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A radical idea
26.09.07 by Buffalo Bill

This would really put the cat amongst the pigeons, wouldn’t it?

Blimey! (Thanks to Joe Hendry’s Messmedia site)

New York Bikers’ Bosses Could Get Fined

AP, September 25, 2007

NEW YORK — As a way to curb bike messengers and food delivery workers from illegally zipping along sidewalks instead of streets, the city is considering legislation that would hold their employers responsible.

City Council members Jessica Lappin and Alan Gerson introduced a bill Tuesday that would transfer the fines now imposed on riders _ between $100 and $300 per violation to the companies that send them on the deliveries.

So far this year in one police precinct within Lappin’s Manhattan council district, police have issued 1,800 summonses for bicycle violations, 200 of which were for riding on sidewalks, according to her office.

Lappin said she had received a letter from a 9-year-old girl in her district who said “we can’t take a walk without being nervous of bicycles zooming next to us.”

“For children and seniors, getting hit by a bicycle can be life threatening,” Lappin said in a statement. “Businesses have to be responsible for their bikers.”

The bill would transfer the fines for commercial bike riders to their employers; Lappin and Gerson believe this would force restaurants and messenger services to better train their workers and educate them on the city’s traffic laws.

Here’s Joe’s commentary on the inherent discrimination in these proposals:

Traffic laws should be applied equally to everyone – not by profession. All types of road users break laws and all types of road users don’t pay their fines.

If it’s a good idea for employers of messengers to be held responsible for their employees fines it should be a good idea for all traffic violators and all employers regardless of profession.

You can’t solve a problem by targeting the symptoms. If the public wants messengers to adhere to a higher standard with greater responsibilities than everyone else then the public must be willing to pay for a service like that.

And they must recognize the skill level necessary to perform that service.

The public must be willing to pay for a service that requires every messenger to be a professional messenger with professional standards. And the public must be willing to pay for system to administer and ensure those standards.

The gap between expectation of service and expectation of payment must be reconciled.

Without that, all these special laws do is discourage cycling in general.

How do police enforce these special laws? How do they prove employment?
Put this law together with the helmet law and you have law-abiding civilian cyclists forced to prove their employment to police at any time or they may or may not be subject to a search to identify that employment.

If you continue to let these special laws goes unchallenged more will follow and they will become more intrusive. What’s next – a dress code for messengers? No fixed gears or brakeless bikes for messengers?

Where does it end?

  1. we did the full cycle here in Sydney and its not a happy thing.

    find more info on out site sydbma.org


    yogi    26 September 2007, 22:50    #
  2. Looks like the Spanish Inquisition over in Sydney. Don’t let the bastards grind you down! I like this quote…

    “the city has another category of road users – pedestrians. Many pedestrians break the rules as they cross roads, and the rules they are breaking are not properly enforced either.”

    Damn straight. £103 fines for jaywalking in the CBD maybe? £50 fines for dawdling?

    — Dazzling    27 September 2007, 00:41    #
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