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  1. #1
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Cycling Tickets Nearly Doubled In Brooklyn

    "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:

    http://gothamist.com/2011/04/06/cycl..._doubled_i.php

  2. #2
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    Haven't we seen it repeated many times on these forums that it's not the lack of laws, it's the lack of enforcement?

    So there are more cyclists about and the laws are being enforced, well that's all good.

  3. #3
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakub.ner View Post
    Haven't we seen it repeated many times on these forums that it's not the lack of laws, it's the lack of enforcement?

    So there are more cyclists about and the laws are being enforced, well that's all good.
    I agree but shouldn't the law be equally enforced rather than publicly targeting one group? The issue of a stop light at an esupport intersection gets complicated by the equipment itself, but by an informal count I did at a stop sign less than 20% of cars stopped and only 50% used turn signals.

    http://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...gized-for.html

    The other question is whether this is a responsible use of public resources at a time when our cities can barely make their payroll?

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  4. #4
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    they just want to save lives. you ever see a cyclist smeared under a truck tire? well, I haven't but i've heard some gruesome stories. yes, blowing a red light when it's safe to cross isn't the point cuz if they cud save a life they would. but sadly the only way they can save a life is to force compliance. so just chill and change your behavior. you'll be setting a good example for some kid who is buzzing around without a helmet. meaning your behavior may not save your life but that of a kid less experienced or skilled than yourself. you know why they invented seat belts right?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  5. #5
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    It's not a safety issue, look at what they were doing in Central Park. If it were a safety issue they would also be going after rouge scofflaw pedestrians. There are plenty of instances where peds break the same "laws" and are not ticketed. Also don't foreget that many lights can't be triggered by cyclists so at times running the light is the only way to keep travelling. It's because of the Critical Mass lawsuit settlement in Oct. The ticketing bliltz started two days after they paid out...strange coincidence?

  6. #6
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Safety my aching ass!!!!! NYC is broke and it is nothing more than city B'crats are just trying to raise money from any source they can. Just like speed traps for motorist.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    by all means run the red lights and enjoy the anarchy and funerals

    http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local...illed-on-US-31

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsjk0MMFfQk
    Last edited by rumrunn6; 04-07-11 at 08:51 AM.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  8. #8
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    It is definitely the selective enforcement of laws that get people up in arms. Ticketing over 300 more riders this year compared to last year. It begs the question, "What makes the violations so serious this year in comparison to last year?". I guess the laws changed .
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  9. #9
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    2/3 of all cycling fatalities are NOT at an intersection http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/People...lcyclists.aspx
    Cycling Advocate
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    If cyclists want to be respected as road users, we must also accept the responsibilities. Too many cyclists think they can ignore the law and basic safety sense without consequence and this leads to drivers seeing us not as legitimate road users but as road abusers.

    It's possible that police have been excessively lax about enforcing traffic laws for bicyclists. If they are now remedying this problem, it would explain the sudden increase. As long as police aren't issuing blatantly inappropriate tickets, this increase seems like a good thing, not bad.

    Or am I missing something?

  11. #11
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    What about the possibility that cyclists can ignore the law without safety consequences? Traffic laws are built around cars. I can think of a number of things that a bicycle can safely do that no car could.

    Also consider that in a car traffic violation, the logic of enforcement is not to protect the driver but to protect others that they might endanger. Bicycling is much less likely to endanger others and there are no passengers. If someone does something stupid on a bicycle, it is more likely their own dumb ass that pays the price. I am firmly set against laws that "protect" individuals from themselves. Might as well take away people's cigarettes and McDonalds if you want to keep them safe from harm.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
    What about the possibility that cyclists can ignore the law without safety consequences? Traffic laws are built around cars. I can think of a number of things that a bicycle can safely do that no car could.

    Also consider that in a car traffic violation, the logic of enforcement is not to protect the driver but to protect others that they might endanger. Bicycling is much less likely to endanger others and there are no passengers. If someone does something stupid on a bicycle, it is more likely their own dumb ass that pays the price. I am firmly set against laws that "protect" individuals from themselves. Might as well take away people's cigarettes and McDonald's if you want to keep them safe from harm.
    Isn't that what they did in the movie "Demolition Man?" Anything that was "deemed to be bad for you" was made "illegal." So no salt, no skin-on-skin contact, no alcohol, no sugar, no red meat, etc., etc., etc.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
    What about the possibility that cyclists can ignore the law without safety consequences? Traffic laws are built around cars. I can think of a number of things that a bicycle can safely do that no car could.
    Ah, I agree with you. Many times a cyclist can safely break the law, and should not be punished for it. This is why I claim, and I think you will agree, that any traffic law should be enforced with discernment and good judgement, rather than with a heavy handed, to the letter, "rules are rules" approach. (This is why good cops are good, traffic cameras are bad, and bad cops are worse. The latter two do not know how to apply the law in a useful way.) This applies to bicycles as well as cars. For example, not coming to a complete stop at an all-way stop sign with good sight lines can be totally safe. Issuing a ticket for such an offense wastes time and resources and helps no one. But blowing through a stop sign without slowing down is dangerous and inconsiderate, and calls for a ticket weather committed on a bicycle or a car.

    Now I haven't been in NYC that much, but the impression I have is that people riding bicycles have been regularly running red lights and riding the wrong way on one-way streets without legal recourse. This should change as it is both unsafe and illegal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
    Also consider that in a car traffic violation, the logic of enforcement is not to protect the driver but to protect others that they might endanger. Bicycling is much less likely to endanger others and there are no passengers. If someone does something stupid on a bicycle, it is more likely their own dumb ass that pays the price. I am firmly set against laws that "protect" individuals from themselves. Might as well take away people's cigarettes and McDonalds if you want to keep them safe from harm.
    I agree with you here too. I am also against protecting people from themselves. And people riding bicycles are not endangering others for the most part, but not entirely. In Philly in 2009, two pedestrians were killed by people on bicycles. My vague recollection is that in both instances, the rider was running a red light or riding on the sidewalk or something, but I'm not sure. I haven't tracked statistics or news since then, but the point is made. In addition, most drivers do not want to hit cyclists. Even though it doesn't result in direct bodily harm to the driver, usually, the car is damaged and the conscience is burdened. So I think many drivers are rightfully miffed when they see bicyclists riding the wrong way and running red lights and being de facto exempt from the laws. It really does negatively impact others (admittedly not nearly as heavily as drivers behaving the same way). Those drivers are rightfully further miffed when they hear about cyclists demanding their legal full use of a lane and full protection under the law and at the same time immunity from the law.

    I'm not so familiar with the status quo in NYC in recent years, but it sounds like this change is a positive step toward a better future for bicycling and driving in the city.

    Wow that was a long winded response. Perhaps a bit excessive, but now it's already written. I think we agree anyway.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Zaneluke's Avatar
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    Bikes and cars can blow empty intersections with red lights. Both could get tickets. To suggest that a bike is safer running a red light at an empty intersection is silly at best. You can not pick and choose which laws to enforce and only become irate when they strike close to home.

    The battle was long ago with red light and speed cameras. Ticketing is about revenue and now we get the chance to pay up.

  15. #15
    Senior Member AC1074's Avatar
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    Well..if I lived in New York City my method of transportation would be a bicycle. It's so congested there. On the other hand in the community I live in, I see lots of road cyclists travel down a main street and run the stop signs all the time. The police here hardly ever give cyclists tickets for not stopping at stop signs or red lights. It's not an issue here thankfully.

  16. #16
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    Red light should be treated as a stop sign. That way you can get a head of the traffic and pull over when the traffic catches up to you.

    Applying vehicular traffic law to bicycles means applying it to children and teenagers who may not appreciate how much trouble they are in if they resist arrest.

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