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  1. #1
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    Cited for violating CA CVC 21202

    A police officer cited me for not riding as far to the right as praticable even though I was nearing an intersection.

    Has anyone successfully (or unsuccessfully) defended themselves from this in court? I plan to fight it.

    Forgive me if I'm skimpy on details, can't be too careful nowadays...

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Thanks, I remember reading that a while ago. I'll keep it bookmarked to review.

  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkear
    A police officer cited me for not riding as far to the right as praticable even though I was nearing an intersection.

    Has anyone successfully (or unsuccessfully) defended themselves from this in court? I plan to fight it.

    Forgive me if I'm skimpy on details, can't be too careful nowadays...
    Well according to 21202:
    21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

    (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

    (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

    (3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

    (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.


    (b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
    You should have at least two reasons for leaving a BL as you approach an intersection... three, if you were at the posted speed. Four, if for any reason you believe there was any hazard in the lane....

    Take a photograph with you to court.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity:
    Where do you live?
    Were you planning on turning? Right or left?
    How fast were you going? How much traffic was there?

    Do you plan on getting an attorney? Should we start up a deffense fund? (seriously)

  6. #6
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    I was approaching an intersection where right turns were definitely authorized, as I was planning on turning right, but what constitutes approaching a place where a right turn is authorized in a court of law? 250 feet, 50 feet, or is it up to the discretion of the cyclist or the officer?

    I have had a police officer tell me in the past that I should wait until the limit line to move over (this boggled my mind), and the CA DMV drawings of bicycle behavior at intersections are pretty sketchy in terms of the distances used.

  7. #7
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    It's a judgement call. If you go to court on it, I would be prepared to cite recognized authorites. You could use the LAB as a resource, as well.
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkear
    I was approaching an intersection where right turns were definitely authorized, as I was planning on turning right, but what constitutes approaching a place where a right turn is authorized in a court of law? 250 feet, 50 feet, or is it up to the discretion of the cyclist or the officer?

    I have had a police officer tell me in the past that I should wait until the limit line to move over (this boggled my mind), and the CA DMV drawings of bicycle behavior at intersections are pretty sketchy in terms of the distances used.

    The limit line is way way too late. But now you are going to have to fight his opinion and the judges about it. If the bike lane is dashed prior to the intersection, use this to point to a minimum distance of when one should leave the bike lane...

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    Well, there was no bike lane. It was a wide outer lane that was transitioning to double right-turn-only lanes, thick dashed lines and all. I was aiming for the center of the right right-turn-only lane until I was pulled over.

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkear
    Well, there was no bike lane. It was a wide outer lane that was transitioning to double right-turn-only lanes, thick dashed lines and all. I was aiming for the center of the right right-turn-only lane until I was pulled over.
    OK then you are still protected by this subpart of 21202:
    For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

    So again you have every reasonable right to ride exactly in that location on a RTOL. I do it all the time and will continue to do it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
    Usually considered less than ~14' lane width, although some might say 12'.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    Usually considered less than ~14' lane width, although some might say 12'.
    I don't know of a any wide ROTL... they tend to be pretty narrow.

    The bottom line is that this ticket should be fought... with pictures, and measuring tape if that will do it.

    With John Forester if that is what it takes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    Usually considered less than ~14' lane width, although some might say 12'.
    Well, the lane was wider than that at this point, but it was splitting into two about 15 yards in front of me (I think - I'm obviously not very good at estimating exact distances). It was a wierd intersection, though - the lane narrowed slightly (still above the sub-standard widths) before widening.

    I tend to take the a center bias at this point, because I've had too many people whip in front of me and brake for the right turn, or several cars line up for the turn bumper to bumper in both lanes, squeezing me out. I want my space to turn safely!

    What I found hilarious was the officers insistence that I was endangering myself and others by my position on the road. If anything, I was safer, for several reasons. Besides, this law has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with ensuring traffic flow.

  14. #14
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    What city was this?
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
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  15. #15
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkear
    Besides, this law has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with ensuring traffic flow.
    You got this part right. Motorists first!


  16. #16
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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  17. #17
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Sorry, but what is the "limit line"? I haven't heard this term before.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    www.bicyclelawyer.com Gary Bustin is an expert on bike law, especially California law. While he is an expert on bicycle accidents he knows all the tactics the police will use and how to counter them. As you are going to fight it have an expert on your side. At least spring for a consultation. The cops get their lawyers at our expense.
    This space open

  19. #19
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    I say - Fight the Man ....

    Good luck ! Keep us posted on this !

    What is your court date ???
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