Not only do we have the standard life-threatening ordeals on every ride, now we must also look out for the predator.

The past couple of years have felt like police were unnecessarily heavily targeting bikers. It turns out to be true. The figures are in and we can see that NYC police have issued three times more court summonses to bicyclists than truck drivers. While not prosecuting motorists who run over cyclists.


The absurdity of this is well described by the Bike Snob:

 Given the number of people killed by cars in New York City you already knew the recent bicycle crackdown was crazy, but you may not have realized just how crazy it was:

The NYPD issued more summonses to cyclists than truck drivers last year: truckers got 14,962 moving violation summonses and 10,415 Criminal Court summonses, while cyclists got 13,743 moving violation summonses and a whopping 34,813 Criminal Court summonses.

Wow.  Also, Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives raised a good question:

“The NYPD is among the most sophisticated law enforcement operations in the country,” concluded White, the director of Transportation Alternatives. “It’s the sixth largest standing army in the world, it has officers stationed in scores of foreign nations and it can shoot down small aircraft. The question for us today is if its officers can do more to keep New Yorkers safe on our own streets and deter drivers from killing hundreds and injuring thousands of innocent people every year?”

Read the more in depth article at the Gothamist:

And I notice some pleasantly militant words on the forums of the New York Cycle Club:

User RRosenthal writes:

But here’s a stirring explanation why the police fail to police, and it is offered by a police officer. I stopped at a red light exiting Central Park at 90th St.. Next to me were a police officer on a scooter and a BMW—the three of us side-by-side. However, only two of us belonged there: cars were not allowed in the park at that time. The officer did nothing, said nothing. I asked him why didn’t he ticket the driver for being in the park when it was closed to cars. His answer: “Aw, he knew what he was doing was wrong.”

This is not to say the police do nothing. They do. Here are some examples. Ticketing a cyclist for having a handbag over her handlebars—although that’s not against the law; ticketing a cyclist for exceeding 15MPH in Central Park—although that’s not against the law; ticketing a cyclist for swerving out of the bike lane to avoid an obstacle-—although that’s not against the law; ticketing an adult cyclist for not wearing a helmet-—although that’s not against the law.

It confuses me why the man feels the need to harass bikers. They must know how counter productive this is. Do they really think this will develop respect for the police?

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