Massive Bike Safety Campaign Underway

DOT Plans To Go Door-To-Door

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is expanding its safety efforts with New York’s largest commercial cycling education and safety campaign to make New York City’s streets safer, the agency announced on Friday, July 13.

On Monday, July 16, the agency activated the city’s first-ever commercial cyclist outreach and enforcement unit, a six-person team of DOT inspectors who will go door-to-door on the Upper West Side providing information to hundreds of restaurants and other businesses that employ cyclists on their existing legal requirements to provide safety information and safe equipment to their delivery workers-including helmets, identifying apparel and ID numbers.

After six months, businesses that fail to comply with the commercial cycling laws may receive a violation from DOT resulting in a fine ranging from $100 to $300.

The NYPD will continue its ongoing enforcement against individual cyclists who ride on the sidewalk or against traffic, who disobey signs and signals or who do not wear a helmet, among other infractions, having given out 14,392 violations last year to cyclists-up from 3,874 in 2010.

“New Yorkers are used to getting what they want, fast, but businesses that depend on bike deliveries can’t cut corners on safety,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “Safe deliveries begin long before New Yorkers place their orders and the deliveryman grabs the bag, so we will be bringing safety information directly to business managers so that they understand that safety is literally part of their bottom line.”

According to the DOT, New York City streets have never been safer, with fatalities at their lowest levels since records were first kept in 1910. Serious bike traffic crashes have remained unchanged in the last decade even as commuter bike riding has grown four times.

DOT inspectors for the next six months will visit restaurants, stores and other businesses starting on the Upper West Side and then moving to the Upper East Side to provide the required Commercial Bicyclist Safety poster in a variety of languages, as well as brochures for workers and templates for the ID cards to be filled out by businesses. The DOT also has an ongoing program to provide free bike helmet fittings for commercial cyclists. Additionally, DOT safety education personnel will host a series of neighborhood business forums to train business owners in detail on the commercial cyclist requirements and general bicycle safety practices. At these forums some free equipment will also be distributed.

After six months of information and education, inspectors will start to issue violations to businesses that fail to comply with the commercial cycling laws, such as failing to provide their delivery cyclists with required upper body apparel bearing the business’s name or bicycle equipment such as lights or helmets; post safety posters in the workplace indicating the rules of the road for the safe operation of bicycles.

A full list of safe biking requirements is available at nyc.gov/dot. After visiting these initial areas, inspectors will move to other neighborhoods throughout the city with high numbers of delivery cyclists.

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