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NYPD Targets Scofflaw Cyclists

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 03:45 PM

Cyclists, be on alert: The NYPD is targeting riders who break the rules of the road, as part of a two-week ticket blitz called “Operation Safe Cycle.”

Cyclists are supposed to obey all traffic signals, as motorists would. But along the Central Park bike loop this week, dozens of riders were breaking the rules. Cyclists were spotted blowing through red lights, riding against traffic, and failing to yield to pedestrians — all within the course of an hour on a busy Thursday.

Susan Elliott, who lives on the Upper West Side, stopped at a red light along the loop to allow pedestrians to cross the street. She said the extra enforcement is definitely needed. “It’s absolutely needed, especially with all the guys on their delivery bikes,” she said. “It’s just crazy!”

Vincent Dyevoich, from East Brunswick, New Jersey, said he’s for the extra enforcement, too — as long as it’s not excessive. He thinks cycling’s the best way to get around the city, but it can be dangerous if you’re not paying attention.

“It is safe, I think, if you are defensive about it,” he said. “Not flying through intersections.” But he added that he doesn’t think it’s necessarily wrong to run a red light — as long as you make sure no one’s trying to cross. He might not think so, but doing that is against the law.

Another cyclist, Claire Butler, said she thinks most bicyclists try to obey the laws, but reinforcing them couldn’t hurt. “I think some cyclists could use reminders to be a little safer, and maybe motorists, too,” she said.

The NYPD said it’s also targeting motorists who block bike lanes. 

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Comments [7]

Danny Ruscillo from Rockaway Park, NY

Reply to Tyson White,

You stated "careless cycling is mostly dangerous to the rider, unlike careless driving which kills others" what happens when a driver tries to avoid hitting a cyclist who is using one hand to text or talk on his or her cell phone, does that make the driver a carless driver if he kills someone? You also stated "
The primary responsibility of government is to protect citizens from being harmed by others first" The Government yes some of that is true but I would be more interested in protecting myself by following the rules of the road "the laws". You also stated " There's really no comparison to the severity and graveness of a driver who uses a cellphone while driving to a cyclist who does the same." Who's comparing both the cyclist and the driver could get someone hurt or maybe even killed they both have a responsbilty, on a bike or in a vehcile. Anyway my only point here is follow the rules and as you know there are many people now taking to the road with their bikes. Also you stated " can you explain why there's a TWO-WEEK crackdown on cyclists, but the crackdown on dangerous driving earlier this year was carried out for only 48 hours? This one is very easy to answer, there have been many programs put in place throughout the years where there have been crack downs on, drinking and driving, cell phone use and also no seat belts. This programs go on in many different communties and take it from me I see it go on in my own. Anyway I know you and I want to see that everyone is safe on the road so it was nice talking with you.

Aug. 19 2014 11:14 AM
Tyson White from UWS

Mr. Ruscillo:

First, thank you for commenting here.

Second, I'd like to point out that careless cycling is mostly dangerous to the rider, unlike careless driving which kills others. The primary responsibility of government is to protect citizens from being harmed by others first, before protecting them from risks they assume on themselves. There's really no comparison to the severity and graveness of a driver who uses a cellphone while driving to a cyclist who does the same.

Having said that, can you explain why there's a TWO-WEEK crackdown on cyclists, but the crackdown on dangerous driving earlier this year was carried out for only 48 hours?

TJ

Aug. 18 2014 03:29 PM
Danny Ruscillo from Rockaway Park Queens,NY

I'm sorry cyclist have to start taking more responsibility on our City streets. My family and I moved after Super Storm Sandy to a main street in Rockaway Park Queens. Since I we now have a terrace that my wife and I can sit out on we see everything, by that I mean every car, truck, buses and all the bike riders that go by in a shared bike lane. I have nothing against people who ride bikes its a good thing. The problem I have is almost every day we watch bike riders many of them that think they are the only ones on the road. They go the wrong way don't follow the traffic patterns they are suppose to follow, dart out of a shared bike lane into the traffic, go from the street to the sidewalk when ever they want which is illegal to do. Many and I say many are texting with one hand actually looking down at their phone while they are riding their bikes, how can you do that its crazy. Yes many who drive vechiles text and drive or talk on their cell phones also but this right now this is about you the bike riders of our City. Please follow the laws for your own protection and safety and remember you don't have all that steel around you like a vechile for at least some kind of protection.

Danny Ruscillo
President 100th. Precinct Community Council
Rockaway Park Queens, NY

Aug. 16 2014 06:46 AM
AMHess from Harlem

Agreed, Peter. Police should also enforce safety rather than the letter of the law--focus on riders who blow through a crowded crosswalk rather than ones who yield to pedestrians and cross safely. NYCDOT should also retime traffic signals for bicycle speeds so that riders don't encounter a red light every 2 blocks. That would go a long way toward encouraging cyclists to stop.

Aug. 15 2014 12:37 PM
Peter Nigrini from Brooklyn

It is great that we are enforcing the laws, the question is if the allocation of resources is in proportion to the potential hazard. It is of course terrible that NYC experienced a pedestrian death this year from a bike collision, but this is the first since 2009. That is clearly not the case with pedestrian and bicycles deaths in auto collisions. It would seem that enforcement should be applied in some reasonable proportion to the risk.

Aug. 15 2014 11:31 AM
Jacob from Bk

How NYPD demonstrates its commitment to safe cycling on a daily basis:
http://copsinbikelanes.tumblr.com/

Aug. 15 2014 09:16 AM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

I am glad that they are doing this. For some reason, I can't understand why they aren't cracking down on scofflaw cyclists on a regular basis, not just after something serious occurred such as another death that recently happened. I'm glad to hear that there are responsible cyclists who will agree to the enforcement rather than act like victims to the rules as some of the bike zealots tend to act like. Overall, it's a good thing, because when cyclists are flouting the laws, they are either placing themselves or who they hit into harm's way.

Aug. 14 2014 08:26 PM

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