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Daily News: Councilman Greenfield Proposes License Plates On Delivery Bikes

A City Councilman wants to slap speedy bike messengers and food delivery cyclists with license plates that make them easily identifiable.

“Messengers and folks who work for restaurants tend to be the worst [traffic law] offenders,” said Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn). “They have a financial incentive to be reckless drivers. …It’s the Wild West of transportation.”

Greenfield is introducing legislation today that would force businesses that hire cyclists to apply for license plates for each employee’s bike.

The companies would also have to show proof of insurance – to cover injuries to their rider and any pedestrians they may plow over.

Any business that fails to acquire the city-issued tags would face a $1,000 fine – and cops would get the green light to seize the scofflaw bikes.

“License plates are the great equalizer,” Greenfield insisted. “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.”

License plates, he said, could someday allow cops to bust bad bikers with red light cameras.

Greenfield’s proposal faces an unclear fate in the City Council – but Nancy Gruskin is pulling for it. Gruskin’s husband, Stuart, was killed in midtown two years ago by a bicycle deliveryman going the wrong way down a one-way street.

“A law like this is going to deter cyclists from doing the wrong thing,” said Gruskin, who founded the Stuart C. Gruskin Family Foundation to push for bike safety and awareness. “There’s going to be a way to track what they’re doing more easily.”

A law like this might have saved her husband’s life, she said.

(Source: NY Daily News / YWN Desk – NYC)

3 Responses

  1. You can kiss free lunch delivery & $6 messenger fees good bye. Once they regulate & require insurance expect the consumer to pay for it. The bike messenger is not gonna pay out of his meager salary & the restaurant is not gonna pay out of their profits. Why can’t the City government leave us alone? STOP REGULATING EVERY LAST THING!!!

  2. Does anyone have reliable information about the number of people who have been injured and killed by reckless bycyclists? It behooves Mr. Greenfield to give us an idea of the scope of this problem before he proposes a solution that may be inappropriate.

    And what, if anything, does Mr. Greenfield propose to do about 5-year-olds riding their bicycles dangerously around senior citizens? Once the bicycle messengers are licensed, will our attention turn to reckless children and their parents?

  3. Excellent idea — and mandatory licenses would be a good idea as well. These cyclists are a menace as they regularly ride on the sidewalks and against the traffic on one-way streets, run red lights and stop signs, and terrorize pedestrians. It is worth paying more for restaurant deliveries to preserve public safety.

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