Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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City councilman peddling license plates for bike messengers

Walk down any busy street in New York City and you will more than likely see bike messengers or food delivery cyclists weaving their way through traffic in a rather hurried manner. While time is understandably of the essence for many of these cyclists, their no-nonsense approach to navigating the Big Apple's congested streets has done little to earn them the goodwill of either motorists or pedestrians.

In fact, you can now add politicians to this list, as a City Councilman has officially introduced legislation that will make it easier to identify bike messengers/food delivery cyclists and ticket them for traffic violations.

Specifically, Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) has introduced legislation that would require all employers utilizing cycling services to apply for license plates for every bike they use and also submit proof of insurance.

"License plates are the great equalizer," said Greenfield. "If you have a license plate, you're responsible. Everyone knows who you are. They know who's in charge and we can track you down."

Currently, all bike messengers and food delivery cyclists are required by law to label their bikes and wear clothing identifying their employer.

Those businesses that fail to abide by the rule would face a fine of $1,000. More significantly, police officers would also be given the authority to seize the bikes in question.

While the fate of the bike license plate legislation has yet to be determined, it has already proven unpopular among business owners.

"It's not like we need more expenses," said Ghavi Jaber, a deli owner who utilizes the services of food delivery cyclists. "The situation is bad as it is ... It has been so hard for owners and hardworking persons to make a living in this city.

Bikers are also understandably less than pleased with the measure, calling it unnecessary.

"License and insurance doesn't make someone drive a car safer," said Chris Palmer, a New York City bike messenger. "It won't help bicycles, either."

Stay tuned for further developments on this story from our New York traffic law blog ...

If you have been issued a traffic violation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Related Resources:

Councilman: Get license plates on delivery bikes (The New York Daily News)

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