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NYC Bicycle Delivery Safety Rules Take Effect

Published February 19, 2013 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

Bicycle delivery workers in New York City are getting free reflective vests and bike lights as part of a new citywide safety push.

The SaferHood initiative is intended to make city streets safer – not just for bicyclists, but for pedestrians and motorists as well. The goal is to reduce the number of New York City bicycle accidents.

Under the SaferHood program – sponsored jointly by the city’s Department of Transportation and – 1,500 commercial cyclists throughout the city will be given safety clothing, accessories and instruction.

“Safety is everyone’s business, so it’s significant when the private sector steps up to the plate in the public interest,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in a news release. “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.”

The 1,500 safety kits – containing retro-reflective vests, bike lights and bells – will be distributed at a series of eight forums in Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn. The forums are open to businesses and delivery cyclists. Question-and-answer sessions will cover new commercial bicycling laws.

View the list of upcoming forums here.

DOT previously held 17 forums from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to the Upper East Side in Manhattan. The agency plans to schedule forums in the Bronx.

This is from the NYC DOT’s news release:

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, and the agency has distributed 75,000 helmets to all New Yorkers.

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, and that they hang a bicycle safety poster for employees or face fines ranging from $100 to $250.

“In a city where food, groceries and wine can be at your doorstep in moments, we empower the neighborhood economy by equipping our merchant partners with the right tools for making safe and speedy deliveries,” said Jed Kleckner, CEO of, which connects neighborhood residents with 4,000 New York City merchants through online ordering.

In April, the city will begin enforcing the commercial bicycling rules passed by the City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg in October. In addition to the poster and clothing regulations, the rules require all delivery cyclists to complete an online safety course on traffic and commercial bicycle laws.

Get more information on the commercial bicycling rules here.

In its inspections, DOT has found that 57 percent of businesses are already complying with the poster requirement and that a growing number of delivery cyclists are wearing the appropriate equipment.

NYPD will continue to go after 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.

In addition to, businesses participating in the SaferHood program include Serafina, Gramercy Wine Cellars, S’MAC, Village Farm and Grocery, and Spice Group at Union Square.


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