Yesterday on my way to work I got the oppurtunity to discuss road cycling with a state police officer after the pack of vehicles that he was driving in had to slow down to change lanes and pass me. He was second in line in the left lane and turned on his lights soon as he got near me and I pulled over. The conversation started off with him telling me that I should be riding "on the bike path" to my right (to my right was a series of six long right hand turn lanes that interupted the shoulder). I pointed this out to him and let him know that I am supposed to be riding in the roadway. He got his traffic code book out and showed me the far right law which he was read as "as far right as practical in the shoulder." I corrected him about the shoulder part at which point he asked for some ID and went back to his car. He came back out and finally admitted that I was right and that I am supposed to ride in the roadway but that I should be riding just to the left of the solid stripe. He then went on to say that I had left him no choice but to ticket me because I was not cooperating. He stated the obvious, "I guess I'll be seeing you in court," to which I replied, "Sure will."
The rest of the details are as follows. I was travelling at about 20mph in the right hand lane of a 4 lane road (Naamans Road) and was pulled over at the intersection with Dartmouth Woods Road (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...wloc=addr&om=1). The speed limit on this road is 45mph and the lanes are approximately 11 feet wide (I still need to measure). No minimum speed limit and no prohibition on slow moving vehicles or cyclists. Cyclists regularly use this road but ride in the shoulder/right turn lanes.
The DE law that I was cited for disobeying ($25 fine) reads as follows:
§ 4196. Position on roadway.
(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 edge of the roadway except under any of the following circumstances:
(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; or
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of roadway. 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.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a 1-way highway with 2 or more marked traffic lanes and a posted speed limit of less than 30 miles per hour may ride as near the left-hand edge of such roadway as practicable.
(c) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than 2 abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding 2 abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane. (21 Del. C. 1953, § 4194; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 167, § 2.)
Just thought I'd share for the sake of conversation. It should be pretty easy to convince the judge that this cop has no clue. Comments?