Mayor increases fines for law-breaking cyclists, motorists - New York News

The Talker: Mayor increases fines for law-breaking cyclists, motorists

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

All the bike lanes Chicago has been adding to city streets is with a purpose. Chicago is trying to become America's most bicycle-friendly city.

The city says 20,000 people now bike to work downtown every day.

More bikers, though, has meant more tension. Drivers are not used to sharing the road and a lot of bikers view the rules of the road as optional. You'll often see one blowing a red light or stop sign.

So Mayor Emanuel proposed a plan Wednesday to reduce bike-related injuries.

The fine, right now, for bikers who violate any traffic laws is $25. Under the plan, the fine will go up to at least $50, with some as high as $200.

The city is concerned about drivers who suddenly swing their car doors open in front of bikers by accident. As an incentive to look the fine for so-called "dooring," a biker would double from $500 to $1,000.

The same concern applies to passengers in taxi cabs. Separate from fines, the city is launching an awareness campaign aimed at cab riders. Every Chicago taxi is slated to get a sticker on a back window which will read: "look before opening your door!"

The stickers are being designed by a firm touched by a biking accident. Neil Townshend was killed last year on Wells Street while biking to work. He swerved to avoid a car door which swung open in front of him and he was hit by a truck. The city says bikers were "doored" here 250 times last year.

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