The Miami Herald has reported that a councilwoman in Miami Springs was struck by a vehicle while on her bicycle. Maria Mitchell was riding on the sidewalk when a vehicle backing out of a driveway clipped her. She did not suffer any injury.
The culprit? Overgrown hedges that blocked the driver’s line of sight. These hedges are a direct threat to the safety of not only bicyclists but also pedestrians.
Responsibility for Keeping Hedges Trimmed
We are happy the councilwoman was not seriously injured. However, a different bicycle accident might have played out quite differently, with the cyclist suffering serious injuries. Many motorists barrel out of their driveways and are not looking for cyclists, particularly cyclists on the sidewalk. Any overgrown hedges can impair the motorist’s ability to see. They might also obstruct the view of the person on the bicycle.
Miami Springs residents take a great deal of pride in their yards, but some have allowed their foliage to grow out of control. The owner of a property could find themselves legally liable in a collision.
The hedge in question was 6 feet tall, even though local ordinances call for hedges to be only 3 or 4 feet. This violation of an ordinance looks very bad and could have legal repercussions when a person is injured. Fortunately, code enforcement in Miami Springs will make a sweep of properties to ensure all hedges comply with local ordinances.
Making the Roads Safe for Cyclists
Ironically, Mitchell is a big advocate of cycling. Since taking office in 2017, she has supported an effort to install dock-less bicycles around the city. She has also supported the construction of a bridge connecting Miami Springs and the Okeechobee Metrorail station that would be used by both cyclists and pedestrians.
Unfortunately, bike-sharing did not prove popular, so the program was stopped last year. The company in charge is now focusing on dock-less scooters.
Contact Us after a Bicycle Accident
If you were struck while riding a bicycle, you need an attorney who will perform a full 360-degree review of the circumstances to identify the party responsible. Sometimes, overgrown foliage blocks the view of drivers but can also cover up traffic signs. And although the driver who hit you might have been responsible for the foliage, a different person could be to blame.
Call Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein today at 305-371-2692 to speak with a member of our team. Our consultations are always free.