An interesting case is going on in San Francisco, where bicyclist Chris Bucchere faces manslaughter charges for striking and killing 71 year old Sutchi Hui at an intersection. According to reports, Brucchere hit Hui after running a red light, causing injuries which later resulted in Hui’s death.
Though not occurring in Pennsylvania, this incident is of note because it marks a very unusual turn in bicycle-pedestrian accidents. Normally, this type of an accident is considered a misdemeanor. In San Francisco, however, bicycle ridership is booming, and, as a result, more bicyclists are ignoring the rules of the road. The manslaughter charges leveled against Brucchere delivers a message to all bikers: obey the laws.
But San Francisco is not the only city in which bicycle ridership is soaring. According to the League of American Bicyclists, there is a 63 percent increase in bicycle commuters in 70 major cities. Including Philadelphia. In fact, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia estimates about 36,000 bicycle commuters in Philadelphia in 2008, with numbers growing every year. And recent statistics released by the Department of Transportation say 1,148 bicycle crashes occurred in Pennsylvania in 2010.
With so many bikers in our city, it is of the utmost importance for all riders to remember that, according to Pennsylvania law, bicyclists must observe all traffic laws laws. Bicyclists who ride in disregard of stop lights and other traffic laws are putting themselves and others in danger of collisions. To learn more about bicycle safety procedures and crash information, please see other articles on this website, such as “5 Important Ways You Can Avoid a Bicycling Accident.”