NYPD Issues More Tickets for Sidewalk Riding Than Speeding on Local Streets

NYPD issued more tickets for riding a bike on a sidewalk than for speeding on surface streets last year, according to summons data and court records.

The Criminal Court of the City of New York 2012 Annual Report [PDF] ranks sidewalk riding as the third most frequently charged summons, with around 25,000 issued. According to data scraped from NYPD moving violations reports, 71,305 motorists were cited for speeding in 2012, and 52,186 of those summonses were issued by the highway patrol. Local precincts ticketed just 19,119 drivers for speeding through neighborhoods last year.

Speeding was the number one cause of traffic deaths in NYC in 2012, according to DOT. A study released by Transportation Alternatives last year found that speeding kills more New Yorkers than drunk driving and distracted driving combined. The last fatal crash caused by a New York City cyclist occurred in 2009.

The 25,000 figure represents criminal court summonses for sidewalk riding, and does not count cyclists who were ticketed for a moving violation, which is less serious. So the disparity between sidewalk riding stops and neighborhood speeding stops is at least somewhat higher than 6,000.

Last year was no outlier. The 2011 criminal court report [PDF] shows similar figures for sidewalk riding, and also ranks it as the third most frequently charged summons. Data show local precincts wrote 16,293 tickets for speeding on surface streets in 2011.

The number of overall moving violations issued by NYPD in 2012 was down sharply from the mid-aughts.