Lawless bicyclists must be stopped

Dear Editor:

We have a problem in Jersey City. Amy DeGise was wrong in not stopping for the accident she was involved in, but the actions of the cyclist were typical of what everyone in our city is experiencing.

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We experience every day of the week, cyclists running red lights, making illegal turns, riding the wrong way on one-way streets, in the wrong lane on two-way streets, and on the sidewalk. The laws are not being enforced. There will be more injuries and deaths on our streets if the current situation continues to exist. Bike lanes seemed like a good idea until the lanes were taken over by electric and gas-powered motorcycles, scooters, dirt bikes, mini-bikes, and other powered vehicles. Many of these vehicles exceed the automobile speed limit.

I was hit last summer by an electric bike riding on the sidewalk and suffered a hip injury. My hip still is feeling the effects of that collision. There was no way to identify the culprit; he continued to drive along the sidewalk in Journal Square in the vicinity of “Pep Boys” auto store.

Most recently my car was struck on Newark Avenue while I was waiting in line behind other cars for a red light. An unlicensed motorcycle hit my car while it was proceeding through the narrow space between the two lanes. He hit my car and just kept going through the red light and then making an illegal right turn at the next intersection. There was no way I could catch him nor identify the motorcycle, no license plate.

I am a motorcycle owner. in order to drive my bike, I had to take an exam and a special road test to be licensed. My bike had to be registered, have insurance and a license plate. Today there is no driver training, no licensing, no license plates, no insurance, and no enforcement of traffic laws.

I read in the newspaper some months ago that some of the towns in North Hudson wanted to address the problems I have enumerated. All of Hudson County needs to adopt new regulations and enforce existing traffic regulations. Some years ago, Jersey City had a problem with mopeds similar to the problems of today. The situation was rectified when the police confiscated those bikes, problem solved.

If Jersey City does not want to affect this situation, then I implore County Executive Thomas DeGise to bring to the County Commissioners, legislation regarding this problem. Until then I implore the County Executive to direct the County Sheriffs’ Officers to issue tickets on the county roads for violations. At least it will be a start. If the laws were enforced, we could immediately solve a growing problem.

Walter McDermott, PhD

Lifelong Jersey City resident

 

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