Velojoy: “Get a Ticket? Beware of Unlawful $88 Surcharge”

Velojoy distills some “top line” advice on how to pay a bicycling ticket based on Vaccaro & White’s legal analysis.

Operation Safe Cycle, a two-week crackdown by the New York City Police Department on violations of the rules of the road, such as riding the wrong way and failing to yield to pedestrians, has shed light on an unlawful surcharge that you may be paying unknowingly if you receive a summons.

It’s in the amount of $88, included in the total fine, and what most people who plead guilty and pay a ticket online don’t know is that it applies to motorists, but not to cyclists. And, before you stroke out over the points that you see on the screen when you call up your ticket on the New York Department of Motor Vehicles website, know that points apply to motorists only, as well.

Steve Vaccaro of Vaccaro & White, a law firm that specializes in representing cyclists, says confusion on these topics stems from 1) information printed on the back of the ticket itself, which says that the surcharge is “mandatory” despite DMV rules that exempt cyclists and 2) the fact that the DMV’s online system is set up for motorists not bicyclists, even though the same laws apply to both.

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