NYC Council passed a package of legislation yesterday aimed at strengthening enforcement and creating tougher safety standards for commercial bicyclists, which will help protect all New Yorkers, especially our seniors.
The first bill, Intro. 783-A, requires businesses employing commercial bicyclists to mandate that these employees take a bicycle safety course prior to their riding a bicycle on behalf of the business. The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) must also post the contents of the course on its website, which will include safe bicycle practices and the rules of the road.
The second bill, Intro. 896-A, , gives DOT the power to enforce the commercial bicycling laws, along with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), which already has this power. Better enforcement of these laws will mean safer streets for all New Yorkers.
The third bill, Intro. 683-A, requires commercial cyclists to wear reflective vests, making them easier to see and identify, especially at night, when many deliveries occur.
Finally, Intro. 910-A, will provide for tougher enforcement by setting civil penalties for any business that violate commercial bicycle laws. This includes businesses that fail to provide helmets and retro-reflective vests for their workers; that fail to provide proper bicycle and bicyclist identification; and that fail to post signs at the business site explaining the necessary laws and rules related to commercial bicyclists.
CHEKPEDS had testified at the hearings asking for more education and penalties to be levied against the business owners. We will continue its outreach to local businesses with the NYPD to educate them on the new laws and ensure they comply with it.
If you see a delivery bicyclist riding dangerously, call 311 where a new category has been created for this type of problem. Give them the name of the establishment the cyclist is affilated with. The DOT will follow up with the establishment.