The New York Police Department, in July, launched a citywide bicycle safety plan in response to an increase in cyclist deaths this year, including three in late June. Officers stepped up enforcement of vehicles that were caught speeding, running red lights or failing to yield to pedestrians, NYPD officials said. They also increased the ticketing of drivers caught texting or talking on their phones without a headset, officials said.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said that officers were making sure bike lanes were clear of vehicles, especially police cars. Officers caught using bike lanes illegally may face a variety of internal administrative consequences, like a reprimand from a supervisor or a disciplinary letter.

The enforcement ran through July 21. It was enacted shortly after cyclist Devra Freelander, 28, was killed when a cement truck driver struck her, as she rode her bike in Brooklyn. She’s the 15th cyclist to be killed in New York City so far this year, city data showed. There were 10 cycling deaths in the city for all of 2018. In 2017, 24 cyclists were killed.

There was a record low of 202 motor-vehicle deaths in 2018, compared with 222 in 2017. But pedestrian deaths rose by 7% in 2018 to 115 from 107 the year earlier, city data showed.

Street-safety activists want the city to invest more heavily in bike lanes and street design.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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