If you’re a cyclist, you know how dangerous it can be if vehicles pass too close to you. You can be bumped off your bicycle or lose control. If you suffer injuries, you then have to work with your attorney to make a claim against the driver, and then you have to prove that the driver was at fault. Your situation may mirror this one, which resulted in a community questioning the safety of the area.
A young teen was recently killed while riding his bicycle, and it’s spurred a number of changes in the local area. The 15-year-old male was just a half-mile from the Monta Vista High School and in a residential area.
Initially, word of the crash spread quickly, and his parents started texting him to ask him to come home. When he didn’t, his parents feared the worst for good reason. He had been killed in a crash with a large big-rig truck.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department reported that the truck had been stopped at a red light and was waiting to turn onto Bubb Road. As the light turned green and the truck started to turn, the vehicle impacted the teen’s handlebars, forcing him to lose control of his vehicle and to be thrown from his bicycle.
After the driver wasn’t charged for the death of the teen, a lawsuit claims he violated the Three Feet for Safety Act. This act protects cyclists by requiring drivers to slow down and maintain a distance of at least three feet away from a bicyclist when passing. In areas where there isn’t enough space, drivers need to slow down and pass only when it’s safe enough to do so. This lawsuit claims that the driver was far too close to the cyclist. He was also driving in an area where trucks are restricted unless the route is the most direct path to a destination; in this case, the driver should have been on a completely different route.
Source: KQED News, “A Young Cyclist’s Death Spurs Changes, Lawsuit in Cupertino,” Bryan Goebel, Sep. 14, 2015