Archive for the tag 'road safety'

Source: Golden's office

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today joined his colleagues in the New York State Senate in approving legislation (S.4740C), that would require certain drivers convicted of drunk driving to take a motor vehicle accident prevention course.

The bill requires drivers convicted of a drunk driving offense to take the motor vehicle accident prevention course if they have previously been convicted of drunk driving, or refuse to take a chemical test, or have accumulated more than six points on their license.

Senator Golden stated, “Programs for drunk driver rehabilitation have proven very effective in reducing the number of instances of drunk driving. This added component to the DWI or DUID penalty will help to educate and to deter our most dangerous traffic violators from repeating their crimes. I urge the State Assembly to pass this bill for it will help to improve the safety of the roadways of New York and the lives of all motorists and pedestrians.”

This new legislation also mandates that a person who takes the Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course as a condition of sentencing may not use the course as a means to have license points reduced.  To obtain the benefit of a point reduction, an offender may repeat the course.

The bill was sent to the Assembly.

Former State Senator Carl Kruger. Image source: Reason.tv. Illustration composite by Erica Sherman

With seemingly little fanfare, a seven-sentence story by Agence France Presse, with the headline “Death toll among pedestrians wearing headphones triples,” popped up on Yahoo News a while back. It is all but forgotten about now, having first appeared mid-January, but the subject merits revisiting. The Yahoo link is borked, but you can read it on any number of websites by going here.

The story reported the results of a study, which revealed that “[T]he annual tally [of US pedestrians killed or badly injured while wearing headphones] rose from 16 in 2004 to 47 in 2011, bringing the total of cases to 116 over this period.” Researchers of the study, headed by Richard Lichenstein of the University of Maryland Hospital for Children, in Baltimore, further warned of an “inattentional blindness,” or “a distraction that lowers the resources the brain devotes to external stimuli.”

The results of the study — conclusive data parsed from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Google News, and the legal database, Westlaw — were published in the British journal, Injury Prevention.

At the time the story appeared, a cursory search of the word “headphones” into Google News generated upward of 330 results, all citing the same Lichenstein study. It surfaced in The Daily NewsFox News Radio…  the L Magazine picked it up from The Daily News, adding that the NYPD’s 34th Precinct “created its own texting-while-walking awareness campaign last year.” The results of the research were also published in The Washington ExaminerABC NewsMetro New YorkNBC Washington, and hundreds of other media sources all over the web.

The one conspicuously absent item missing from those 330+ stories was any mention of the 27th Senate District’s now former legislator, Carl Kruger.

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bike racks sb rd

The city has installed bike racks on Sheepshead Bay Road and it looks like bicyclists are glad to see them. Of the eight bike racks now in place on one side of Sheepshead Bay Road, two of them had bikes locked on them and it was raining at the time. When the weather is good, they will all probably be in use and bicyclists will have to figure out how to get more than one bike on the rack.

One business owner said that he wasn’t too happy to see these metal racks go up in front of his store, because it inhibits people from opening their car doors. On the other hand, workers at the Munchinette (1738 Sheepshead Bay Rd) and Edible Arrangements (1736 Sheepshead Bay Rd) said that the bicycle racks are very useful and do not pose a problem, since parking is generally prohibited on the street, anyway.

For Transportation Alternative-minded people, who would like to see a rack or two installed on your block, why not use the New York City Department of Transportation’s Suggestion Form to let them know?

The Gothamist reports that the city mapping tool lists locations of 97% of the bike racks around the City. These may be a little too new, because they’re not on the map.

Now that the City is acknowledging bicyclists in Sheepshead Bay, it won’t be long before pedalers who ride on the sidewalk (like the guy in the picture above), start getting tickets. So, as soon as you unlock your bike, before you put the pedal to the metal (so to speak) — make sure to get off of the sidewalk.

You can check the NYCDOT’s website for the NYC Rules and Regulations regarding bicyclists and bike safety.