Article provided by The Dolan Law Firm
Recently in the news there has been a rash of public transportation accidents that have resulted in severe injuries and even death to passengers. In July, the operator of a MUNI light rail train in San Francisco blacked out at the controls and crashed into another train, injuring 47 people. Earlier this year in February, a BART train in Oakland sideswiped another train. Seven people were harmed in this accident.
When a passenger is hurt while using public transportation, the public transportation provider may be held legally responsible for the passenger’s injuries. Under the law, public transportation providers like city and state-operated trains, buses and light rail systems, are referred to as “common carriers.”
This morning began with another bike accident, this time at one of the worst intersection for cyclists in the city.
Reports indicate that a vehicle making an illegal right turn struck a cyclists while trying to enter the Central Freeway entrance. The cyclist was riding on Market Street when the car, which was traveling the same direction turned in front of him, according to a witness. The crash sent the cyclist flying over the hood before landing on his back, where he remained until an ambulance arrived. It was not immediately clear whayt the extent of the cyclist’s injuries were.
It may have been the case that the driver just didn’t see the cyclist. The intersection has been one of the most dangerous for cyclists in San Francisco, as cars making right turns often times collide with cyclists. Last year a push was made to have a camera installed at the intersection to catch cars making illegal right turns, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Until a permanent solution is made, the intersection remains a hotspot for bike accidents.
At the Dolan Law Firm we love our bikes. Whether cruiser or fixed gear, 500cc or scooter, we probably have someone in our office who rides it.
Our firm had a great weekend at the Laguna Seca. The race was awesome and a lot people entered to win the “Bone Bike.” You can check out the complete set of photos from our weekend on our Flickr page.
This morning started with another serious accident in San Francisco.
At 8:33 this morning a woman in her 40’s was struck by a bicyclist, as she was crossing the street, reportedly sustaining serious head injuries from the collision.
The Public Utilities Commission reported last month that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has repeatedly violated state, federal, and various safety codes, endangering Muni passengers and resulting in unsafe operations. Inspectors conducted over twenty inspections between July 2009 and January 2011, and found track deterioration, malfunctions with automatic train control, poor maintenance, and failure to implement safety procedures. The CPUC also expressed concern over the failure of Muni officials to respond promptly to these concerns.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Muni officials said they felt blindsided by the report but believe that once all the facts are out the agency will be exonerated.” Things don’t look so great for Muni, though, with other reports coming out about drivers that seriously neglect their duties by speeding or even sleeping on the job. With so many violations of safety code, Muni is going to have a lot of work to bring their service up to standard.
Californians are about to have a new cost added to their embrace of car loving lifestyles: a “first responder/accident responder” fee that would charge motorists responsible for car accidents the cost to the Fire Department for cleaning up the wreckage. San Francisco is the first major city in California to pass such a fee, and the SFFD expects to begin collecting on it within the next week. The fee would charge motorists up to $500 for cleanup associated with a crash and is expected to raise up to $626,000 a year. Meanwhile, other cities around the state including Sacramento, Modesto, and Fresno are all considering passing similar fees.