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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bicycle-Related Citations Dramatically Dropped in 2015

We made a public records request to the Philadelphia Police Department to get some statistics on bicycle-related citations since 2010. Here's what the PPD provided...

Source:  Philadelphia Police Department - TVR Download from Philadelphia Traffic Court
*Note: Numbers subject to change, based on information received from PTC

Riding on sidewalks in business districts continues to be the most cited statute.  Keep in mind, both Phila. Code § 12-808 and 75 Pa. C.S. § 3508 prohibit cyclists from riding on sidewalks in business districts.  However, 3508 also requires cyclists to yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and on pathways. It's unclear which sub-section of 3508 the PPD is citing.

75 Pa. C.S. § 3501 is usually cited when a bicyclist violates a traffic law, such as failing to stop at an intersection.  Just 19 of these tickets have been written since 2010.

From a public policy perspective, it makes sense that police are more inclined to cite a cyclist for riding on a sidewalk than for violating a traffic law.  Citations are meant to deter bad behavior.  The PPD should more interested in deterring cyclists from riding on sidewalks.  Indeed, cyclists pose more of a threat to pedestrians than cars.

Overall, enforcement dramatically declined in 2015 despite growing ridership- why is debatable. Factors may include: decreased enforcement efforts, increased compliance by cyclists and a growing bicycle infrastructure.

If you've received a traffic citation while operating a bicycle, give Philly Bike Lawyer a call at 267-423-4464.


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