BikeNYC.org

Tips, Events And Deals
Powered By NYC Bicyclists
Vaccaro and White

Ask BikeNYC

October 20 2014 by Peter Legal Question, Safety Question

Hi Peter,

Streets with heavy construction can be pretty scary to ride on, and Second Avenue on the Upper East Side is no exception. It's also understood that a long detour to the next southbound bike lane isn't too practical. That said, it's more dangerous to ride against traffic — or "salmon" — than it is to ride outside of a bike lane; plus it makes road conditions less predictable for other cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. And while you're always within your rights to contest a ticket, it seems unlikely a judge would be sympathetic. 

Regarding the fine, there should be a schedule of fees for traffic violations listed on the back of the ticket you received; if the violation you were written up for is not listed, you can assume the fine is $50 (cyclists never have to pay the $88 surcharge assessed to motorists).

If you decide to plead guilty, mail in the fine for $50 to the DMV address given on the ticket before the due date. If after receiving payment the DMV determines you owe additional money, they'll let you know and you should be granted additional time to pay the remainder.

Good luck, ride safe and please don't salmon!

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

October 24 2014 by Jeff

Hi Jeff,

"One is always on shaky ground when trying to avoid consequences for acknowledged unlawful conduct," said bike lawyer Steve Vaccaro when consulted on the issue, "and whether or not it's a mere technicality or violation of substantive right would require more info, specifically whether you were issued a criminal summons or routine traffic ticket." 

In addition to the "improper operation" charge written in the description box, there should be a legal code referenced. Please follow up in the comments section below and provide more info if possible.

Ride on, but for your own safety and others' too, always ride with the flow of traffic!

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

October 16 2014 by JT Legal Question

Hi JT,

Here's what NYC bike law expert Steve Vaccaro had to say regarding criminal summons issued to bicyclists for routine traffic violations: 

"If you want to apply a tougher interpretation of traffic laws to bicyclists than is usually applied to motorists, then you could argue that a bicyclists riding counterflow, depending on the circumstances, might be engaged in disorderly conduct or perhaps even reckless endandgerment. Some within the NYPD recognized this double standard issue, however, and recently Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey of the Central Park precinct voided criminal summons issued to cyclists for traffic violations in the park."

Regrading the appearance date error, don't assume the ticket will be thrown out, as there may be a different date entered elsewhere in the system, and ignoring the summons could result in a warrant for your arrest. You should bring the error to the attention of the criminal court indicated on the rear of the summons (NYC criminal courts generally have an information window open to the public during regular operating hours).

Good luck and ride safe!

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

October 12 2014 by Simone Safety Question

Hi Simone, 

The Hudson River Greenway is the busiest greenway in the country. While the trail-hog bikers might be taking up more than their fair share of lane, they might also be riding closer to the center to avoid pedestrians and joggers at the edges of the lane. So with so many users all sharing the same path, it's in everyone's best interest to play it safe — give folks on foot a wide berth and wait until any oncoming traffic has cleared before attempting to pass a slower moving user.

With time, you'll build confidence in safe riding and passing. Until then, err on the side of caution and everyone on the greenway will be safer.

Ride on!

October 9 2014 by Michael Safety Question

Hi Michael,

It's great that you're being considerate of other road users, but don't let that deter you from being seen — get some bright bike lights and use them.

That said, there are two simple things you can do to avoid annoying others. First, angle your lights slighty down so they're not pointed in others' eyes. Second, while flashy lights are fine and help you stay seen, avoid using rapidly flashing strobe-style lights, which can be blinding to everyone else on the road.

Visit the BikeNYC store to pick up a pair of front/rear lights for a cool five bucks. Or become a Transportation Alternatives member to get a free pair of blinky lights, along with exclusive discounts at over 150 bike shops across the city.

(Name aside, Knog's rechargeable Blinder 4 lights are also a great way to stay seen.) 

Pages

Find your answer

Ask us a question

Z
G
2
v
v
1
Enter the code without spaces.

Vertical Tabs

Subscribe to Ask BikeNYC