Today WNYC reported that the “cycling crackdown” of 2011 has mellowed into a “slightly kinder and gentler” pattern of “more focused” enforcement on the part of the NYPD. Tell that to this Brooklyn cyclist, who recently received three tickets for running red lights and a ticket for wearing headphones totaling $1,555.
“The point [of the increase in fines] is to harshly punish recidivists,” attorney Steve Vaccaro says. “But a person who goes through three reds in a row is not really a recidivist.” (This is a recidivist.) Vaccaro says that while cops can follow motorists and cyclists for as long as they like, racking up numerous infractions, “this kind of following almost never happens with motorists, but happens surprisingly often with cyclists.”
“Many traffic court judges will treat multiple violations issued this way as ‘double-dipping’ and dismiss some of the duplicative charges,” Vaccaro adds. When asked if cyclists should think twice before pleading guilty to multiple citations of the same law, Vaccaro replies, “Yes.”
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