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Traffic judge proposes violations for bikers

The Philadelphia Daily News: Traffic judge proposes violations for bikers

BY CHRIS BRENNAN
Philadelphia Daily News

AS THE NUMBER of traffic tickets plummets in the city, the Philadelphia Traffic Court president judge is eyeing a new group for moving violations.

Make city bicyclists register their bikes, cite them for moving violations such as riding on the sidewalk or blowing through stop signs, and then have those tickets dealt with by Traffic Court, Judge Thomasine Tynes suggests.

It's not a new idea. City Councilman Frank DiCicco in 2009 introduced legislation to require bicycle registration. That legislation was roundly booed by avid bikers and went nowhere fast.

"I am not against the cyclists," Tynes said. "But the problem is there is no punishment for not abiding by the law."

The city in May started a 40-week "Give Respect, Get Respect" program with a federal grant for police to warn and cite cyclists for breaking traffic laws.

Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, said police have had no trouble enforcing traffic laws for cyclists. But he thinks bike registration is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

And it would cost more money since the city would have to create a bike-registration system.

"It's not like you can plug this into some existing system," Doty said. "That is something that is going to be expensive."