No one likes getting traffic tickets, mostly because of the fines and because oh come on that light was definitely yellow/I was pulling my bike onto the sidewalk not riding on it and other reasons you did nothing wrong. Drivers at least have the option sometimes to skip a fine and go to traffic school where they pretend to learn, and soon cyclists might have that option if a new bill in front of the City Council gets passed.
According to amNewYork, Councilman Mark Treyger has proposed a bill that would give cyclists ticketed for riding on the sidewalk or texting while biking the option to take a safety class in order to avoid a fine. Currently, it’ll cost you $100 if you get caught riding on the sidewalk, and under Treyger’s bill it would be a $50 fine for the much more irritating crime of texting while biking. Of course, if this passes, you’ll still have to weigh whether $50 or $100 is worth the time you’ll spend watching a video or getting a lecture from a disinterested teacher in a class full of fellow reprobates before taking a multiple choice test like this:
IS RIDING A BIKE ON THE SIDEWALK GOOD OR BAD?
[ ] GOOD
[ ] BAD
If the City Council were really serious about getting people to stop texting while driving, maybe they should just threaten to lock offenders in a room with us for a three hour lecture on the evils of not paying attention while riding, a lecture we’ve given a couple of times and would be glad to keep giving.
And before you start weighing whether taking the class is preferable to paying a $278 fine, remember that this wouldn’t cover running a red light, so you’ll have to stick to writing angry editorials after getting that ticket.