While Vision Zero and the pending 25 mile per hour speed limit have been in the headlines in recent weeks, the NYPD has launched Operation Safe Cycle, a campaign to remind bicyclists and those with whom they share the road to be watchful of each other and to observe all city traffic regulations.
The department on Wednesday began a two-week initiative of bicycle safety enforcement that will run through Aug. 26.
In a statement issued by its Community Affairs Bureau, the NYPD states that while bicyclists have the same rights as a motor vehicle operator, they also are bound by the same regulations under state and city laws.
A cyclist involved in a collision that results in an injury or property damage is required to stop and exchange information with the other party. If the collision results in an injury, police must be notified.
Cyclists stopped for a violation must be able to produce a photo identification when requested by police.
Violations for cyclists include disobeying traffic signs and signals; riding against traffic; riding on the sidewalk; riding without a headlight and a red tail light if riding 30 minutes after sunset; riding without at least one hand on the handlebars; clinging to a moving vehicle; carrying more passengers that the bike is designed for; and wearing more than one earphone attached to an audio device while riding.
Children under 14 may ride on the sidewalk and must wear a helmet at all times.
Cyclists are required to use bike lanes where they are available, unless the lanes are blocked or otherwise unsafe.
As for motorists, they are not permitted to obstruct marked bike lanes, and are allowed to cross over bike lanes only under limited circumstances.
Drivers also are cautioned to look for bike riders before they open their car doors; and to stay alert for cyclists emerging from their blind spots while turning, especially when operating trucks.
When a bicycle is being used for business, the riders are bound by a series of city ordinances passed last year.
The rider’s company and its identification number must appear on the bike. The operator also must wear upper-body apparel with the business name and operating number on the back.
Businesses must provide their riders with helmets. The operator must carry and be able to produce for police a numbered ID card with the operator’s picture, name, home address and phone number.
Motor-assisted bikes are no longer permitted in the city.
In regard to bicycle security, police ask that any bike being left unattended in public be securely locked to a bike rack. Chaining a bicycle to a city tree or a parking meter is illegal. Bicycles that are tripping hazards, that are blocking pedestrian traffic or thought to be derelict may be removed by the city.