Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program is Breakstone, White & Gluck’s largest partner in our Project KidSafe campaign. Through our Project KidSafe campaign, our attorneys work to encourage children to wear bicycle helmets to protect themselves from head injuries. We were pleased to donate helmets to Massachusetts Safe Routes for the fourth year in 2018. We feel this donation is a strong investment in protecting children because Massachusetts Safe Routes is a well-designed program, with a talented staff dedicated to teaching children critical skills for bike riding.

Summer is far from over and there are many more Massachusetts Safe Routes events and training sessions left. But so far, Massachusetts Safe Routes reports they have distributed our Project KidSafe helmets to protect children at:

  • Lawrence Ciclovia

Quincy police officer fits a helmet

Quincy Police Officer Hartnett fits bicycle helmets at the city’s DARE camp. Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign donated helmets for the 106 students. Photo: Quincy Police Department.

For the second year, Breakstone, White & Gluck has teamed up with the Quincy Police Department to help children ride safely on bikes. Our lawyers donated 200 bicycle helmets to the Quincy Police Department as part of our 2018 Project KidSafe campaign. Officers been distributing helmets across the city.

More than 100 helmets went to fifth graders at the Quincy Police Dare camp. Another 35 helmets went to students from the Germantown Neighborhood Center, who participated in Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s Basketball Camp. This camp was held in partnership with the South Shore YMCA.

Little boy riding bike at Mattapan on Wheels 2018

Photo courtesy: Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition/Mattapan on Wheels Facebook page.

We were pleased to hear cyclists came out strong for the 8th annual Mattapan on Wheels Bike-a-thon last weekend. Breakstone, White & Gluck was a supporter, donating 130 bicycle helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign for cyclists who needed one. This year, 165 cyclists came out and explored Mattapan and the Neponset Greenway Trail, which offers some spectacular views of Boston. This was record participation for the event.

The Mattapan on Wheels Bike-a-thon is organized by the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Vigorous Youth (MFFC Vigorous Youth). The goal is participation; to encourage residents of all ages to come out, enjoy the bike trail and learn more about cycling for transportation, health and recreation. This is a lot of fun because cyclists get to meet up with other cyclists, families and the Boston Police Department, which provided a bike patrol escort.

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Cyclist on vacation in Massachusetts wearing a helmet but not using bike lights

Fireworks are lighting up spectacular skies this week. All the color makes us think about bike lights. If you are a cyclist, are you lighting up the road this summer? Are you using bike lights and wearing bright colors to stay visible to drivers?

Whether you are commuting to work or enjoying a leisurely ride on vacation, bike lights are essential to preventing bicycle accidents. And many cyclists don’t realize this, but bike lights are required by law in Massachusetts.

We encourage you to buy yourself bike lights as soon as possible. If you already have lights, please check to make sure they are working properly. Bicycle accidents have risen in the U.S., reaching a 25-year high in 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The majority of accidents happened between 6 and 9 p.m. The second peak time was 9 p.m. to midnight.

Massachusetts Law
Under Massachusetts law, cyclists are required to use bike lights if they ride after dark. The law is M.G.L c.85 § 11B.

Bicycles must be equipped with a white light facing forward and a red light facing backward. These lights must be in use from thirty minutes after sunset until thirty minutes before sunrise. The white light must be visible from at least five hundred feet away. The red light on the back must be visible for at least six hundred feet. Reflectors on both pedals facing front and back are also required. If a cyclist has no reflectors, they can wear reflective material around their ankles.

Plan
If you have your own bike, buy your own lights now. You can buy them online or at a local store for a few dollars. For everyone else, if there is a chance you may ride, purchase some small bike lights. They pack neatly in your work bag or travel luggage.

There are many different types of lights available. When you purchase lights, take note of the size, battery type and battery life and if they are designed for day or night use. Remember that lights are required for the front and back of your bike. Attaching lights to your helmet or other parts of your bike are helpful for safety, but are considered extra under the law.  Here is an article about bike lights to help you get started.

There is good news for Boston commuters. There are built-in lights on the rental Blue Bikes in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. 

Stay Visible
Don’t stop at bike lights. Purchase a neon reflective safety vest, tape and any other clothing to help drivers see you. Amazon is full of ideas.

Know Your Bike Route
Before you ride at night, plan your route. Choose areas which are well lit and have clearly marked bike lanes. Travel the route during the day before you go at night.

Stay Informed
Monitor social media accounts for local police departments and bike committees which serve the area. Sign up for the newsletters offered by bike committees. Cyclists write these newsletters specifically for other cyclists and their experience is invaluable, especially when riding and making decisions at night.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to celebrate the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Partnership today. Attorney David W. White joined a gathering at the State House which recognized schools for outstanding work in teaching children critical skills, how to walk and bike to school safely. The ceremony was a nice opportunity to learn about Safe Routes’ work over the past year and get a preview of what’s ahead.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign have supported Safe Routes’ work for the past four years. Wearing a bicycle helmet is one of the first lessons Safe Routes teaches children. We donate 400 bicycle helmets each year to help Safe Routes reach as many children as possible. 

We make the donation, but Safe Routes’ coordinators choose which communities receive helmets, based on their unique knowledge of the communities. The program’s coordinators work all over the state, from Boston and Cambridge to Martha’s Vineyard to Western Massachusetts.  In some cases, helmets are given to an entire class. In other cases, a Safe Routes coordinator will send a few helmets as needed.

We want to mention the volunteers from Highrock Church in Arlington, Grace Chapel in Lexington and the East Arlington Livable Streets Alliance, which recently organized a bike safety day in partnership with the Arlington Housing Authority. Volunteers gathered in early June, tuning up 65 bikes to help residents from Menotomy Manor ride safely.

The law firm of Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign sent along 25 helmets for children who participated.

child in Arlington wearing a bike helmet donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign child in Arlington wearing a bike helmet donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign Volunteers who held a bike tune up event for Arlington Housing Authority residents in June 2018 (Arlington, Mass.) Arlington volunteers at bike tune up event

 

 

Quincy, MA police officers with kids' bicycle helmets donated by Boston law firm

Attorney David W. White with members of the Quincy Police Department Bike Patrol: Officer White, Officer Whedbee and Lieutenant Bina.

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Attorney David W. White and Lieutenant Bina of the Quincy Police Department.

As part of our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to make a donation of 200 bicycle helmets to the Quincy Police Department this year. Attorney David W. White visited Quincy Police Department headquarters on June 14th and had a nice opportunity to speak to members of the Quincy Police bike patrol.

For the fifth year, Somerville 5th graders have met our challenge. Our lawyers are pleased to send 370 students into summer with a free bicycle helmet from Project KidSafe, our campaign to encourage safe cycling and prevent head injuries.

The students earned the helmets by completing the CYCLE Kids curriculum, which teaches bicycle safety fundamentals. CYCLE Kids is offered as part of physical education classes at Somerville public schools. Through CYCLE Kids, some students in Somerville learn how to ride a bicycle for the first time. Others gain valuable experience or take other cycling firsts – such as riding with friends for the first time or their first ride on the Somerville Community Path.

Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to participate in Boston’s Bike to Work Festival on May 18, 2018. The City of Boston organizes this event each year to encourage and celebrate cycling. Cyclists can ride right into City Hall Plaza and enjoy a free breakfast and vendor tables. Our attorneys have participated in this event for the past few years and it’s always a fun way to close out Bay State Bike Week and Bike Month. This year, we set up our Project KidSafe tent and fit 70 free bicycle helmets for cyclists who needed one.

If you missed this year’s event, you can learn more on the City of Boston’s website. Read more about our Project KidSafe campaign on our website.

Here are a few photos from the event:

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As National Bike Month ends, we finish a busy May for our Project KidSafe campaign. Six years have passed since we began our campaign and each year, Bike Month and Bay State Bike Week, get better and engage more people in Massachusetts. A few of our donations:

Framingham Earth Day. This event was held on April 28th. But it’s always the unofficial start of Bike Month for us. This was our fifth year participating in Framingham Earth Day and donating bicycle helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign to the kids. Attorney David W. White and Framingham Police Officer Garrett Coffin fit 150 helmets over the first two hours of the event. The rain stayed away so this year, we got to enjoy being out on the Framingham Center Common. Dozens of vendors came out, including several organizations for cyclists. We have to add: this is always a worthwhile event for cyclists. Friends of the Natick Trails, the Natick Cochituate Rail Trail and the Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail participated, giving cyclists a way to learn about the latest developments before riding.

We want to offer a special thanks to Officer Coffin of the Framingham Police Department. Garrett comes out each year. He is patient, good with people and has to be one of the best bicycle helmet fitters in Massachusetts.

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Clinton Community Safety Rodeo. On May 5th, we were pleased to donate bicycle helmets at the Community Safety Rode in Clinton. This is the second year the town of Clinton Park & Recreation Department has organized the event. We are told last year, many children showed up with bikes, but were unable to participate because they didn’t have helmets. In Massachusetts, it’s not just good sense to wear a helmet. It’s required under the law for children (up to age 16). And as we said, it is important and good sense for all cyclists.

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