City Set To Pedal Bicycle Fines
City transportation officials this week launched a six-month initiative designed to educate bicycle riders, business owners and merchants on the rules and regulations of cycling through city streets.
Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik- Khan said the agency would be dispatching a new squad of inspectors to enforce rules of the road for cyclists.
Five years after the city announced the bicycle rules, inspectors will, for the first time, target diners, restaurants and eateries that make bike deliveries, slapping them with $100 to $300 fines if their employees fail to comply with the law.
Anyone utilizing a bicycle for a delivery must carry identification and business cards, wear reflective vests with ID numbers and approved helmets. Bicycles must also be outfitted with lights in the front and rear and a bell. Whistles are not considered acceptable equipment under the law.
Charging that many commercial bicyclists “think the city is the Wild, Wild West”, Councilmember and City Council Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca vowed the council would take steps to enforce the laws.
“For too long, we’ve had our heads in the sand,” Vacca said. “We’ve allowed this problem not only to exist, we’ve allowed it to become more and more prevalent.”
Vacca estimated that less than 10 percent of commercial bicyclists obey the laws.
Cyclists are the fastest-growing commuter group in the city, but sadly, many bicycle riders helmet up and hit the pedals with little or no respect for the rules of the road.
Safe city cycling means knowing and following the rules of the road. Following the rules will help keep pedestrians and motorists safe – and cyclists ticket-free, police said.
Cyclists may stay on top of rules and regulations, resources and initiatives by clicking on these sites: Bike New York (www.bikenewyork.org), Biking Rules (www.bikingrules.org), Transportation Alternatives (www.transalt.org), Streetsblog (www.streetsblog.org).