The NYPD's escalating crackdown on cyclists, "Operation Safe Cycle," has resulted in a spike in frivolous tickets for such non-violations as riding a bike with a tote bag on the handlebars and not wearing a helmet. It's obvious the average cop on the beat has no clue what's illegal and what isn't, but they've been ordered to target cyclists, so that's what they'll do. And to help them fill their quotas, NYPD higher-ups distributed this "cheat sheet" [pdf] informing—or, we should say, misinforming—cops about the biking rules. Streetsblog got their hot little hands on it.

An unnamed source tells Streetsblog the document was distributed by NYPD in February to assist officers in the bike ticketing blitz. Noah Kazis writes, "The cheat sheet includes three violations that don’t apply in New York City, even though federal judges have made it plain to the NYPD on more than one occasion that such citations are bogus." The three violations are part of New York State vehicle and traffic law, but they don't apply here in NYC. They require cyclists to either ride in a bike lane or along the right side of the road, to ride no more than two abreast, and to come to a stop before turning onto a road from a driveway. These are not required in NYC.

“VTL 1234 is a section of the state vehicle and traffic law that New York City was given the authority by the state legislature to supercede," attorney Mark Taylor tells Streetsblog. "[The NYPD] have repeatedly been in front of courts and forced to admit that 1234 does not apply in New York. It has been very clear to the NYPD for a long, long time, so the idea that they are continuing to issue instructions to officers on the street to promulgate these laws that don’t apply in NYC is just amazing." The NYPD: Courtesy, Professionalism, AMAZEMENT!