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Court finds against NY cyclist who ran stop sign

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 , 891; see 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 , 1392; see Koziol v Wright, 26 AD3d 793 , 794; 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 , 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" ( Trzepacz , 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, affd 100 NY2d 529; Weise v Lazore , 99 AD2d 919, 920, lv denied 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

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