NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Commercial and recreational bikers beware. Jimmy Vacca, chair of the City Council Transportation Committee is promising tough new safety rules in the coming year and strict enforcement of the current ones.

1010 WINS Reporter Stan Brooks has more from Jimmy Vacca…

A 2010 report by CBS2 exposed serious flaws in the recording of bike related accidents. The report prompted the Department Of Transportation to begin recording bike related accidents as motor-vehicle accidents.

The city’s improved record keeping has paved the way for what Vacca says will be tough new policies for bike riders.

“We’ve got to make it clear that when you use a bicycle you have to go the right way on a one way street, you have to obey red lights, you have to stay off sidewalks. You have to consider motorists and pedestrians. You have to consider all users of public space in the city,” Vacca said.

As Vacca sees it, pedestrians are always right and bikers must make sure that pedestrians are always safe.

Bike rider, pedestrian, or automobile; who do you think has the right of way on the city’s streets? Let us know in our comments section below…

Comments (35)
  1. cyclistpedestrian says:

    I’ve been bicycling for more than 30 years almost daily. I’ve never hit a person or animal, but I have been hit/hospitalized by a cab running a red light. This occurred when I was paying attention only to lights and street signs: the law. Now I pay attention only to people (in vehicles, on streets, sidewalks, jaywalking, etc.) and animals, not lights and signs. I ride the ‘wrong way’ (to avoid the steepest hills, road obstacles. etc.), on sidewalks, through lights, using commonsense to survive, protect all creatures and reach my destination. This works well. I haven’t been injured nor caused injury since.

    1. Brad says:

      I have nearly been wiped out by cyclists riding on the sidewalks. If I had been an elderly person or a child I would have surely been hurt, probably seriously. If “a majority” of cyclists follow the rules it is a slim one. I see more irresponsible behavior than I do courteous, that’s for sure.

  2. nyhorn82 says:

    Remember Jimmy Vacca come election time. It’s time to give him the boot. Bike riders are voters too. Bye, bye Mr. Vacca. You have overstayed your welcome as a representative of the people.

    1. Jayne says:

      Bikers following the rules is not too much to ask. And pedestrians are NOT always right. They need to follow the rules too.

    2. james j. ruchalski says:

      I drive my bike with the same sense of responsibility I use when I drive a car. The majority of bicycles riders do the same. We don’t need to be regulated and fined.
      Vacca didn’t say anything about keeping bike lanes clear or creating more bike lanes.
      Didn’t say a word about educating drivers how to share the road with bikers or pedestrians obeying laws.
      I doubt if he “cares” about pedestrians, he sees a source of revenue and control for NYC.
      It appears to me that BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes Bends drivers are more aggressive and dangerous to the public than any bike rider – target them.

  3. Bubba says:

    does anyone but me see how stupid you yankees really are?

  4. vsk says:

    Everybody is partially right to some degree. Cyclists who have the green should be aware of pedestrians who do stupid things like crossing against the light (especially without looking guided only by their sense of entitlement). If a bike is on the sidewalk it should be ridden at a walking pace or walked to the sign post or door or wherever.
    Cyclists have to be mindful of car blind spots. You can be dead wrong or be dead right. Better to wait a minute and arrive alive. I have a problem with people just congregating in the bike lanes (that cyclists are supposed to ride in or get a ticket) they are like railroad tracks… but bikes usually make no noise. A polite warning of my approaching is taken with snotty offense by the offending peds. So I just go around. I never knocked anyone down, I don’t cut cars off, I go out of my way to stay out of the way.
    Do I pass through a light and a stop sign? Yes but I LOOK FIRST and go slow.
    I don’t like the snotty bike idiots or illiterate delivery boys either, they give us all a bad name.
    I ride 22 miles a day from Bay Ridge BK to Midtown. No issues. If I gotta yield, big deal, I’ll still get there faster in the long run, it’s only a ride to work.
    My ride is 48 – 52 minutes and the train (D + R) is an hour + walk and wait. The “Express Bus” is $11 a day if I used it. I’ll take the bike because I need the exercise and coud use the ca$h.
    You can’t legislate common sense and courtesy which is what is needed all around.

  5. DanTe says:

    I personally just body slam these idiots on bicycles. I’m hoping their heads crack when it hits cement. Always zooming by when I have the light instead of following the rules.

    1. Michael H. says:

      Sure you do.

      1. DanTe says:

        HA! Like I care what a little sh-!t like you say. I know what I do and don’t do. Go back to bed mikey.

        1. Michael H. says:

          Go back to bed? At quarter to nine in the morning? I’d love to, but unfortunately I’m already at the office.

    2. Rodin says:

      You’re a wimp….you can’t even lift 5lbs.

      1. Michael H. says:

        And you’re still a homo, I see.

        1. Michael H. says:

          Rodin, you can go ahead and ignore this comment. It was not me, although I’m sure you’re well aware of that.

          1. Nick says:

            Some turd from CBS has been imitating everybody on this site.

          2. Nick says:

            And I’m hoping that they’ll keep imitating that Dante. From some of his posts, it looks like he’s deliberately slandering people so that they will get a court order for this site to reveal his IP. The imitator’s IP should be popping up like a red light. And the turd will take the fall for the slander.

  6. Esmerelda says:

    Lots of these bikers are out of control and refuse to even be civil.
    They go on the sidewalk, zip around cars where a car can’t even see
    it coming, go the wrong way, go in the bus lane, go and come from
    any and every direction, block traffic by riding 2-3 in a row,
    just go slow in the middle lane, etc etc etcetera.
    Never mind that the bike lanes are killing small businesses.
    Bah to Bikers !

  7. Barre Flynn says:

    Could the moron from the city tell us how many bikers were run over by cars. When they get run over they get killed or seriously hurt. The rules if they are rules are stupid. A 16 year old can ride on a side walk out of control with no reprise but a 70 year old will get a ticket because they are of age. Hmmm. Personally I like to ride and am 60 and ride slow and never hit anyone. However riding in the streets even with bike lanes is really scary.

  8. S. Reh says:

    I say we use some of the city tax money to buy everyone who uses a bicycle on Manhattan streets a one-way ticket to Amsterdam.

  9. The Realist says:

    Actually, there currently are NO traffic laws relating to bikes.

    Rudy Giuliani had an on-the-record policy of NOT allowing the police to enforce any bike laws. According to one judge in a Critical Mass case, Rudy’s policy rendered those laws NULL and VOID. The City Council will have to re-enact all bike-related traffic laws before any enforcement can happen.

  10. rob says:

    Like these bikers care about pedestrians walking in there way. It doesn’t matter to them if they’re old or young, they just keep on riding through them like they’re paper dolls. Try to voice your displeasure with them is like picking a fight. Don’t waste your breath. Several people I know of already got run over by bikers. It’s like talking to a wall with them. A total waste of time.

  11. Bullett says:

    Last evening I was watching the 5 PM news. A reported was almost clipped by a speeding biker with no consideration to safety or the walking public. Question, does NYC or NY State require bikers to be insured for bodily injury? Okay Schumer, are you reading this you knuckle head?

  12. Ronny O says:

    You should NEVER say the pedestrian is always right. That to me is a statement coming out of an idiots mouth. I’m not saying bikers are not out of line because they are. But pedestrians DON’T LOOK. There are laws for pedestrians where streets are concerned. The car or bike are not always wrong when they hit an idiot pedestrian not paying attention to what they are doing because the think they always have to right of way.

    1. nyhorn82 says:

      Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. If a car hits a pedestrian they’ll probably get killed whereas if a pedestrian hits a car the driver will be fine. There’s a reason why pedestrians have the right of way. This is what you don’t understand. A car is a 2-4000 lb weapon and must be used with caution. It seems that drivers today don’t give a crap about traffic laws much less pedestrians.

      1. jayne says:

        I was on a civil jury once where the defendant was found liable because he did in fact hit someone. In the award phase of deliberations we found that the plantiff deserved no compensation because their stupidity and disregard for all traffic signals was the cause of the accident.

        Pedestrians have accountability too.

  13. Jeff Sayin says:

    Bad bad idea and wrong solution to a problem that is much smaller than some think. There is no way to enforce this in any uniform way and will end up just creating alot of unnecessary animosity and wastie NYPD’s time. Granted the bike haters will be pleased but this will be very unpopular and will discourage people from riding bikes.

    Instead, enforcement should focus on RECKLESS bikers, not eveny minor infrraction such as failing to stop at a stop sign. Bikes are not the same as cars and should not be treated the same.

    1. Nick says:

      Yes Jeff, failing to stop at stop signs and riding on the sidewalks are only Minor infractions. It’s not reckless at all. Afterall, a bike hitting a frail old person or a child is nothing. They should die off anyway, right? Dumb Sht.

      1. Jeff Sayin says:

        Nick aka Dumb Sht

        You equate failitn’ to stop a stop sign to “hitting a frail old woman or child”

        Are you as much of an idot as your post makes you out to be

        1. Michael H. says:

          Failing to stop at a stop sign or riding on the sidewalk can most definitely lead to a biker hitting a pedestrian. Traffic laws exist for a reason and bikes are subject to those laws whether you like it or not.

          1. Jeff Sayin says:

            NYC also has jaywalkin laws but nobody expects the NYPD to enforce. Just because there is a law on the books does not mean it should be there or that it should be enforced.

            And if riding on sidewalks “definitely lead to a bikier hitting pedestrians,” show me any statisitics that support your statement because it is on its face ridiculously false.

            Also, if it were true, NYC city counsel better hurry up and make it illegal for kids to ride their bikes on the sidewalks – much safer in the street with agressive drivers.

            1. NYC WATCHER says:

              Ahhhhhhh, the poor little bike riders will have to follow rules, poor babies. Got to stop at stop signs, go te right way up a one-way street, etc. STFU and obey the laws.

              1. Jeff Sayin says:

                If you want to be subservient and obey every rule a nanny state tries to impose on you, move to China I say.

                1. NYC WATCHER says:

                  B*** S***! Poor little bike rider has to follow laws like the rest of his fellow VEHICLE operators and his lame response is to liken the situation as like being in an authoritarian one-party socialist government like that of China’s! Really? I mean really? ROTFLMAO

                2. Michael H. says:

                  You’re comparing not being allowed to ride on the sidewalk and having to obey traffic laws to communist China? Are you insane? How about this…if you want to ignore the rule of law and live in a libertarian’s wet dream you should move to Somalia. See how crazy you sound?

    2. Rugbyball says:

      I agree, you crack heads on this and you will drive recreational bikers away. Do go after the dangerous & reckless riders, but don’t try and balance the city’s budget on summonses for not stopping at a stop sign or riding on sidewalk, especially since some areas are freakin dangerous for riders and the sidewalk is the only safe place.

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