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Bike Bedlam: Disturbing Cyclist Trends

Hunter College Study IDs Some Of City's Biggest Offenders
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Graphic/CBS

Graphic/CBS

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – If you live in the city and you “ordered in” recently, there’s a good chance the rider who delivered your food broke the law.

Delivery riders make up an estimated 45 percent of bicycle traffic in Manhattan and there is a widespread feeling that they are among the biggest violators of the rules of the road, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reports.

Hunter College Professor Peter Tuckel has compiled some facts to backup those feelings.

Tuckel sent 60 sociology students onto the streets of Manhattan to document bicyclist behavior. Those students observed over 5,000 cyclists and found a disturbing trend.

Tuckel says the delivery riders were consistently the worst offenders of traffic rules.

“About 37 percent of the cyclists ran through the red lights, and an additional 25 percent or so paused at the red light and then continued to go through the red light,” Tuckel told Aiello.

The study also found that on streets with bike lanes, riders failed to use the lanes almost 30 percent of the time.

Bike commuter Errol Ansalone compares the trend to pedestrians who cross the street against the “do not walk” signal.

“I know it sounds horrible, but if we had to obey all the traffic laws, I would think most people wouldn’t be riding bikes,” Ansalone said.

The Hunter College study also found 17 percent of bike riders went the wrong way on one-way streets. In addition, a whopping 75 percent of nighttime bikers lacked the headlights and reflectors required from dusk to dawn – when almost half of bike fatalities occur, Aiello reports.

From proper equipment to following the rules of the road, it’s clear many New York bike riders fail to deliver what the law requires.

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