"We've seen plenty of anecdotal evidence that the NYPD has a major hard-on for cyclists in Brooklyn these days, but now we have some actual stats, thanks to the Brooklyn Paper, which reports that cops' cycling crackdown resulted in nearly twice as many tickets in February than it did last February. Officers wrote at least 695 bicycle summonses throughout Brooklyn that month, compared to 375 in the same period last year. Naturally, cyclists are fuming.
"They’re probably thinking it’s payback time," says David Dixon, owner of Dixon’s Bicycle Shop in Park Slope. "I bet you the captain’s got a bug up under his ass." Police sources told the Brooklyn Paper in January that the NYPD was beginning a borough-wide crackdown on cyclists who don't follow the letter of the law, and later one anonymous officer said, "It's from now until forever; there is no set time. Bicyclists should travel like vehicles and must obey the same laws. The department and the people are sick of it!"
But the NYPD's enhanced enforcement continues to defy common sense. We've received multiple reports of cyclists being ticketed for running red lights when the intersection is empty; offenders are charged the same as drivers ($270) for this violation. Is it reasonable for a person on a bike to get such a hefty fine for passing through an empty intersection? Or, put another way, is there any equivalence between the number of people killed and injured by automobiles, and the number killed and injured by cyclists? Of course, it's largely agreed that cyclists should always yield to pedestrians, but ticketing a cyclist who is passing cautiously through an empty intersection makes about as much sense as ticketing a cyclist for speeding."
Read the full article at: