Cyclists Sited For Breaking The Law, But Also Given Helmets And Lights

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 13

This is the kind of thing I can totally get behind. These sorts of events are good for cyclists, and motorists alike.

Forty cyclists were cited for infractions, including red light violations, illegal turns, and not signaling, when police conducted a bicycle safety and enforcement operation near Commonwealth and Massachusetts avenues.

Boston, Brookline, State, Transit and Boston University police staked out the area at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Police chose the location due to its history of bicycle collisions and other incidents.

Police also conducted an operation along Commonwealth Avenue at 4 p.m. Results of that operation were not yet available, police said.

During the two operations, police also gave riders dozens of free helmets and bicycle lights donated by the university.

I would also love to see this sort of thing for motorists who drive dangerously.

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Posted in advocacy, education | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Cyclists Sited For Breaking The Law, But Also Given Helmets And Lights”

  1. By siiiiiigh on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    First off, you can’t cite cyclist for “not signaling” because CYCLISTS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO SIGNAL.

    The city’s own statistics show that cyclist behavior is not responsible for the top causes of crashes/injuries (doorings, right hooks), and head injuries factor into less than 2% of hospital visits (and only a quarter of those result in admission.)

    Some things never change. What’s next, handing out burkas and ticketing women for littering in areas where there are rapes?

  2. By siiiiiigh on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    “(2) the bicycle operator shall signal by either hand his intention to stop or turn; provided, however, that signals need not be made continuously and shall not be made when the use of both hands is necessary for the safe operation of the bicycle”

    What’s next, ticketing people for not having reflectors on their pedals? Technically even riding with a backpack is illegal!

  3. By DJ on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    When was the last citation issued in Boston for someone in a car not using a turn signal?

  4. By Charlie on Sep 14, 2013 | Reply

    I’m supportive of ticketing of bicyclists (and motorists). I just hope the police are using good judgement and ticketing for things that actually are dangerous and not just technicalities. For example, a bicyclist running a red light during rush hour when traffic is moving. (If it’s during a walk signal and they go slowly and yield to the pedestrians, this isn’t as big of a deal.) Cars driving or parking in bike lanes should also be ticketed. The police could make tons of money just by sitting in the Congress St bike lane at rush hour. People treat it like a special travel lane just for BMW and Lexus drivers.

  5. By DKB on Sep 14, 2013 | Reply

    “Sigh,” What’s with the contradictory sequential posts about signaling? It’s right there in chapter 85, section 11B; you gotta signal. Also, backpacks don’t appear to be illegal, since they are “designed for such purposes.” I suspect the lighting and reflector requirements are right up there with the most violated rules, though.

    In any case, running a red light when there’s a cop present shows mighty bad judgment.

  6. By mouthbreather on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply


    The way the law is written is that you don’t have to signal if it impedes safe use of your bicycle – like if you’re about to hit a pothole or something. If the people who received tickets knew the law, they could easily fight this one.

    Illegal turns – as in, no turn on red? this is stupid – you can get off your bike, cut over the curb, and get back on and continue. This is what the cops are asking people to do. This to me seems a little more dangerous… but hey, we’re all pretending we’re the exact same thing as motor vehicles. I like going “brrrrmmm brrrrrrrmm!!!” when I’m “driving” my bike.

  7. By DKB on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    I like to clip playing cards to the stays with clothespins. If I’m breathing hard the vocal sound effects are too difficult.

  8. By erik on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    @Charlie: Yes–the Congress St bike lane is a disaster. They need bollards or something, at least when there’s no chance of snow. But if they’re not going to enforce “don’t-block-the-box” at Congress and High (same thing happens at several locations near Surface Rd/I93 entrances), which gridlocks the area and screws up traffic for EVERYONE, I’m not even going to delude myself that something like bike lane enforcement is EVER going to be in the cards.

    I just wish that they’d stop making these stings just for bikes. Ticket everyone–cars, bikes, heck, even $1 jaywalking tickets if you want–if you want to enforce the notion of same-road-same-rules. I find it hard to believe no cars failed to signal along the monitored stretch of road here.

  9. By Janice on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    I’m sure Cambridge is also stepping up bike citations. I, and the woman ahead of me, got one last year at the start of the school year for running the red light at Linnaean St. near Porter Sq.

    I live in East Arlington and the cops could fill the town’s coffers by making citations for cars not yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalks on Mass Ave., let alone speeding, turning and changing “lanes” with no signals, etc. Can’t wait for the reconstruction.

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