Traffic Rules and Regulations of the City of New York §4-03(a)(1)(i) provides “…vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right of way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk…” Many times, motorists make left turns onto a roadway without looking and seeing whether there are approaching vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians entering the intersection, causing serious accidents.
The Appellate Division, Second Department is often faced with cases involving pedestrians or bicyclists struck by motor vehicles. Recently, just this year, the Appellate Division decided France Herly Bien-Aime v. Clare, —N.Y.S.2d—, 2015 NY Slip Op 00713 (2nd Dept., 1-28-2015) and Tsang v. New York City Transit Authority, —N.Y.S.2d—, 2015 NY Slip Op 00875 (2nd Dept., 2-4-2015)
In France, supra, the plaintiff was a pedestrian struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant as she walked across Bedford Avenue, at its intersection with Parkside Avenue, in Brooklyn. The plaintiff testified she stopped at the intersection before stepping onto the street. During that time, she observed traffic and saw the pedestrian “WALK” signal in her favor before entering the street and crossing over Bedford Avenue within the marked crosswalk. She testified she was more than halfway across the street, closer to the other side and still within the crosswalk, when she was struck on the right side by the defendant’s vehicle as it made a left turn into the intersection causing her to fall. The France Court found, based on plaintiff’s testimony, that she entered the intersection after exercising due care. The defendant motorist testified he did not remember looking for any pedestrians crossing the street when he was stopped on Parkside Avenue before making the left turn onto Bedford Avenue. He also testified he did not see the plaintiff pedestrian at any time before the accident, until he saw her on top of his vehicle’s hood, even though there was nothing obstructing his view of the roadway. The France Court granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability and found the defendant failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the plaintiff pedestrian was comparatively at fault for the happening of the accident.