Bicycle Ticket 4, Riding Through Broken Light

###The Scene

###Location: Central Park ###Date: June 30, 2015

I was riding south on Central Park Drive at approximately 74nd street in the bicycle lane. At this point, there are no cars allowed any more on the drive and this day the drive was closed to all motorized vehicle traffic.

I approached the 72nd street exchange and noticed the lights were completely out, I proceeded through the exchange and on my way south. A police officer on a scooter pulled up besides me past the exchange and pulled me over.

The Ticket

Officer Damin told me I was being stopped for going too fast through the broken light and endangering pedestrians in the crosswalk. I should have video taped the exchange with the officer but it slipped my mind. This is what I remember.

Officer: Do you ride your bike a lot.

Me: Yes, I ride everyday. This is my 4th ticket this year. I have gone to court to contest each one.

Officer: Really? I dont usually ticket people unless they are going too fast or are dangerous. You should have slowed down.

Me: I did slow. There were no pedestrians in the way.

Officer: You were not being safe. Here is the ticket.

After our exchange I returned to the point and made a few videos to show the conditions and light.

###The Charge

I have no idea what the charge is on this one. The ticket says 904B1 or 404B1. I cant find anything that is remotely applicable in those two sections of the NYS code.

###The Hearing

The hearing was 02/12/2016 at 10:30am.

I showed up this time with my laptop and all the videos queued up and ready to show. As usual, officer was sworn in and asked to state the facts.

For some reason, someone taught the officers to try to speak as quickly and unintelligibly as possible. So his statement was something to the effect of “ .. traveling southbound … failed to stop … steady red light … pursued … ticketed”

I am not sure if it was the laptop in my hand or what. But the Judge stopped the officer, leafed through a book on her desk, then stated “ You didn’t say whether the pedestrian light was in working order. Case dismissed”

To be honest, I have no idea what happened. As always the NYPD officer lied and made up a story about the steady red light. I am not sure why the Judge decided to single out the pedestrian light. Perhaps she saw my laptop and knew there would be some kind of video involved.

###Arbitrary and Capricious Enforcement

I have gotten 5 tickets over the last 2 years. They are always in Harlem or Central Park. I bike everyday from Harlem to the Flatiron, so I cover a lot of NYC streets. I have never gotten a ticket anywhere below 110th street unless it is in Central Park. I have seen many many cops pulling over bicyclist on the stretch of Adam Clayton Powell from 125th to 110th. I believe that this is a case of Arbitrary and Capricious Enforcement with certain precincts in historically poorer neighborhoods filling quotas of tickets for minor offenses which they ignore in wealthier parts of the city.

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