At Monthly Meeting, CB12 Supports Driver who Warns of Countless Reckless Bikers

At Monthly Meeting, CB12 Supports Driver who Warns of Countless Reckless Bikers

By Yehudit Garmaise

“I want to bring to everyone’s attention the bikers,” said Karen Chan, who took a passionate stand at Community Board 12’s monthly meeting, against the many daredevils who flout basic safety laws while riding their bikes. 

“There is a real problem with them,” Chan said. “They are reckless. They don’t obey the traffic rules.

To illustrate her point, during CB 12’s public hearing, the frustrated driver told a harrowing tale.

Recently, when she was about to make a left turn on Fort Hamilton Parkway, a biker came up next to her, so that he was riding into oncoming traffic.

“Why is he on my side?” thought Chan, who then sped up to get away from the biker whose riding she felt was “very dangerous.”

“I thought maybe if I sped up, he could get around me,” said Chan.

When Chan put her foot on the gas to avoid contact with the reckless biker, however, a speed camera captured her increased speed and snapped her photo: resulting in a $50 ticket.

“I just find it sad that I am ticketed, when I am trying to be safe [by avoiding a reckless biker,” said Chan, who plaintively asked Community Board 12 for help after trying for months to get help from city councilmen.

After spending a month trying to get city councilmen to return her calls, after a long chain of e-mails, one councilman told Chan that “to approve her case,” he needed her to take a photo while she was driving in the same spot on Fort Hamilton Parkway where she received the speed camera violation. 

“You want me to let go of my steering wheel to take a picture?” Chan asked the councilman.

“I just feel like this is an unacceptable request to have me provide some kind of image,” Chan told Community Board 12. “These kinds of situations, [such as speeding up to avoid reckless bikers] are spontaneous. 

“I sped up because I wanted to be safe. I didn’t want to hit the biker. But there are so many of them in the street. They are all over the place. I think the issue is more about bikers. Can we do something about them?”

“Someone is going to get hurt,” warned Chan, who noted that newspapers and websites regularly report bikers who are killed on the streets, such as the one male biker, who was recently fatally struck on 9th Street and 2nd Avenue.

“100%,” Community Board Chairman Yidel Perlstein said sympathetically. “Sorry about that. 

“I think reckless bikers are a problem citywide, but we can definitely have the 66th precinct be a little more vigilant on it,” said Perlstein, who meets periodically with the NYPD and once-a-month with the Precinct Council. “We will definitely be sure to raise it at our next meeting to see where they are up to with the issue and what else can be done about it.”

From his perspective, Perlstein said that reckless bikers should be both registered and police officers should initiate a “ticket blitz” on them.

“More important than finding and harassing drivers who did nothing wrong is for the police to focus on these bikers who are every minute almost killing somebody,” Perlstein told BoroPark24.

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