Today is the first day of enforcement for a new, strict set of rules for New York City’s many commercial cyclists. Passed in October of last year, the law is intended to bring the “days of the Wild, Wild West” to an end, according to City Council Transportation Committee chair James Vacca. Here’s what’s in store for your friendly neighborhood bike messenger and food deliveryman.

All cyclists will be required to pass a safety course, which “covers essential information about employer and bicyclist responsibilities for safe biking with all necessary equipment.”

Cyclists will also be required to wear a helmet and a reflective vest displaying their name, place of business, and a newly-mandated three-digit ID number. They’ll have to carry an ID card with another bevy of information including their residential address, and equip their bike with a bell, head and tail lights (only between dusk and dawn), a small sign with a bike ID number (different from the cyclist ID, no joke), brakes, and front and rear reflectors. Catch all that?

Fortunately, all of the equipment will be provided by the businesses, not the riders.

Businesses that use cyclists will be required to hang a safety poster somewhere in the workplace and keep a roster of bike-riding employees names, addresses, dates of employment, and three-digit ID numbers (those are the cyclist IDs, not the bike IDs, but you’re forgiven if you’re feeling a little confused).

Read the DOT’s full list of rules here.

(Photo: J&R Music World/Flickr)