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Holding restaurants accountable for their delivery cyclists

Legislation requiring business to provide lights, helmets, bells and vests to keep cyclists visible and safe.

Restaurants should have no excuse for failing to outfit their delivery bikers in bright, safe clothes, Bronx Councilman Jimmy Vacca said Thursday.

Vacca held the first hearing Thursday for a fleet of bike bills that would stiffen penalties for restaurants who use delivery bikers.

The legislation creates a fine of up to $250 for laws requiring businesses to provide lights, helmets, bells and vests to keep cyclists visible and safe.

The proposed group of bills would allow Department of Transportation officials to fine restaurant owners for not having lights and bells at the ready.

The DOT will send inspectors to restaurants to check for things like helmets, Vacca said.

“With these bills in place, there will be no more excuses,” Vacca said.

Upper West Side Councilwoman Gale Brewer said it also relieves the pressure on NYPD officers, who will no longer need to “chase down commercial bicycle scofflaws” and instead can trust some of that to the DOT.

The bill is known as Stuart’s Law in honor of Stuart Gruskin, killed in 2009 by a delivery biker riding the wrong way on a one-way street.

"Nothing will bring Stuart back to us, but he would be proud that his tragedy helped others through a law that provides needed education and can prevent other families from suffering like we have,” his wife Nancy said.

Vacca is hoping for a vote before the end of the year on the bills.

“New Yorkers expect their food deliveries to arrive fast, but commercial cyclists cannot break traffic rules to accomplish the goal,” East Side Councilman Daniel Garodnick said.

 
 
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