WWLTV - What are the bicycle laws in New Orleans?
Wednesday, Jun 27, 2018
Author: Jacqueline Quynh
Published: 6:35 PM CDT June 27, 2018
Updated: 6:45 PM CDT June 27, 2018
Eyewitness News’ story of a bicyclist getting fined $920 first came out Tuesday night, and many are asking what other laws do cyclists need to pay attention to, and why are they so high?
“Why are biking violations adding up to double, triple, quadruple of some driving violations?” Robert Henig Bell, a campaign organizer with Bike Easy asked.
Bike Easy is a cycling advocacy group.
“It’s incredibly hard to register your bike with the NOPD, you have to have it notarized, it has to be certified, $3 payment, they won’t accept cash,” he explained.
Bell thinks the city needs to do more to educate the public when it comes to bicycle laws before waging such hefty fines.
“I didn’t know it was a requirement to have your bike registered,” Ashley Lang said.
Lang is a bicyclist, and since hearing about the story, she’s concerned with a new bike she just bought.
“The serial number I was told was right here, but I can’t find it,” she pointed towards the frame of an old Schwinn Cruiser.
NOPD encourages registering bikes so they can be recovered if stolen but that’s not always easy with older bikes like the Cruiser. Lang bought hers from a man on Bourbon Street for $20.
“I heard that this particular brand is very expensive and I knew that potentially this bike belonged to someone, so my hopes were to buy it and find the rightful owner,” Lang said.
She’s posted a photo of it in the Facebook group, Stolen Bikes NOLA, to spread the word.
Certainly, many can agree registration is important, but there are other reasons an officer can give out citations to bicyclists. They include the following: riding on a sidewalk, not having front and tail lights, and a bell, and failure to obey traffic laws including coming to a stop.
Bell says there’s a lot of laws, and that’s why he’d like the city to revise, or review its fines.
“The NOPD has a hard job to do trying to find the right balance on enforcing biking violations, but let’s work together to make sure the fines are affordable and reasonable.”
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