Thursday, May 26, 2011

City's Cyclists Preparing Class Action Lawsuit in Response to NYPD Bike Ticket Blitz

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Bike lawyers to the rescue!
  • Bike lawyers to the rescue!

While Slopers sue the city over the Prospect Park West bike lane, cyclists are preparing a suit of their own in response to the NYPD's new efforts to enforce traffic laws for bike-riders, and a bunch of made-up rules that aren't actual laws.

Yesterday Gothamist reported that law firms Oliver and Oliver Law and Rankin & Taylor are preparing to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of ticketed cyclists within the next two months. Attorney David Rankin tells Gothamist: "We believe there's a viable claim because officers are being improperly trained and issuing tickets for violations that don't apply in NYC."

Rankin, along with colleagues Gideon Orion Oliver and Steve Vaccaro, has penned an extensive report on the bike crackdown, available on the Oliver and Oliver Law website, explaining that

we have found that NYPD’s enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists over the years has been inconsistent and in several respects deeply flawed. Cyclists can help protect themselves against arbitrary traffic law enforcement by learning the history and details

Which the document then goes on to recount quite comprehensively.

This all comes after the New York Post's celebratory report on the dramatic increase in NYPD bike ticketing: 13,843 tickets so far in 2011, up 48 percent from the 9,345 issued in the same period last year, and 3,708 for that period in 2009. How many of those are for bogus laws, though, remains unclear—and a primary concern for the class action lawsuit.

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