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Fine (and description) for no rear reflector in NYC?

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Fine (and description) for no rear reflector in NYC?

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Old 04-13-18, 03:12 PM
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Henry Etta
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Fine (and description) for no rear reflector in NYC?

Hi all,
I got pulled over by three plain clothes officers in an unmarked car, speakers blaring, for no rear reflector at night. The ticket is correctly filed as a 1236(e) violation but when I went to pay it online it's listed only as NYC BIKE/SKATE RDLGT and costs $190.

Is that right? I would have assumed NYC BIKE/SKATE RDLGT applied only to breaking a red light, and I know that $190 that's the fine for running a red light, but is it really that much for no rear reflector?

Is it contestable?

Many thanks for any help people have!
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Old 04-13-18, 03:24 PM
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All tickets are contestable, only problem is it’ll cost you a day in court. Judges usually throw these tickets out.
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Old 04-16-18, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by RobotGuy View Post
All tickets are contestable, only problem is itíll cost you a day in court. Judges usually throw these tickets out.
+1, at least to contestability. If you do contest, put a reflector on the bike, take a picture, and bring it to court saying you've fixed the problem and hope the judge takes it easy as a result.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
+1, at least to contestability. If you do contest, put a reflector on the bike, take a picture, and bring it to court saying you've fixed the problem and hope the judge takes it easy as a result.
Good idea on the photo.

Quick story. Years back me and my 2 brothers all got tickets for open container / drinking in public, in NYC which is mandatory court appearance. We were tailgating in the parking lot at Shea Stadium and the bike cops got us. Turns out itís illegal, who would have guessed?

Well, the judge was pissed the cops had the nerve to harass paying customers and threw out all the charges - probably 50 people that day. He went on quite a rant.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:22 AM
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Long time ago I got pulled over while driving. NYPD gave me a ticket for having my left front light out.

Bought a new bulb from a store. Placed the ticket, bulb receipt & empty packaging in an envelope and
mailed it in. Never heard anything from the court again.
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Old 04-16-18, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Long time ago I got pulled over while driving. NYPD gave me a ticket for having my left front light out.

Bought a new bulb from a store. Placed the ticket, bulb receipt & empty packaging in an envelope and
mailed it in. Never heard anything from the court again.
Haha, now that had to be some time ago. My grandfather used to just yell at the cop and throw the ticket back in his face. After a while they started calling my dad asking him to please calm his father down. Never paid a dime.

BTW, “Let’s Roll.” I like it.
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Old 04-16-18, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
+1, at least to contestability. If you do contest, put a reflector on the bike, take a picture, and bring it to court saying you've fixed the problem and hope the judge takes it easy as a result.
Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Long time ago I got pulled over while driving. NYPD gave me a ticket for having my left front light out.

Bought a new bulb from a store. Placed the ticket, bulb receipt & empty packaging in an envelope and
mailed it in. Never heard anything from the court again.
Absolutely in NY you get 7 day to fix a tail light, should be no different with the reflector.

But they do everything they can to get you to just pay the fine and move on.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RobotGuy View Post
Haha, now that had to be some time ago. My grandfather used to just yell at the cop and throw the ticket back in his face. After a while they started calling my dad asking him to please calm his father down. Never paid a dime.

BTW, ďLetís Roll.Ē I like it.
That broken headlite ticket I won/contested was about 20 years ago.
Procedures might be different now.
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Old 04-18-18, 08:22 AM
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From the NY State DOT Site:


A bicycle must be equipped with:

A brake that is capable of making the bike tires skid on dry, level pavement (Sec. 1236(c)).
A bell, horn or other device that can be heard at least 100 feet away. Sirens and whistles are not permitted (Sec. 1236(b)).
A headlight and taillight. A bicycle ridden between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise must be equipped with a white front headlight visible in darkness for at least 500 feet and a red taillight visible for at least 300 feet. One of these lights must also be visible on each side for at least 200 feet (Sec. 1236(a)).
Reflectors on the wheels. A bicycle, when purchased new and/or ridden at night, must have reflective tires or wide-angle, spoke-mounted reflectors. Reflectors must be colorless or amber for front wheels and colorless or red for rear wheels (Sec. 1236(d)).
Q.

It says nothing about a front or rear reflector(s), only wheels and lights at night.

https://www.dot.ny.gov/display/programs/bicycle/faq
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Old 04-18-18, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
From the NY State DOT Site:


A bicycle must be equipped with:

A brake that is capable of making the bike tires skid on dry, level pavement (Sec. 1236(c)).
A bell, horn or other device that can be heard at least 100 feet away. Sirens and whistles are not permitted (Sec. 1236(b)).
A headlight and taillight. A bicycle ridden between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise must be equipped with a white front headlight visible in darkness for at least 500 feet and a red taillight visible for at least 300 feet. One of these lights must also be visible on each side for at least 200 feet (Sec. 1236(a)).
Reflectors on the wheels. A bicycle, when purchased new and/or ridden at night, must have reflective tires or wide-angle, spoke-mounted reflectors. Reflectors must be colorless or amber for front wheels and colorless or red for rear wheels (Sec. 1236(d)).
Q.

It says nothing about a front or rear reflector(s), only wheels and lights at night.

https://www.dot.ny.gov/display/programs/bicycle/faq
If you want to make a case of it in court, show up with these regulations. State that these are the regulations the city has made available.

A government isn't supposed to (but still happens) enforce laws that they haven't made a serious effort to alert the population of. In other words you can't be expected to follow a secret law that isn't showing on the city's public list of laws you're supposed to follow.

That's assuming this rear reflector thing is even a law in the first place.

If this isn't a law at all, you should walk without even paying court fees. Even if it is a law, if there is no way for you to have known it's a law, again...you should walk without court fees.

If it is a law and the ticket has the wrong infraction number, you should walk. Errors on a ticket indicate the police officer didn't know what he was doing. If he didn't know the law, how can the court expect that he properly enforced it?

If it is a law and was correctly applied and you are legally in the wrong....fight it anyway. For $190 spend the day in court. Show up and say it's already been fixed. You didn't know it was a violation but are happy to respect the law now that you know. Show you've already bought and attached a reflector so there is no more violation. Promise to never do it again. The court will likely let you go with only court fees and no fine.

And for $190 it's absolutely worth a day in court. It's asinine to fine you that much for something so ridiculous, even if you're wrong. Cops could have just told you to get one. You probably would have done it. If you just pay a BS ticket and don't fight it, they'll just keep writing BS tickets. Always fight bogus tickets. Never let yourself be trampled on by your government.

Disclaimer....you're in NYC so god only knows what goes in traffic court there. NYC runs on a different wavelength.
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Old 04-18-18, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Henry Etta View Post
Hi all,
I got pulled over by three plain clothes officers in an unmarked car, speakers blaring, for no rear reflector at night. The ticket is correctly filed as a 1236(e) violation but when I went to pay it online it's listed only as NYC BIKE/SKATE RDLGT and costs $190.

Is that right? I would have assumed NYC BIKE/SKATE RDLGT applied only to breaking a red light, and I know that $190 that's the fine for running a red light, but is it really that much for no rear reflector?

Is it contestable?

Many thanks for any help people have!
Do you have rear taillight?

If you had a rear taillight that can be seen from the moon like a Cygolite and their ticketed you for not having the completely useless rear reflector that's good for making a driver see you 3 feet before he hits you at 40 mph....that's insane.

If you con't have a rear red blinker light, get one. They really are amazingly good at making you visible to drivers. They are well worth the money if you're going to be riding on busy NYC streets.
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Old 04-18-18, 10:02 AM
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I got a ticket once, but for an appearance, not just to pay a fine, for "reckless operation of bicycle," or some such, though the code section cited was actually for riding on the sidewalk (I was not on the sidewalk, or reckless). I showed up, and I found out that the cop hadn't bothered to do the paperwork, so the whole thing was thrown out. Also, the ticket ordered me to show up at the courthouse, which according the the code is not where I was supposed to appear for this infraction, so that was also grounds for getting it thrown out. I still had to take a whole day off work, etc. etc., so that in itself was punishment.

A government isn't supposed to (but still happens) enforce laws that they haven't made a serious effort to alert the population of. In other words you can't be expected to follow a secret law that isn't showing on the city's public list of laws you're supposed to follow.
The requirement front and rear lights, a bell, earbuds only in one ear, etc., show up in all the city bike literature, so I'm not sure you can say they don't try to inform the public.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...t_brochure.pdf

This guide doesn't mention reflectors. Did you have lights? If not, that's what they should have gotten you for. Not that I think the cops should be going after cyclists at all, when they ignore drivers who do far worse.

ETA: This does mention reflectors:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...es_english.pdf

Sec. 4-08(e)(9), bahahahashaha! Cops are the worst violators.

Last edited by wilfried; 04-18-18 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 04-18-18, 02:26 PM
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got a ticket once for parking facing the wrong way on a one way street. ticket lady left off some important info, I forget what, my name or my plate #, etc. I think that was intentional. I mailed an explanation/apology pointing out the lack of info. I later received a notice that it was dismissed (Belmont, MA?)

on another occasion I got a ticket going thru a red light. but the big rig in front of me was blocking my view of the red light as I followed him thru the intersection. the officer said, "just go in & contest the ticket" I did & had it dismissed (Watertown, MA?)

you don't get what you don't ask for ...
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Old 04-18-18, 05:36 PM
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For equipment violations at least for cars in NYC in you have It repaired within 24 hrs of receiving the ticket you can go to the nearest pct and a cop after verifying the repair fills out a form stating such and the summons is dismissed. I donít remember if a personal appearance to court is required or that you can mail it in.
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Old 04-18-18, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wilfried View Post
I
ETA: This does mention reflectors:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...es_english.pdf

Sec. 4-08(e)(9), bahahahashaha! Cops are the worst violators.
I think the reflector part means side reflectors OR reflective tires.

The OP got a ticket, if I understand it correctly, for no front or rear reflectors, when it probably should have been for no rear red light and maybe front white, and he does state it was at night.
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