Mess Media

monitors, analyzes and corrects media reporting errors and bias concerning messengers and couriers.

Messenger Institute
 for Media Accuracy




New York Bikers' Bosses Could Get Fined

Traffic laws should be applied equally to everyone - not by profession. All types of road users break laws and all types of road users don't pay their fines. If it's a good idea for employers of messengers to be held responsible for their employees fines it should be a good idea for all traffic violators and all employers regardless of profession.

You can't solve a problem by targeting the symptoms. If the public wants messengers to adhere to a higher standard with greater responsibilities than everyone else then the public must be willing to pay for a service like that.

And they must recognize the skill level necessary to perform that service. The public must be willing to pay for a service that requires every messenger to be a professional messenger with professional standards. And the public must  be willing to pay for system to administer and ensure those standards. The gap between expectation of service and expectation of payment must be reconciled. Without that, all these special laws do is discourage cycling in general.

How do police enforce these special laws? How do they prove employment? Put this law together with the helmet law and you have law-abiding civilian cyclists forced to prove their employment to police at any time or they may or may not be subject to a search to identify that employment. If you continue to let these special laws goes unchallenged more will follow and they will become more intrusive. What's next  - a dress code for messengers? No fixed gears or brakeless bikes for messengers?

Where does it end?

New York Bikers' Bosses Could Get Fined
AP, September 25, 2007
NEW YORK — As a way to curb bike messengers and food delivery workers from illegally zipping along sidewalks instead of streets, the city is considering legislation that would hold their employers responsible.
City Council members Jessica Lappin and Alan Gerson introduced a bill Tuesday that would transfer the fines now imposed on riders _ between $100 and $300 per violation  to the companies that send them on the deliveries.
So far this year in one police precinct within Lappin's Manhattan council district, police have issued 1,800 summonses for bicycle violations, 200 of which were for riding on sidewalks, according to her office.
Lappin said she had received a letter from a 9-year-old girl in her district who said "we can't take a walk without being nervous of bicycles zooming next to us."
"For children and seniors, getting hit by a bicycle can be life threatening," Lappin said in a statement. "Businesses have to be responsible for their bikers."
The bill would transfer the fines for commercial bike riders to their employers; Lappin and Gerson believe this would force restaurants and messenger services to better train their workers and educate them on the city's traffic laws.

Here is the press conference announcement:
PRESS ADVISORY Contact: Jane Swanson
September 21, 2007
Council Members Jessica Lappin and Alan Gerson to Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Bike Laws
Legislation will help curb illegal bike riding on the sidewalks
WHO: Council Members Jessica Lappin, Alan Gerson, John Liu, Daniel Garodnick, and Miguel Martinez; State Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner and nine year-old Annabelle Azziz
WHAT: Press Conference on bicycle legislation
WHEN: September 25, 2007 at 12pm
WHERE: City Hall Steps
On September 25, 2007, Council Members Jessica Lappin and Alan Gerson are hosting a press conference on legislation they are introducing to curb illegal and dangerous bicycle riding. The legislation will transfer the fines that commercial bike riders receive for riding on the sidewalk or failing to obey traffic laws from the riders to the businesses employing them. Nine-year-old Annabelle Azziz, who is afraid to walk on the sidewalks due to illegal cyclists, will join them.




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