During an April 28 Community Council meeting, Capt. Frank DiGiacomo of Park Slope’s 78th Precinct refuted the Brooklyn Paper’s claim that officers issued 151 tickets for using a cellphone while biking in 2014, saying instead that all those tickets were for using headphones while biking, a dangerous activity that actually is against the law.
“The way the tickets are classified, the earphone tickets are labelled as cellphone tickets,” DiGiacomo said. “The reporter interpreted that to mean the tickets were for texting while biking.”
DiGiacomo didn’t explain why cyclists were ticketed for something that isn’t illegal while doing something that is illegal, probably because the most likely honest answer is “we didn’t really know what we were doing.” The way New York State’s law prohibiting cell phone use while operating a vehicle is written, it doesn’t apply to bicycles.
(Photo: John St John)