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How to handle delivery cyclist

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9 replies [Last post]
jegrgic's picture
jegrgic
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Joined: Jun 4 2011

I have been debating this for a while and the more i think about it the more proactive i want to be.

 

As most of you on hear have experienced, delivery cyclist violate two laws 1) they ride motorized bikes (aka motorcycles) 2. they ride the wrong way on streets/bike lanes.

When i see this, i want to just go over to the person and try to give them some common sense.  But typically, i just do my best to avoid them (usually by going into traffic) and swear under my breath while shaking my head.

 

This is one area where I feel the NYPD is turning a blind eye when in reality it should not (yes i understand the red light debate).  By having the NYPD ignore this, it is encouraging delivery cyclist to continue the bad habit and jeopardizing the safely and lives of them, other cyclists and pedestrians.  

 

To get to my point, should we (responsible cyclist) stop getting out of thier way and try stopping delivery drivers from going the wrong way?  The idea is, if enough of us make it a concern, then hopefully this will discourage the activity.  I am not advocating anger or violence, but instead, when you see a cyclist going the wrong way towards you, to stop and put your arm out to stop them and try to talk some common sense into them.  

 

I would like to hear your views and opinions on this topic.

 

Thanks

EMarks's picture
EMarks
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Joined: Nov 4 2010
3) They ride on the sidewalk.

I whistle, and yell HEY, RIDE IN THE STREET! RIDE IN THE STREET!

Haven't figured out what to do about the salmon yet.  

April's picture
April
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Joined: May 11 2011
Stop in their way. Force them

Stop in their way. Force them to either go into traffic or stop to let you pass, SLOWLY.

Delivery guys are on time pressure. Anything that slow them down will make them go a different way. If salmoning against a group of cyclists ended up with them walking, they'll swing around and ride on the next street, going the right way!

Though to be honest, I think we're actually out-numbered by delivery cyclists.

TMantione's picture
TMantione
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a big problem

I agree w/ the O.P. The wrong way willies are a huge problem ... Many ,many times I yell and shout ."Wrong way " .. I 'm not sure they understand me or even care . Often I have to swerve out of the way last minute .With all the  distractations to watch for on the bike lane .. sometimes wrong way Willies pop up unexpected .. Q :  I wonder what would happen if by "chance " we were to collide and both of us landed on the ground and suffered some injuries or damage to property .. Would then a police report need to be filed and possible the store hiring the delivery person be liable ..  ??  enough of these incidents might cause businesses to think twice or even the delivery cyclists would have to think twice before going the wrong way again .. Since the police will not enforce the law , ( often I ask a cop .. " that guy is going the wrong way " ..the reply , "he's working trying to make a living " .. !! what .. how about  me I'm just trying to get home from my living . If this logic is followed .. what about cabs , they are working also .. let's let them go the wrong way or blow traffic lights .. !! also ,in addition to being dangerous , they are  certainly not making things better with relations to the public who already have negative views of cyclists in general ..

Tony

MGewirtz's picture
MGewirtz
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Enforcing the law

While I agree that it might seem satisfying to take matters into one's own hands and take some kind of corrective action - persuasive or otherwise - against cyclists who disobey the law, I would suggest that confronting anyone is a poor choice.  First, you never know just who you are confronting and weather they will react in an unexpectedly aggresive manner which would put you in danger.  Second, if you take any action which unexpectedly results in injury to the person you are confronting you might find yourself needing legal assistance in a civil or criminal action.  In essence, this is a political problem that must be dealt with by educating and persuading the political class that there are voters out there who demand that action be taken to enforce the law in a sensible manner.  For example, while it may get some headlines to ticket riders for any kind of infraction, it does not do anything for public safety in the long run to target minor offenders who are not posing a danger to the greater community.  Scarce law enforcement resources should be deployed against people who are committing the more dangerous offenses.  There is nothing terribly unusual about this.  However, the politicians do not always know, or care to know exactly what needs to be fixed.  They tend to respond to public pressure in a manner that will win them the most votes and recognition.  Right now they seem to think that the public wants and needs to be protected from people who run red ights in the park and some other areas, when the fact is that many people who run red lights do so carefully in situations where they do not endanger others.  The real danger to the public is from cyclists who recklessly break the law and do so in a way that is really dangerous.  I think it is our job as bicycle enthusiasts to join with community, pedestrian and other groups to educate everyone to the really important issues and then work together to push the politicians for stringent enforcement of the laws that would really protect the entire community.  This is very much a political issue that is best solved by bringing political pressure on our elected officials.  It will be hard work and it will not happen overnignt. but it can and should be done.

jegrgic's picture
jegrgic
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MGewirtz, I agree with you.

MGewirtz,

 

I agree with you.  I am a volunteer with BNY and in the process of becoming an LCI from the LAB.  I am not encouraging physical actions of any kind. 

 

You do bring up an interesting point about civil lawsuits, that another poster has mentioned, if i do get hit by one who is going the wrong way, who pays for my medical bills and damages?

MGewirtz's picture
MGewirtz
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Damages

If you are injured by someone who is breaking the law, or acting in a negligent manner, you should be entitled to damages.  However, in order to collect you must be able to identify the person who injured you, and that person must have assets or insurance.  If they work for someone, and you can show that the employer was aware or should have been aware of the behavior in question, you could go against the employer.  However, the employers will contend that they were unaware of the behavior, or that the person who injured you was merely an independent contractor not under his control.  Then it gets a little more complicated and it is a question of proof.  I would certainly argue that a business that uses a delivery person who is operating an unlicensed motor vehicle (electric bike) should be held accountable, but again proof is always the burden you have to meet as a plaintiff.  I would also look to see if New York has a victim compensation law ( I think there may be something-but it is beyond my knowledge).  Also, if you have insurance you should check and make sure you have adequate coverage against uninsured or underinsured motorists, which might cover electric bikes-I don't know if bicycles would be covered.  In the final analysis,however, dangerous behavior will only be reduced if the politicians are forced ot compel the police to do an adequate job of going after these people and enforcing the law.

Stack Bicycles's picture
Stack Bicycles
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Joined: Sep 27 2011
A response(s) from Stack Exchange

jegrgic - I found your question interesting and took it to Bicycles.StackExchange, where I am employed.

The query got a number of interesting responses, none of which settle the matter. Perhaps the best, albeit somewhat sarcastic, response:

Ring your bell.:-)

Let me know if there are any other bike questions here I can take to our users.

jegrgic's picture
jegrgic
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Stack Bicycles,I read some of

Stack Bicycles,

I read some of the response on your site, It seems to be three trains of thought.  no harm no foul, yell/bell, be proactice.  I must disagree with the no harm no foul, cause when there is harm, its typically serious and life threatening (ie swerving into traffic to avoid a salmon).  The yell/bell method seems to be ignored as whenever i yell, youre going the wrong way, get out, i still typically find myself swerving into traffic as they seem to either not understand english, or ignore my warning.  I am hoping that by being proactive, some change in culture can be made.  What is really frustrating, is if there is a collision due to salmons, then chances are it will be my burden of proof of what happened, and ill probably have to pay for medical/property damages.  

 

Stack Bicycles's picture
Stack Bicycles
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jegrgic,I don't necessarily

jegrgic,

I don't necessarily disagree with you - I'm a New Yorker (I've lived here 5 years, that's enough, no?) and I agree that confrontation - respectful confrontation - can be productive. NEW YAWK. But maybe what works in NYC doesn't work worldwide? Stack Exchange is international - many of our users aren't familiar with the term "salmon." I suppose there's no "most right" answer, but in my opinion, in an ideal world cops would hold back ticketing guys who too often runs reds (me), and instead ticket upstreamers, especially if they're on motorized vehicles, and especially especially if they're dangling bulky bags of hot food from the handlebars.