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
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
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
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
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
FOR PLANING PURPOSES ONLY 646-220-1505
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.