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-   -   What to do about unfair fines for biking in Houston (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/891351-what-do-about-unfair-fines-biking-houston.html)

frantik 05-26-13 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 15658667)
Doubt it. Any traffic ticket that I am aware of cites the specific code or law that was allegedly violated. An LEO might stop a bicyclist and say anything is or isn't legal, but when/if the LEO writes the ticket he has to cite something more concrete than "I say so."

There are generic laws like vehicle code 4.22 "unsafe operation" that could be used for just about anything.

bikebuddha 05-26-13 07:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 15658667)
Doubt it. Any traffic ticket that I am aware of cites the specific code or law that was allegedly violated. An LEO might stop a bicyclist and say anything is or isn't legal, but when/if the LEO writes the ticket he has to cite something more concrete than "I say so."

I suspect the OP might be misunderstanding what occurred at the traffic stop and why the ticket was issued. Perhaps the language difference may explain it.

As an attorney I can tell you there are many tickets issued that cite no code and their description of the offending contact is nebulous at best.

I-Like-To-Bike 05-26-13 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bikebuddha (Post 15668580)
As an attorney I can tell you there are many tickets issued that cite no code and their description of the offending contact is nebulous at best.


Even more nebulous is the the second hand description of the incident from the OP newbie who never came back to provide any clarification.

If the ticket has no code cited and the written description (if there IS any) doesn't describe any illegal action, it doesn't look to this non-lawyer like there should be any problem beating this ticket. Of course it might help if the OP knew what if anything was written on the ticket.

FBinNY 05-26-13 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 15669107)

If the ticket has no code cited and the written description (if there IS any) doesn't describe any illegal action, it doesn't look to this non-lawyer like there should be any problem beating this ticket. Of course it might help if the OP knew what if anything was written on the ticket.

Many (far too many) tickets are issued that are defective on face, in that there's no clear violation stated, or that the action doesn't match the statute sited. These are easily beaten in court, but it requires an appearance, which can be an expensive and time consuming process, so many opt to plead guilty and pay a fine which is cheaper in the long run.

For many years Connecticut drivers would be cited for "no front plate", front and rear license plates being mandatory in NY and New Jersey. However at the time (maybe still now") the State of Connecticut issued only a single plate, so no CT car ever had a front plate. Dismissal was automatic if you appeared in court, but the court wouldn't accept the defense by mail.

I had an employee who was routinely cited for this violation, and couldn't afford to waste time in traffic court each time. If finally ended when a lawyer friend drew up a letter and served it on the captain of the precinct, threatening to sue him personally if his men weren't trained in the simple fact that there were no front plates on CT cars. Of course it was an empty threat, but the message was understood.

There's no real answer to harassment by citation, but if there's a clear pattern, the best remedy is often through the local TV news. Police command staff hate to be embarrassed, and having a TV reporter stick a microphone in their face while asking whether the cops are writing invalid citations (especially if they're toward the end of the month) to harass certain classes of people, or to make some kind of monthly quota.

I-Like-To-Bike 05-26-13 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15669155)
Many (far too many) tickets are issued that are defective on face, in that there's no clear violation stated, or that the action doesn't match the statute sited. These are easily beaten in court, but it requires an appearance, which can be an expensive and time consuming process, so many opt to plead guilty and pay a fine which is cheaper in the long run.

True; but:
We don't know if the ticket is defective, since the OP or the bicyclists may have "misunderstood" or misspoke about what happened or why the ticket was issued, if it was issued. In the second, third and fourth hand retelling, and translations there may have been false assumptions, omissions and misunderstanding by the OP or the bicyclists or the LEO involved with the incident or A&S posters, or by all.

FBinNY 05-26-13 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 15669471)
True; but:
We don't know if the ticket is defective, since the OP or the bicyclists may have "misunderstood" or misspoke about what happened or why the ticket was issued, if it was issued. In the second, third and fourth hand retelling, and translations there may have been false assumptions, omissions and misunderstanding by the OP or the bicyclists or the LEO involved with the incident or A&S posters, or by all.

Agreed, we have to be careful in referencing the particular of any post, especially when there's 2nd or 3rh hand info. This is why I try to keep my posts generic and general, letting those directly involved know options, and take whatever action seems appropriate.

I may be lucky, live in the right area, or maybe just less paranoid, but I don't feel there's any great conspiracy against cyclists among drivers or cops. Sure I've run into the occasional TOTAC (terminus of the alimentary canal) out there, as I'm sure most of us have, but they're far and away the exception rather than the rule.

I-Like-To-Bike 05-26-13 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15669509)
I may be lucky, live in the right area, or maybe just less paranoid, but I don't feel there's any great conspiracy against cyclists among drivers or cops.

I'd bet on the less paranoid, certainly less than some of the A&S firebrands who spew hysterical rhetoric about the "war" they are fighting in the streets against the motoring public and The Man who represents them.

FBinNY 05-26-13 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 15669535)
I'd bet on the less paranoid, certainly less than some of the A&S firebrands who spew hysterical rhetoric about the "war" they are fighting in the streets against the motoring public and The Man who represents them.

I don't know if paranoid is the right work, maybe self-absorbed is closer. People create wars to suit their agendas, then see everything in that context. Many of these warriors see everything as being about the cause, and consider those who should, but font get it as traitors. Years ago, I'll bet that many of these types believed that Carly Simon really wrote a song about them.

I-Like-To-Bike 05-26-13 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15669551)
I don't know if paranoid is the right work, maybe self-absorbed is closer. People create wars to suit their agendas, then see everything in that context. Many of these warriors see everything as being about the cause, and consider those who should, but font get it as traitors. Years ago, I'll bet that many of these types believed that Carly Simon really wrote a song about them.

By Jove, I think you got it.

Rather than waiting for the next Carly Simon to sing about the virtues of these self absorbed fellows, they can now post their own edited "battlefield" video to prove to the world that they are brave warriors.

CB HI 05-26-13 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15669155)
There's no real answer to harassment by citation, but if there's a clear pattern, the best remedy is often through the local TV news. Police command staff hate to be embarrassed, and having a TV reporter stick a microphone in their face while asking whether the cops are writing invalid citations (especially if they're toward the end of the month) to harass certain classes of people, or to make some kind of monthly quota.

Don't you know that there is no such thing as citation quotas.



That is why it was so odd that in a police station briefing room on the white board, I saw listing of difference traffic offenses, # of tickets issued and the # of tickets remaining to be issued. So they even broke it down by offense.

bergerandfries 05-31-13 02:04 PM

Anyone contacted BikeHouston? http://www.bikehouston.org/


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