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MTA bus kills pedestrian

On Feb. 3 at approximately 6 p.m., an MTA bus struck an unidentified woman as she crossed Broadway near 74th Street in Queens. The collision occurred when the bus driver executed a right turn onto Broadway. Approximately 30 passengers rode the Q53 bus at the time of the collision. No additional injuries were reported.

This incident illustrates a growing problem with pedestrian deaths in New York City. It was the second fatal pedestrian accident of the day. Earlier, a backhoe hit and killed a 73-year-old man as it reversed while clearing snow in Brooklyn. Another MTA bus struck a bicyclist on Jan. 19 in Harlem. The 45-year-old rider was killed.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in January that he intends to create a task force designed to reduce the number of fatal car accidents. New York City police will seek to strictly enforce traffic violations such as cell phone use, ignoring red lights or running stop signs, as those violations pose risks to pedestrian safety. In addition, there are plans to reduce more speed limits to 20 mph throughout the city.

Drivers on the road owe an obligation to pedestrians to drive carefully. Under the doctrine of negligence per se, if someone commits a traffic violation that contributes to an accident, that violation may be used as evidence of negligence. Therefore, a driver who is found guilty of running a stop sign or texting prior to causing an accident may be held liable.

When someone is killed by inattentive driving, the driver may be ordered to pay the victim's family through a wrongful death lawsuit. A lawyer may be able to help family members who lose a loved one recover compensation for medical bills, funeral costs and the deceased relative's lost earning potential.

Source: "Martin v. Herzog," 1920.

Source: CBS New York, "Officials: Pedestrian Struck, Killed By MTA Bus In Queens", February 03, 2014

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