Saturday, June 2, 2012
Council targeting delivery bikes
The city is stepping up its fight against delivery cyclists who break traffic laws — and the restaurant owners who employ them.
The City Council is mulling ways to curb dangerous delivery bikers, some of whom careen down crowded sidewalks, run a red light or zoom the wrong way down a one-way street in their rush to deliver food to hungry New Yorkers.
Council members are considering giving Department of Transportation agents, for the first time ever, the power to issue tickets to restaurants owners who employ the deliverymen. Delivery bikers are often under pressure to quickly deliver hot food, but Council members want to make sure there is equal pressure on their employers to follow the rules of the road.
Right now, the NYPD hands out tickets for bike traffic violations, but rarely tickets restaurant owners. Under legislation being drafted, DOT agents could ticket restaurants if they did not provide reflective vests, helmets and lights for their bikers.
At a Council hearing Tuesday, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said she sees a need for restaurant owners to be better educated about traffic laws.
The idea to give the DOT enforcement power is part of legislation Councilman Jimmy Vacca is building, which would also increase the fine for biking on the sidewalk. The current fine is $100, his spokeswoman Andrea Bender told Metro.
That increased fine would apply to everyone, Bender said. They hope to present the legislation in June.