A Trucker Ran Over a Cyclist, So the 84th Precinct Ticketed Cyclists

Hours after a truck driver ran over a cyclist at Jay and Tillary streets yesterday, officers from the 84th Precinct were out ticketing cyclists.

Streetsblog reader Paul Vogel, a.k.a. @D00rZ0ne, tweeted photos of officers ticketing people on bikes during the evening rush at the intersection, where a driver in what appeared to be an oversized rig critically injured a 35-year-old man Tuesday morning.

As we wrote yesterday, it is illegal to operate a tractor-trailer carrying boxed or other loose cargo on New York City streets if the total truck length exceeds 55 feet. NYPD did not ticket or charge the driver.

As of August, the 84th Precinct had cited just nine drivers for truck route violations in all of 2016, giving trucking companies carte blanche to put people in danger while breaking city traffic laws.

We called the 84th Precinct this morning. Both officers we spoke with said they didn’t know anything about yesterday’s collision or whether precinct officers were enforcing truck regulations after the crash.

If you’d like to speak with Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa, commanding officer of the 84th Precinct, about street safety and traffic enforcement, the precinct community council meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Call 718-875-6850 for location information.

  • smell bacon?

    Maybe there should be a group-sourced effort to document, video or photograph oversize vehicles not being ticketed at this location (or anyplace else in the city)? Any long wheelbase tractors with dump body trailers (as in yesterdays accident) or clearly labeled 53 foot van loads that are clearly oversize are fair game…It’s one thing to complain about police being over-vigilant at their job vis-a-vis cyclists, perhaps more effective to demonstrate that they are wholly indifferent to their job vis-a-vis oversize trucks? The oversize truck problem is a city wide issue and one in which there seems to be a nearly complete lack of awareness or enforcement, as reflected by their routine prevalence. Something like the bike lane shaming for these killers?

  • Joe R.

    Well, we all predicted this was going to happen yesterday. I can’t say I’m surprised in the least. Disgusted, yes. Surprised, no.

  • Eric McClure

    The three E’s: Engineering, Education and [Expletive Deleted].

  • LN

    TA showed up at the crash site while the truck was still there, with a measuring tape, when Brad Minch (R.I.P.) was killed by an oversized truck http://www.ahalenia.com/memorial/bminch.html

  • D’BlahZero

    FYI – I was told by 84th Pct that the community council meeting will be at 205 State St. 1st floor. It’s been moved to 10/25/16 at 7:00. Will go back to reg schedule in Nov.

  • This is on Mayor de Blasio. Deadliest year for people on bikes in quite some time and all his office can do is trot out the same tired statement about 18 miles of protected bike lanes. Something is not working and he needs to fix it.

  • mattkime

    If someone has found a way to hold the nypd accountable for refusing to enforce motor vehicle laws after repeated 311 complaints, please let me know.

    I have, on a repeated basis, been told in just so many words via 311 that they’re not interested in outside input. That said, I haven’t gone to precinct community meetings.

    311 needs a “were you satisfied?” follow up question to complaints.

  • Brooklynite

    People need to show up in droves and tear this precinct’s head off.

  • The problem is that every time this precinct is shamed into doing real enforcement, they respond like children by ticketing cyclists the next week. What’s needed is an order from the top: “Cut the garbage and start protecting people.” Sadly, it won’t come from the mayor.

  • John Maier

    How can it come from the Mayor? This is a group of people that routinely turn their backs on him, and not just figuratively. I’m not trying to give the Mayor an out, I’m just wondering how we can expect this group to listen even if they are told? This is a group of people that routinely turn their backs on the public in general (aka “the blue wall of silence”), and already hate the Mayor. 🙁

  • AlexWithAK

    That a police precinct responds to people telling them their lives are in danger by retaliating with petty actions is absolutely unconscionable and honestly should warrant disciplinary action. Absolutely disgraceful.

  • gneiss

    Ticketing cyclists serves an important purpose. It let’s the police and their political enablers continue with the meme that cyclists don’t deserve real protection because they are nothing more than annoying scofflaws that disrupt traffic and cause problems for “real” people.

    Let’s be very clear – the police have no incentive to increase safety on the streets. Not of the stuff that matters to them (promotions, pay raises, pension and vacation benefits) are tied to increased safety. Rather, they incentives are all based around how many citations and summonses they write and the direction that crime statistics (not traffic statistics) are going in their districts.

    I suspect that safety will continue to take a back seat so long as incentives continue to be aligned with summonses and citations rather than with safety.

  • JudenChino

    I think Bloomberg would’ve gotten it done, even without stop and frisk.

  • smell bacon?

    Direct accountability would be terrific, but that’s not going to realistically happen; pointing out the asinine crackdown by police on cyclists isn’t a good solution. I would argue that it isn’t really necessary either. The problem with venues like 311 and police community meetings is that they are essentially black holes of complaint boxes; lots of stuff goes in, but its usually never seen again nor does anyone else who isn’t privy to the conversation know what went in (I’ve been to a few). For big city wide issues all these silly precinct meetings are too big to deal with on a precinct by precinct basis anyway. The more effective process might be to shame the entire city with an open account of what is going on. Look at ‘stop-and-frisk’: it still hasn’t been carried to a final legal resolution because the city decided not to press the appeal it started, BUT it has relented significantly. Because people saw it going on, and saw it for what it was, statistically unjustifiable, and it was therefore politically untenable.

  • smell bacon?

    Oddly, I think stop-and-frisk is a great example of how this can change.

  • Reggie

    Not to provide an excuse but instead add a data point, I have heard several precinct commanders say that all truck enforcement is done by a specialized unit within NYPD that (now my opinion, seems to be understaffed as it) moves around the city to specific locations at the request of the precinct commanders.

  • John Maier

    And the cessation of stop and frisk was mostly court imposed, with the current mayor choosing not to fight Bloomberg’s appeal! (and it is one of the reasons the police started turning their backs on the current mayor!)

  • smell bacon?

    You are right, the roving truck checkpoints are completely inadequate in terms of their coverage. And, they are probably too thorough in terms of what they look for: you don’t need scales and a detailed inspection of brakes to determine if a truck is over sized. You just need a piece of string 55 feet long…or a network of machine vision cameras trained to look for the number 53 on the side of trailers…whatever happened to that ring-of-steel? Frankly, I am surprised that Nice didn’t wake the police up to this issue.

  • smell bacon?

    Bottom line: it changed.

  • John Maier

    underlining the bottom line: IT WAS COURT IMPOSED.

  • To be fair, there were tons of pointless ticket stings during the Bloomberg years too.

  • Joe R.

    Can we use citizen’s arrests for this? I’ll grant the biggest problem would be physically catching up to a moving truck and getting the driver to pull over but assuming we do that what are the legalities? I assume the next step after detaining the truck would be to contact the police so they can issue an official summons. It’s evident the police either can’t or won’t enforce the rules against large trucks. If concerned citizens can legally do so then perhaps that’s the better answer.

    Also, nearly all of these trucks probably enter and exit the city on a regular basis. Just set up checkpoints on the highways or bridges at city limits. If the truck exceeds guidelines, it gets turned around.

  • AnoNYC

    The NYPD is totally incompetent. #mynypd

  • Joe R.

    The Mayor and City Council control the purse strings. First thing I would do if I were in charge is set the NYPD budget at zero. No, that’s not a typo. I would incrementally increase only if the top brass agreed to do certain things. And I’d cut the force by 50% regardless. When you have enough police manpower to give tickets to cyclists or jaywalkers then you have too many police.

  • qrt145

    It was “imposed” a long time ago, when the 4th and 14th amendments were passed. The court only had to remind the executive.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    I think that having a college degree in a field that can be justifiably related to empiricism should be a requirement to hold a command position in the NYPD. Didn’t any of them study Criminal Justice? Are they actually ignorant of what actions cause the most death on our streets or do they just not care?

  • Elizabeth F

    The sad thing here is the bike was almost certainly following the law at the time of the crash, when BOTH had a green light. The bike was either right-hooked, or (more likely) was trying to pass the truck on the right. If it was the latter… certainly foolish, but not the kind of thing NYPD would ever hand out a ticket for. Instead, they harass bikes who get out of a blocked bike lane to pass traffic on the left.

    Following the law on a bike is not the same thing as staying safe…

    So glad I deal with the Bronx, not Brooklyn, on my bike. NYPD Bronx seems to just leave bikers alone.

  • throwawaystreetsblog

    The mayor can literally walk into the precinct and reassign the inspector to a desk in the basement.

  • Matt G

    7AM or PM?

  • Guy Ross

    Just keep firing chiefs until something changes. I totally agree, the NYPD is stronger than civil government. This, for obvious reasons, needs to change.

  • smell bacon?

    Whoops, I misread…

  • AMH

    I’m continually amazed at the attitude toward pedestrians and cyclists as some sort of security threat on bridges, while pretty much ignoring vehicles with actual destructive potential.

  • AMH

    Many streets are no-go areas because of truck traffic. And it’s not just commercial trucks–anything with huge tires buzzing inches away from you is terrifying. I see a bunch of these potential killers in my neighborhood:


  • D’BlahZero


  • ahwr

    I point this out to illustrate that with these enormous tractor trailers (which are illegal in the city for these reasons)

    Are you sure the truck is more than 55 feet?

  • smell bacon?

    No, I didn’t measure it so there is definitely a possibility that it is legal. It looks to be a Kenworth W900 which has a BBC (bumper to back of cab) of 10′-6″, a tandem axle takes about 8′ front to back, and it looks to me that that there’s another 8′ between the tandems and the back of the cab…~26′ for the tractor. The tridem and lift axle on the trailer have got to be 18′ from back of back wheel to front of front wheel, so I can’t see the trailer being less than 30′. If the trailer is a 30′ trailer the entire vehicle would be legal (subtract a a foot or two for the 5th wheel to back of tandem length). A 30 foot dump trailer is a fairly common size, and counting the conspicuity tape intervals in the photo lead me to think it may be only 30′ long. But it sure looks close at best to me, and given the frequency with which the oversize rules are flouted by the majors (I don’t think DCS even has trailers under 53) to FedEx and UPS…not to mention the independents…I’m going to go out on a limb and not give the truck the benefit of the doubt in this instance.

  • 1LelaG

    Bullshit! The driver must always give the Right of Way to the weakest, aka, vulnerable road user. The cyclist will be a buffoon, if he does not take the driver to Court and prove the obnoxious Laws that prioritize driving misconduct, a malfeasance that must be amended.


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