electrical bike NYPD Tickets Crash Sufferer For Not Carrying Helmet – Streetsblog New York Metropolis
A 23-year-old bicycle owner who was injured after a reckless driver lower him off after allegedly operating a purple gentle ended up in authorized scorching water of his personal — due to inept cops who wrote him a bogus ticket for not carrying a helmet, which isn’t even unlawful.
It’s simply the newest instance of the NYPD’s incompetence and ignorance relating to street-safety points — and is a chilling warning to any sufferer who thinks about coming ahead, mentioned a lawyer who focuses on such circumstances.
“Cops issuing a summons to the sufferer of a crash is completely bogus,” mentioned Adam White of the regulation agency Vaccaro and White, which represents victims of visitors violence and is advising the sufferer on this case. “Now this child has to point out up in courtroom, has to navigate the system. Who is aware of the way it winds up? Actually, that’s what cops are doing now?”
The bicycle owner, who needs to be recognized solely as Zoltan, instructed Streetsblog that he was driving an electrical Citi Bike within the Eighth Avenue bike lane in Manhattan at about 12:30 am on Sept. 5 when the driving force ran the purple gentle and lower him off, sending him crashing to the bottom, close to twentieth Road. The bike was unrideable after getting smashed up, however Zoltan was fortunately in a position to stroll away with just some bruises.
“I stayed and waited as a result of I couldn’t take the bike wherever, my knees harm, I had some bruises on my knees, nothing loopy, gave me a limp the following day,” he mentioned.
Three Midtown South cops — two with out masks — confirmed up and appeared to care extra about the truth that Zoltan wasn’t carrying a helmet than the crash itself or whether or not the sufferer of the crash had been injured. One cop requested him why he wasn’t carrying a helmet — then cited him for violating New York State’s Vehicle and Traffic Law 381-6.
“Defendant did state he was not in possession of a helmet or carrying one whereas working a bicycle,” the practically ineligible summons says.
The regulation in query does exist, nevertheless it solely pertains to registered motor automobiles like bikes — not bicycles, and even pedal-assist electrical bicycles just like the Citi Bike Zoltan was driving.
“They got here out and gave me a summons that mentioned I’ve to go to courtroom that I didn’t have a helmet on,” he mentioned. “It appears fairly ridiculous to me, particularly because it’s not a regulation.”
Zoltan says he had a inexperienced gentle and that the driving force was dashing as he turned onto Eighth Avenue, however the police report claims in any other case, stating Zoltan went by a purple gentle. A witness instructed cops that he solely heard the crash, didn’t see it, and regarded up afterwards to see a purple gentle, based on the report, which utterly omits Zoltan’s statement that the driving force was dashing.
“It’s simply very annoying. I had the sunshine [but] based on a police report, there was somebody there who mentioned I didn’t. However the automotive was going extraordinarily quick and I hit the facet of the automotive, fortunately a lot of the harm was completed to the Citi Bike,” he mentioned.
Now, Zoltan has to point out as much as courtroom on Oct. 26 at 9:30 a.m. to plead not responsible to a regulation that isn’t even on the books.
“You’re gonna write a bogus ticket?” mentioned White. “That is what police are doing — God forbid he had been injured.”
The NYPD has a historical past of wrongly ticketing cyclists for made-up guidelines, misunderstanding vehicular legal guidelines, particularly when it includes bikers, and even blaming them for their very own deaths or accidents after crashes. And after a deadly crash, cops have focused cyclists, as a substitute of the reckless drivers.
After 20-year-old Robyn Hightman was killed by a truck driver final June, cops handed out greater than 37 percent of the summonses issued in a visitors enforcement blitz to cyclists — a shameful follow that solely additional enraged an already grieving group, and one which the NYPD had said final 12 months it could cease.
Final November, police slapped a supply bicycle owner mendacity on the ground after getting doored with a summons for driving exterior the bike lane — a legitimate ticket below sure circumstances, however not when the bike lane is blocked by a automotive, whose driver might have been ticketed. Police in the end voided the ticket.
That very same month, police brass needed to order rank-and-file cops to put in writing a ticket to a reckless driver who had hit a bicycle owner on Queens Boulevard, solely after Streetsblog and different shops alerted headquarters to a viral video that confirmed that responding officers had behaved poorly.
And one sufferer of visitors violence penned an op-ed in Streetsblog final summer season expressing how unsurprised he was by cops’ poor therapy in the direction of the sufferer of a road-rage incident after his personal expertise with attempting to get police to take his crash critically.
It’s fairly frequent in a metropolis the place cops have long been accused of not treating cyclists fairly.
The NYPD declined to remark for this story. Up to now, when Streetsblog has inquired, police commissioners say that their officers deal with everybody pretty — although they will’t make certain one hundred pc of the time.
“I don’t learn about whether or not all 36,000 cops love bicycles. I do know one,” then Police Commissioner James O’Neill mentioned final 12 months, referring to himself.
[Full disclosure: The law firm of Vaccaro & White is one of Streetsblog’s few advertisers.]