NYC Councilman Wants To Crack Down On Commercial Cyclists

by Ann Pierret
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deliveryman on bike

J. Yung/Flickr

New Bills Aimed at Reckless Commercial Cyclists

New York City Councilman James Vacca introduced a package of bills Thursday addressing what he sees as reckless cycling of deliverymen and messengers.

One piece of legislation would change the criminal offense of cyclists riding without a helmet, reflective vest, bell, or light to a civil offense. Businesses would receive a fine of up to $100 for their first penalty, and $250 per violation after.

Councilman Vacca says the laws not only protect cyclists, they also make the streets safer for pedestrians.

“Pedestrians are at risk,” Vacca says, “Pedestrians are at risk every day in this city when we have this type of Wild West atmosphere.”

Another piece of the legislation, Stuart’s Law, would require commercial bicyclists to complete bicycle safety courses. The bill was named after Stuart Gruskin who was killed in 2009 by a commercial cyclist running a red light.

Councilman Vacca said he's fed up. “On any given day, you can see a commercial cyclist on the sidewalk, running a red light, going the wrong way on a one way street. This, again, is not the exception unfortunately, it has become the rule. It’s something we have to do something about.”

Councilman Vacca is anticipating a final vote on the legislation by the end of the year.
 

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