New Initiative Starts With Info Campaign Before Using Fines For Enforcement

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When New Yorkers order take-out, they expect the deliveryman to bring it hot and on the dot, but the city’s Department of Transportation says that expectation is causing some businesses to become lax on safety.

In response, the DOT is launching a education and safety campaign aimed at delivery cyclists with an emphasis on the legal requirements to wear helmets, identifying apparel and ID numbers.

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“New Yorkers want everything in a New York minute, but businesses that depend on bike deliveries can’t cut corners on safety,” DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

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Sadik-Khan and City Council members made the announcement Friday at the Lenny’s sandwich shop on Columbus Avenue and 84th Street.

Starting Monday, the DOT will begin sending out a six-person team of inspectors who will provide information to restaurants on the Upper West Side about legal requirements as it relates to safety.

After six months, businesses that don’t comply with commercial cycling laws could be subject to a DOT violation, meaning fines ranging from $100-$300, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

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“These inspectors may for the first time ever issue violations to businesses that violate their safety obligations,” Sadik-Kahn told reporters.

Council Member James Vacca also emphatically stated that he wants to see businesses following the rules.

“I want commercial cyclists to wear helmets — that’s the law. I want them to wear reflective vests — that’s the law. I want bells on their bicycles — that’s the law,” he stressed.

Vacca said he was tired of getting “complaint about commercial bicyclists driving the wrong-way on one-way streets.” He and other council members are writing bills to make certain the crackdown takes place.

“New Yorkers believe they have a constitutional right to great food delivered to their door while it’s still hot – and they’re right” said Council Member Dan Garodnick. “That cannot mean that we will compromise the safety of our streets in the process.”

The DOT also said the NYPD would continue its ongoing enforcement against cyclists who ride on the sidewalk or against traffic among other infractions.

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Have you had a harrowing experience with a commercial cyclist? Please share your story in the comments section below.