In December of this year, a Boston University graduate student was killed in a bicycle accident at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and St. Paul Street in Boston. According to Boston’s NPR news station, a ghost bike was placed at the intersection where the accident occurred.
Our Boston bicycle accident attorneys believe that ghost bikes serve a very important purpose both in honoring the dead and in reminding the public about the need for greater bike safety measures. Ghost bikes draw attention to the rights of cyclists to travel safely and remind passing motorists that they need to respect bicycle riders who they share the road with.
Ghost Bike Honors BU Student Killed in Bike Accident
The ghost bike that was set up to honor the BU student killed in the Boston accident is an all-white bicycle that has been described as a “touching yet sad reminder” of the accident at the intersection. The accident occurred when a tractor-trailer collided with the bike. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.
One BU worker expressed approval of the white bike and its placement, indicating that it was an honorific tribute to the Boston student who was killed in the bicycle accident. The BU worker also indicated that he believed it was both a memorial and a statement that something needs to be done because cars and bicycles haven’t yet learned to co-exist peacefully in Boston.
The ghost bike is not the first of its kind to be used both as a memorial and as a message that greater efforts need to be made to improve the ways in which bicycle riders and drivers share the roads. The first ghost bike was seen in St Louis, MO in 2003 and more than 500 bikes have now been placed around the world in locations near bicycle accidents. Typically, bikes are put into place by family members, friends or other cyclists.
Improving Bicycle Safety
Ghost bikes help to drive home the message that there are very real consequences when a bicycle accident occurs. Tragically, in many cases, the bike rider suffers fatal injuries because the bike provides so little protection from impact.
Unfortunately, statistics indicate that more bike riders are falling victim to fatalities than in the past. In fact, the 2011 National Highway Safety Administration statistics indicate that there was an 8.7 percent increase from 2010 to 2011 in the number of bicycle accident deaths.
Efforts are currently underway in Boston to address the safety risks that bicycle riders face. Boston.com, for example, mentioned the Boston Bikes Program that encompasses efforts to educate the public, enforce bike safety laws and increase ridership.
These efforts go a long way towards trying to reduce the number of fatalities, but as this recent bike accident and the rising death counts show, there is more to do in order for bike riders to truly be safe when they cycle on the roads of Boston. Until that work is done, the ghost bikes serve as a reminder of the cost that comes with insufficient bike safety laws.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bike accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.
“Shared Space” Aims to Unite Motorists and Pedestrians on Boston Roadways, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 2, 2011.