Articles Tagged with Boston

School bus with stop sign and lights

With students back to school in Massachusetts, local police departments are stressing safety around school buses while stepping up enforcement of drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

If a traffic enforcement sting came to your community, how many drivers would be stopped and cited for unsafe driving? Would you be among them?

We ask these questions as students head back to school across Massachusetts, in communities from Boston and Cambridge to Plymouth and Brockton to Worcester and Springfield.

Police departments across the state have set up traffic enforcement over the past few weeks, focusing on drivers who are not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks and school buses. A few of the communities include New Bedford, Attleboro and South Boston.

In South Boston, the surveillance followed the tragic death of a 2-year-old in a traffic crash. The child was being pushed in a stroller on the sidewalk, when a van and car collided. The van plowed onto the sidewalk, injuring and ultimately killing the young boy. A day after the crash, the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police set up a traffic enforcement initiative focusing on crosswalk enforcement, speeding and other unsafe driving behaviors. Within a few days, officers had issued approximately 500 citations for traffic violations. This is a very telling number, one Massachusetts drivers can’t ignore.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston law firm which specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice and car accident cases. Our firm is committed to safety for children, giving away over 20,000 bicycle helmets to children in Massachusetts through our Project KidSafe campaign. With experience representing clients who have been injured in pedestrian crosswalk accidents and other traffic crashes, we offer these tips for safe driving:

Slow down at crosswalks. Students who walk to school may have a crossing guard help them across the street. Always slow down as you approach crossing guards and children. Make eye contact with the crossing guard and assume you should stop. The crossing guard will wave you through when it’s safe to go.

But even when there is no crossing guard, drivers must stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk when there is a “Walk” or green signal. Other times, drivers have a responsibility to yield the right of way by slowing or stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk. This includes times when pedestrians are in the crosswalk on the same side as the driver and when pedestrians are approaching from the other half of the lane and within 10 feet. There is a $200 fine for crosswalk violations in Massachusetts.

The best thing to do is approach crosswalks slowly and stop if you see anyone even near the entrance of the crosswalk. If you can, make eye contact with them, then wave for them to go. Depending on whether other cars stop, they may not be able to immediately cross. You may need to be patient for a few moments.

M.G.L. c.89 § 11 is the law governing pedestrian rights in crosswalks in Massachusetts. Read more about the law.

Continue reading

Boston personal injury lawyers Breakstone, White & Gluck

Left to right: Attorney Ronald E. Gluck, Attorney Marc L. Breakstone and Attorney David W. White have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America© 2019.

Breakstone, White & Gluck announces that our partners have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019. Best Lawyers© is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking service in the world, providing a resource for those searching for legal services for more than 30 years. It ranks lawyers in partnership with U.S. News & World Report and other media partners.

Best Lawyers© compiles its annual list of attorneys based on a peer-review process. Nominations can be submitted online by members of the public, clients and other attorneys. But attorneys alone provide evaluations. Nearly 87,000 lawyers around the world are eligible to participate. For the ninth year, lawyers in the Boston region chose to rank Breakstone, White & Gluck. Our rankings:

Baby swimming lesson

A media report explores whether swim lessons actually reduce the risk of injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says children should not start lessons until age 1. Previously, the AAP’s recommendation was not before age 4.

Swimming lessons have certainly changed over the years. Parents are signing children up earlier, as young as 6 months old, to get them used to the water. A recent WBUR report explored whether this is all for fun or if children in today’s swim lessons are actually learning enough to reduce their risk of drowning.

As a parent, ask your child’s swim instructor about their goals. Experts interviewed by WBUR said the goal should be water survival and broader pool safety skills.

man riding bicycle in mountains

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.

Continue reading

swimming poolYour swimming pool is your backyard oasis, a fun and refreshing place to beat the heat. To keep children and others safe this summer, we urge Massachusetts property owners to secure and properly maintain pools at all times. Take these steps now to help prevent injuries and drownings:

Secure your pool. In Massachusetts, pool owners are required to have fencing which stands at least 48 inches tall. Openings in the fence must be less than 4 inches in diameter. All doors to pool areas must have self-latching and self-closing devices. Homes with doors which open into the pool area must use pool alarms.

Walk around your pool fence now to look for areas which have been damaged. Make repairs right away.

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.

20180428-framingham-1000-3-3 20180428-framingham-1000-3-4 20180428-framingham-1000-3-7 20180428-framingham-1000-4

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.

Continue reading

Boston Attorney Ronald E. Gluck specializes in personal injury cases.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck was interviewed by Boston Magazine about the truck crash that killed his client, the late Dr. Anita Kurmann. Gluck said he had to wait 20 months after the truck’s collision with the cyclist to obtain the video surveillance from the Boston Police Department. While the Boston Police Department found the truck driver was not responsible, Gluck said his investigation found the truck driver caused his client’s death. Gluck negotiated a financial settlement with the truck driver and his insurance company on behalf of Kurmann’s estate in June 2017.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck is speaking about the video footage of the 2015 truck crash that killed his client, Dr. Anita Kurmann.

Twenty months after the fatality occurred, the Boston Police Department completed its investigation and concluded that the truck driver was not responsible for the cyclist’s death. The video footage, which came from a traffic camera at the intersection where the tragedy occurred, was in the hands of the police the day the incident occurred.  Yet, the Kurmann family and their attorney had to wait twenty months to see the video and to obtain any witness information from the police department, Gluck said.  Multiple subpoenas sent to the police were met with a refusal to produce the information until the police concluded it investigation.

Boston is in the middle of a mighty building boom, with no sign of a slowdown ahead. As new condos, college dorms and office buildings go up, the companies making a financial profit must protect construction workers.

Workers are not always protected. As ribbons are cut on new buildings, the number of workers killed on the job stands at a 10-year high in Massachusetts, according to MassCOSH. During the past month, construction accidents have injured two workers and killed one in the Boston area.

A 56-year-old Seekonk man was found dead last week at the Wynn Boston Harbor resort in Everett. According to WBZ, the worker was in the cab of an excavator, taking apart a trench box when he was struck. The cause of the impact was not reported and the accident remains under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The man worked for J. Derenzo Companies of Brockton. The company is a subcontractor of Suffolk Construction of Boston, which is building the casino.

The Boston Globe reported that OSHA has conducted previous inspections at the Wynn construction site. One involved an employee who was hit by an excavator bucket. Another worker was injured when he fell down a shaft. A third employee was injured by a scissor lift.

Continue reading

Kidde Smoke Alarm Recall 2018

Kidde recalled nearly a half million smoke alarms which may have a dangerous yellow cap left inside. (Recall date: March 21, 2018; Photo: CPSC website)

Please check your smoke alarms when you get home. Kidde has recalled nearly half a million smoke alarms, urging consumers to check devices for yellow caps potentially left on during the manufacturing process. According to the company’s recall notice, the cap would be on one of two sensors inside the smoke detector, compromising the device. Consumers have to do this inspection carefully. You will be looking for the yellow cap through the opening on the side of the device, as shown in the photo. Be careful not to open the smoke alarm or take it apart.

Because Kidde is one of the largest manufacturers, every consumer should check their smoke alarm.  If you have a Kidde device, you will need to take it off the wall or ceiling to check the date code on the back. The recalled smoke alarms were dated September 10, 2016 through October 13, 2017. They were sold through January 2018 at Home Depot, Walmart and other retailers. They were manufactured in China, by Fyrnetics Limited, of Hong Kong.

Attorney Reza Breakstone of Breakstone, White & Gluck in Boston.

Attorney Reza Breakstone of Breakstone, White & Gluck in Boston.

A self-driving Uber vehicle has been involved in a fatal pedestrian crash in Arizona. Attorney Reza Breakstone’s article explores liability when self-driving cars crash: https://tinyurl.com/y8qrfs69.