The Department of Transportation (DOT)has teamed up with delivery.com to equip 1,500 commercial cyclists with free retro-reflective vests, bells and bike lights. The safety kits will be distributed directly to delivery cyclists at the agency’s ongoing multi-language commercial bicyclist forums.
DOT held a series of 17 forums last year to educate business owners and delivery cyclists on bike safety laws, also giving out more than nearly 2,000 safety equipment kits. Since July, DOT’s new six-person team of inspectors also have visited 3,530 businesses that employ delivery cyclists to inform them of existing legal requirements to provide helmets, well-equipped bikes, upper body apparel such as vests and ID numbers to delivery workers.
“Safety is everyone's business, so it’s significant when the private sector steps up to the plate to make in the public interest," said Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “New Yorkers want their deliveries in a New York minute, but the businesses that employ bike riders need to be as up to speed on safety as they are on making fast deliveries.”
DOT has found 57 percent of inspected businesses already comply with the bicycle safety poster requirement, and there are a growing numbers of delivery cyclists wearing the appropriate equipment visible on New York’s streets.
Enforcement will start in April under the revised procedures passed by the city last October, which also requires that commercial bicyclist complete an online safety course that covers traffic and commercial bicycle laws.
NYPD will continue its ongoing enforcement against individual delivery cyclists who ride on the sidewalk or against traffic, who disobey signs and signals or who do not wear a helmet, among other traffic infractions.
“Our goal is to make it simple for our business partners to be successful while supporting the DOT’s objectives to keep our crowded city streets safe.” said Jed Kleckner, CEO of Delivery.com, which connects neighborhood residents with 4,000 New York City merchants through online ordering, and which operates in more than 50 cities.
A new series of eight forums are being scheduled to distribute the 1,500 safety kits and to help bring even more businesses and their delivery cyclists up to speed on safety rules. They include:
• Thursday, February 21, at 3 p.m.
Brooklyn Arts Exchange
• Tuesday, March 5, at 3 p.m.
41-17 Main Street
• Wednesday, March 13, at 3 p.m.
39-07 104th Street
For more information, and for a complete list of upcoming commercial bicycling forums, go to nyc.gov/dot.