Delivery bicyclists want to get you your food fast, because you demand speedy sustenance. But in the process a lot of them are breaking the law by riding in the wrong direction down the street, not wearing proper gear, or otherwise endangering pedestrians.

The NYPD doesn’t really enforce the rules, so some politicians are trying to find other ways to crack down.

City Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Councilman James Vacca are now trying to pass laws that empower inspectors for the city Department of Transportation to issue civil penalties against businesses that don’t educate their riders about bike safety. The DOT is also planning to enforce criminal penalties against businesses. The civil penalties are important because prosecutors often don’t feel like spending their time on small infractions. Civil violations would result in $100 fines.

Here are some of the rules businesses should be following:

“Currently, business owners who employ commercial cyclists are required to post signage informing their cyclists of the rules of the road. They are also required to provide their cyclists with apparel containing the name and phone number of the business and the cyclist’s unique identification number. In addition, owners are required to equip their cyclists with protective headgear and lights and bells for their bicycles.”

In fact, the city code has even more rules that we covered in a previous column. The DOT has already been going around to businesses on the Upper West Side to remind them of these rules.

Weigh in with your thoughts on delivery bicyclists in our poll below and in the comments:

Should police crack down on delivery guys who break bike rules?

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Photo by Malcolm Carter.

NEWS | 5 comments | permalink
    1. Crackdown on their riding on the sidewalk as well. They speed down the streets and pedestrians have to make way for them. Pedestrian mean walking people. The sidewalk is a foot path. Too many of us are forced to watch out for sidewalk bicyclists.

    2. Roman says:

      Frankly, this is becoming ridiculous, I’ve been living on UWS for 2 years, never seen this as much of a problem, occasionally they ride on sidewalks but they never cause problems. I think its a people problem, there a more than a few people who have nothing better to do but nag all day, and just make this city worse off. It’s sad that people like me are too busy working, and can’t attend these community events to voice their opinions. If you are too afraid to live in the city, move to Jersey. And if you have to nag, at the very least, nag about something worthwhile(like environment, cleanliness[why is UES cleaner, I have no idea], things that make a difference) Few days ago, I went biking in Central Park, I noticed this time Park Police stopped all the bikers at the stop light and made them wait for the light to turn green. It’s 7:00 AM, there is no one crossing the street, this is what happens when you listen to people with little to no sense. Coincidentally, one lady biker at that same intersection in Central Park, just exclaimed “This is stupid”. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more.

    3. Steven says:

      Some immigrants take pride in following the laws of the land, it’s one way for them to participate in America in a real way. Others however think that their success in America is measured by how much they can get away with, how many laws they can break. It’s a shame.

      One more thing, all of the delivery guys now ride on electric bikes which I believe are illegal here in NYC anyway. Does anyone know about the specific legal aspects relative to these electric bikes?

      • Roman says:

        Electric bikes are illegal in NYC, but the laws are not enforced, probably due to the fact the law just does not make any sense. You can hardly differentiate electrics from a regular commuter bike. Electrics are generally slower than any fit biker on a sports bike. It would be extremely stupid to ban electrics, as they are far safer than regular bikes, due to the way they are used. Any biker will tell you, that you don’t want to lose momentum, thus if one can safely go through the red light, they do. With electrics as with cars, momentum is free, as you don’t have to expend your own energy, thus you can ride safer, if those habits are encouraged.

    4. S Anderson says:

      I often worry when I’m looking for a parking space in the evening I’ll accidentally hit a delivery person with my car. At night it is difficult to see some riders when they turn corners in the wrong direction. I worry more for their safety. I would have a hard time ‘living with’ the ‘fact’ that I hurt someone.