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  1. #1
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    What do you do when you know your area's bike laws, but the police don't?

    http://www.bicycling.com/news/advoca...-stop?page=0,0

    "Gaining the right to the road was the cycling cause of the late nineteenth century; securing that right will be the cycling cause of the early twenty-first century."

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    That was published June 2010. Did I miss an update?
    LOL The End is Nigh (for 80% of middle class North Americans) - I sneer in their general direction.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
    That was published June 2010. Did I miss an update?
    Despite the age of the article pursuant to the incident mentioned, there is still a problem with law enforcement all over the U.S.. The misinterpretation of the law, where bicycles are concerned, is rampant. Several years ago, I was pulled over while riding through the former center of the city, on a two-lane blacktop. The officer just told me to be careful in traffic. Now, Was it really necessary for him to do that, no. But he was going on perception. While I told him that I was not being oblivious to any traffic behind me and that I had a right to 'take the lane', I thanked him for caring.

    I have not been stopped again(at least not yet).

    The point is, I didn't escalate the situation, or give the officer reason to escalate the situation.

    Also, There is a false impression in law enforcement, that a taser *** is not lethal. A 50,000V taser *** at 10sec. is almost like one jolt in the electric chair, minus the conductivity. So if a cyclist sees' a taser ***, just fight it out in court. Don't come close to prompting the officer to using their taser ***.
    Last edited by Chris516; 10-18-11 at 09:41 AM.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    I thought this article sounded familiar, the cyclist wins his case in court, and the LEO goes on to get elected sheriff of the same county. A win, win situation.

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    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
    That was published June 2010. Did I miss an update?
    OOOps, my bad for not checking the date, maybe there's some
    folks like me that didn't see it when it was published before?

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    deja vu all over again

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    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post
    I was riding in the center of an 11' lane on a five lane 35 mph street. I was traveling just a bit slower than the prevailing speed.

    The cop turned on his sirens and lights, and once I was sure he was serious and would follow me, I pulled into a commercial driveway/parking area where he stopped behind me.

    He told me that I couldn't ride in the middle of the lane like that and that I needed to stay near the curb.

    After a polite conversation, where I thanked him for his concern, listened to him carefully, and recognized his authority while very gradually revealing my connections with other officers in his department and my expertise in cycling safety and law, he came to understand why I was using the center of the lane. He told me that he had learned something. I asked him if I could continue on my way home using the center of the lane, and he said I was welcome to. He thanked me for my time.

    We both got back on the road. He passed me after about half a mile. I kept up with him for at least a mile before he turned off.
    Since then, I've developed training programs taken by over 800 officers in the Triangle area of NC:
    http://humantransport.org/ncbikeed/?page_id=57

  8. #8
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    sgoodris' module misstates North Carolina traffic laws to the police.

    its embarrassing to see a mention of the perpetuation of misinformation to police. perhaps sgoodri has created a better climate for bicycling in the triangle area of North Carolina.... however, it is an illusory one, at odds with the operating dictates of the state DOT and the laws of North Carolina.

    I suspect a big smash up at some point when the NC state AG or the state DOT gets a wiff of the misinformation contained in the triangle area 'training' module.


    "what do you do when the police are misinformed about traffic laws affecting bicyclists?"

    There's no guarantees the cops are going to have accurate information about bike laws, even if bicyclists have been involved in teaching it to them.

    Its' the "Oregon ten foot rule" dontchyaknow.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 10-18-11 at 12:06 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    OOOps, my bad for not checking the date, maybe there's some
    folks like me that didn't see it when it was published before?
    Regardless of the case mentioned, the article is still pertinent, after the fact.

  10. #10
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    You can find cycling law pamphlets/cards for a lot of the states- things online you can print and carry with you. If you are absolutely certain you have not broken any traffic law, maybe showing that to a cop will get them to reconsider. On the other hand, if you hand the card over to the cop, he can go fishing and find a different offense to ticket you for. So handle with care.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  11. #11
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    So if a cyclist sees' a taser ***, just fight it out in court. Don't come close to prompting the officer to using their taser ***.
    I believe the correct response is "Don't tase me bro".
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    http://www.bicycling.com/news/advoca...-stop?page=0,0

    "Gaining the right to the road was the cycling cause of the late nineteenth century; securing that right will be the cycling cause of the early twenty-first century."
    This is the case that I was referring to in another thread.

    Given sadly how ignorant that it seems that most LEO's are in regards to the law(s) that they're suppose to be enforcing. I would NOT recommend that one stand on the side of the road arguing with the LEO. What I would do is keep a copy of the relative law(s) with me on my bike and if stopped take them out and allow the LEO in question to read it.

    If s/he still wants to give you a ticket quietly accept it and thank them for their concern. I would then take it to court and fight it. I would also do as much research as possible before going to court. Such as getting a copy of the transcript of the Trotwood v Selz case. I would also try to find a copy of the transcript of the case from Ga that the Judge that heard the appeal in the Trotwood v Selz case as well as any other cases that involved cyclists rights.

    I would also request that the case be heard by just a judge, if at all possible. As I think that it is likely to be easier to convince a lone Judge vs. a jury of 12 who are most likely then not to be made up of people who's primary mode of transportation is the automobile.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Despite the age of the article pursuant to the incident mentioned, there is still a problem with law enforcement all over the U.S.. The misinterpretation of the law, where bicycles are concerned, is rampant. Several years ago, I was pulled over while riding through the former center of the city, on a two-lane blacktop. The officer just told me to be careful in traffic. Now, Was it really necessary for him to do that, no. But he was going on perception. While I told him that I was not being oblivious to any traffic behind me and that I had a right to 'take the lane', I thanked him for caring.

    I have not been stopped again(at least not yet).

    The point is, I didn't escalate the situation, or give the officer reason to escalate the situation.

    Also, There is a false impression in law enforcement, that a taser *** is not lethal. A 50,000V taser *** at 10sec. is almost like one jolt in the electric chair, minus the conductivity. So if a cyclist sees' a taser ***, just fight it out in court. Don't come close to prompting the officer to using their taser ***.
    Agreed, I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned before how last year at about this time I had a LEO get on his PA system and order me to either ride closer to the right side of the road or to get on the sidewalk. The irony is/was that this was at around 2200 or 2300hrs at night on a road with at least two lanes for each direction of travel. He could have very easily moved over into the left hand lane to pass me.

    As I could be mistaken, but I do not believe that there is any law here in Florida that requires me as a cyclist to ride on the sidewalk. And given that my usual "cruising" speed is around 17MPH (give or take) I'm moving too fast to be safe to be riding on the sidewalk.
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  14. #14
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    sgoodris' module misstates North Carolina traffic laws to the police.

    its embarrassing to see a mention of the perpetuation of misinformation to police. perhaps sgoodri has created a better climate for bicycling in the triangle area of North Carolina.... however, it is an illusory one, at odds with the operating dictates of the state DOT and the laws of North Carolina.

    I suspect a big smash up at some point when the NC state AG or the state DOT gets a wiff of the misinformation contained in the triangle area 'training' module.
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

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  15. #15
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    sorry but it's true. police education modules can get the laws wrong; sgoodri's does exactly that.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  16. #16
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    There cannot be a reasonable expectation that an LEO understand every law they are charged to enforce. However, one would hope that if a traffic cop is doing traffic work, he would have a decent understanding of the laws. But our arguing doesn't solve the problem, and can make it worse. Certainly being a smartass is almost a guarantee to make it worse. Be courteous, then head off to court. Be sure the ticket is clear as to the violation.

    The downside, here in Oregon, is that the judge has almost no discretion to toss a ticket. The legislature some years back didn't like the fact that judges were tossing tickets, and the state and locality weren't getting their cut. So for us a court date is the route, and hopefully the officer isn't there.....
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    I'd say that works for someone that can ride 30-35 mph for prolonged distances, it's not the general rule or a real argument for 99% of the cyclists.

  18. #18
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    sorry but it's true. police education modules can get the laws wrong; sgoodri's does exactly that.
    Only in your misguided mind.
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    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post
    Since then, I've developed training programs taken by over 800 officers in the Triangle area of NC:
    http://humantransport.org/ncbikeed/?page_id=57
    The Force is strong with sggoodri.

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    How does that go again.......Oh Yeah.......Ignorance of the law is no excuse! Counts for policemen too.

    I show them the laws I carry in my wallet.

    Like when I'm obstructing traffic,that's a favorite one in my town.

    First thing I do when I get stopped for stupid stuff is ask to see their picture I.D.,BEFORE I show them mine.

    You look like a cop......You better show me that picture ID.

    I don't take crap from the police anymore.
    Last edited by Booger1; 10-24-11 at 05:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    How does that go again.......Oh Yeah.......Ignorance of the law is no excuse! Counts for policemen too.

    I show them the laws I carry in my wallet.

    Like when I'm obstructing traffic,that's a favorite one in my town.

    First thing I do when I get stopped for stupid stuff is ask to see their picture I.D.,BEFORE I show them mine.

    You look like a cop......You better show me that picture ID.

    I don't take crap from the police anymore.

    Yeah, but I bet the minute you or I ask a LEO to show us their ID, they'd probably flip out on us, and threaten to take us to jail? I'm with you, not a big fan of cops & their ******y methods, but still. Most cops IMO, don't know many laws& often times make up things to cover their asses over it, or they fish for some other BS law, to enforce on us.

    Curious, the cop(s) you asked to show you their IDs, what was their reaction/ response?

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    All real police are suppose to carry a PICTURE ID,just like we are suppose too.

    Most of them show it,some think they are above that.My lawyer mails the Chief a letter and I file a complaint.Next time they can't get it out of their ID holder fast enough.

    Just like you HAVE to show some form of ID or they can take you in for 48 hours.They HAVE to show a picture ID when asked or their in BIG trouble if they don't.

    You don't have to do crap if they don't.Just ride away,if they detain you,that's false imprisonment(like in kidnapping..A FELONY),crap hits the fan when my lawyer contacts the dept about filing charges against them.

    They change their additude PRONTO when they get contacted by a lawyer.I don't look like I can afford a lawyer....SURPRIZE!

    Even without the lawyer,Chiefs don't take too kindly if police do not show ID when asked.That's a requirement,by law,when asked.

    Anybody can dress up to LOOK like a cop.

    I see you live in SoCal,I live in Downey......Sheriff deputies are the worst,they think they own the place.

    Do not raise a stick or run from Downey cops.....It seems they are trigger happy as of late.... They have shot and killed 2 people in the last week.One for raising a stick and folding pocket knife,the other just for running from them.They shot him 5 times,twice in the back,he was UNARMED,or so the papers say.I hope that the prick cop goes to prison.That's going to cost the city a bundle.

    If you don't believe me about ID,call your local PD and ask them.They will tell you the same thing.
    Last edited by Booger1; 10-25-11 at 02:52 PM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    All real police are suppose to carry a PICTURE ID,just like we are suppose too.

    Most of them show it,some think they are above that.My lawyer mails the Chief a letter and I file a complaint.Next time they can't get it out of their ID holder fast enough.

    Just like you HAVE to show some form of ID or they can take you in for 48 hours.They HAVE to show a picture ID when asked or their in BIG trouble if they don't.

    You don't have to do crap if they don't.Just ride away,if they detain you,that's false imprisonment(like in kidnapping..A FELONY),crap hits the fan when my lawyer contacts the dept about filing charges against them.

    They change their additude PRONTO when they get contacted by a lawyer.I don't look like I can afford a lawyer....SURPRIZE!

    Even without the lawyer,Chiefs don't take too kindly if police do not show ID when asked.That's a requirement,by law,when asked.

    Anybody can dress up to LOOK like a cop.

    I see you live in SoCal,I live in Downey......Sheriff deputies are the worst,they think they own the place.

    Do not raise a stick or run from Downey cops.....It seems they are trigger happy as of late.... They have shot and killed 2 people in the last week.One for raising a stick and folding pocket knife,the other just for running from them.They shot him 5 times,twice in the back,he was UNARMED,or so the papers say.I hope that the prick cop goes to prison.That's going to cost the city a bundle.

    If you don't believe me about ID,call your local PD and ask them.They will tell you the same thing.
    Booger1,

    Since you are familiar with the law requiring police to show ID can you please post the law. I would like a copy. I would especially like to see the section that it's false imprisonment if they detain you without showing picture ID first.

    On a side note it seems odd that if you suspect that someone is not a real officer that an ID, to which there is no standard as they differ from department to department, would satisfy your suspicions seeing that it is easier and cheaper to make a fake ID than it is to duplicate an entire police car and uniform. I hope you know what every police ID in your area looks like or else you may still be a victim of an impostor.

    You suggested calling our local PD. I have no doubt that there could easily be departments that have a policy similar to what you have stated but that is different from a law. So again, since my google search failed, please provide a link to the law. A law would cover us from every department not just those with that policy.

    In addition you state that we are supposed to provide a picture ID. Can you post that law as well. I am unfamiliar with the requirement for a US citizen to carry a photo ID unless driving or a few other special circumstances. There is no federal requirement and each state is allowed to make their own rules as to when an individual is required to provide their information but the courts have ruled that verbally providing your information in most cases is sufficient. I was unaware that they could only hold you for 48 hours if they can't ID you. After 48 hours they are mandated to release a suspect even if they have not identified that suspect? That is very interesting as I thought they could hold an individual until they provided identification. I guess if someone is wanted on serious charges they should just refuse to ID themselves for 48 hours and then just ask to leave.

    Thanks in advance for any information.

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