Cyclist fined over $1,500!!!

So it goes without saying, every serious commuter has broken some kind of law. For those that have commutes where no cars are seen, running a stop sign or a red light may seem okay but what about places that are full of traffic like New York or Chicago? An experienced commuter may develop the fast-paced mindset that one develops living in a big city and thus break laws that would have substantial fines. In this case, I came across an article where a cyclist was fined $1,500 for ignoring laws.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“He was stopped by police and given four tickets. However, he is now weeping to the New York Daily News that the money demanded by the authorities far exceeds his minor excesses.

“I know what I did was wrong and I understand that’s the penalty, I just think it’s astronomical,” he told the Daily News.

You see, he only expected a fine of, oh, somewhere between $700 and $900. But the police decided that the more red lights he went through, the more he became a repeat offender. So the fines escalated.

He could have fought this logic, but reportedly had to go out of town and, well, just pleaded guilty. Now he seems to be pleading gouging.”

Now I’ve had some boring commutes in the past where I thought I’d keep myself company by wearing a set of headphones (on the street, I only wore one but on paths, I had both so I never broke a law) so it makes sense to me that the rider would wear headphones. But ignoring laws that would protect the cyclist’s physical safety seem a bit much for me since it affects others’ safety like drivers and pedestrians.

What do you think?

Do you think the punishment was too severe or just right?

Original Article: Cnet