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Bronx cops hitting law breaking bike riders with tickets

Cops cracking down on bike riders breaking law

Bronx Times
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Bike against traffic or on the sidewalk in the east Bronx and you may end up with a hefty summons.

The 49th Precinct is cracking down on bike traffic infractions as part of a mandate from the Mayor to make the streets safer.

Slew of state rules

Police have already started giving out tickets for a bunch of violations including:

•Riding on sidewalks

•Traveling against traffic on a one-way street or on the left side of a two-way street

•Riding through a red light or not stopping at a stop sign

Fines range from $138 to $278, and can even result in points being taken off of someone’s drivers license.

Bikers are subject to many of the same rules as car drivers, said 49th Precinct Crime Prevention Officer Tyrone Mederos.

“People may not ignore these laws on purpose, but they’ve become a way of life in our city,” Mederos said. “But these laws are really meant for our safety.”

Delivery riders: stop

Officers will be looking at both casual bikers and delivery cyclists, or so-called “commercial bicyclists.” Those bikers are subject to a series special rules, including:

Wearing reflective upper body apparel with the businesses’ name on the back

•Wearing a helmet

•Installing a bell or other audible device

•Having both a white headlight and a rear taillight

•Carrying an ID at all times with their name and their businesses’ name

Electric bikes too

The bike rules apply to electric bikes as well as more traditional cycles.

The precinct, which covers Morris Park, Pelham Parkway, Van Nest, Allerton and Pelham Gardens, has received a series of complaints in recent weeks about electric bikes causing mayhem by driving erratically and on sidewalks, said OFFICER Mederos.

He added that many of the restaurants and shops have transitioned to electric bikes just over the last couple of years.

Chris Kirka, who works at Community Board 11 at Morris Park and Colden Avenues, said electric bikes zooming down the Morris Park Avenue main strip are an everyday occurrence.

“They are completely out of control,” said Kirka.

The citywide enforcement push is part of Mayor deBlasio’s campaign to slow down traffic deaths.

His “Vision Zero” plan aims to rid the city of traffic fatalities by 2024.

“There has been a spike in instances of people getting hurt,” Mederos said. “For the most part bicyclists don’t follow many of the rules. We’re trying to change that.”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail her at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.
Updated 4:56 pm, July 9, 2018
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