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Rant - $270 fine for running a red light on a bike, really??? - Page 2 — Brooklynian

Rant - $270 fine for running a red light on a bike, really???



  • I saw a mother (who had a bike trailer with her kid in it) run a read light and almost collide with another mother who was pushing a stroller. This was Washington and Crown. Bikers seem to cruise through this like without stopping.
  • edited August 2014
    @Esperanza, I see more cars roll through red lights without looking then bikes who don't look and roll through. What you saw is the RARE exception to the rule. Many cyclists perform what's known as the Idaho stop at red lights. Which is you slow down or stop and look and proceed treating them as yield or stop signs based on the intersection. Many believe this lessens their risk of getting hooked at intersections, or run over when the car behind you sees green and throws the pedal down to reach the next light before it goes red. Many cyclists also come to complete stops and wait for green.  
  • edited August 2014
    I do like that you made a typo in your spelling of "lessens".

    You've just caused me to imagine a big cop stating "We will lesson your risk with a ticket".  

  • edited August 2014
    Unfortunately, past experience proves the NYPD's ticking blitz on cyclists does nothing to reduce any risk to anyone. In Fact it might make things worse by diverting enforcement resources away from the real killers on our streets. Oh.... wait, sorry drivers never kill anyone it's always the pedestrian's or cyclist's fault. 

    @whynot_31 Typo fixed.
  • edited August 2014
    Too late, you made me smile.

    Bikers often make me smile with their belief that enforcement should be tied to risk.

    It is as if they are arguing with an opponent that is rarely seen: One which thinks bikers are as dangerous as a motor vehicle.

    It is as if they can't see the real reason the police are being told to ticket bikers who break the law: Their inconsiderate behavior impacts the quality of life of others. littering, people who don't pick up after their dogs etc.

    The only real difference is that bikers are pretty easy to catch.

    It is amusing to watch them not figure it out. Listening to bikers complain about life at Transportation Alternatives events is often awesome in this regard.
  • edited August 2014
    Well if I made you smile.

    Whynot as someone who usually has such a firm grasp on what's going it pains me that you're so wrong in this case. I hear time and time again cyclists are jerks argument online. Yet no one other then the occasional car driver, usually cabbie, or jay walker states this to my face. I doubt you would state this to my face. It's an argument based on emotion expressed only via a keyboard and unbacked by anything. How do we negatively impact anyone's life? How do we effect anyone else's quality of life at all? Well other then forcing jaywalkers to look up as they cross midblock? Or reducing the number of commuters omitting greenhouse gases? Are we falling back on old crutches of they pass to close or they all blow red lights? Its been proven that cyclists don't pass as closely as some pedestrians believe and many more stop at redlights then commonly believed.

    As for TA meetings I find sad that you view matters of literal life and death as mere sitcoms for your enjoyment.

    At least you acknowledge the purpose of this crackdown as only going after wasy targets.

    Unfortunately several on this board have refused to acknowledge there is anything wrong with pedestrians and cyclists getting killed. Some have actually condoned killings by engaging in victim blaming. So yes in their mind bicycles are more dangerous then cars.
  • I for one am glad cops are ticketing bicyclists who run red lights, as they should cars as well. As someone who is legally blind, lives near a major biking thoroughfare, I live in fear of being hit by a cyclist running a red light. It happens near me all the freaking time. A dozen years ago I was hit by a car (with stolen plates, as it turned out) who misjudged the turn onto this thoroughfare and I have lived with the life-altering consequences ever since. Two major back surgeries, debilitating daily pain and now I am trying to stave off a hip replacement. All of this debilitating musculoskeletal stuff started when I was hit, and it would be exacerbated if I were hit by a cyclist, as a friend of mine was. There is no f-ing excuse for running red lights - why should bicyclers not be any less beholden to the law than the rest of us are?
  • edited August 2014
    I work in midtown, and watch the bikers yell and blow whistles at peds who have the light everyday.

    Once and a while they hit a ped.

    I saw this devolve into a fight once: A biker hit a ped, ped and biker were knocked over, then the ped's friend threw the bike into traffic to prevent the escape of the biker, and both kicked the biker several times. The police were not involved.

    Peds are usually not going to engage in such rage, so they enlist the police for the occasional crackdown and then smile at all of the tickets that are announced to appease us at the end of the crackdown.
  • Wow, street justice for the biker. I've never heard of that happening. How long ago did this altercation happen?
  • This was in 2012, at the intersection of 8th and approximately 37th. The cubicle workers were on their lunch break, and none of them helped.

    Note: I don't sanction such violence.

    My preferences can be ranked roughly as follows:

    1. Bikers obey the law (many already do).

    2. The populace enlist the police to crack down on bikers who break the law.

    The problems really arise during #2. The police tend to use such crackdowns as carte blanche to ticket people merely on a bike, regardless of whether they are breaking the law. This allows the police to amass huge numbers of tickets, which makes the peds happy, and allows the police to return to do tasks they enjoy more than ticketing bikers.

    Every few months, the cycle repeats.

    I expect it will continue until bikers have more power than car drivers and peds, and/or somehow stop their fellow bikers from breaking the law.

    I don't see either as happening. Ever.
  • Thanks for the info. Thought it something like this would've happened in the Giuliani or Knoch days:)
  • edited August 2014
    I am working on a theory that the police are also cracking down on bikers because two of their favorite local targets (squeegee men and water sellers) are presently off limits in light of national events re: police interactions with "poor, dark people" said to be breaking minor laws.

    Although still in the formation stage, this theory may provide me with yet another reason why I am not opposed to the biker crackdown:

    For the next two weeks, it gives the police something relatively non disruptive to do.

  • edited August 2014
    Woah! Whynot condoning assault and destruction of property! Glad you and Esperanza are being open about it at least. Oh wait actually you don't but we need to police ourselves.

    How about you guys focus on making killers I.e. car drivers obey the law huh? Why do people always moan about cyclists needing to make cyclists obey the law. Why don't pedestrians feel the need to make jay walkers obey the law? 8th Ave is a horrible bike lane. People use it for parking and as a sidewalk. Actually I've never seen as many cyclists pedestrian conflicts as i see in midtown. And you know what causes it? Jay walking. Its an epidemic there. But yeah your right I'll go after all cyclists who break the law. Cause apparently cyclists are supposed to police each other now. Why we're at it maybe we should bring back the lynch mob?

    Non disruptive? What plant are you living on? Their blocking lanes of traffic intimidating law abiding members of the public. How the hell is that non disruptive?
  • edited August 2014
    I have no expectation of bikers being able to police themselves; They have little in common with each other and lack the tools necessary to create and enforce norms.

    Clearly, you have not been watching current mass media. At the moment, the police need some easy wins. They need to show that they are willing to appease the masses by issuing a bunch of tickets to fruits that are slightly higher up the tree. Bikers win!

    Don't worry, once this crackdown is over, the police will soon go back to the low hanging fruit of the criminal justice system.

    Until then, bikers should avoid the police if at all possible. It shouldn't be hard to out smart the police over the next few weeks.

    If you don't think you can do it, buy a subway pass or take taxis.
  • edited August 2014
    Bikers are taking on a larger force, and -as a result- should remember the principles of Guerilla Warfare:

    The enemy advances, we retreat.
    The enemy camps, we harass.
    The enemy tires, we attack.
    The enemy retreats, we pursue."the enemy advances, we retreat" guerrilla war&pg=PT380#v=onepage&q="the enemy advances, we retreat" guerrilla war&f=false

    I wish bikers the best. I give them the following advice: Retreat.
  • Since the original crackdown on cyclist red light running last year, I've noted a distinct increase in the number of cyclists obeying the signals even when there is no traffic at the intersection.

    I am not one of them.  If there is no pedestrian or auto traffic crossing, I will proceed through red lights with caution.

    I apologize for nothing.
  • edited August 2014
    @whynot_31 I have been watching mass media. I see the usual stories of police brutality, encroachment on what little civil rights we have managed to hold on to, and the usual incompetence and corruption that defines the NYPD. In other words the status quo they just happened to kill someone during the normal status quo. I'm not sure this is a smoke screen. A couple weeks ago we had a crackdown on cars. Well actually the term crackdown might be misleading since they were very sporadic and half hearted in their enforcement. 

    There are reports of unmarked cars being used in this oppressive waste of resources. That makes picking out cops bullies a tad harder. I'm just waiting for them to knock another cyclist onto the ground during the course of giving her a ticket. Perhaps they'll put one of us in a chokehold. Or maybe they'll just beat that person. I'm sure some will cheer. 

    @eastbloc Goodman! Keep on pedaling.

    The NYPD is blocking bike lanes to increase cyclists safety! Because the law! 
  • I am working on a theory that the police are also cracking down on bikers because two of their favorite local targets (squeegee men and water sellers) are presently off limits in light of national events re: police interactions with "poor, dark people" said to be breaking minor laws.  
    What laws would those be?

    I'm not going to lie; I've patronized the water sellers in the vicinity of Empire Boulevard and Flatbush Avenue on a hot day. 
  • eastbloc-

    I am also with you.

    However, I don't think anyone is asking an apology or expecting a biker to do things that are not in their best interests.

    The only question is "Over the next two weeks, how many bikers will think something was in their best interests, only to realize it was not?"
  • edited August 2014
    @mugofmead111 -
    The key words are "said to be". Guys selling loosies and water are usually charged with vending without a license, or some such offense.

    ...and I believe most are released from jail after around 23 hours.

    During the next few weeks, the bikers are just going to get fines.
  • @whynot_31 Someone is going to get hurt when they are thrown from their bike. That always happens during these crack downs ALWAYS.
  • edited August 2014
    Yup. Seems to happen whenever there is a crackdown of any quality of life offense.
  • Btw, cyclist killed someone in the park today:

    Accidents happen. No charges have been filed.
  • edited August 2014
    Btw, cyclist killed someone in the park today:

    Accidents happen. No charges have been filed.
    Sad story. His wife's public statement was amazing; such grace. She and her husband have been cyclists and strong TransAlt supporters.

    Thank God cyclists kill such an extremely small number of people compared to the scores of lives car drivers destroy in this city every year. (Not to mention doing far less to pollute the city, destroy property, stress infrastructure and government budgets, etc., etc., etc.)

    Car drivers do this in the city nearly every single day. This was news enough for you to note, whynot, b/c it's so very rare.
  • edited August 2014
    I don't think anyone is stating incidents in which a biker kills a ped is common.

    I am just glad the biker wasn't charged with any offense. I would hate for the police to make an example of someone who hit a pedestrian and allege criminality when they don't believe there is any.

    Likewise, I am glad this old guy was not hit by a car; cars are more deadly than bikes, and he would be even more dead.
  • edited August 2014
    I am just glad the biker wasn't charged with any offense. I would hate for the police to make an example of someone who hit a pedestrian and allege criminality when they don't believe there is any.
    I would hope they very seriously investigate the situation and not assume it was just an accident. But, yeah, it's very difficult to prove intentionality in the cases of moving vehicles killing people. We can really only address the end result and act accordingly, focusing preventative efforts on targets in proportion to the death and destruction they cause.

    No need to make examples of people where criminal intent can't be proven. Just aggressively work to reduce the ability for people to unintentionally kill people and destroy things with any kind of deadly machinery or weapons; as we do with guns in this city. People who wish to equate annoyance with potentially and often deadly behavior should be marginalized; as we should with the NRA.
    Likewise, I am glad this old guy was not hit by a car; cars are more deadly than bikes, and he would be even more dead.
  • edited August 2014
    But kinda basic.

    When one thinks about it, it would be amazing if bike - ped accidents killed more peds than car - ped ones: There are more cars, they are larger and they travel at higher speeds.

    Seems weird that Bike advocates talk so much about this.
  • I'm going to chime in here.  I am very much in agreement that bike rider need to be ticketed for running red lights, turning without using hand signals, and riding on the sidewalk.

    That does not mean that I don't want the same thing for drivers and pedestrians!  I want EVERYONE to be ticketed until they follow the laws.  It drives me insane when people walk out to cross the street without even looking and they don't have the light.  It's dangerous and selfish.  Same with cars.  Same with bikes.

    Instead of saying "well, cars are the deadly ones so we should only ticket them"  why not just think "well, cars, bikes, and pedestrians have to share this space and so all should be ticketed to protect people's lives"?

    Every time I'm standing at a "Don't Walk" sign and some pedestrian comes speeding from behind me and walks out into the street my first thought is:  "Vision Zero"?  More like "Vision:  Zero Assholes".  Want to be a dick and walk out into traffic?  You deserve to be hit and that car shouldn't be held accountable.  Any time a cyclist comes barreling through a crosswalk as people cross the street, again it's "Vision:  Zero Assholes" and I picture that cyclist getting dragged on his bike by the 6 people he/she almost ran over.  Same with drivers.  ALL are dangerous - whether it's to their own lives or other people's lives.  Either way - FOLLOW THE LAW.
  • See, I think of this differently, and perhaps its because I was raised here. I think every person should accept responsibility for their actions. If you are standing in the middle of the street, understand a car might hit you. If you drive through a red light don't get pissed when you get ticketed, and if you ride your bike in places that aren't bike friendly don't expect everyone around you is going to give a damn about your safety.
  • edited August 2014
    @homeowner we've been over this. Your idea of bike friendly is bike lanes only.

    @xlizellx please see my post describing how most NYC cyclists perform a variation of the idaho stoop.