Earlier this month, the City of Los Angeles celebrated the installation of four new bicycle traffic lights downtown.
NBC Los Angeles reported that the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on June 16. City officials stated that the intent of the new traffic lights was to stop bicycles from weaving across traffic and prevent cars from turning into bikes.
The new traffic lights are just one in a series of improvements designed to address potentially deadly pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Over the course of the last few months, the city has also implemented resurfaced bike lanes and physical buffers between cars and bikes.
Some of the most dangerous accidents happen when bicycles enter the lane of traffic, often because the bicycle lane is hazardous or blocked by a parked car. Taken together, these new infrastructure improvements should help to prevent those collisions.
All of these changes fall under the "Vision Zero" plan, an initiative spearheaded by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to completely eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025.
Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians all need to obey traffic laws
Everyone using the road, whether they are in a car, on a bike or on foot, needs to obey the rules of the road in order to remain safe. Those who choose to put their own convenience ahead of safety put others at risk.
Failing to obey traffic laws is a common form of negligence that may give rise to a legitimate personal injury or wrongful death claim. For instance, if a motorist runs a red light - an everyday occurrence in Los Angeles - or fails to yield to a cyclist at an intersection and causes an accident, that motorist could be held liable for injuries sustained in the accident.
As motorists and cyclists alike adjust to the new system, they will need to be mindful of safety and obey traffic laws. Motorists who fail to stop or yield in accordance with the new traffic lights will put others at risk - and if they cause accidents, they will need to be held accountable.