NYPD Tickets Crash Sufferer For Not Carrying Helmet – Streetsblog New York Metropolis
A 23-year-old bicycle owner who was injured after a reckless driver reduce him off after allegedly working a pink mild ended up in authorized scorching water of his personal — because of inept cops who wrote him a bogus ticket for not sporting a helmet, which isn’t even unlawful.
It’s simply the newest instance of the NYPD’s incompetence and ignorance relating to street-safety points — and is a chilling warning to any sufferer who thinks about coming ahead, mentioned a lawyer who focuses on such instances.
“Cops issuing a summons to the sufferer of a crash is completely bogus,” mentioned Adam White of the legislation agency Vaccaro and White, which represents victims of site visitors violence and is advising the sufferer on this case. “Now this child has to indicate up in court docket, has to navigate the system. Who is aware of the way it winds up? Actually, that’s what cops are doing now?”
The bicycle owner, who needs to be recognized solely as Zoltan, advised Streetsblog that he was using an electrical Citi Bike within the Eighth Avenue bike lane in Manhattan at about 12:30 am on Sept. 5 when the motive force ran the pink mild and reduce him off, sending him crashing to the bottom, close to twentieth Road. The bike was unrideable after getting smashed up, however Zoltan was fortunately in a position to stroll away with just some bruises.
“I stayed and waited as a result of I couldn’t take the bike anyplace, my knees harm, I had some bruises on my knees, nothing loopy, gave me a limp the following day,” he mentioned.
Three Midtown South cops — two with out masks — confirmed up and appeared to care extra about the truth that Zoltan wasn’t sporting a helmet than the crash itself or whether or not the sufferer of the crash had been injured. One cop requested him why he wasn’t sporting a helmet — then cited him for violating New York State’s Vehicle and Traffic Law 381-6.
“Defendant did state he was not in possession of a helmet or sporting one whereas working a bicycle,” the practically ineligible summons says.
The legislation in query does exist, nevertheless it solely pertains to registered motor automobiles like bikes — not bicycles, and even pedal-assist electrical bicycles just like the Citi Bike Zoltan was using.
“They got here out and gave me a summons that mentioned I’ve to go to court docket that I didn’t have a helmet on,” he mentioned. “It appears fairly ridiculous to me, particularly because it’s not a legislation.”
Zoltan says he had a inexperienced mild and that the motive force was rushing as he turned onto Eighth Avenue, however the police report claims in any other case, stating Zoltan went by means of a pink mild. A witness advised cops that he solely heard the crash, didn’t see it, and appeared up afterwards to see a pink mild, in response to the report, which fully omits Zoltan’s commentary that the motive force was rushing.
“It’s simply very annoying. I had the sunshine [but] in response to a police report, there was somebody there who mentioned I didn’t. However the automotive was going extraordinarily quick and I hit the facet of the automotive, fortunately a lot of the injury was achieved to the Citi Bike,” he mentioned.
Now, Zoltan has to indicate as much as court docket on Oct. 26 at 9:30 a.m. to plead not responsible to a legislation that isn’t even on the books.
“You’re gonna write a bogus ticket?” mentioned White. “That is what police are doing — God forbid he had been injured.”
The NYPD has a historical past of wrongly ticketing cyclists for made-up guidelines, misunderstanding vehicular legal guidelines, particularly when it entails bikers, and even blaming them for their very own deaths or accidents after crashes. And after a deadly crash, cops have focused cyclists, as a substitute of the reckless drivers.
After 20-year-old Robyn Hightman was killed by a truck driver final June, cops handed out greater than 37 percent of the summonses issued in a site visitors enforcement blitz to cyclists — a shameful apply that solely additional enraged an already grieving group, and one which the NYPD had said final 12 months it might cease.
Final November, police slapped a supply bicycle owner mendacity on the ground after getting doored with a summons for using outdoors the bike lane — a legitimate ticket beneath sure circumstances, however not when the bike lane is blocked by a automotive, whose driver might have been ticketed. Police finally voided the ticket.
That very same month, police brass needed to order rank-and-file cops to write down a ticket to a reckless driver who had hit a bicycle owner on Queens Boulevard, solely after Streetsblog and different retailers alerted headquarters to a viral video that confirmed that responding officers had behaved poorly.
And one sufferer of site visitors violence penned an op-ed in Streetsblog final summer season expressing how unsurprised he was by cops’ poor therapy in the direction of the sufferer of a road-rage incident after his personal expertise with attempting to get police to take his crash severely.
It’s fairly widespread in a metropolis the place cops have long been accused of not treating cyclists fairly.
The NYPD declined to remark for this story. Up to now, when Streetsblog has inquired, police commissioners say that their officers deal with everybody pretty — although they’ll’t be certain 100% of the time.
“I don’t learn about whether or not all 36,000 cops love bicycles. I do know one,” then Police Commissioner James O’Neill mentioned final 12 months, referring to himself.
[Full disclosure: The law firm of Vaccaro & White is one of Streetsblog’s few advertisers.]