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“Don’t be a jerk.”
This is what a new series of commercials from the New York City Department of Transportation is telling cyclers. They are kidding, sort of.
The commercials, meant to be funny and satirical, star celebrities breaking the laws of the road while cycling in the city. Breaking these biking laws – which are also tenets of the Bike Smart Pledge – makes these bikers “jerks” and the New Yorkers in the commercial let them know it.
The commercials were released in conjunction with Bike Month to help educate cyclers on the correct way to ride in the city in the hopes that this healthy activity can be safe for everyone.
“A nice way to put it is that we all simply need to look out for one another. To put it a little more bluntly, don’t be a jerk,” said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “It’s a simple, direct message with a wink for bicyclists to follow the rules and help make our streets safer for everyone on them.”
The commercials feature chef Mario Batali, actor and comedian John Leguizamo and model and actress Paulina Porizkova.
One ad finds Leguizamo riding on the sidewalk as people jump out of the way to avoid him before a before a boy lets him know he’s being a “jerk.” It was blunt, but it got the point across, Leguizamo listened.
Now, the DOT wants biking New Yorkers do the same.

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