New York City officials are currently preparing to crack down on commercial bicycle delivery riders who violate regulations in a variety of ways. However, safety advocates hope that officials will pay equal or greater attention to the aggressive crosswalk culture that inspires most bicycle accidents in the first place.
Officials have committed themselves to an enforcement crackdown on delivery bicycle riders who ride unsafely; do not wear helmets and who violate other city regulations related to the trade. This action was inspired by a high volume of complaints received by the city on behalf of pedestrians and motorists concerned with commercial delivery bicyclist behavior.
It is worth noting however that while NYC has made great strides in recent years to become more bicycle friendly, many delivery bicyclists feel like they must ride aggressively simply to remain as safe as possible. Certainly, it makes sense to cite a delivery bicyclist for a required helmet infraction. But does it truly make sense to cite bicyclists for riding aggressively, when failure to do so can leave them vulnerable to being hit by aggressive drivers?
Taxi drivers, bus drivers and motorists all jostle for room on crowded city streets. When the streets overflow with vehicles, bicyclists are left vulnerable to accidents at the hands of distracted, drunk, drowsy and aggressive motorists. This bicycle safety regulation crackdown may be one necessary step in working towards safer NYC streets, but it is only one step. The rest of the journey will hinge upon motorists respecting the right of bicyclists to share the road.
Source: CBS New York, “New York City DOT Set To Crack Down Hard On Bicycle Delivery Riders,” Jan. 31, 2013