New York Gets Vulnerable Roadway Legislation



New York Gets Vulnerable Roadway Legislation

According to a Streetsblog entry:

On Friday evening, New York Governor David Paterson signed two bills intended to make streets safer by giving law enforcement greater leeway to bring charges against reckless drivers.

As we’ve found in Rhode Island, law enforcement officials and prosecuters are often hesitant to bring forward charges against drivers who strike pedestrians or cyclists, because criminal intent or negligence is often tough to prove.  There new law:

creates an intermediate charge — a traffic violation called careless driving — which prosecutors can use in cases where criminal convictions seem unlikely. Motorists found guilty of careless driving will have to complete a driver education course and face fines up to $750, jail time up to 15 days, and license suspensions up to six months — or a year for repeat offenders.

This is very similar to the vulnerable roadway act we’ve been trying to get passed in Rhode Island for the last two legislative sessions.  Now that more states are jumping on the vulnerable roadway user bandwagon and we have more legal precident for such legislation, perhaps this will be the year we finally get some legislation passed in Rhode Island.  Our intent is to once again find sponsors for this legislation.  We will keep readers informed of our progress as we move forward.  If anyone is interested in assisting us with this effort, please contact us.


  • Barry
    Sep 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I note the August 16 e-newsletter of the League of American Bicyclists reported that Delaware also passed, and their Governor signed, a vulnerable road user law. CT missed by one vote last session.

    For RI, its wait 'til next year!

    By the way, the subject of transportation, and bicyling, came up at a debate for candidates for Governor held on the subject of public health. Several CTC (Coalition for Transportation Choices, of which RI Bike is a member) folks attended, and one of them reported on what was said. Contact me ( if you want me to forward that summary to you.

  • Labann
    Sep 5, 2010 at 8:01 am

    No guts to post here in public?

    Yeah, sure… wait until you die before they do anything for bicyclists in this state, one of the nation's most ideal for bicycling instead of driving, if only… Newport, the birthplace of the League of American Bicyclists, is one of the least bicycle friendly in a state that's 1st in bicycle unfriendly, and it's supposedly a TOURIST town. You can't even park on outskirts (except Towne Center with inadequate public transport downtown). What a bunch of numbskulls. Don't even get me started about the arrogant shopkeepers.

  • Sep 6, 2010 at 5:10 pm


    Could you check with this CTC member and see whether we can get permission to post their notes on the site? If you get permission, perhaps you could edit them down to information that would be relevant to cyclists?