Roadways throughout the country are protected by laws and safety regulations
for motor vehicles. Because cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles are some
of the most commonly used transportation methods, these regulations are
necessary to keep travelers safe. Unfortunately, the same level of regulation
does not always exist for less-common methods of transportation. Specifically,
bicyclists are not always provided with guidelines on where they may and
may not operate.
A recent lawsuit filed in Delaware Superior court involves a pedestrian
accident in which a bicyclist was traveling on a pedestrian path. At the
time of the accident, the University of Delaware was hosting an event,
causing higher traffic than usual. The lawsuit claims negligence by the
university due to a lack of rules keeping bicycles off pedestrian sidewalks
throughout campus. The victim remains hospitalized at this time, and while
the defendant in the suit is listed as the bicyclists, a majority of the
lawsuit concentrates on the school’s alleged neglect. The city where
the crash occurred, like many cities throughout the country, has regulations
in place to prevent bicyclists from traveling on specific pedestrian sidewalks.
Unfortunately, the university has not gone so far as to do the same.
This lawsuit, while still ongoing, raises the question of fault in situations
like this. It also causes us to take a closer look at local college campuses
and their bicycle regulations. While it may not seem overly dangerous
to be struck by a bike, these devices are able to travel at fairly significant
speeds. When a collision between a fast-moving bicycle and a stationary
or slowly moving pedestrian occurs, it can be extremely dangerous. Common
injuries include bruising, lacerations, broken bones, and even head trauma
in the event of a fall. While we are passionate about keeping roadways
safe, it is also important to keep lesser-traveled transportation pathways safe.