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New Bike Laws for NYC: Sound Law or Government Going Too Far?

A new bicycle law aimed at making our streets safer is going into effect. Most people who walk the streets of New York City have had a close call with a commercial bicyclist, be it food delivery person or messenger. Block O'Toole & Murphy, a noted personal injury law firm, outlines the law below.

New Yorkers got some news today when a new law regarding commercial bicyclists was put into effect by the NYC Department of Transportation. The law seeks to make our streets safer for pedestrians, drivers and other bicyclists.

The new law, Administrative Code of the City of New York §10-157/10-157.1, includes several requirements for commercial bicyclists which lawmakers are hoping immediately make our streets safer for everyone. The new law includes the following mandates:

  • Bicycle operators must ride in the direction of traffic and yield to pedestrians;
  • Bicycle operators must stay off the sidewalk;
  • Bicycle operators must stop at all red lights and stop signs;
  • Bicycle operators must wear a reflective jacket, vest, or other apparel on the upper part of his/her body while making deliveries;
  • The business name and bicycle operator's individual ID number must be displayed;
  • Each bicycle operator shall be required to complete a bicycle safety course provided by the Dept. of Transportation;
  • The law does not ban delivery bikes from hanging bags from handlebars but it is recommended that business owners provide a basket or pannier to hold deliveries.

Notably, the law does not allow delivery bikes to be electric which is likely to cause many business owners to change their modes of delivery and delivery promise times. Violators of the new law can face fines of up to $250 and 15 days in jail.

A complete listing of the new requirements under this law can be found at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/commercial-cyclists.shtml#enforcement

What is your reaction to the new law? Will it be helpful? Or is it government going too far?