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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #07-63

Contact: Molly Gordy (212) 442-7033

New Bicycle Safety Laws Take Effect On July 26 Free Helmets Available From NYC DOT

Under New Law Businesses Must Provide Helmets for Commercial Cyclists

Two commercial cyclist safety laws sponsored by Council members Gale Brewer and Alan Gerson take effect on July 26th, 2007, the City Department of Transportation announced today.

One of the new laws will require that employers provide each of their bicycle delivery workers with a helmet that meets City safety standards and that delivery bicycles be equipped with a lamp, bell, brakes, reflectors and other safety devices. The law also requires delivery workers to wear helmets when cycling on the job.

A second law will require that all employers of bike delivery workers post signs that detail bicycle safety procedures, operator responsibilities and the responsibilities of businesses that employ commercial bicycle operators. A model sign with the rules that must be posted is be available at www.nyc.gov/dot.

"This legislation sends a message that we're serious about keeping New York's hard-working commercial cyclists safe on our streets," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "Bicycle helmets help save lives."

"By investing in equipment and education, the City empowers commercial bicyclists to make better decisions that improve the safety of all New Yorkers," said Councilmember Gale A. Brewer.

"Working together, we are making our streets safer for commercial cyclists and pedestrians alike," Council Member Alan Gerson said.

Business owners who fail to provide their bicycle delivery workers or messengers with helmets or do not post the required signs could be fined between $100 and $250 and/or face up to 15 days in jail. Commercial bicyclists who fail to wear helmets or carry identification will face traffic violation fines of $25 to $50.

A 2006 City study of bicycle fatalities and serious injuries in New York City found that most deaths occurred from head injuries, and 97 percent of those occurred when bicyclists were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

DOT is giving away 6,000 bike helmets as part of its "GET FIT-TED" safety awareness campaign. The helmets were purchased with a donation from Target. Since, June 16, nearly 2,000 free helmets have been distributed, including 391, this week, at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association. Anyone interested in obtaining a free NYC helmet can call 311 to find out the dates and locations of helmet fitting events at DOT's Safety City centers.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has begun a pilot program to provide delivery workers with reflective vests that increase cyclists' visibility and allow for easy display of identifying information.

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