Bicycle Ticket Controversy Leads to Policy Change

A man from Norwayne could be off the hook for a ticket he received for an unregistered bicycle but will still face the charge of running a stop sign. The Westland resident took his ticket to social media, causing a series of debates that gained the attention of City Officials who are now taking a closer look at the ordinance from 1981. The issues surrounding the ticket have also sparked a community wide debate over pedestrian safety.

It might sound strange, but a Westland Ordinance calls for the registration of all bicycles and even requires you to have the registration certificate in your possession at all times while riding your bike. Whats even more shocking is that all kids are required to have a note (permission slip) if they ride into the street. This applies to all persons 17-years old and under.

The original post was shared more than 1,000 times and there are several hundred comments from area residents that make one thing clear; most people never knew these rules existed. The Westland Police issued a statement stating that the rule was rarely enforced, and added that:

The Chief has issued a directive to the Westland Police Department advising that we will no longer be enforcing the bicycle registration ordinance requirement. The Chief will be making a request to the Westland City Council to review and determine if there is still a need to keep that ordinance active.

Westland Police Community Partnership

We are told that City Council has already formed a sub-committee to review the ordinance and discuss changes as well as issues surrounding pedestrian safety. That committee, led by Councilwoman Tasha Green, Councilman Peter Herzberg and Councilman Mike McDermott plans to meet in the near future and will forward recommended changes to the rest of City Council for a vote.

Pedestrian Safety

The City of Westland continues to have a high number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Some of the instances make the news and some don’t. Unfortunately, many of these accidents have been fatal and often happen when pedestrians are not using the crosswalk. Anybody who drives around Westland on a daily basis will see someone crossing a major rd away from the intersection, and sometimes see people standing in the center lane. In response to this dangerous trend, the Westland Police have been actively enforcing pedestrian and bicyclist violations.

More issues brought forward in this debate are reports of reckless drivers in the neighborhoods and other bicyclists having close calls with distracted drivers. Throughout the nearly 500 comments in the original post, there are several Westland residents who would like to see more distracted driving enforcement while there are others who believe bicyclists should follow more rules. No matter which perspective you agree with, its important that we all encourage our friends and family to always use the crosswalks, and even more important to discourage texting and driving; it could save a life.