The NYPD has launched a bicycle safety program, cracking down on drivers in response to a surge in cyclist deaths – but some say it’s not enough, because the real problem is a failure to crack down on the city’s growing bike bedlam.
Driving in a bike lane costs about $138 plus two points on your license. Drivers regularly pay the price; getting pulled over and ticketed.
But even police acknowledge that street safety is not just about bad drivers – it’s about careless bike riders too. With officers standing nearby, CBS2 cameras caught riders blowing through red lights and going the wrong way down streets. One cyclists was so distracted by his cell phone that he went through a red light and nearly got hit by a car door.
Fifteen cyclists have been killed so far this year; more than the 10 killed in all of 2018.
CBS2 urban affairs analyst Mark Peters says a driver crackdown is important, but not enough.
“We also need a system for cracking down on dangerous behavior by bicycle riders,” Peters explained. “Insist on putting license plates on bicycles which would then allow the police or pedestrians or anyone else to track unsafe behavior. If there’s a plate on the back on the bicycle you can call 911.”
With all the red light and speed cameras in the city, bike riders could be ticketed even if a cop isn’t there to pull them over.
Mayor de Blasio is not a fan of putting license plates on bikes. A spokesman for the mayor claimed there’s no data to indicate that forcing people to register bikes would make the streets safer.