NYPD’s Bike Ticket Blitzes After a Driver Kills a Cyclist Are as Data-Driven as Bloodletting

City Hall should be embarrassed that in the Vision Zero era, police still respond to cyclist fatalities by ticketing people on bikes.

No matter the circumstances of a cyclist fatality, this is how the local precinct responds. Photo: Rob Foran
No matter the circumstances of a cyclist fatality, this is how the local precinct responds. Photo: Rob Foran

Over the weekend, officers with the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint responded to the hit-and-run killing of cyclist Neftaly Ramirez by ticketing people riding bikes on Franklin Street, where Ramirez was struck. That’s standard operating procedure for NYPD, which returned to crash scenes to go on bike ticket sprees following the deaths of Dan Hanegby, Kelly Hurley, Lauren Davis, and Matthew von Ohlen, to cite a few recent cases.

That two of those victims were killed by hit-and-run drivers and the other three were struck while following traffic rules didn’t enter into NYPD’s calculus, because in the aftermath of fatal collisions, precinct cops are directed to issue tickets indiscriminately.

On its face, ticketing bike riders when a motorist kills a cyclist, regardless of the circumstances of the crash, is preposterous and won’t make anyone safer. NYPD can provide no evidence that suggests the practice reduces the prevalence of fatal or injurious crashes. And yet it persists years after Mayor de Blasio supposedly ushered in a more data-driven approach to traffic enforcement under the banner of Vision Zero.

When von Ohlen was killed in 2016 by a hit-and-run motorist who was eventually charged with manslaughter, Transportation Alternatives asked NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan why the department reacted by ramping up bike tickets in the area. Chan said that as a matter of policy, NYPD tickets all street users following a fatality, TransAlt Deputy Director Caroline Samponaro told Streetsblog.

Since it’s harder to pull over reckless drivers than to double-park in cyclists’ path and ticket people who ride by, this unfocused approach plays out in a predictable way. In practice, the NYPD answer to cyclist fatalities caused by motorists is to punish people for riding bikes.

Last year, TransAlt asked NYPD for data on the number of post-crash summonses issued to cyclists versus drivers, and for evidence that the department’s policy helps prevent crashes. NYPD provided nothing.

Streetsblog put in a request to City Hall yesterday for evidence that NYPD’s bike ticket blitzes after a driver kills a cyclist improve safety, and has yet to hear back.

“In the Vision Zero era, it’s such a misguided policy,” says Samponaro. “City Hall should be embarrassed. It’s not the right message to send.”

Samponaro says NYPD should publish data showing its approach works. “Otherwise,” she says, “it’s just a ‘blame the cyclist’ exercise, which is very painful for families.”

TransAlt has posted a petition from Staten Island resident Rob Foran that calls on City Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Vanessa Gibson, who chair the council’s transportation and public safety committees, to pressure NYPD to change its enforcement protocol following cyclist fatalities.

“It’s a knee-jerk reaction,” Foran told Streetsblog. “‘Somebody’s dead, let’s go out and ticket somebody.’ Seventy percent of cyclist deaths are due to driver error. You need to get out there and ticket drivers, because they’re killing people.”

Foran hopes the petition will prompt the City Council to provide oversight.

Samponaro said there’s a precedent for such action. “We have seen the council put forward police reform bills on other issues and it would be within their powers to do something here.”

  • William Lawson

    To me it’s just symptomatic of a general culture of intellectual laziness in the NYPD, from root to branch. There were probably artificial intelligence algorithms in the early 1970’s which could outthink today’s cops.

  • Friday, 10 AM, WNYC. Ask the mayor about this:


    Use the hashtag #askthemayor and tweet at @BrianLehrer this week to hopefully get them to take this up as a segment on the show.

  • bettybarcode

    Whenever a deli gets robbed, send in the health inspectors! If someone gets mugged, subpoena their bank records!

  • Joe R.

    Usually the purpose of a fine is to punish for an action which either did result in harm, or had a very high probability of resulting in harm. To me this seems entirely revenue and quota driven. I also personally think that’s why Mayor Bloomberg encouraged bike use, and at the same time did absolutely nothing when the police went on ticket blitzes. More bikes equals more revenue for NYC.

    The only way to end this is to get the laws these tickets are given under repealed. If something isn’t dangerous it shouldn’t be against the law.

  • Matthew Foglia

    How about a FOIL request for the data?

  • Steven Craig

    So the cycle community feels basic enforcement is unfair. If you use the road and in the case of many cyclists the sidewalk you need to conform to the law.
    That the Police are so lax in enforcing it is not an issue
    To complain about its enforcement is.
    Cyclists need to be licensed their bikes registered and have insurance just like any other vehicle. They are clearly getting a free ride claiming rights with no responsibilities.

  • BortLicensePlatez

    Steven, you’re babbling and more incoherent than john mccain’s tumor. Are you arguing police are too lax or aren’t lax enough? that bikes need insurance or they don’t? Are they “like other vehicles” and therefore should have more rights than the nypd are giving us? Get your trolling correct and come back after naptime.

  • William Lawson

    The reason why cars are registered, require insurance and are subject to strict traffic laws is because they are huge, fast moving hunks of metal weighing at least a ton which cause countless deaths every year. And yet none of the legal requirements of owning a car do anything to dissuade drivers from tearing the streets up like psychopathic morons.

    The reason we complain about this blitz-style enforcement is that a) it’s horribly offensive when it’s clearly in response to an innocent cyclist being killed and b) it’s ALWAYS at the expense of those officers doing more useful things, like for example enforcing the law on drivers who are killing hundreds every year.

    If cyclists were killing hundreds every year then I’d be all in favor of diverting some of the horribly limited enforcement resources we have to ticketing cyclists. But they’re not.

  • RedMercury

    Well, here’s sort of the problem with that.

    The police should be enforcing the law equally. Is it “fair” for police to pull over a chinese guy for running a stop sign but let the white guy go? Obviously not. If I break the law, the police should pull me over and give me a ticket. Regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation…

    …or manner of conveyance.

    If I’m driving a car and I run a stop sign, I should get a ticket. If I’m driving a motorcycle and I run a stop sign, I should get a ticket. And if I’m driving a bicycle and I run a stop sign, I should get a ticket.

    Now, if the cops are purposefully ignoring motorists while giving cyclists tickets, I’d agree. But you actually need evidence for that.

  • Andy Montalvo

    Please ticket them all, ticket away! Moat Bicyclists dont follow rules, dont lecture me cause im one that rides and there are really rude mf on bikes.

  • qrt145

    Race, creed, etc. are irrelevant to the infraction at hand and are protected classes. Manner of conveyance is not a protected class, but it is very much relevant to the safety risk posed by the infraction. Jaybiking poses very little risk of harm to third parties, while driving a truck through a red light can be massively deadly. Since the vast majority of traffic infractions cannot be prosecuted (my guess is at least 99.9% aren’t), the police can and should use discretion so that the tiny fraction that are have the most positive impact.

  • Joe R.

    No, the police should be allocating resources based on statistics. Suppose the murder rate was sky high. Do I want police giving tickets to cyclists for slow-rolling red lights when doing so means there are fewer police to catch murderers? Obviously not. The number of police are limited. We should deploy them in a manner which puts them fighting the most dangerous crimes first.

    The fact something is technically illegal doesn’t mean it automatically merits police enforcement. In fact, in general when a large percentage of the population doesn’t obey a law, and such disobedience causes few or no issues, then it’s a bad law. That’s the case with most laws applying to pedestrians or cyclists. For decades there was little or no enforcement against cyclists in NYC and things were just fine. I’m all for going after truly reckless cyclists, but enforcing technical but harmless infractions is a waste of police manpower. Ditto for giving out things like jaywalking tickets. If police have time for this type of nonsense then it means we have too many police. We should cut the force down so police are busy most of the time with real crimes. And we need to change the laws so things which are harmless are no longer illegal.

  • Joe R.

    There’s a difference between reckless cycling which puts others in danger versus harmless but technical infractions. My goal when I ride is to avoid colliding with cars and pedestrians, not to mindlessly follow rules which were designed mostly for motor vehicles.

  • RedMercury

    Do I want police giving tickets to cyclists for slow-rolling red lights when doing so means there are fewer police to catch murderers?

    So, if I steal your $300 bicycle, it’s not a big deal. I mean, murderers! The theft of your $300 bicycle isn’t what I’d call a “real” crime. I mean, there are people out there stealing $250,000 lamborghinis, for heaven’s sake! Let’s get our priorities straight!

    The fact something is technically illegal doesn’t mean it automatically merits police enforcement.

    Well, I would argue that it does. Something that is “technically illegal” is still illegal. I’m not sure I like the idea of police deciding on their own whether or not something is “illegal enough” to warrant a ticket. Great way for biases to slip in.

    I’m all for going after truly reckless cyclists, but enforcing technical but harmless infractions is a waste of police manpower.

    Ah. But who decides what is “reckless” and what isn’t? I would argue that not stopping for a stop sign is “reckless”–especially if you’re a vulnerable cyclist.

    And what about “harmless”? If I ride my bike through a stop sign and I don’t get hit, where’s the harm? If I drive my car through a stop sign and I don’t get hit, where’s the harm? Do we only enforce laws when something bad happens because of these actions? Sort of the Libertarian “your right to swing your fist ends where my face begins” type of thing.

  • Joe R.

    Your example of stealing a bike is exactly what laws were meant for. If a person causes loss of life, property, or injury then they should be sanctioned under the law. If there is no loss of life, property, or injury then exactly what is the purpose of enforcement? The only exception to this might be enforcement of an action which has a very high probability of causing actual harm, like shooting a gun on a crowded sidewalk. Even if the bullet doesn’t hit anyone, it’s highly likely the next one might. I don’t think you can equate riding a bike through a stop sign at an empty intersection with shooting a gun on a crowded street.

    Ah. But who decides what is “reckless” and what isn’t? I would argue that not stopping for a stop sign is “reckless”–especially if you’re a vulnerable cyclist.

    That’s very easy. If someone with the legal right-of-way had to change speed or direction to avoid colliding with the cyclist then the cyclist was being reckless. Basically you would be using the exact same criteria you would use had there been a yield sign instead of a stop sign. Police are trained to know what failure to yield looks like.

    I’m not sure I like the idea of police deciding on their own whether or not something is “illegal enough” to warrant a ticket. Great way for biases to slip in.

    And so is the current system. The police have a ticket quota, even though they deny it. It’s far easier for police to ticket cyclists who usually can’t evade them than to go after motor vehicles. Moreover, cyclists can’t hide concealed weapons like motorists can, so the police consider ticketing cyclists to be much less risky.

    The police aren’t deciding who to ticket under what I propose. Their CO is based on statistics. He/she might assign 100 police to felonies, maybe 10 to motor traffic enforcement, and perhaps 1 to cycling enforcement. In all cases the CO might emphasize going after the worst offenders in each category. You might let a motorist going 10 over the limit get a free pass while focusing on distracted driving, or lane jockeying, or failure to yield. In the end the police can’t go after everyone breaking any law, so they need to decide what to focus on. You’re arguing here for something which is both unrealistic, and has never in fact been done. Even countries like North Korea can’t police to the extent that they catch every single lawbreaker every time.

  • qrt145

    You may think you are being satirical or hyperbolic with the murder/Lamborghini analogy, but it is in fact a fairly accurate representation of how the police treat a bike theft: not a big deal. The most they’ll do about a bike theft is write a report, whereas murders actually get some resources.

  • William Lawson

    Yes in theory the cops should be enforcing the law equally, but in reality they have finite time and resources to contend with. So it just makes sense that more resources should be allocated to law enforcement which is going to save lives.

    As for the cops purposefully ignoring motorists, well of course it’s hard to deliver evidence of that nature without going to all of the cost of carrying out an academic study, but I will say this. When have you ever seen the NYPD respond to the death of an innocent motorist by blitzing other car drivers with tickets at the location where the fatality happened?

  • You are correct. If some act that is illegal is actually harmless, the solution is not to call for non-enforcement of the bad law, but to change the law so that that act in question is no longer illegal.

    The law should definitely allow bicyclists to proceed through a red light when safe after a stop. And the most reasonable legislators, such as Council Member Antonio Reynoso, want this to happen.

    The problem is that there are so few such legislators; our goal is to get more of them to understand that laws that were written with only cars in mind are inappropriate for bicycles. Any hope at legislative reform depends on bicyclists being seen in general as a sympathetic group, so that legislators will back changes in the law that help bicyclists.

    However, we’re not going to attract very many legislators to our side if all that they hear from their constituents is complaints about bicyclists. And bicyclists’ act of blowing red lights absolutely riles people up and generates plenty of these complaints.

    The important thing to realise here is that people get angry with a bicyclist breaking the law even when that bicyclist’s act is completely safe. So it’s not a matter of actual safety, but, rather, a matter of perception and of relations with an already hostile general public. Therefore, to argue about the safety of any particular illegal manoeuvre completely misses the point.

    Bicyclists should follow the law — even the stupid laws — toward the end of getting rid of those stupid laws. I am sad to say, however, that it’s unlikely that we’ll ever succeed in this, as too many bicyclists are busy stoking public anger with their behaviour, and are too consumed in constructing self-serving rationalisations and in making irrelevant arguments to acknowledge the damage that they are doing to our collective interests.

  • We could also point out that the evidence that cops are ignoring motorists’ law-breaking is the fact that motorists engage in many illegal acts without the slightest expectation that they will be caught. Such acts include speeding, stopping ahead of the stopping line (sometimes in the crosswalk) at a red light, passing a stop sign without stopping, turning without signalling, opening doors without looking, making a left on a two-way street without yielding to straight-moving traffic coming the other way, double parking, and many other things that can be observed by anyone at all on any street in the City. Drivers have become accustomed to these illegal acts, and actually feel entitled to them.

    Our overstaffed police department certainly has the manpower to increase enforcement against these behaviours, and to essentially drive them out of existence. The problem is that traffic enforcement is too boring for the police; so they simply won’t do it. And our civilian government is too weak to impose the authority that it supposedly has, and to demand that the police shift their priorities to this most important task.

  • RedMercury

    The important thing to realise here is that people get angry with a bicyclist breaking the law even when that bicyclist’s act is completely safe.

    Ah, but is it completely safe?

    Suppose I’m riding a bicycle. I come to a red light. I look to my left–nothing coming. I look to my right. Nothing coming. I look straight ahead. There is no pedestrian or car turning left. I proceed through the intersection. Nothing happens and I continue riding.

    It was completely safe for me to cross that intersection.

    So why is it any less safe if I happened to be driving a car instead of a bicycle?

  • Point might be that this ticketing doesn’t do a thing to solve your problem of “most bicyclists don’t follow rules”. It’s a waste of time. Use the police to address your beef, not waste time and resources.

  • qrt145

    Cars are bigger, heavier, less maneuverable, and have blind spots relative to bikes, so it is much easier to make a fatal mistake when running a red light with a car.

    But yes, some situations exist where it is safe enough to drive through a red light, and they are even legal in some jurisdictions.

  • It’s down to the enormous difference in the destructive potential of cars versus bikes. Cars are so dangerous that the requirement that they stop for red lights must be absolute; we as a society cannot afford introducing an element of discretion, and thereby risking promoting the notion that stopping is optional.

    Whereas, the policy of treating red lights essentially as stop signs is appropriate to bicycles, given the much lesser degree of harm that they can do.

    There is no absolutely sense in applying the existing red-light laws to bicycles, as these laws were not conceived with the reality of bicycling in mind. Laws must be appropriate for the conditions in which they apply, or else they breed a disrespect that undermines all attempts to manage affairs reasonably.

  • “So the cycle community feels basic enforcement is unfair”. No, you’re missing something.

    When Matthew von Ohlen was run down and killed by a driver that fled the scene and was later arrested and charged with manslaughter (the police believe the evidence shows he ran the cyclist down deliberately) the NYPD immediately responded by ticketing cyclists and handing out safety pamphlets in the area the alleged crime was committed.

    Now, you tell me if that’s an appropriate response. I don’t think you can justify it as anything but a waste of time and resources. If you want cyclists to be held responsible, have the police address all the speeding, sidewalk riding, and salmoning instead of ticketing cyclists because someone who did obey the law got killed.

  • William Lawson

    This is true: I don’t know how many times I’ve seen drivers fail to yield or brazenly blow red lights right in front of a cop car. They don’t have a care in the world because they know how lenient the NYPD is toward drivers. Many years ago I saw a driver blow a red light at 86th and Lex, well after it had turned. He glanced a young woman and her toddler on the crosswalk and knocked them both on their ass (thankfully they were OK). Sitting right at the intersection was an NYPD cruiser containing two cops, both drinking large sodas. I went over and said “Excuse me, did you see that?” Of course they instantly adopted the douchebag attitude and one of them said “yeah I saw it” very matter-of-factly. Me: “So……you’re just going to sit there?” By this time a few people had gathered around the cruiser, also curious as to why they did nothing in the face of a hit and run right in front of their eyes. Some comments were made, then the other cop threatened to get out of the car and make arrests for disorderly. Pretty much the NYPD to a tee.

  • RedMercury

    So what you’re saying is, basically, I’m on my bicycle and I look both ways and ahead and I see no traffic. So I go. If I was wrong–which is always a possibility–and I didn’t notice that car coming along or that jogger coming out from behind a building who, y’know, has the right-of-way, and a collision occurs, it isn’t as potentially horrific as if I did the same thing in a car.

    I want to make sure I have this right. Is that what you’re saying?

  • Michel S

    There is an argument to be made that there are too many stoplights in cities, or too many stoplights at intersections where signals are not appropriate/necessary for traffic to function efficiently all the time. I’ve heard arguments that streets with 4-way stops are inherently safer, because drivers are more alert; they are not relying on the green or red light to tell them if it is safe to proceed, but are actually checking to see if there are hazards on the road. I believe there is merit to that argument, and I often wonder how motorists would respond to a campaign to remove more traffic lights and replace them with stop signs. This can’t be done everywhere, but at least in Philadelphia I know of a couple signalized intersections where the lights are rather pointless.

  • R1D1

    Transportation Alternatives are the last group of people who should be advocating for cyclists. They are anti-car conservationist fanatics whose only achievement has been to create tension between cyclists and motorists. Now that they are sparring with the NYPD goon squad, things will only get worse.
    Transportation Alternatives GO AWAY!

  • A collision with a bike is quite obviously not as bad as a collision with a car, certainly nowhere near “horrific”. And I say this as someone who has, on two separate occasions, been hit and knocked off my bike by rogue bicyclists who were breaking laws — blowing lights and/or going the wrong way.

    But note that, in the imagined scenario after legislative reform, the cyclist would be starting from a stop after the red light, and so would be going at walking speed. There would be thus plenty of time for that cyclist to stop and avoid hitting an oncoming car or pedestrian.

    There would be no real chance of any serious problem, especially with respect to a pedestrian or jogger; indeed, we should be aware that, in shared-use bike paths where no cars are allowed, there are no traffic lights. Red lights are solely a method for regulating auto traffic. Bike traffic can be regulated by stop signs alone, which is why red lights should be treated by cyclists as stop signs. (Not as yield signs, which allow rolling through, but as stop signs, which require a full stop before proceeding.)

  • Do you live in Philadelphia? I just recently made another visit there; I think it was my fifth. This time I rode there and back, my second time doing that. And I spent several days riding within the city, really enjoying it.

    I was pleased not only with the extensive bike lanes which are found all throughout the city (including in Northeast Philly, the “Queens” of Philadelphia), but also with of the attitudes of the drivers. Believe it or not, as compared to New York drivers, the people driving cars in Philly are downright polite! They respond to hand signals in a way that New York drivers do not. For example, whenever I had to move left for some reason, a simple extension of my backward-facing palm caused the drivers behind me to slow down and let me in; by contrast, in New York I have to thrust my hand out and wave it around vigourously in order to have any chance of getting through to the moron driving behind me.

    In all of my trips down to Philadelphia, I was taken by a distinct lack of aggression on the part of that city’s drivers, in comparison to what I am used to. And I think there may be some connection to the traffic light situation. One thing that was notable in Philly is its short red-light periods, much shorter than what I am accustomed to here in New York. I can only guess about this, but I think that this contributes to the relative non-aggression on the part of that town’s drivers as compared to New York drivers, as the drivers down there seem to know that missing a light is not such a bad thing since the red will turn green again any second.

  • Michel S

    I guess it’s all a matter of perspective! I’ve lived here 13 years, car-free for almost a decade. The attitude of the drivers around here really depends on where you are, what time of day, and who the driver is. Streets with very little traffic and no bike lane tend to be narrower, and so are a pleasure to ride because even cars cannot go very fast. These also tend to be areas with a lot of stop signs and short blocks, so a driver and a biker tend to cover the same distance in the same relative amount of time (assuming Idaho stops, of course). There’s no need to be aggressive, because no one is going anywhere very fast.

    Streets with a lot of traffic and no bike lane tend to be wider and the speed limits tend to be faster (whether formally or informally), and thus tend to feel pretty dangerous. I try to avoid these and stick to those arterial streets where we actually have bike lanes. But the bike lanes are a double-edged sword, because here in Philadelphia they are not protected and are frequently obstructed. Our efforts to create a protected bike lane network in the city lacks political support, so the effort is slow going.

    I find that, paradoxically, drivers are less patient on streets with bike lanes since, in their mind, that’s where I’m “supposed” to be, regardless of whether or not my path of travel is blocked. They tend to be more aggressive with me if I have to leave the lane. I’ve had numerous drivers who will honk, ride too close, or make aggressive passes on our streets, which are really too narrow for this. I’ve also been yelled at by the driver when we’re stopped at a red light together, literally when their aggressive tactics have gotten them exactly nowhere. It’s all bluster, and I try to remind myself it’s about them, not me, but that is hard to do because I feel very vulnerable on the streets without adequate lane protection and it’s hard not to take that personally.

    Thank you for visiting and I am glad you enjoyed yourself. Philadelphia is really a great biking city with some wonderful trails and vistas. I just wish our local pols supported alternative transportation more than they currently do. This is something activists like me are working on. I’ve been meaning to visit NYC and test the bike network there. They say the grass is always greener on the other side, so maybe I will appreciate my home more if and when I do.

  • I rode on the Torresdale Avenue bike lane a lot, as that street is near my hotel in the Northeast. That bike lane seemed very helpful on a busy street.

    Other bike lanes that really impressed me were those on Rising Sun Avenue, Tyson Avenue, Oxford Avenue, and Loretto Avenue. (But the one on Academy Road is wearing off and needs repainting.)

    The gritty Lehigh Avenue and Allegheny Avenue provide bike lanes that take the traveller all the way across into North Philly. And then from North Philly down into the Center City area and beyond into South Philly, there are plenty of streets that go straight through, including 5th and 6th and 12th and 13th, all of which feature bike lanes for portions. I have made plenty of use of all of these.

    Through the Center City area, Spruce and Pine Streets have bike lanes; but, really, I found that almost any east-west road in that section is good for bike travel, because the car speed is very low there.

    I hope you do eventually make it to New York. Our bike lane network is impressive in Manhattan and in Downtown Brooklyn, but is sparse elsewhere in the city. And, as you seem to know, some of our lanes are protected; these are the best ones. While there are some flaws in the design to contend with, our bike lanes have transformed Manhattan from a jungle to a wonderland for bikes. And, at only 23 square miles, Manhattan is small enough that biking is by far the most convenient and efficient way to get around.

    But I will apologise in advance for the rudeness of my compatriots. You will definitely experience a level of aggression that is beyond what you are used to; so I would advise that you be prepared to shout and to dramatically increase the demonstrativeness of your hand signals.

    A bicyclist in New York frequently experiences the “right hook”, in which a driver who is behind the cyclist speeds up and makes a right turn across the cyclist’s path, cutting that cyclist off. Well, at one point during my riding in Philly, it looked like this was about to happen: a driver in the right-most auto lane passed me on my left, and started to make a right turn. But, evidently, he then noticed me right at that moment, because he stopped just as he cracked his wheel, and he let me pass. So it was an honest mistake, not an aggressive and dangerous move. This was just one of many occasions where I could not fail to notice the difference between the two cities.

    On my way back home, while I was riding on Route 27 in Linden, New Jersey, a real right hook took place; and I thought to myself: “I sure know that I am back in the New York area now!”

    Anyway, I will probably make at least one more trip to Philly in the near future. This time I won’t ride all the way there; I will put my bike on the Bolt Bus and come down just for the day, and spend it just grooving around throughout your town.

  • JudenChino

    Ill pass a dozen cars parked in the bike lane then see a cop ticketing a bike for turning right on red (I asked the guy). The enforcement priorities are fucked up.

  • JudenChino

    The police should be enforcing the law equally.

    What a profoundly stupid thing to say.

    If I’m driving a car and I run a stop sign, I should get a ticket. If I’m driving a motorcycle and I run a stop sign, I should get a ticket. And if I’m driving riding a bicycle and I run treat a stop sign like a yield and give way to any pedestrians or any cross traffic, I should not get a ticket because I’m on a bike you fucking idiot.

    Oh yah, and jaywalking too. Let’s enforce the law “equally” against jaywalkers.

    Perhaps the law should be changed?

  • JudenChino

    This is true: I don’t know how many times I’ve seen drivers fail to yield or brazenly blow red lights right in front of a cop car. They don’t have a care in the world because they know how lenient the NYPD is toward drivers

    But if it’s a Taxi, I’m not lenient with that sort of behavior. I report that shit all day.

  • William Lawson

    Reporting it doesn’t get you anywhere though. The DMV doesn’t give a shit.

  • JudenChino

    Maybe, but the T&LC sure does. They fine their drivers all the time in response to complaints. I obviously don’t report most instances of T&LC vehicles violating the law. But I do when they engage in dangerous behavior. Like here:

  • William Lawson

    I actually meant to say the TLC. None of the complaints I’ve ever made to the TLC have ever come to anything.

  • JudenChino

    You are correct. If some act that is illegal is actually harmless, the solution is not to call for non-enforcement of the bad law, but to change the law so that that act in question is no longer illegal.

    Bingo. That’s also the correct response to our massive undocumented immigration problem. If you’ve been here for years and are immeshed in your community then yes, it’s a bad law. If Federal Officers are going to sex trafficking court (seeking the victims), hospitals, schools, churches and actual Green Card Marriage interviews, to kick people out of this country, then yah, perhaps that’s not the best use of our finite resources.

  • jeremy

    Shut up

  • Tim Orkus

    Really? Because double parked trucks BLOCKING BIKE LANES definitely puts cyclists at risk. Illegally parked/stopped/standing cars routinely block bike lanes, crosswalks, handicap ramps, force people or other vehicles to merge around in traffic, etc. At least think about what you’re saying before you post it. None of that addresses the fact that the police are targeting cyclists after a car does something wrong and kills one. It’s comically sad, misguided, and shows how the “just do SOMETHING” attitude helps no one and hurts many.

  • Tim Orkus

    And they totally ignore the delivery guys of course…

  • Tim Orkus

    For one, they ARE ignoring motorists to target cyclists. That’s quite literally what’s being said. Cops are statically stationed in the area to specifically target cyclists instead of being out enforcing any other laws.

    Beyond that, if you want to bring ‘fair’ into things: it’s FAIR to target the things that are most dangerous or have the highest impact to the community. A car driving recklessly (of which there are virtually limitless examples in NYC) is a far, FAR greater danger than a cyclist not obeying traffic laws…which is again a greater danger than pedestrians jaywalking which are ignored almost universally.

    Debating the stupidity of ignored laws like jaywalking is a whole other topic, but for targeted enforcement of otherwise normally ignored laws…the reasoning behind this one is nonsense.

  • Tim Orkus

    Oh, that happens too. Then they write up a million tickets for rolling a stop sign, or other insignificant infractions. But when the boss says you have to go out and write lots of tickets for something…you don’t have much choice. Because, you know, those quotas aren’t real except they still are.

  • Joe R.

    Did I say that we shouldn’t ticket motor vehicles blocking bike lanes? All I said was that it makes no sense for cyclists to mindlessly follow rules designed for motor vehicles. Of course, motor vehicles should follow those rules, and should be ticketed if they don’t.

    No kidding that police targeting cyclists after one gets killed is a disgustingly biased and brain-dead policy. I would like to know exactly what their rationale for doing this is.

    EDIT: I think your reply was meant for Andy Montalvo, not me, which is why what you wrote puzzled me.

  • R1D1

    I won’t shut up.
    You have hijacked cycling to the detriment of all cyclists. You have increased the chances for confrontation between cyclists and motorists. These are confrontations that cyclists invariably lose.

    You are a threat to cyclists and you need to take yourselves and your agenda someplace else.

  • Complete nonsense.


Cyclists Need Protection From Reckless Driving, Not From Themselves

Cyclists remember following traffic rules will help prevent most collisions. Bike smart & stay safe #VisionZero #UES pic.twitter.com/Kw4V67Ca0J — NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) July 27, 2016 The 19th Precinct, on the Upper East Side, tickets more cyclists than almost any other precinct in the city. So it was fitting that the above tweet this morning came from the […]