Attorney Steve Kantor and the Kantor Law Firm announced the launch of their campaign to make travelling in New York safer for motorcycle riders and other vulnerable users of the roads. The “Look Before You Left” campaign was created to “encourage New York residents that care about traffic safety to visit www.LookBeforeYouLeft.com and let New York lawmakers know that negligent drivers should be held accountable when they collide with motorcycle riders, bicyclists and pedestrians.”
In 2011, Kantor’s firm represented the surviving family of Kade O’Brien.
When a driver suddenly turned left directly into O’Brien’s motorcycle’s path, his life tragically ended. O’Brien was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps who served and survived two tours in Fallujah, Iraq – only to be struck down at age 25, just a few miles away from his home in Honeoye Falls.
Kantor worked with the family to set up a fund for O’Brien’s son to help him as he entered into adult life without the support of his deceased father. Kantor and Kade’s father, Ed O’Brien, have also championed the cause of passing Creto-Kade's Law. If passed, the law would increase the penalty for negligent drivers.
David “Creto” Sherry was another motorcycle rider whose life was tragically and suddenly ended by a left-turning driver in 2014. Sherry had spent his career working in Albany for the Department of General Services and also for the New York State Assembly.
The law firm said negligent drivers are only subject to the fines associated with a traffic ticket for a moving violation, such as Failure to Yield the Right of Way. If passed, Creto-Kade's Law would hold negligent drivers who cause such injury or death responsible for a misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $300, and requirement to successfully complete an accident prevention course. Judges would also have the discretion to send severely negligent violators and repeat offenders to prison for up to 30 days.
“At the end of the day, what we’re pushing for with passage of Creto-Kade's Law are safer roads for all vulnerable users,” Kantor said. “We do not hope to put negligent drivers in jail. Instead, we simply want them to drive more carefully and to avoid these tragic collisions. This new law will give them an incentive to do so, so that bikers and others can safely make it home to their families.”
Creto-Kade's Law has previously been approved in the New York Senate on two prior occasions, but has never made it through the Assembly, or therefore, made it to the governor’s desk for signing. Currently, a bill that would achieve the goals of Creto-Kade's (S6202) has been approved by the Senate’s Transportation Committee, of which Sen. Tim Kennedy of Buffalo is the chairman. The companion bill in the Assembly (A7032) is not yet being considered by any committees.
The “Look Before You Left” website (www.LookBeforeYouLeft.com) allows concerned New York residents to quickly and efficiently send an email to each sitting member of the Assembly’s codes and transportation committees. The goal of the campaign is to let these key lawmakers know that Creto-Kade's Law would protect motorcycle riders, bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable users of the roads.
The law firm said, “Recently released data from the National Highway Safety Travel Administration showed that, through 2020 and the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic – despite drivers travelling fewer miles – accidents and fatality numbers climbed dramatically. Recent media coverage in the New York Times, USA Today and other outlets has also pointed out that the data shows the troubling trend of dangerous and deadly driving has continued through 2021.”
The “Look Before You Left” website (www.LookBeforeYouLeft.com) features hyperlinks to the original bill, the bill that is being considered now in the Senate, the companion bill for the Assembly, and the articles referenced above in the New York Times, New York Post, Reuters and USA Today.
The “Look Before You Left” campaign is launched during the early spring to help raise awareness for traffic safety in New York at a time when motorcycle riders begin to be more active on the roads. May is traditionally recognized as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, however, many riders will be on the roads in March and April.