Last July, seventeen-year-old Miguel Marcial was riding his bike along a rode in Houston after finishing the late shift with his brother. He was on the way to a nearby pharmacy. A few blocks away from his destination, he was struck from behind by a new BMW and launched head first into a tree. The driver failed to stop and give aid, leaving the teenager to die. Miguel is one of twenty-three bicyclists killed in Houston by a vehicle in the past five years.
Houston passed an ordinance in 2013 to help protect bicyclists and other vulnerable road users from motor vehicles. The ordinance requires motor vehicles to keep a separation of three or more feet from vulnerable road users. Commercial vehicles and trucks must keep a separation of more than six feet. Vulnerable road users are defined as walkers; runners; the physically disabled, such as someone in a wheelchair; a stranded motorist or passengers; highway construction, utility or maintenance workers; tow truck operators; cyclists; moped, motor-driven cycle and scooter drivers; or horseback riders. Similar ordinances also exist in San Antonio, Fort Worth and Austin.
Hopefully, fewer bicyclists will be injured or killed over the following years as police officers enforce the ordinance. Presently, too many pedestrians and cyclists are still injured each month in Harris County. If you have been struck by a motor vehicle and injured, contact O’Hara Law Firm for a consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.