NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Council is slated to vote Wednesday on legislation that would ban texting and chatting on cellphones while biking.

Councilman Mark Treyger told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb that he wrote the legislation after witnessing a near disaster in his Brooklyn district.

“A bicyclist was texting while he was biking and veered into oncoming traffic on Stillwell Avenue, almost causing a multicar crash,” the Democrat said.

If the bill passes, tickets would carry a $50 fine, which could rise to $200 for repeat violations.

However, first-time offenders who do not cause an injury or property damage would be allowed to attend a safety class in lieu of the fine.

Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, which advocates for bicyclists and pedestrians, argues there are no data to suggest texting or calling while biking is a problem in the city.

“Sure, it makes common sense not to ride your bike while texting, but I don’t think it makes sense to spend precious legislative resources to chase a phantom problem,” he said.


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