Bicycle delivery riders are everywhere. They appear to ignore traffic rules, creating dangerous situations for drivers, pedestrians and themselves. They seldom wear helmets and ride on sidewalks or drive down one-way streets in the wrong direction. Bicycle accidents involving delivery riders are common.
The Department of Transportation is teaming up with Delivery.com to provide vests, helmets, bells and lights to 1,500 delivery riders in New York City. The city is also stepping up enforcement of existing bicycle laws and has sent inspection teams to 3,500 businesses in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The goal of both efforts: Safer streets for bicycle delivery riders.
Right now, the inspectors are as much about education as about enforcement. They explain the requirements to business owners and managers, describing required clothing and equipment, such as bells and lights. However, beginning in April, the city will begin to crack down on violators. Restaurants will be required to post bike safety rules in a prominent place; failure to do so will result in a fine of $250. Riders will need to carry identification cards with their names and the names of their employers.
The New York City Commission of Transportation, Jeanette Sadik-Kahn, said, “When it comes to safety, we mean business. Businesses that employ bike delivery people need to be up to speed on safety as they are with making speedy deliveries.”
One business owner believes that compliance with the bike safety rules will save money in the long run by reducing his insurance bills. Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen. However, the Sadik-Kahn Transportation noted that 57 percent of businesses visited during the inspection blitz had already posted the required safety notifications.
Source: CBS New York, “New York City DOT Set To Crack Down Hard On Bicycle Delivery Riders,” Jan. 31, 2013.