To what extent should one follow the law? That’s the question raised by a pissed-off New York City bicyclist, who was ticketed for riding outside the bike lane. His argument; sometimes the bike lane isn’t the safest place to be.
First, I’d like to address this guy’s slight superiority complex. Stating “I’m doing the world a favor!” to a cop who is issuing you a summons probably isn’t going to get you out of a ticket. As a result of not riding his bike in the bike lane, the angry young YouTuber named Casey ends up with a $50 ticket. That sucks, but without knowing where or how he was riding, we’re only left with one side of the story.
However, as the rest of the video goes on to prove (in an over-the-top fashion) riding in the bike lane, at all, times, can be quite detrimental to one’s health. As it turns out though, it is not illegal to ride outside of the bike lanes. As section 4-12 of the New York City DOT paper in bicycling laws states;
Bicycle riders must use bike path/lane, if provided, except for access, safety, turns, etc
There it is, in black and white. Young Casey could have simply plead not guilty, quoted this section of the traffic law, and not had to pay $50. Instead, he made an angry YouTube video that has gotten over two million hits. That is, unless, he was actually in the wrong, and riding outside a lane when there was nothing obstructing his way.
Turns out neither the police officer, nor the cyclist, knew the law, which actually doesn’t surprise me at all. Don’t trust the po-lice, yo.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.