Ten Things NOT Ticketable Offenses for NYC Cyclists
Listen, I'm all for writing cyclists tickets for riding the wrong way and especially for sidewalk riding. But today's crazy news from the NY Post that a cyclist was improperly ticketed for having a bag draped over her handlebars makes even those of us who thought they had seen everything wonder. It's the latest in a long line of strange tickets such as Gothamist sharing the tale of a gal almost doored by a cop and then arrested for it and just a few weeks ago a heap of speeding(!) tickets written to Central Park cyclists being voided by the precinct themselves. We're approaching daily ticket-writing lunacy here in NYC!
After all, the only time I've come close to getting a ticket in my twenty years of bike riding was about ten years ago when an officer pulled me over and tried to write me a ticket for not wearing a helmet. I politely reminded him that no such law exists and said it was only for minors and eventually he relented. (By the way, how do you determine the dollar fine for an offense that doesn't exist?)
So perhaps the NYPD needs a quick refresher. I really don't want to see any more frivolous tickets being penned, so with David Letterman tongue-in-cheek I present Ten Things that are NOT ticketable offenses for biking in NYC:
1. Telling your bike "Looking sexy today!" while waiting for light to change
2. Failure to use deodorant
3. Ringing your bell more than three times consecutively
4. Singing "Don't Stop Believing" while riding over the Brooklyn Bridge
5. Wearing two bike helmets
6. Grinding your teeth while riding
7. Failure to signal to drivers that you have an upset stomach
8. Swerving around a dead rat in the bike lane
9. Locking your bike with dental floss
10. Daydreaming that our city could be more like Copenhagen where cyclists are accomodated on nearly every street with separated bike lanes and nearly 40% of all trips are bike. Where they're not hassled for tickets that don't make sense. Where there isn't a biased media reporting stories from a windshield perspective. Where city leaders speak glowingly of cyclists and their positive contribution to the city. Where they can ride safely with their children (and peace of mind) on streets like Prospect Park West without the threats of lawsuits taking it all away. (Whew!)
Alright, we had our fun. But this should be just the beginning. Feel free to suggest others in the comments field.