As we often remind NY cyclists, a bicycle is obligated to follow the same
"Rules of the Road" as a car and is obligated to obey the laws
governing the approach at stop lights, stop signs and other traffic control devices.
If you are involved in a crash while violating a section of the Vehicle
and Traffic Law or the New York City Administrative Code, despite the
severity of your injury, your case can be dismissed by the Court even
before you get to trial.
In a recently reported case, a cyclist proceeded into the intersection
against a stop sign without first yielding the right of way to an approaching
vehicle. The bike was not equpped with reflectors or lights despite this
crash happening at night. As a result, the Court dismissed this cyclist's
claim against the motorist.
"The Supreme Court properly granted defendant's motion for partial
summary judgment on the issue of plaintiff's negligence. It is well
established that, with certain exceptions not relevant here, "a person
riding a bicycle on a roadway is entitled to all of the rights and bears
all of the responsibilities of a driver of a motor vehicle" (
Palma v Sherman, 55 AD3d 891
Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1231), and that "an unexcused violation
of the Vehicle and Traffic Law . . . constitutes negligence per se" (
Long v Niagara Frontier Transp. Auth., 81 AD3d 1391
see Koziol v Wright, 26 AD3d 793
Holleman v Miner
, 267 AD2d 867, 868-869). We conclude that defendant met his initial burden
of establishing that plaintiff was negligent as a matter of law, and that
plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact (
see Trzepacz v Jara, 11 AD3d 531
see generally Zuckerman v City of New York
, 49 NY2d 557, 562). Defendant established that plaintiff violated Vehicle
and Traffic Law § 1142 (a) by "proceed[ing] into an intersection
controlled by a stop sign and fail[ing] to yield the right of way to [defendant's]
approaching vehicle" (
, 11 AD3d at 531;
see Hyatt v Messana, 67 AD3d 1400
, 1401). Moreover, the accident occurred at night while plaintiff was wearing
dark clothing, and he was operating his bicycle without lights or sufficient
reflectors in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1236 (
see Green v Mower
, 302 AD2d 1005, 1005,
100 NY2d 529;
Weise v Lazore
, 99 AD2d 919, 920,
62 NY2d 606;
Ortiz v Kinoshita & Co.
, 30 AD2d 334, 335)."
In addition to facing a ticket, if you are involved in a crash while violating
the Vehicle and Traffic Law or NYC Administrative Code a claim against
the driver may very well be dismissed.
Ride Safe #BikeNYC