Belmont Street in Brockton, Massachusetts, is a straight road intersected by other smaller roads. The speed limit is 35 miles per hour. For nearly three-fourths of a mile, there is no crosswalk if one wished to cross Belmont Street.
A 55-year-old man on a bicycle was attempting to cross Belmont Street near Lorraine Avenue and Linwood Street, when he was struck by an SUV traveling at an undetermined speed. The cyclist was airlifted to an area hospital with traumatic head injuries suffered in the car and bicycle accident.
According to sources, the intersection is a known danger spot. In a two year period that intersection had 56 crashes and ranked 68th statewide in terms of dangerous intersections. And yet, there will be no safety enhancements to the intersection until a planned change in 2014.
A neighborhood witness claims that speeding is an ongoing problem on the road, especially after the rush hour loosens traffic up a bit. “People fly down here,” he said.
The woman, who was driving the Toyota RAV4 which struck the 55-year-old man, has not yet been charged with any traffic violations, although an investigation is in progress. If the woman was speeding, she could be considered negligent and held accountable for the personal injury to the bicyclist. It is also possible that the city of Brockton is partially liable for not creating a safer crossing area at a known danger spot.
The injuries to the bicyclist were described as serious, although the police indicated that they were not believed to be life-threatening. The driver of the SUV was reportedly shaken, but uninjured.
Source: Enterprise, “Brockton bicyclist seriously injured after being struck by SUV in danger zone targeted for improvement,” Amy Carboneau, Sept. 26, 2012