Suffolk County Legislator Thomas F. Barraga (R-West Islip) didn’t exactly say people in Suffolk County should be couch potatoes. He just doesn’t believe people should be running outdoors or riding a bicycle or motorcycle because “Suffolk County is a suburban automobile community”.
Why? Because people like Sandy Cutrone get injured by drivers who must have a superior right to be on the road. I guess if Legis. Barraga gets his way, he might try to enact a law providing Suffolk drivers a superior right to be on the road over bicycles and motorcycles. Fortunately, the N.Y.S. Vehicle and Traffic Law say otherwise.
Sandy Cutrone started riding her bicycle for exercise and in charitable events. Last September, while riding her bicycle in a lawful manner and wearing a helmet, she was struck and injured by a car making a left turn.
According to Sandy Cutrone’s son, Matthew, the driver claimed said he just didn’t see her. So Matthew Cutrone wrote a letter to Legis. Barraga asking for bike lanes “or maybe even just some warning signs” so that drivers know when to be careful of bicyclists.
Legis. Barraga’s brilliance became apparent when he wrote back, “My personal feeling is that no one who lives in our hamlet or for that matter in Suffolk County should ever ride a bicycle or motorcycle.” The reason? Because “drivers expect to see other drivers on the road, not bicyclists and motorcyclists.”
There are several laws that say drivers are required to see bicyclists and motorcyclists. In Sandy Cutrone’s accident the driver, who made a left turn when he struck her, violated section 1141 and several other sections of the N.Y.S. Vehicle and Traffic Law. She is entitled to Summary Judgment on liability which means that that the driver is 100% at fault.
I often say never underestimate the stupidity of your adversary but stupidity is everywhere. Keep it out of public office. Every runner, bicyclist, and motorcyclist should make sure not to vote for Legislator Thomas F. Barraga (R-West Islip) in the next election.
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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel is well-known in New York for representing motorcyclists and created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.
Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.