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Lindenhurst considers law to prosecute reckless young bicyclists

Lindenhurst Village Hall at 430 S. Wellwood Ave.

Lindenhurst Village Hall at 430 S. Wellwood Ave. Photo Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Lindenhurst Village officials may follow the lead of a neighboring village and prosecute young, reckless bicyclists who they say put themselves and others at risk.

Mayor Michael Lavorata heard about teens riding their bikes recklessly, but “until I witnessed it the other day, I didn’t know the magnitude of it,” he said, recalling when a boy did a wheelie right toward his vehicle on busy N. Wellwood Avenue.

“All he’s got to do is lose control of the bike . . . the mayor said, his voice trailing off as he added he is concerned for bikers’ and drivers’ safety.

Village trustees will vote on a law to impound bicycles of people riding recklessly — purposely blocking traffic, driving toward oncoming traffic, doing unsafe maneuvers and antagonizing drivers — following Babylon Village’s recent enactment of the same law.

Under the proposed law, either Suffolk Police or a village public safety officer could seize the bike. If the rider is a minor, a parent is called, and the bike is released to the rider or the parent. Those of legal age could be subject to a fine up to $250 if they’re found to have violated traffic law, according to the proposal.

Lavorata said he got complaints from residents, “people asking the village to do something about it.” While he said he encountered a single rider, oftentimes reported incidents are of several riding at a time and “they’re just reckless,” Lavorata said. “They’re playing a game of chicken with some drivers.”

Like any other reckless behavior that puts people’s safety at risk, “we’re trying to prevent someone from getting hurt,” he said.

Village trustees will hold an Oct. 15 public hearing on the proposed law at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall. It's not certain that the vote will take place then. 

Inspector Kevin Kane, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Police Department’s First Precinct, said they have gotten reports of this throughout the county and noted that police can already arrest and charge someone with reckless endangerment, including juvenile delinquents.

“Cyclists are subject to the rules of the road and traffic law,” Kane said.

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