launched the initiative in 2014.

“In 2014…we actually reduced the number of traffic deaths by 15 percent and last year, in 2015, we reduced the number by 9 percent,” Chan said. “So we’ve been working towards the goal of reducing the total number of fatalities and injuries that are occurring on the streets of the city of New York.”

The enforcement blitz will run through Friday. Chan said that a focused, week-long window can be more effective than extending crackdowns longer. The NYPD hasn’t ruled out more crackdowns under the initiative, but will wait to see how the results turn out this week.

Photo: AmNY