Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Senior Member roadCruiser76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    189
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Harassed By Police!

    Earlier today, around 6:30 PM, I was riding my bicycle in my hometown of Charles Town, WV. I was minding my own business and obeying the traffic laws. The road I was riding on was in town, with a speed limit of 25 mph. I was probably going between 17 - 20 mph. As I was riding along, I heard a police siren blip behind me. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw a police SUV right behind me. Thinking he merely wanted to pass, I rode over on the far right side of the road. The police SUV then pulled up alongside me and the officer rolled down the window, motioning me to stop. When I did, the officer said to me, "Get off the roadway." When I responded that I was riding as far to the right as possible, given that there was no shoulder, he responded "I don't care. Go ride someplace else." He then rode off.

    Knowing that it was legal to ride there, I continued my ride before he was even out of sight. However, I was fuming mad. When I got home, I looked up the West Virginia traffic laws just to be sure. There was nothing to indicate that it was illegal to ride there. I decided to call up the police department and ask about it. Unfortunately, there are several jurisdictions that operate near the area that I was - the Charles Town police department, the Ranson police department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's department. Since I thought I recalled seeing "Jefferson county" on the vehicle, I called the Jefferson county sheriff's department. A receptionist there informed me that I was in Ranson's jurisdiction, and said she'd forward my call to the Ranson police department. Shortly thereafter, a Ranson police officer called me back. When I described the incident to him, he first asked if I was riding on a motorcycle. When I informed him that I was riding a regular bicycle, he confirmed that it was completely legal for me to be cycling in that area. However, he said that the officer must have been a Jefferson county officer, not a Ranson officer. So basically I was kind of getting the run around. I guess I won't pursue it further, although I'm tempted to try to track down this officer who was harassing me.

    Just wondering what you all think, and if anyone else around here has had a similar experience.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,101
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get a badge number...sounds like a small town cop that is too big for his britches. I have actually been cited for failure to follow a lawful order. Took it to court and cop lost, he and his supervisor looked like complete idiots.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  3. #3
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lost South of Nowhere East of Edan On the Waterfront Far from the Madding Crowd (Biloxi, MS)
    My Bikes
    1992 Specialized Crossroads Trail
    Posts
    1,003
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd continue to pursue it. And if it happens again, get the officer's name (if you can) and then report him to his supervisor.
    Owner/operator of Fredkenstein™ I
    http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/289...r613833gj7.gif
    You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much -- Bill Hicks

  4. #4
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Hilo Town, East Hawai'i
    My Bikes
    1994 Trek 820, 2004 Fuji Absolute, 2005 Jamis Nova, 1977 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36
    Posts
    3,275
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hopefully he has a superior with a clue that you can contact. Do not explode - just try to take it to his boss.
    --
    -=- '05 Jamis Nova -=- '04 Fuji Absolute -=- '94 Trek 820 -=- '77 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36 -=-
    Friends don't let friends use brifters.

  5. #5
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Newton, MA
    Posts
    4,532
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    definitely worth trying to track down the officer. He's ill-informed as to cyclists' rights.

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    22,530
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ah yes, yet another confirmation of the lack of knowledge by motorists... even the ones enforcing the laws...

    It once again confirms my suspicions that most motorists just don't have a clue.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    My Bikes
    '07 Trek 1500, '08 Surly Cross Check, '09 Masi Speciale Sprint custom build
    Posts
    4,568
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's good that you've recorded it. You need to contact him and inform him that this is harassment and you need it to stop immediately.

    Ah, if only it worked that way with the police.

    I think it's safe to say you'll probably never see that cop again. So at least you've recorded the event for the ages.

  8. #8
    tinydr
    Guest
    edited by author
    Last edited by tinydr; 05-03-08 at 08:17 AM.

  9. #9
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Ogopogo's shoreline
    My Bikes
    LHT, Kona Smoke
    Posts
    4,063
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How can this be?
    Officers of the law are there to protect and serve.

    Hmmmm... just what is it, again, that they are protecting and serving?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Miguelangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ositoland
    My Bikes
    Lemond Tourmalet
    Posts
    373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by roadCruiser76 View Post
    The police SUV then pulled up alongside me and the officer rolled down the window, motioning me to stop. When I did, the officer said to me, "Get off the roadway." When I responded that I was riding as far to the right as possible, given that there was no shoulder, he responded "I don't care. Go ride someplace else." He then rode off.
    Officer??? In spanish you call that "el cerdo de cuello rojo"
    oh sorry.... to those that dont speak spanish
    cuello= neck
    cerdo=pig
    rojo=red

  11. #11
    mev
    mev is offline
    bicycle tourist
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    My Bikes
    Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500
    Posts
    869
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by roadCruiser76 View Post
    Just wondering what you all think, and if anyone else around here has had a similar experience.
    Too bad you don't have a clear indication of what police department. A good idea is to avoid loosing your cool and approach things factually.

    I had only one instance in the US of a police telling me to get off a legal road. Colorado is one of those states where parts of the Interstate highway system allow bicycles and the last few miles before the Wyoming border on I-25 is one of those cases. I was cycling southbound on the shoulder of the interstate when I came past a spot where a tractor trailer had run off the road (perhaps fell asleep since it was straight road). There were two Colorado State Patrol officers there. I fully intended to just cycle past and leave them to their jobs but as I neared, one yelled out "get off the interstate". So, I stopped and explained that three miles back was a "caution bicycles sign", that five miles ahead was a "bicycles must exit" sign and that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) State Bicycle Map showed this as legal. Our conversation was polite and civil and the officer apologized saying, "I just have never seen bicycles here...". I'm sure he looked for those signs I told him about and the next cyclist on the interstate will have fewer problems.

  12. #12
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale FL
    My Bikes
    Ebay Bikes... =)
    Posts
    3,375
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wonder what that same cop would say to a 100+ group of cyclists taking up the entire lane like we do down here in Florida?

    LOL

    Imagine, 150 people giving the bird at the same time !! HAHAHAA
    Florida Velodrome Association.
    Big Wheel Cycles.
    CAT-2. Road Bike: 2011 Specialized Allez SRAM Apex. .. and yes, I am vegan.

  13. #13
    "this is not suck" j0e_bik3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    387
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by roadCruiser76 View Post
    Earlier today, around 6:30 PM, I was riding my bicycle in my hometown of Charles Town, WV. I was minding my own business and obeying the traffic laws. The road I was riding on was in town, with a speed limit of 25 mph. I was probably going between 17 - 20 mph. As I was riding along, I heard a police siren blip behind me. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw a police SUV right behind me. Thinking he merely wanted to pass, I rode over on the far right side of the road. The police SUV then pulled up alongside me and the officer rolled down the window, motioning me to stop. When I did, the officer said to me, "Get off the roadway." When I responded that I was riding as far to the right as possible, given that there was no shoulder, he responded "I don't care. Go ride someplace else." He then rode off.

    Knowing that it was legal to ride there, I continued my ride before he was even out of sight. However, I was fuming mad. When I got home, I looked up the West Virginia traffic laws just to be sure. There was nothing to indicate that it was illegal to ride there. I decided to call up the police department and ask about it. Unfortunately, there are several jurisdictions that operate near the area that I was - the Charles Town police department, the Ranson police department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's department. Since I thought I recalled seeing "Jefferson county" on the vehicle, I called the Jefferson county sheriff's department. A receptionist there informed me that I was in Ranson's jurisdiction, and said she'd forward my call to the Ranson police department. Shortly thereafter, a Ranson police officer called me back. When I described the incident to him, he first asked if I was riding on a motorcycle. When I informed him that I was riding a regular bicycle, he confirmed that it was completely legal for me to be cycling in that area. However, he said that the officer must have been a Jefferson county officer, not a Ranson officer. So basically I was kind of getting the run around. I guess I won't pursue it further, although I'm tempted to try to track down this officer who was harassing me.

    Just wondering what you all think, and if anyone else around here has had a similar experience.
    I would have told that cop to F____ right the F____ off (wouldn't be the first time)

    THEN you'd have a badge number!

    I'd be as pissed off as you are, but DON'T JUST LET IT GO,....I'd get a lawyer, and have the ATTORNEY make the phone calls,...you'll get a MUCH different response,.........try it.
    GT road bike conversion: fixed
    Electric beach cruiser grocery bike:
    best burrito vehicle EVAR!

  14. #14
    tinydr
    Guest
    edited by author
    Last edited by tinydr; 05-03-08 at 08:16 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Potomac MD, USA
    My Bikes
    Klein Quantum Pro w/ Ultegra, Klein Pulse Comp w/ Marzocchi Z3 & XT/LX
    Posts
    286
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Send a mass email to the chiefs of all the police depts. in the area, describing the event and advising them of the law and how their officers should behave. In this case it's just as easy to do all of them.

    Email is best because in this electronic age, most paper winds up in the trash, plus higher-ups usually have staff members filtering their (paper) mail. But email gets through, and email to government officials is often protected by law -- recorded (undeletable) and required to be answered, or at least acknowledged. This is true in VA. In fact they get pretty nervous when I inquire about communications that were ignored. I don't know about WV.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boston Area
    My Bikes
    Univega Gran Turismo, Guerciotti, Bridgestone MB2, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Serotta Ti
    Posts
    1,998
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by roadCruiser76 View Post
    Earlier today, around 6:30 PM, I was riding my bicycle ...
    You were in the right, you have done all the right things, you can continue to pursue it, but I don't think that this was harassment on the cop's part. He told you something that was wrong, but didn't continue to hassle you about it; he drove off.

    If you pursue it, just think of it as getting the guy the right information. He made a mistake, you're setting him straight. No need to fly off the handle.

    Speedo

  17. #17
    Senior Member roadCruiser76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    189
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think I'm going to let it be for the time being. I may send out an email - that seems like a good idea. However, if it happens again I won't be caught flat-footed. I'll get the officer's name and badge number.

  18. #18
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In Ebritated
    Posts
    6,556
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by roadCruiser76 View Post
    EI'm tempted to try to track down this officer who was harassing me.
    While the officer was certainly incorrect in his instructions, I hardly think the exchange constituted harassment.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bellaire TX USA
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Alloro, Veloce, San Remo, Pista; Rivendell Canti Rom; Zinn custom
    Posts
    808
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think such a brief detention, occurring just once, falls short of harassment. A public display of ignorance, yes, surely, and it does need to be brought to the attention of the agencies in the area. It is not unusual to encounter this kind of ignorance; I doubt most law enforcement trainees cover bicycle-specific law, other than being told to read the whole traffic code. One of my recent trainees blew the horn while passing some cyclists, who appeared to be commuting, and muttered something about them belonging on the sidewalk. He seemed quite suprised when I told him bicycles are vehicles, and generally belong in the street.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  20. #20
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Somewhere between Funkytown and Margaritaville, PA
    My Bikes
    Lynskey R330, Litespeed Classic, Eddy Merckx MX Leader, Specialized Rock Hopper Comp (1988!)
    Posts
    5,740
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Would you be able to pick him out of a line up?
    The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.

  21. #21
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Ogopogo's shoreline
    My Bikes
    LHT, Kona Smoke
    Posts
    4,063
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HigherGround View Post
    Would you be able to pick him out of a line up?
    The one with donut crumbs in his turkey waddle?

  22. #22
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    8,945
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Few things frustrate me more than law enforcement officials being ignorant of the law. It's like a dentist drilling a perfectly good tooth.
    No worries

  23. #23
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Ogopogo's shoreline
    My Bikes
    LHT, Kona Smoke
    Posts
    4,063
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    Few things frustrate me more than law enforcement officials being ignorant of the law. It's like a dentist drilling a perfectly good tooth.
    Few things frustrate me more than LEO's acting like arrogant jackholes for no apparant reason other than they can...

    Case in point:
    The last time I had any interaction with a cop happened to be the last full day I was living in Massachusetts.
    I was a passenger in a friend of mine's vehicle, coming back from Southwick to Springfield on rt. 57, when we were pulled over at a speed trap. No big deal - we were going 67 in a 55, afterall.

    Given that this is a busy highway, the cop came up to my window, which I promptly rolled down.
    His first words were a brusque "Where are you headed" (looking into the window, between Steve and me)
    So I answered that we were heading back to Springfield from my sister's house in Southwick.
    To which he snarls "I wasn't talking to you. You were't the one speeding, right? Just be quiet unless you want me to focus on you."

    That's F'd. And there is no reason for a G.D. PUBLIC SERVANT to act like that.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, VA (formerly Amherst, MA)
    My Bikes
    Miyata touring bike, Xtracycle, Montague DX
    Posts
    280
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live in Massachusetts and have gotten similar treatment by police officers here (and also in New Hampshire when I was there). I don't know what to do about either. It makes me so angry that I can't bring myself to complain about it for fear that I will end up screaming.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •