Police Crackdown on Pedicabs

Tickets doled out as new laws go into effect

By Emily Feldman
|  Monday, Nov 23, 2009  |  Updated 4:15 PM EDT
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Police Crackdown on Pedicabs

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New pedicab regulations require drivers and businesses to register with the city.

Not that real New Yorkers ride in pedicabs, but if you do need a lift on a three-wheeled bike today, you may experience some police-stop delays.

Since Saturday, the first day a new set of pedicab regulations went into effect, police have been cracking down on violations and doling out tickets, in some cases, a handful at a time.

"On Saturday guys were getting tickets left and right," said Gregg Zukowski, president of  the NYC Pedicab Owners' Association. "Some of it was totally fine and we’re all for law enforcement and removal of illegal pedicabs from the streets, but some of it got  to be a bit abusive."

The regulations are part of a new law originally drafted in 2007 aimed at legitimizing the pedicab industry. In August, Mayor Bloomberg signed off on the law, which requires businesses to register with the city, and requires drivers to carry valid drivers licenses and adhere to a list of safety regulations.

Drivers and businesses had 60 days to register and get inspected before they would be ticket for violations. That window ended on Friday and by Saturday afternoon, driver Zafarkhon Valamatov had been issued five tickets.

"I don't know how I'll pay five tickets," he said. "Each ticket costs maybe $100, and business isn't good right now."

Valamatov said one undercover cop leaped from a taxicab to issue him a ticket for having his front tire over the white line while he was stopped at a red light.  Later in the day he received tickets for failing to use his turning signal and having more than the limit of three passengers in the back of his cab--a regulation he said he hadn't heard of until that day.

Another driver, Atakov Arslanali complained about police conduct.

"Most of them talk rude," he said. "They kick out the tourists to look at the back of the cab. They're like gang bangers."

On Saturday police issued 52 tickets and seized one pedicab, officials.

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