Milford Cracks Down on Unsafe Bike Riding With New Rules

An ordinance approved by the City of Milford Board of Alderman prohibits bicycle zigzagging in and out of traffic, and allows police to confiscate bikes from those caught breaking the rules.

The new law comes in response to a number of complaints about teens performing tricks on their bikes that put drivers, pedestrians and themselves in danger.

"I have encountered bicyclists speeding down the sidewalk and as I’m exiting a store almost hit," Debbie Sargent, who works in downtown Milfordl, said.

A number of close calls have been reported to police about middle and high school aged children trying out tricks that interfere with pedestrians on sidewalks and cars on the roads.

"They can’t be weaving in and out of traffic," Milford Police Officer Mike DeVito said.

The new cycling rules in Milford that model state statues come with an added level of enforcement.

"Not only can we issue them a citation," DeVito said. "We can also cease their bike now and bring it back to the impound."

"It’s harsh, maybe some people will think that," Sargent said. "But safety for the people on the street is important."

Police hope this teaches young people a lesson because anyone under 18 will need a parent to pick up a confiscated bike, DeVito said.

"Our optimum goal is that it will just discourage the young parties that are operating the bikes from the continuing the behavior they’ve had in the past and just follow the rules and we’ll be fine with that," DeVito said.

The owner of Tony’s Bikes and Sports shop on Broad Street said he has a number of young customers.

“We get a lot of kids in the shop and I tell them you know find a parking lot or find a cul-de-sac, somewhere where it’s safer,” Mike Macisco said.

While Macisco said only certain groups of teens take it too far, he supports the new city rules for the sake of public safety.

“Even though they know how to do what they’re doing it doesn’t mean there can’t be a mechanical issue with the bike that causes a big accident or someone runs over a kid and has to live with that,” he said.

One mom told NBC Connecticut off-camera that parents need to play an important role in making sure their children aren’t riding their bikes recklessly. Police say they’ve had those talks with some students in school after identifying them in social media videos or photos.

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