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Old 10-24-11, 07:59 AM   #1
leob1
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Cops arrest cyclist

For your enjoyment, http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-d...h_driving.html
Yes, it's a legal requirement in NJ that you have a bell on a bicycle.
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Old 10-24-11, 08:15 AM   #2
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It's common for police to use bicycle infractions as justification to stop and question people in areas where there have been crime problems, particularly drug and gang problems. Oftentimes the police know who the person is and want an excuse to search them. Most of the police departments I've spoken with do this; in the area where I live it is the most common type of bicycle stop they do.
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Old 10-24-11, 08:38 AM   #3
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Guy got what he deserved. How would the cops have treated a motorist who pulled the same thing?
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Old 10-24-11, 11:05 AM   #4
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Guy got what he deserved. How would the cops have treated a motorist who pulled the same thing?
I don't know how the police would have treated a motorist who failed to have a bell on their bicycle. Please enlighten us.
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Old 10-24-11, 11:14 AM   #5
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I don't know how the police would have treated a motorist who failed to have a bell on their bicycle. Please enlighten us.
No, you need to read the article. The guy was going the wrong way on a one way street and refused to stop--twice. The fact that he had no lights and no bell are additional charges.

I suppose you might want to compare it to if you were driving the wrong way, wouldn't pull over, and when they finally pulled you over they found out your lights and horn didn't work. It's a fair bet you'd get written up for that in addition to refusing to stop and going the wrong way.

edit: note that this is all based on the article, I have no idea if the charges are actually true or not.
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Last edited by lostarchitect; 10-24-11 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 10-24-11, 11:19 AM   #6
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I never was a fan of "Obstruction of justice" being used as a charge against people who don't talk to police. If the guy won't identify himself and he's been charged with other offenses (this is very important here), fine -- arrest him until he can be identified. But he's not obstructing justice, he's just exercising his fifth amendment rights.

As for the rest of what happened, all we hear is what the police say happened. Maybe it's accurate, maybe it isn't ... we have no way of knowing. Quite often when a cop tells a cyclist to stop -- the cyclist doesn't even hear it. A good cop will realize this and will catch up to the guy and say it louder -- but a bad cop will go tackle or taze the guy.
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Old 10-24-11, 11:19 AM   #7
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I don't know how the police would have treated a motorist who failed to have a bell on their bicycle. Please enlighten us.
Let's approach this from another angle: how would the cop have reacted to someone that would not stop for having a dead headlight or a missing brake light?
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Old 10-24-11, 11:29 AM   #8
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wrong way.. one way street... no light.. failure to obey an LEO...that's just dumb.
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Old 10-24-11, 11:58 AM   #9
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As for the rest of what happened, all we hear is what the police say happened. Maybe it's accurate, maybe it isn't ... we have no way of knowing. Quite often when a cop tells a cyclist to stop -- the cyclist doesn't even hear it. A good cop will realize this and will catch up to the guy and say it louder -- but a bad cop will go tackle or taze the guy.
Totally. But we're just reacting to the article as published, not casting any aspirations on his guilt or innocence.
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Old 10-24-11, 01:04 PM   #10
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From the article, I can understand why he was charged with failure to stop for a police officer. But the obstruction of justice charge seems like they are grasping at straws.
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Old 10-24-11, 01:22 PM   #11
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From the article, I can understand why he was charged with failure to stop for a police officer. But the obstruction of justice charge seems like they are grasping at straws.
"Obstruction of justice" gets tagged on to a large number of arrests. It basically means, "I'm a cop and you made my life harder today." Generally, it's BS, but you can pretty much expect it if you get arrested and in any way argued with or hassled the cops.
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Old 10-24-11, 02:50 PM   #12
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wrong way.. one way street... no light.. failure to obey an LEO...that's just dumb.
+1

Sadly, maybe with the exception of the last bit, the behavior is all too common and accepted as almost normal for cyclists.

39:4-11 Audible Signal.
A bicycle must be equipped with a bell or other audible device that can be heard at least 100 feet away, but not a siren or whistle.

I wonder if they ever test this in court with actual bells.
One hundred feet in a noisy city could be tough and is "heard" given a decibel rating for a meter?
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Old 10-24-11, 04:30 PM   #13
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39:4-11 Audible Signal.
A bicycle must be equipped with a bell or other audible device that can be heard at least 100 feet away, but not a siren or whistle.
My impression is these laws are just a way of harassing any cyclist they want to harass. My voice is definitely louder than a bell that meets the requirement, and I have used it to good effect while riding a bike in New Jersey.
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Old 10-24-11, 05:04 PM   #14
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New Jersey...'nuff sed!
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Old 10-24-11, 08:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post
It's common for police to use bicycle infractions as justification to stop and question people in areas where there have been crime problems, particularly drug and gang problems. Oftentimes the police know who the person is and want an excuse to search them. Most of the police departments I've spoken with do this; in the area where I live it is the most common type of bicycle stop they do.
"Technically" thats a form of harrassment by police. if they "knew he who he/she was" beforehand, what would be the need to ask them for their ID? See what I mean? It can be construed as harrassment by a lawyer, and he'd probably win. I "get" cops have a tough job, and that they're "just trying to enforce the law", but when you're just trolling for folks who arent doing anything wrong, regardless of being a cop or not, you're kind of opening yourself up for ridicule and so forth. I know several cops, and they always tell me" They have to have a reason to stop you, otherwise they can get in trouble". If you or I arent doing anything wrong, and suddenly we're "stopped" by a cop, and questioned/searched, if we're just riding down the road, minding our own business, then, yes, the cops are ******bags, and are fishing for something to do.

My Take: if Im out on a leisurely ride, and "all of a sudden", Im approached by a cop, and questioned, I automatically think, the cop is a ****ing ******bag, and has nothing better to do with his/her time, than to harrass people who aren't doing a thing wrong, which is usually the case. I've seen cops mess with folks for no reason, and their excuse?:"I have to give you a ticket for something". Why do you think so many distrust cops around the country? Plus, like one poster said, we've only heard the cops side of the story. maybe the rider, was just out riding his bijke, not bothering anyone? who is the cop to come along and start harrassing him, for no apparent reason?

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Old 10-24-11, 08:29 PM   #16
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My impression is these laws are just a way of harassing any cyclist they want to harass. My voice is definitely louder than a bell that meets the requirement, and I have used it to good effect while riding a bike in New Jersey.

We have a winner!!!
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Old 10-24-11, 08:32 PM   #17
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I never was a fan of "Obstruction of justice" being used as a charge against people who don't talk to police. If the guy won't identify himself and he's been charged with other offenses (this is very important here), fine -- arrest him until he can be identified. But he's not obstructing justice, he's just exercising his fifth amendment rights.

As for the rest of what happened, all we hear is what the police say happened. Maybe it's accurate, maybe it isn't ... we have no way of knowing. Quite often when a cop tells a cyclist to stop -- the cyclist doesn't even hear it. A good cop will realize this and will catch up to the guy and say it louder -- but a bad cop will go tackle or taze the guy.
or, arrest him/her, and tack on phoney, BS "obstruction of Justice charges" just as you said above. Most of the cops I've dealt with(and I have friends who are cops), are egotistical ******bags, who think their word is law, and if you sneeze, they'll haul you in.
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Old 10-24-11, 08:36 PM   #18
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My impression is these laws are just a way of harassing any cyclist they want to harass. My voice is definitely louder than a bell that meets the requirement, and I have used it to good effect while riding a bike in New Jersey.
+1

Not only that, a voice doesn't rust, a bell does. I only use my voice.
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Old 10-25-11, 11:46 AM   #19
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I link the URL nj.com chose for the article: nj.com/.../bicyclist_charged_with_driving.html
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Old 10-25-11, 02:36 PM   #20
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The cops had the cyclist cold on real charges, throwing the bell charged in just makes the cops look foolish.
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