Recently, there has been a rash of DWI accidents involving people bicycling and walking, not only are there senseless fatalities of pedestrians and bicyclists but there are scores of injuries that go unreported. No one can predict what a drunk driver will do or any motorist for that fact. Drivers can be negligent because of DWI/DUI, drug use, texting while driving, cell phone use, and on and on. Any one of us could cause an accident simply due to lack of visibility of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Also, motorists cannot always predict what a bicyclist or pedestrian will do. Children dart in between cars. People don't bother to cross at a crosswalk. It seems that almost everyone has forgotten about traffic safety - adults as well as children.
The majority of bicycle-related injuries are head injuries. There is a law in New York State that children under the age of 14 must wear a helmet. Every person riding a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway has all the rights and responsibilities of a motorist. Bicyclists need to ride with traffic (not against traffic), signal when turning and obey traffic signs and signals. Pedestrians are supposed to walk against traffic. They should be on the side of the road facing traffic, not with their backs to the drivers. People should wear reflective or light colored clothing if walking. These are just a few of the regulations made by state legislatures to keep citizens safe.
Additionally, our local streets such as Lake Avenue, Aurora, and Bowen lack adequate lighting, sidewalks, shoulders on the sides, even lane or road stripes. William Street (which is under the jurisdiction of Erie County) needs vast improvements. Here again, it is not wide enough to accommodate motorists and bicyclists and pedestrians safely. I feel that the town of Lancaster and county of Erie need to collaborate to start making improvements now.
We, as a community, need to be more vigilant about educating our youth as well as adults about traffic safety and to start investing in the safety of our citizens by upgrading our roadways.