Dear County Executive Laura Curran,
I am a voter and a resident of [state where you live]. On September 23rd, the County Legislature criminalized cycling when they voted unanimously on bills 291-19 and 292-19. Please do not sign these bills as they do not make us safe and do nothing to encourage children and families to ride bikes, scooter or skate in Nassau County.
The language of camera, phone and other “devices” in the legislative intent of the amendment is problematic. While it is not making their use “illegal”, courts look to the legislative intent in enforcement of a statute. I am not sure you are aware, but cyclist utilize all types of electronic devices while riding that do not interfere with riding but aid us.
The portion of the bill that addresses where to ride, making it unlawful to ride "between road lanes or in-between vehicles" would include maneuvers and positioning that are lawful under VTL 1234, which allows me to leave the shoulder portion of the road to execute a turn or avoid dangerous and hazardous conditions.
Ambiguous language that makes it unlawful to operate a bicycle "without exercising reasonable and ordinary control over such bicycle ... without due regard for the personal safety or the safety of the public". Is a sudden lane shift to avoid a pothole, car or other rider now possibly a violation?
NCPD can now seize and hold the bike, ONLY be returned upon a final disposition of the charge and payment of the fine. Keep in mind NCPD allows unlicensed drivers and unregistered and uninsured owners to keep their cars but these kids lose their bikes BEFORE they are even allowed to challenge the charge.
The increased penalties mean anyone over the age of 12 is subject to a misdemeanor essentially criminalizing riding a bike in a certain manner. Do you really want to give kids a criminal record for riding a bike?
There are many other issues that are worthy of comment. I would ask that before this is signed into law, you allow time for an advisory committee to add comment. The back lash in the LI and NYC cycling community is growing daily. If members of this community, including myself, were allowed to participate in comment I believe you could have a more bike friendly Bills while getting to your end results which seems to be addressing “Ride Outs”.
I look forward to hearing from you.