Since the NYPD began its effort to enforce traffic laws for cyclists began earlier this year, the cops have been so enthusiastic that they’ve regularly issued tickets and made arrests for things that are not illegal, and Streetsblog figured out one of the reasons why: a cop-circulated bike law cheat sheet includes three state laws that don’t apply in New York City.
- Image via Streetsblog, PDF here.
As previously noted, the law that cyclists must ride in bike lanes does not apply in New York City, where a number of scenarios allow riders to go into automobile traffic lanes even when there’s a dedicated bike lane. That, and the two other laws highlighted in the image above—from a cheat sheet whose provenance and and distribution within the NYPD remains unknown—are part of a section of the state traffic laws that New York City has long-since sought and obtained the authority to supersede.
While it’s a bit confusing that VTL 1234 doesn’t apply in New York City — you have to look in an entirely different legal code to find that out — the NYPD is intimately aware of which rules they can enforce in this case.
The inclusion of an invalid law on the NYPD’s cheat sheet suggests that the bike blitz isn’t so much about enforcing the law, right or wrong, but an intentional campaign to make life more difficult for cyclists.
Sounds about right.