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  1. #1
    "Il Pontificatore" The Pontificato's Avatar
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    Bells, lights on bicycles: IT'S THE LAW!!!

    At least it is in SC.

    From the police blotter of The Item (Sumter):

    Shane Bamfield, 19, of 505 Church St. was charged with possession of marijuana and having an open city bench warrant on Thursday at 12:58 a.m. at Oakland Avenue and Wright Street when he was observed riding a bicycle without a bell or light and a subsequent search revealed a marijuana cigarette and an active warrant.

  2. #2
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    It's the law in most places. You need a rear reflector too. The cops can impound your bike if it does not pass the requirements. In my state you need wheel reflectors and pedal reflectors too.
    Most states have the laws on line.

    Never heard of anyone getting stopped for it, unless it's an excuse to see if you are carrying dope.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    When I was young in the 50s all bike had a brsaket for mounting a headlight - either on the side of the fork or in front of the stem. A couple of my friends got 10 shilling fines for riding without lights. My bike had a dynohub.

  4. #4
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Ill have to remember that S.C. authorities model themselves
    after the KGB when I go visit my parents in Mt. Pleasant.
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Wilke's Avatar
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    Stopping for stop signs is the law too. Doesn't seem to matter.

    jw

  6. #6
    Enthusiasm on Wheels As You Like It's Avatar
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    I haven't got a bell, but I do have a very noisy brass bulb horn. It was a joke gift from my dad many years ago, and I have it mounted on my old Schwinn because it really suits that bike to have a shiny brass bulb horn on the bars. It's an obnoxious squawky thing.

    When the chips come down and some fool is about to walk out in front of me without looking, I holler, though, and when I am passing another rider or a pedestrian, I usually call out, "Excuse me, coming through on your left." I think my horn would startle someone out of their skin and result in the deer in the headlights effect.
    Wheeeee!

  7. #7
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
    Ill have to remember that S.C. authorities model themselves
    after the KGB when I go visit my parents in Mt. Pleasant.

    well don't go to Rutland Vt, Troy Ny, Albany Ny Glensfalls or Saratoga Springs NY they all have the same law requiring lights and bells. You are being surrounded by the KGB

  8. #8
    META Severian's Avatar
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    That is Very Odd... I wonder why the authorities felt the need to cite this fellow unless someone complained that they smelled MJ on him and they just used the bike as an excuse... yeah I know that is the old cast-asperations-upon-the-police line but... *shrugs* this is the first time I've ever heard of a cyclist being stopped like that.

  9. #9
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severian
    That is Very Odd... I wonder why the authorities felt the need to cite this fellow unless someone complained that they smelled MJ on him and they just used the bike as an excuse... yeah I know that is the old cast-asperations-upon-the-police line but... *shrugs* this is the first time I've ever heard of a cyclist being stopped like that.
    Maybe a self styled Good Samaritan cyclist called the police because the cylist looked like a shady character, no bell and all.

    See: Shady person on commute...called cops

  10. #10
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad
    well don't go to Rutland Vt, Troy Ny, Albany Ny Glensfalls or Saratoga Springs NY they all have the same law requiring lights and bells. You are being surrounded by the KGB
    I live near Rutland and have been to all the places you mention more than a few times.
    The difference is in those places no one is going to harrass you for something that rates
    a zero on a scale of importance relative to the other stuff they have to worry about.
    Also in in Vermont, there is a law that women must obtain written permission from
    their husbands to wear false teeth. Shockingly enuff, thats not enforced either.
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  11. #11
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
    Ill have to remember that S.C. authorities model themselves
    after the KGB
    +1
    Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
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    "Minor bun engine, made Benny Lava!!!"

  12. #12
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severian
    That is Very Odd... I wonder why the authorities felt the need to cite this fellow unless someone complained that they smelled MJ on him and they just used the bike as an excuse... yeah I know that is the old cast-asperations-upon-the-police line but... *shrugs* this is the first time I've ever heard of a cyclist being stopped like that.
    The law requiring bells and lights had been on the books of many Cities since the early 1900's. When drug dealers began using bicycles in thier trade, somewhere somone figured out here is an old law that would give the cops reasonable cause to stop a cyclist and if the cop suspected another crime was committed could search the cyclist or his bike just as they can do to a motorist.

    One of our local cities (troy ny) has been doing this a couple of years now, I was stopped and given a $25 citation 2 years ago. The cop didn't search me or suspect me of having drugs or anything but they have to at least make the appearance they are equally applying the law. I could ***** but when I lived in Troy 10 years ago the crackheads broke into my place twice. The second time the cops caught them pushing my stereo, TV and computer down the street in a shopping cart. I got my stuff back .so I figure it is worth the $25 ticket.
    Funny thing is though, it is really easy to recognize who the dope dealers are now, they ride the bicycles with lights and bells
    Last edited by velonomad; 01-08-06 at 02:01 PM.

  13. #13
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
    Also in in Vermont, there is a law that women must obtain written permission from
    their husbands to wear false teeth. Shockingly enuff, thats not enforced either.
    I was on a tour in NE Vermont last year and I can tell you that the husbands in that area didn't give many of them permission and the law is being enforced

  14. #14
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    ^^^
    You saw the sasquatches....common mistake tho'
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  15. #15
    META Severian's Avatar
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    Good point from ILTB.... shady people on bicycles... does this include the guy I saw the other day with 2 pair of Arkel panniers in bright yellow and a tiny liscence plate pasted to his seat post that read "Geek"?

    *drums fingers* It occurs to me that it might actually be possible to smuggle drugs INSIDE a bike's frame... anyone wanna go on a bike trip to TJ?

  16. #16
    "Il Pontificatore" The Pontificato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad
    The law requiring bells and lights had been on the books of many Cities since the early 1900's. When drug dealers began using bicycles in thier trade, somewhere somone figured out here is an old law that would give the cops reasonable cause to stop a cyclist and if the cop suspected another crime was committed could search the cyclist or his bike just as they can do to a motorist.
    That is exactly what happened in this incident. There is no "KGB" or any other conspiracy. The arrest took place in a high-crime drug-dealing area of the city.

    I have a friend who works with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office. He tells me that in Ravenel (another drug trafficking area) all the little drug thugs tape $.98 flashlights to their handlebars along with cheap "honkey" horns.

  17. #17
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Keeping your bike legal gives the cops one less reason to hassle you. If you get in an accident, it can help protect you legally. And most of the requirements make you safer, anyway (except for the wheel reflectors, which don't help unless you stop perpendicular to traffic).

  18. #18
    META Severian's Avatar
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    I don't understand reflectors as a general rule... they never seem to work from my POV when I drive a friend's car and pass a cyclist. I mean, I can understand it if your light quits out... but *shrugs*

  19. #19
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Here in DC, the law has recently been amended at the recommendation of the Office of Police Complaints. "Pretextual" stops of cyclists were resulting in a large number of complaints against the police. You can read their report here:

    http://www.policecomplaints.dc.gov/o...y_rec_bike.pdf

  20. #20
    Gatoraid powered engine 2wheeledsoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by As You Like It
    I haven't got a bell, but I do have a very noisy brass bulb horn. It was a joke gift from my dad many years ago, and I have it mounted on my old Schwinn because it really suits that bike to have a shiny brass bulb horn on the bars. It's an obnoxious squawky thing.

    When the chips come down and some fool is about to walk out in front of me without looking, I holler, though, and when I am passing another rider or a pedestrian, I usually call out, "Excuse me, coming through on your left." I think my horn would startle someone out of their skin and result in the deer in the headlights effect.
    The law only demands lights at night here, no horns, bells, ect.
    I can yell darn loud when I have to, but sometimes that isn't enough.
    I've seen the goose horns as described here at walmart, and have thought of modifying one with car rubber hose, a 1 liter soda bottle, and a valve off a broken air tool. $5 airzounds, baby!

  21. #21
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I could have used a horn today. I saw some guys hanging out with a sign that said "Honk for Peace." They yelled out to me to honk for peace, but all I had was a bell.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pontificato
    That is exactly what happened in this incident. There is no "KGB" or any other conspiracy. The arrest took place in a high-crime drug-dealing area of the city.
    As I recall, having grown up near Scumter, the whole freaking town is a bad neighborhood. The cops used a typical tactic to pile charges on cronic offender to try to keep him behind bars longer. They forgot a tax stamp voilation with the marijuania.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  23. #23
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Maybe a self styled Good Samaritan cyclist called the police because the cylist looked like a shady character, no bell and all.

    See: Shady person on commute...called cops
    He probably licked his lips.
    ---

    San Francisco, California

  24. #24
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
    Ill have to remember that S.C. authorities model themselves
    after the KGB when I go visit my parents in Mt. Pleasant.
    Do you think that any place that has any kind of laws pertaining to cyclists the law makers are considered the KGB? If you do, how sad for you.

    Check these laws out. They are from the city I live in. I guess you'll think the city govt. here is the same as the KGB too, huh?

    Pay particular attention to the one about lamps & other equipment on bicycles.

    After clicking on the link, you will need to click on Title 10 for traffic, then on Chapter 10.52 for bicycles.

    http://www.sioux-city.org/interactive/city_code.htm

    There is only one law I do not agree with & am working to try to change it. It is: Part/line 3 of 10.52.040. It is not enforced & I knowingly violate it all the time, because in all honesty it is safer for me to do so because of the way traffic crosses the trail where a cross street/driveway & trail intersect.

    Some of the bicycle laws need to be updated too. Like 10.52.050. Since the new middle schools have been built & new sidewalks built with them the new sidewalks were constructed under the ADA guidlines. Which means they are wide enough to legally allow a bicycle to be ridden on them, 8 to 12 feet and safely allow oncoming sidewalk traffic to pass with out collision.

    So tell me after reading these laws do you still think those that created them are equal to the KGB?

  25. #25
    Gatoraid powered engine 2wheeledsoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I could have used a horn today. I saw some guys hanging out with a sign that said "Honk for Peace." They yelled out to me to honk for peace, but all I had was a bell.
    Next time you see those guys, yell out "beep beep!"

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