[messengers] City Councilman wants to slap speedy bike messengers with license plates

Date: 26 May 2011 13:19:54 +0200
From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>


City Councilman wants to slap speedy bike messengers, food
delivery cyclists with license plates

 

BY ERIN EINHORN  

 

New York
Daily News, May 26th 2011

 

 

A City Councilman wants to slap speedy bike messengers and
food delivery cyclists - with license plates that make them easily
identifiable.

 

"Messengers and folks who work for restaurants tend to
be the worst [traffic law] offenders," said Councilman David Greenfield
(D-Brooklyn). "They have a financial incentive to be reckless drivers.
...It's the Wild West of transportation."

 

Greenfield
is introducing legislation today that would force businesses that hire cyclists
to apply for license plates for each employee's bike.

 

The companies would also have to show proof of insurance -
to cover injuries to their rider and any pedestrians they may plow over.

 

Any business that fails to acquire the city-issued tags
would face a $1,000 fine - and cops would get the green light to seize the
scofflaw bikes.

 

"License plates are the great equalizer," Greenfield insisted.
"If you have a license plate, you're responsible. Everyone knows who you
are. They know who's in charge and we can track you down."

 

License plates, he said, could someday allow cops to bust
bad bikers with red light cameras.

 

Greenfield's
proposal faces an unclear fate in the City Council - but Nancy Gruskin is
pulling for it.

 

Gruskin's husband, Stuart, was killed in midtown two years
ago by a bicycle deliveryman going the wrong way down a one-way street.

 

"A law like this is going to deter cyclists from doing
the wrong thing," said Gruskin, who founded the Stuart C. Gruskin Family
Foundation to push for bike safety and awareness. "There's going to be a
way to track what they're doing more easily."

 

A law like this might have saved her husband's life, she
said.

 

Messengers and restaurant owners say there are already
enough laws on the books - and this measure would just mean more pricey
regulations.

 

"It's not like we need more expenses," said Ghavi
Jaber, who uses bike delivery at his upper West Side
deli, Americana Food. "The situation is bad as it is. ... It has been so
hard for owners and hardworking persons to make a living in this city."

 

Bike messenger Chris (Flash) Palmer of Flash Courier Service
speculated that the law was just a ploy to stuff the city's coffers.

 

"License and insurance doesn't make someone drive a car
safer," he said. "It won't help bicycles, either."

 

Andrew Rigie of the New York State Restaurant Association
noted restaurants already have insurance to cover bike accidents.

 

"To possibly impound a bicycle will jeopardize the
livelihood of hardworking delivery people when we want them out there,
delivering food to people, making money," Rigie said.

 

Current rules require commercial riders to post information
about their employer on their bikes - and to wear clothing identifying their
employer.

 

Rigie urged the Council to instead focus on protecting
delivery riders who are often struck by vehicles and targeted by muggers.

 

 

 


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