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New York car accidents causing pedestrian deaths at record highs

The concern about the high number of pedestrian fatalities in New York has led to lawmakers proposing a bill to prohibit pedestrians from using electronic devices while they cross streets. According to estimations by the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 6,700 pedestrians died in car accidents in New York last year. It is not uncommon for pedestrians to be oblivious to their surroundings when they are focused on their smartphones.

Following the introduction of the bill in the New York Assembly in 2018, a version of it was recently introduced in the Senate. If those efforts are successful, the law will also have to be approved by both the Assembly and Senate transportation committees before it can be presented for a full vote. The bill would prohibit texting, internet browsing, checking emails and other activities on electronic devices by pedestrians who cross the road -- except in emergencies.

If it becomes a law, the bill as proposed in the New York State Senate seeks to punish offenders statewide by issuing fines between $25 and $250. Although some authorities have already expressed their doubts about the passage of the bill, others say the mere proposal will get people talking and considering the risks of smartphone use while walking. With pedestrian fatalities the highest in approximately three decades, even creating awareness might be effective.

When it comes to car accidents that cause injuries or death to pedestrians, the civil justice system allows victims or surviving family members to pursue claims for financial relief. This could be a complicated process, especially when both parties contributed to the cause of the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can explain the New York comparative negligence law that allows. The court will apportion fault in those circumstances, and a successful plaintiff can recover monetary damages that will be reduced by the percentage of his or her fault regarding the accident.

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