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Philly Police Now Cracking Down On Bicyclists

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PHILADELPHIA -

Philly Police are cracking down on what many drivers call an annoyance in the city: bicyclists, not abiding by the rules of the road.

Now cyclists could face fines, just like drivers do, for breaking the law.

But riders feel it's not all their fault, calling drivers road hogs, and blaming them for problems as well.

When it comes to getting around Center City. It's an age old rivalry.

Bikers blaming drivers:

"It's pretty dangerous you have some pretty careless drivers," says a biker.

Drivers blaming bikers:

"They are all over the place. They are constantly in the way," says a driver.

With a camera mounted on our van, we saw first hand the problem on almost every city street.

Like a biker clearly blowing a red light. And just a minute later, another biker ignored the red. There was even a biker on his phone.

"Drivers don't respect the bike lane," bikers say in response.

Yes, bikers have complaints too, like people jaywalking, or someone barely squeezing through a truck and a car. And those new bike lanes don't help if a car is parked there.

But we're not the only ones watching where you're riding. Philly police are now busting bikers that break the law. Just like if you were behind the wheel of a car.

We went on patrol with Philly bike cop Officer Luis Pagan.

He's part of a city wide crackdown to make streets safer. It didn't take long to find violators.

He stopped one guy for biking down the wrong lane on market street. And another guy got stopped for peddling on the sidewalk. Both got away with warnings, but could have faced moving violations and hundreds in fines.

According to Officer Luis Pagan of Philadelphia Police, "The same way the car is operating in the city limits on the streets, it's the same thing with a bike."

The month-long enforcement is being paid for by a state grant to put 12 officers on the beat. A small price to pay the city says to save lives.

According to Andrew Stober from the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities, "It's an average of once every 5 hours that a pedestrian is hit in the city. Every two weeks a pedestrian is killed. We have to remind people when they are traveling around the city to do it safely."

So no matter how you get around, you may want to slow down.

"The fatalities will go down. And would also eliminate the number of accidents," concludes Stober.

Consider yourself warned.

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