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Old 02-25-07, 10:36 PM   #1
hockeyteeth
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Just a rant about a cycling ticket

I received a ticket the other day for taking the lane. I moved from the right lane to the left so I could get into the left turn lane which was approaching. I didn't cut anyone off or inhibit traffic because nobody was behind me. Apparently, the cop was unaware of my right to make this maneuver and wrote me a citation while I tried in futility to explain that I needed to get into the turn lane before I was cut off by any cars and that nobody was even behind me. He said I was supposed to wait until I was at the intersection and cross the two lanes of traffic perpendicularly (as to ensure a collision) and then make my turn.

For the record, Florida law states: "A cyclist may make full use of the left lane in order to make a left turn." So I don't see how I was breaking any laws.

I'm going to court to contest the ticket, but I'm still really pissed and wanted to rant.
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Old 02-25-07, 10:43 PM   #2
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Behind the badge and the bravado, cops are sometimes just plain ol' dumb (in an ignorant sense) people. This is why I carry a cheat sheet of cycling laws with me everywhere. Sorry you have to go through the trouble of contesting a ticket.
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Old 02-25-07, 10:55 PM   #3
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If I were to take someone to court, suing them over something frivilous and stupid, and they win, I'd have to pay their costs, all of this due to my own ignorance.
How come law inforcement can not be held liable the same?
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Old 02-25-07, 11:27 PM   #4
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man your state laws suck
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Old 02-26-07, 12:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Retem
man your state laws suck
And how is that? It makes perfect sense to me.
If we lived in my state, and I walked by you one day and broke wind, and the smell made you drop your walk-man and break it, you could take me to court. Granted, you'd lose, but you can file a suit against anyone over just about anything.
Since your own stupidity/greed/ignorance/what-have-you caused me have to pay for legal documents and other such things, it is now your burdon to reimburse my costs.

How does that "suck"? It helps to cut down on the bull **** law suits.

But if YOU were to win a case against me, then it would be my responsibility to cover your court costs.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:18 AM   #6
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I think Retem was referring to the OP, believing the wrong statement of law by the cop to be true law.

“He said I was supposed to wait until I was at the intersection and cross the two lanes of traffic perpendicularly and then make my turn.”
Which, if true, would suck.

Last edited by CB HI; 02-26-07 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:28 AM   #7
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hockeyteeth,
I suggest you get a copy of the law to take with you to court. Digital photos of the road, printed on the largest size paper available to you, would be helpful to show the judge how you negotiated the left turn in compliance of the law. An accurate drawing of the intersection and approach will also help in the explanation.

Maybe ask the cop in court to show the law that says you have to “wait until you were at the intersection and cross the two lanes of traffic perpendicularly and then make your turn.” under the law he cited you for.
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Old 02-26-07, 02:01 AM   #8
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ahhhhh, understood
my apologies then
reading an unthreaded list of posts gets confusing sometimes
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Old 02-26-07, 03:17 AM   #9
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In addition to contesting this ticket in court, I also suggest getting in touch with the Florida Bicycle Association.
http://www.floridabicycle.org/

They should be able to get your local law enforcement agency copies of the "Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide."
http://www.floridabicycle.org/images/LEG2006final.pdf

The FBA should also have the "Bicycle/Motorist Law Enforcement" DVD available.

They may also be able to help you with your court case.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 02-26-07 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 02-26-07, 03:20 AM   #10
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yeah well ca law is when your one a bike you act as a motorcyle type vehicle and have all the rights and rules as motorists

so yeah I will say that not being able to take a lane sucks
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Old 02-26-07, 03:25 AM   #11
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In California I carry a cheat sheet. But the entire motor vehicle code. How do cops react to being informed of the law. Might still arrest you on being abusive to police.
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Old 02-26-07, 04:05 AM   #12
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yeah its funny when I start informing them about cvc 21200 but thats ok usually they call itin and let me go
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Old 02-26-07, 05:30 AM   #13
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Being given a ticket is just that, a ticket. A slip of paper with some writing on it. If you believe the facts to be wrong, take the matter up with the DA or the judge. A well documented argument goes a long way. And you might just wind up enlightening some people.

Arguing with the ticketing officer is pointless, they interpret the law best they can given the circumstances.
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Old 02-26-07, 06:13 AM   #14
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I've fought several tickets that were written by cops that were ignorant of the law. Each of them was thrown out of court almost instantly. Judges are wrong a lot less than cops. Judges need to know the law, cops need to know how to shoot people and find drugs hidden in odd places.

Here's a transcript of one court case:

Judge: So tell me what happened.

Me: I made a u-turn (in my car) using a 4 way intersection in a residential area. There was no other traffic.

Judge: That's perfectly legal.

Me: Yes sir.

Judge: (Yells at cop for a second about learning vehicle code) Case thrown out.

Me: Thank you.

Az
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Old 02-26-07, 06:32 AM   #15
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All the same, the cop exhibited all the same stupid thoughts of most motorists.
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Old 02-26-07, 07:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyteeth
.......

I'm going to court to contest the ticket, but I'm still really pissed and wanted to rant.
In florida, a bicycle is considered a vehicle, and has all of the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles...


You should have asked the cop if a person driving a car has to reach an intersection and cross it perpendicularly before he can make a left turn....

Good luck in court, come prepared with all of the florida laws to support your case.

Here is a >> LINK << to the florida bicycle statues.
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Old 02-26-07, 08:34 AM   #17
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Talk with the sargeant at the police station and calmly explain what happened. Try to couch it in terms of "the officer made a mistake", and not the cop is an idiot.

When the sargeant doesn't help you, go above his head and when the higher ups don't help you, file a complaint against the cop. He will have to answer to the charges and it may get it resloved but at least you will have made the cop squirm a little and inconvenienced him as he inconvenienced you.
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Old 02-26-07, 08:41 AM   #18
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Hey I lived in Gainesville! I even knew a cop when I lived there in the 90s. Tom was a pretty good shot with a beer bottle. He could easily nail a speed limit sign at 60mph from his convertible on a dirt road. Talk about millions of tiny pieces. I miss the nearby lovely town of Stark with the first electric chair, aka "Old Smoky" and the flea market with the boiled peanuts. Gainesville was the only place I got paid to ride-- I would ride through Paynes Prairie around 4PM and would find a dead rattler or two a week, which could be sold for a buck an inch at the "Skin Shop". I think that the officers there where the first to use the term, "professional courtesy", or looking the other way when a brother was found to be the perpetrator of an infraction. Ahh but I digress.

Sounds like the COP was lurking in a parking lot when he saw your turn. His interpretation of the Law is pretty shaky. I would not be surprised if he was a no show at court. There are so many cyclists in Gainesville, I'd be surprised if this cop actually believed what he told you.

It be funny to bring a copy of this to court. "I was just driving in a way that the city's website says is correct."

http://www.cityofgainesville.org/abo...on/sports.aspx


and of course-
http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/ind...Section%202065
(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing 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.

Last edited by slagjumper; 02-26-07 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 03-01-07, 11:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
Talk with the sargeant at the police station and calmly explain what happened. Try to couch it in terms of "the officer made a mistake", and not the cop is an idiot.

When the sargeant doesn't help you, go above his head and when the higher ups don't help you, file a complaint against the cop. He will have to answer to the charges and it may get it resloved but at least you will have made the cop squirm a little and inconvenienced him as he inconvenienced you.

A probably better course of action would be to find out who is the prosecuting attorney for the traffic court, contact them, calmly explain the situation (and the code provision) and see if they'll dismiss the ticket. They are the ones that typically have the power to make it happen.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkFloyd
A probably better course of action would be to find out who is the prosecuting attorney for the traffic court, contact them, calmly explain the situation (and the code provision) and see if they'll dismiss the ticket. They are the ones that typically have the power to make it happen.
In Fla, there is no prosecuting attny assigned to traffic infraction ticket cases. Just you, the cop and the judge.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:41 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by dobber
Arguing with the ticketing officer is pointless, they interpret the law best they can given the circumstances.
That is far from true. If you 'win' tjhe 'argument' with the officer who was going to write a ticket then no ticket gets written and the story is over. Now turning it nasty almost never works, but if you convince the officer you win at the lowest cost.
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Old 03-01-07, 06:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyteeth
I received a ticket the other day for taking the lane. I moved from the right lane to the left so I could get into the left turn lane which was approaching. I didn't cut anyone off or inhibit traffic because nobody was behind me. Apparently, the cop was unaware of my right to make this maneuver and wrote me a citation while I tried in futility to explain that I needed to get into the turn lane before I was cut off by any cars and that nobody was even behind me. He said I was supposed to wait until I was at the intersection and cross the two lanes of traffic perpendicularly (as to ensure a collision) and then make my turn.

For the record, Florida law states: "A cyclist may make full use of the left lane in order to make a left turn." So I don't see how I was breaking any laws.

I'm going to court to contest the ticket, but I'm still really pissed and wanted to rant.
On the ticket he had to write the part of the vehicle code that he thought you violated. What did he write?
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Old 03-01-07, 07:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
On the ticket he had to write the part of the vehicle code that he thought you violated. What did he write?
Oh Yes! I had a friend beat a speeding ticket because the officer wrote the code for a motor vehicle violation and not a bike violation. Do check with a bike law lawyer if you can find one. Call Gary Brustin if you live in California.
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Old 03-01-07, 07:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99
That is far from true. If you 'win' tjhe 'argument' with the officer who was going to write a ticket then no ticket gets written and the story is over. Now turning it nasty almost never works, but if you convince the officer you win at the lowest cost.
This is good advice and follows with one of the best "get out of a ticket" guides I have read.

Two caveats with this guide:

#1. I LOVE this one "Once the officer has gotten your information, ask him if you may speak to him about your violation." Everyone wants to yell and argue with the police which I am NOT going to do, but if I know that you want to have a real discussion with me about it I will stand and talk with you. If you make a good case for why you did what you did I might even decide to not write a ticket. I talked to a seminary professor one day for an hour about him causing an accident. He got a ticket in the end, but I gave him more than a fair chance to explain himself.

#2. You may ASK to see the radar, but many states/cities/departments do not allow this so if the Officer says no leave it at that. If you are supposed to be allowed to see the radar and the Officer refuses the ticket will most likely be thrown out. In MI I don't have to show the radar and never would. It creates huge tactical and traffic safety issues.
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Old 03-06-07, 12:54 PM   #25
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I had no idea cyclists could even get tickets!!!
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