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Old 09-28-06, 03:17 PM   #1
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Accosted by a police officer.....

.......on the way home from work, heading back from the beach.

I was just past the draw-bridge and heading down at a good clip, about 300 feet after the road became flat again, I was buzzed by a shiny new black corvette. I failed my bird test and gave him the double birdies.

about 500 feet ahead, he pulls over, gets out of the car and flags me over.

I had my cell phone open and already had 911 dialed when I noticed that he was a police officer... at this point the conversation goes like this:

Officer (yelling): You need to be in the bike lane. If you were in the bike lane you wouldnt have to do this " gives me both birdies right back at me in my face"..
Officer: You need to be in the bike lane where you belong !
Officer: You need to be 18 inches from the side of the road.
Me: I did not see any bike lane signs posted anywhere, or indicated on the side of the road.
Officer: This is a bike lane, points at the 24 inch space between the right side fog line and the dirt.
Me: Sorry.


He gets in his car and I pass him on the left while he is parked in the " bike lane " .
I get into the " bike lane " and let him pass me.

This unmarked bike lane ends about 1000 meters after this location... so then I got right back into the road (about 3 feet in) where I normally ride on this road and continue on my way....


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Old 09-28-06, 03:25 PM   #2
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Did you get his name or his badge number? If so, that cop just gave you the double birds!
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Old 09-28-06, 03:27 PM   #3
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If it ain't marked, it ain't a bike lane. Plus, the AASHTO standard for a bike lane is 4 feet minimum.
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Old 09-28-06, 03:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SingingSabre
Did you get his name or his badge number? If so, that cop just gave you the double birds!

As I have posted here before, I am weary of lone police officers. This guy obviously hates cyclists and I am not about to get into a shouting mach or anything like that. I would have snapped a shot of his plate, but then he would have noticed and who knows what he could have done to me.

This particular officer is very distinctive, and so is his personal vehicle. He may not have been from the area for all I know but I did not get any of his personal information OR his tag #.

Personally, I think this was a fluke.


I accepted the double bird as given. ( and so did he).
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Old 09-28-06, 03:34 PM   #5
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If it ain't marked, it ain't a bike lane. Plus, the AASHTO standard for a bike lane is 4 feet minimum.

It would have been great to know every single bit of information to argue with him about it.. The point is that when you encounter a lone police officer on a long stretch of road with nobody around for 1/2 a mile... it is best to just take the punches and roll with it than to try to pick a fight....

The police officer is always right.... I had no interest in making him any angrier, or possibly having him arrest me on some made-up charges that he so easily could have done at any time.
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Old 09-28-06, 03:36 PM   #6
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Does FL has a mandatory BL use law? (of which this was clearly not one anyway)
It does have a new 3ft passing law. (which may not be in effect yet)

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Old 09-28-06, 03:39 PM   #7
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Does FL has a mandatory BL use law? (of which this was clearly not one anyway)
It does have a new 3ft passing law. (which may not be in effect yet)

Al

I don't know for sure, but as mentioned earlier, there were no posted signs or painted markings on the road indicating that the small bit of space between the fog line and the dirt was a bike lane....

Also, the officer did break the law when he buzzed me...
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Old 09-28-06, 03:58 PM   #8
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If I read your post correctly, this was a police officer, off duty in his uniform, driving his personal vehicle?
If that's the case then **** him! Nothing, and I mean nothing pisses me off more than power drunk lifer cops. I got into a fistfight with an off duty cop at a bar once. After kicking the **** out of him, in a fight he started (I had witnesses), he actually tried to arrest me. That was funny, a drunk cop with a bloody face flashing his badge at you. That was 10 years ago and I have never trusted a cop since, I don't care if he has a halo floating over his head.
The only reason people become cops is so that they have percieved immunity from the law. I actually witnessed a cop pulling over a drunk driver, then letting him go because he was another cop. I was sitting on the tailgate of my truck no more than 15 feet from the both of them and heard the conversation. They always cover for each other. I hung out in bars alot when I was younger. These guys would get piss faced drunk together, then you'd see them walk out of the bar singularly with their keys in their hands.
For every good police officer there are 25 worthless cops.

And don't get me started on politicians!
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Old 09-28-06, 04:24 PM   #9
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Even police officers can't/don't distinguish between narrow shoulders and bike "lanes". What percentage of the general public can do it do you think? 1%? I suppose police officer and motorist "education" is the answer here?

Also, the existence of the concept of a "bike lane", and the cultural acceptance of it being a legitimate concept to segregate cyclists out of the way of motor traffic, is what even allows the officer to think and say things like, "You need to be in the bike lane where you belong !" (for all those who say it, imagine how many more there are that think it).

When I say bike lanes are evil, this is what I'm talking about.
It's not the bike lanes themselves, it's the very concept that's evil (to cyclists and cycling).
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Old 09-28-06, 05:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
.......

When I say bike lanes are evil, this is what I'm talking about.
It's not the bike lanes themselves, it's the very concept that's evil (to cyclists and cycling).



I mostly agree with your perception of bike lane evil-ness.
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Old 09-28-06, 05:10 PM   #11
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Was he in uniform and in his patrol car and on duty? If not he is at that time just an ordinary citizen like you and me.
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Old 09-28-06, 05:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by msheron
Was he in uniform and in his patrol car and on duty? If not he is at that time just an ordinary citizen like you and me.

He was in uniform, but in what appeared to be his personal vehicle.





.
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Old 09-28-06, 05:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
If I read your post correctly, this was a police officer, off duty in his uniform, driving his personal vehicle?
If that's the case then **** him! Nothing, and I mean nothing pisses me off more than power drunk lifer cops. I got into a fistfight with an off duty cop at a bar once. After kicking the **** out of him, in a fight he started (I had witnesses), he actually tried to arrest me. That was funny, a drunk cop with a bloody face flashing his badge at you. That was 10 years ago and I have never trusted a cop since, I don't care if he has a halo floating over his head.
The only reason people become cops is so that they have percieved immunity from the law. I actually witnessed a cop pulling over a drunk driver, then letting him go because he was another cop. I was sitting on the tailgate of my truck no more than 15 feet from the both of them and heard the conversation. They always cover for each other. I hung out in bars alot when I was younger. These guys would get piss faced drunk together, then you'd see them walk out of the bar singularly with their keys in their hands.
For every good police officer there are 25 worthless cops.

And don't get me started on politicians!
You are totally wrong and off base. Walk a mile in an officers shoes or a day on his patrol then post here. For every bad cop there are 25 good one's! Would you rush into a building with a gunman in your present situation and job to help someone you don't know and risk your life? I doubt very seriously. I am not defending a cop here and I think this guy who has a job as a cop may very well be a dick. But that is no reason to generalize all police officers as 25 to 1 as bad. I hope someday you really need one and see just how a job so thankless there will be a stranger willing to give his life to save your's!
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Old 09-28-06, 05:19 PM   #14
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@OP: Couple things come to mind: how did you know he was a cop? Was he in uniform? My way of looking at it is if he is in a personal car, not in uniform, and says he is a cop, he aint a cop. Unless he can produce evidence to the contrary, he aint a cop. Also, buzzing you is illegal (already said) and for a cop, acting such as he did by flipping you off he displays a) childish immaturity (yes yes, it can be argued that you did to BUT you were pissed cause someone almost killed ya, what is his excuse?) and b) an alarming lack of professionalism.

EDIT: question answered already.

@HH: Cops do not know traffic laws any better than anyone else actually. Spooky, but if they way they drive here is any indication, they have no idea of what the highway laws are. SOME Cops here tailgate, make illegal dangerous lane changes, speed wrecklessly, and then hand out tickets for the same. Enough to drive you mental.
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Old 09-28-06, 05:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordfasterr
He was in uniform, but in what appeared to be his personal vehicle.





.
Then he is off duty I would highly say. Either going to or leaving. Just a citizen at that time. But still a dick for doing you that way. And yes, I am a police officer!
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Old 09-28-06, 05:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by msheron
Was he in uniform and in his patrol car and on duty? If not he is at that time just an ordinary citizen like you and me.
And just in case, I always cycle with my buddies...


SMITH & WESSON!

(their "badge" number?...629!)
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Old 09-28-06, 05:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by msheron
You are totally wrong and off base. Walk a mile in an officers shoes or a day on his patrol then post here. For every bad cop there are 25 good one's! Would you rush into a building with a gunman in your present situation and job to help someone you don't know and risk your life? I doubt very seriously. I am not defending a cop here and I think this guy who has a job as a cop may very well be a dick. But that is no reason to generalize all police officers as 25 to 1 as bad. I hope someday you really need one and see just how a job so thankless there will be a stranger willing to give his life to save your's!
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Would you rush into a building with a gunman in your present situation and job to help someone you don't know and risk your life?
No, because that is not my job. That is not the CHOICE I made for myself. That is not what I get paid to do nor what I want to do. Though I have been stabbed while defending a person I didn't know, does that mean I am purer than Caesars wife? Taking that job and putting themselves in those situations are THEIR CHOICES and I have no pitty for a person who makes choices that cause them potential harm. They aren't born into that service, they chose to, and they can leave it at any momentI've learned alot from my mistakes, mostly on how the legal system works and have had run ins with many cops and police officers, and out of 50 of them only 2 have been worth a crap.
I feel I can generalize them... why? Because it's my opinion, I might be a little off, but that is still my opinion.
I'm sure there were some good folks in the German military in the 1940's too. But there are plenty of people in places such as Poland that are very happy that the rest of the world generalized them with the rest of the *******s.
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Old 09-28-06, 05:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sgtsmile
SOME Cops here tailgate, make illegal dangerous lane changes, speed wrecklessly, and then hand out tickets for the same.
Yeah, there should be a law against being a hypocrite for any government official, and have it be enforced. That would definately help clean up the country I live in.
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Old 09-28-06, 05:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
Yeah, there should be a law against being a hypocrite for any government official, and have it be enforced. That would definately help clean up the country I live in.

lol, how would the cop catch the speeding law breaker if he didn't speed aswell ?

LOL

Anyway - off topic.
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Old 09-28-06, 05:58 PM   #20
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lol, how would the cop catch the speeding law breaker if he didn't speed aswell ?

LOL

Anyway - off topic.
quite a conundrum we have here then
hmmm.....lol
anyhow, enough off topic stuff here, in danger of hi-jacking this thread
and I'm too drunk and too sleepy to keep going
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Old 09-28-06, 06:00 PM   #21
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lol, how would the cop catch the speeding law breaker if he didn't speed aswell ?

LOL

Anyway - off topic.
An officer speeding on a call with lights going is not the same as an officer being lazy and breaking the rules because they feel like it when not on a call. There is a world of difference.
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Old 09-28-06, 06:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsmile
An officer speeding on a call with lights going is not the same as an officer being lazy and breaking the rules because they feel like it when not on a call. There is a world of difference.

Maybe to normal citizens like you and me there is... but not to them.

I have police officer friends (even ones that go way back to high school) that I talk to all the time and I know how it really is.... In a way, cops are on duty ALL THE TIME.



In my case however, I think he just happens to be an anti-cyclist.




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Old 09-28-06, 07:15 PM   #23
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In just about every profession, and more so for publicly visible ones, ones conduct on or off the job refects on ones employer and profession, like it or not. There are even legal consequences tied to the employer/employee relationship that don't distingish betwen working vs. non working hours.

Obvious examples include actors, judges, politicians, teachers, CEOs... perhaps slightly less obvious include engineers, managers...

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Old 09-28-06, 07:24 PM   #24
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crosseyed,
You sure seem to know a lot about cops. I've been a cop for over 16 years and didn't get into it to get a "perceived immunity from the law." I got in to it to try and make a difference in life. I think I have done it despite someone like you trying to knock us down no matter what. Are there bad cops? Heck yes, we still hire from the human race last I knew. I guess if I said all cyclists were in it to be jerks and show who was the boss, that would get you mad and rightly is should.
Maybe because you are crosseyed, you don't see things straight.
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Old 09-28-06, 07:26 PM   #25
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msheron,
I can't speak for Florida law, but in Indiana, I can make a traffic stop by EITHER being in a marked police car or I can even be in my personal car, but have to be in full uniform. I've never stopped someone while In uniform in my own car, but legally, I can. Boy, some on this board really hate cops. Pretty sad actually.
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