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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post

    snips

    I'm gladly the first one to say "question authority." I'm also a "don't tread on me" libertarian. I'm a fan of checks, balances and transparency. But in, oh, maybe twelve thousand miles of road riding over the years - no, I never had any experience with a cop. Does that make me unusual? What I find unusual here is Joe's comment that "I have been pulled over by the police for riding my bike more times than I can remember." That, Joe, makes you rather interesting. What does that mean - seven, eight, a dozen times you've been pulled over? That's very outside the norm. Maybe it's where you live, maybe it's your local police chief, maybe people have been killed on that road, maybe it's a choice you're making about riding, maybe it's just the worst luck I've ever heard of... what do you think is the reason you've been pulled over so much?
    I have been pulled over by cops while cycling. My city (Palo Alto, CA) started out the bikeway era by requiring cyclists on is main streets to use the sidewalk. Knowing that danger, I refused, resisting police persuasion until I was given a ticket to court. That same ordinance required cyclists to turn left directly from a bike lane. So I wandered around until I found a likely cop, and made a vehicular left turn. That got me a trial on these two instances of one ordinance. Palo Alto repealed its ordinance, after a lengthy legal debate.

    I was cycling around the north end of Lake Tahoe, Cal Highway 89 as I remember. I knew that through the trees between the highway and the lake was a bike path, but California never has had a mandatory bike-path law (I had stopped that from being enacted). I was stopped by a cop for using the highway. I told him to radio his supervisor to see whether there was a law that I was violating. It took 45 minutes or so, but I informed him that he had no business with me and I had no business with him, so I was moving on.

    Cycling into downtown Washington DC from Dulles airport, I crossed the Potomac on Chain Bridge, and noticed that the road paralleling the river was posted NO TRUCKS and carrying a lot of traffic headed my way. OK for me, I figured. A cop stopped me after about a mile. He really couldn't figure out what statute I was violating, but wrote down something inapplicable. I was attending a three-day meeting in DC, and needed to return to California, so I got an early trial date. Once I arrived in court they changed the charge (not legal in the courtroom, but legal once I left it). There is or was a Federal Regulation saying that cycling is prohibited in the National Capital Parks, except upon roads and such other places as permitted by the Superintendent. Great swathes of area around the national center are part of NCP, cyclists use the roads there all the time, and nowhere is there a sign saying BICYCLE RIDING PERMITTED ON THIS ROAD. There should have been a comma separating "roads" from "and such other places as permitted by the Superintendent", but there wasn't. So the court read the regulation as prohibiting cycling on all roads except those on which the Superintendent had posted permission, despite the fact that cyclists used these roads daily (I knew some who used park roads during their commute, and who were experts in traffic law). The trouble was that I had followed traffic into town along a normal commuting road, the Something or Other Memorial Highway, which had some special status, although there were no signs posted to inform users of its special status.

    I was stopped by another Palo Alto cop. I was traveling on a road with four 10-foot lanes without parking, that transformed, at a signalized intersection, into the same width with only two lanes and residential parking each side. While on the outside lane of the four-lane portion, a motorist came up behind me and swerved left almost hitting a cop car that was in the inside lane. We all reached the intersection at a red light. When the light turned green, the traffic sorted itself out into one line that was overtaking me on my left. The cop insisted on staying behind me, turned on lights and siren, and got me prosecuted for delaying her progress, when there was no lane left for her to move in.

    I place these examples before you-all readers because they illustrate that Americans all know that cyclists are supposed to stay out of the way of motorists; there are laws that say so (the FTR and mandatory bikeway laws), so that whenever cyclists get in the way of motorists they must be violating some law or other. All that remains is for the cop and prosecutor to find that law, no matter how twisted must be the logic that makes that law apply to the case. The only real way to get out of this legal nastiness toward cyclists is to repeal the laws that prohibit cyclists from obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles and thereby make cyclists second-class road users, subservient to motorists. These are the side-of-the-road laws (FTR) and the mandatory bikeway laws. With those laws repealed, cops, prosecutors and judges would have very little on which to hang their prejudices.

  2. #52
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Just curious what you mean by the statement I just bolded above.

    Why I am curious is that his number of times being pulled over seems high to me. I am wondering what it is that he's doing that's causing so many interactions with cops. Over the years I've had a couple of interactions with cops- maybe 3 of any note. The worse have been in areas with very few cyclists. Delaware has a pretty active cycling community statewide and the Wilmington area is not exactly Hickville.

    When I ride my bike, I ride my bike. In other words any "advocacy" or "political statements" I may make when riding are completely coincidental. When riding, "advocacy" is far removed from my primary purpose of biking from point A to point B as safely as possible.

    Are you implying that JoeJack is deliberately making some kind of statement of advocacy by the manner in which he is riding?- a kind of one man Critical Mass.

    Is that accurate JoeJack?

    I tried to explain it. He rides in places that most of us would not ride. High traffic, very autocentric areas. Not the backroad, Wyeth country or rural delmarva area. People are not used to seeing bikes, and the 5 seconds they might have to slow for him is an outrage to them. He gets targeted based on being on a bike, nothing else. Im not sure what's to not understand about the advocacy. He has a right to the road and is fighting the unfair overreaction by police. Lots of people would change their routes, he doesnt. I dont support gangs of roadies on 'training' rides who anger people by running stops en masse or not singling up when they are supposed to in high travel areas, but this is different, one guy going to work, not bothering anyone, being targeted because its not 'normal'. People have accused me on this forum of making it hard for them in their state because I "back-down" from harassing motorists. Ridiculously, its guy like me who "make it hard for everybody". If thats the case, its guys like Joe who are giving us the most positive presence.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Is that accurate JoeJack?
    No. I am riding a bike, something that I enjoy doing. If I could do it without a single soul in the entire universe knowing about it, I'd enjoy it just as much as I currently do. When someone attempts to piss on my parade out of ignorance, I am going to fight back.

  4. #54
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    John F

    Good read, and keep on fighting stupid laws.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
    I tried to explain it. He rides in places that most of us would not ride. High traffic, very autocentric areas. Not the backroad, Wyeth country or rural delmarva area.
    I should add that I ride in all sorts of areas. My commute starts out in the suburbs and then cuts through some rural land, going along the Brandywine for a bit and then right past the Dupont mansion. I was ticketed this time on a road right near the town center of Centerville. Cyclists do frequent many of the roads I use. A member of BikeDE was pulled over recently on one of the same rural roads I use by a PA state cop. He was not ticketed though.

  6. #56
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    I think in many cases the police are just bored and pull over a cyclist just for the enjoyment to see what his reaction is. These incidents are nothing more than an ego trip. Most probably dont end up with a ticket being written because the cop knows no "CRIME" was committed by the cyclist.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    I think in many cases the police are just bored and pull over a cyclist just for the enjoyment to see what his reaction is. These incidents are nothing more than an ego trip. Most probably dont end up with a ticket being written because the cop knows no "CRIME" was committed by the cyclist.
    Of course, Rydabent is stating an opinion about a subject for which there are very few, possibly no, facts. Might his experience be affected by his riding a recumbent, if that is what he usually rides? But for the general cycling public, I think that Rydabent's suggestion is not very likely correct. I think that the cop is likely to have two motivations: safety and violation, both of which are, in the case of bicycle traffic, driven by superstition. The cop may decide that admonition to ride in what he thinks to be the safe manner is more likely to accomplish his ends than writing a citation. Furthermore, even if the cop thinks that the cyclist has been operating unlawfully, he may not recognize the statute that has, supposedly, been violated. And he may be one of those who is coming to realize that American traffic law for cyclists is filled with enormous difficulties, for both cyclist and cop. All in all, I think that it is more likely that one of these scenarios is more likely than the scenario of the bored cop looking for entertainment.

  8. #58
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Of course, Rydabent is stating an opinion about a subject for which there are very few, possibly no, facts.
    Mr. Forester has posted a statement I can agree with 100%!

    Hmmm, maybe pigs can fly!

  9. #59
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    I think in many cases the police are just bored and pull over a cyclist just for the enjoyment to see what his reaction is. These incidents are nothing more than an ego trip. Most probably dont end up with a ticket being written because the cop knows no "CRIME" was committed by the cyclist.
    Every time I have been pulled over by a cop it has been for a valid reason... I have never been ticketed, but conversations have taken place and warnings were given. I think the LEOs were well justified in their concerns and gave me the benefit of the doubt after a bit of discussion. I have never been confrontational with a LEO either... so maybe that is why I ride away with warnings. (never thought it a smart policy to "argue" with an armed man that wore a badge)

    I honestly doubt I was ever pulled over for "entertainment value." (for the record, I have been pulled over 3 times while cycling... one of which was for running multiple stop signs... )

    Oh and regarding Foresters comment on "superstition..." Excuse me... What?
    Last edited by genec; 02-06-14 at 01:06 PM.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Every time I have been pulled over by a cop it has been for a valid reason... I have never been ticketed, but conversations have taken place and warnings were given. I think the LEOs were well justified in their concerns and gave me the benefit of the doubt after a bit of discussion. I have never been confrontational with a LEO either... so maybe that is why I ride away with warnings. (never thought it a smart policy to "argue" with an armed man that wore a badge)
    So you haven't been given the ultimatum "You can either listen to me or get a ticket"? How about "reading from the rule book" and changing words to fit their opinion of where cyclists should ride ("as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the shoulder")? Or refusing to acknowledge simple things like a cyclist is a driver of a vehicle or that 9 feet isn't a shareable lane? It's these types of conversations that have lead to me receiving tickets.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I honestly doubt I was ever pulled over for "entertainment value." (for the record, I have been pulled over 3 times while cycling... one of which was for running multiple stop signs... )
    What were the other two reasons where they had valid concerns?

  11. #61
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    anyone see the story today about a highway cop that handcuffed and arrested a fireman who was trying to save lives at a highway rollover because the fireman wouldn't move his truck? some cops have a stick up their a*s if you don't obey them immediately. you can't ever say no to a cop
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    So you haven't been given the ultimatum "You can either listen to me or get a ticket"? How about "reading from the rule book" and changing words to fit their opinion of where cyclists should ride ("as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the shoulder")? Or refusing to acknowledge simple things like a cyclist is a driver of a vehicle or that 9 feet isn't a shareable lane? It's these types of conversations that have lead to me receiving tickets.
    snip
    It's no wonder that dialogue with cops leads to tickets. Look at Joejack951 when he claimed, to the cop, that "a cyclist is a driver of a vehicle". Whether your state defines bicycles as vehicles or has a statute that supposedly gives cyclists the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles, as long as you are in a state with the FTR law, or that allows locals to enact FTR ordinances, you are prohibited from exercising the rights of drivers of vehicles. "Yah, sure; they call you the driver of a vehicle, but if you act like a driver I'm going to write you up for violating the law, and that one will stick!"

    We have to work to get repeal of the FTR and bikeway traffic laws, in order to regain the right to operate as drivers of vehicles. That right should have never been taken away from us to suit motorist convenience, and should not be advocated today to suit the anti-motoring enthusiasts.

  13. #63
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    So you haven't been given the ultimatum "You can either listen to me or get a ticket"? How about "reading from the rule book" and changing words to fit their opinion of where cyclists should ride ("as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the shoulder")? Or refusing to acknowledge simple things like a cyclist is a driver of a vehicle or that 9 feet isn't a shareable lane? It's these types of conversations that have lead to me receiving tickets.

    What were the other two reasons where they had valid concerns?
    One was that I was riding on an interstate highway... Highway 10 to be exact, just outside of Tucson heading toward the city. I had tried to use frontage roads, but they all seemed to end in the middle of nowhere, so I went right back on the Freeway and continued my tour... And was pulled over by Arizona Safety Patrol or Highway Patrol (not sure what they are called). The officer got out of the car and asked right off if I had ever been ticketed in Arizona... "cause I was about to be..." He started off stern... we talked for a bit... and he directed me to the nearest exit and assured me that that particular frontage road would take me all the way into town (I was 2 days out of San Diego touring east). The road did indeed go all the way into town.

    The other time I was on a bike entering Bisbee... and I must have triggered something in the cop's mind... he wanted to know if I was a vagrant and where I was planning on staying. Turned out there wasn't any open hotel rooms in town due to a bird watcher's convention... I ended up sleeping in the jail that night... but on friendly terms... I was not under arrest. The cell was offered to me vice me sleeping out on the road ("not recommended"). I went and had a nice meal, and then went to the jail and spent the night. The cage was locked... "for my protection."

    My only other occasion with a LEO was after I was hit by a car that ran a stop sign... The LEO came into my hospital room to get details from my POV... as I was unconscious when they brought me in. The driver was given a ticket for failure to yield ROW.

    I have ridden highways and interstates all over the west... but never been ticketed for it. I have even had a LEO direct MV traffic out of a BL while I was commuting in it... that was classic... motorists using the BL as their third lane... and this motor cop pulls over and directs the cars OUT of the BL.

    I am not "militant" about my road use, but I do take the lane when and where I need it... and if MV traffic has to slow down, well that is the way it is. If I am using the lane it is my lane. But by the same token, I also believe that the roads can be laid out better to provide for cyclists... especially where the speed limits are set high for MV traffic. And I do use shoulders where the shoulder is suitable (smooth and flat). I have no special need to be "in the travel lane" if there is a suitable alternative. (and I mean suitable... gravel and chipseal are NOT suitable)

    BTW I have had plenty of run ins with motorists that didn't know jack. So it is not as if I am some special likable guy...
    Last edited by genec; 02-06-14 at 02:19 PM.

  14. #64
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Cycling into downtown Washington DC from Dulles airport, I crossed the Potomac on Chain Bridge, and noticed that the road paralleling the river was posted NO TRUCKS and carrying a lot of traffic headed my way. OK for me, I figured. A cop stopped me after about a mile. He really couldn't figure out what statute I was violating, but wrote down something inapplicable. I was attending a three-day meeting in DC, and needed to return to California, so I got an early trial date. Once I arrived in court they changed the charge (not legal in the courtroom, but legal once I left it). There is or was a Federal Regulation saying that cycling is prohibited in the National Capital Parks, except upon roads and such other places as permitted by the Superintendent. Great swathes of area around the national center are part of NCP, cyclists use the roads there all the time, and nowhere is there a sign saying BICYCLE RIDING PERMITTED ON THIS ROAD. There should have been a comma separating "roads" from "and such other places as permitted by the Superintendent", but there wasn't. So the court read the regulation as prohibiting cycling on all roads except those on which the Superintendent had posted permission, despite the fact that cyclists used these roads daily (I knew some who used park roads during their commute, and who were experts in traffic law). The trouble was that I had followed traffic into town along a normal commuting road, the Something or Other Memorial Highway, which had some special status, although there were no signs posted to inform users of its special status.
    Actually it's the National Park Service;National Capital Parks are their own thing,I believe over in Suitland.

    Which parkway were you on?
    https://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-...d=0CLIBEPwSMA8

    We have had some issues here in DC with the Park Police and some of the parkways. Cycling actually isn't allowed on some of them(and would be really dangerous on a couple of them anyway),but many times they don't make the distinction. If you were on the Clara Barton,I'm pretty sure it's legal(it def is when it becomes Canal Rd),but that's a bad road for cycling. Of course being from out of town there's no way to know that from a map.

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  15. #65
    genec genec's Avatar
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    This little exchange that just happened in my area shows that indeed perhaps being testy at the wrong moment can result in handcuffs if not arrest.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow...150128011.html

    A California Highway Patrol officer put an on-duty Chula Vista firefighter in handcuffs for refusing to move his truck while tending to victims of a car crash.

    The officer replied, "We asked you to clear the road, you said ‘No.’ You are being arrested for not moving."

    Gregoire was reportedly detained in the back of a highway patrol car for several minutes before being released. He was not charged.

    Chula Vista Fire Chief Dave Hanneman told CBS, "To detain one of our firefighters in the middle of an incident is ridiculous."

    In a statement, Hanneman praised the firefighters for doing what they were trained to do — protecting the scene of an accident with their trucks.
    So you may be fully in your rights but a LEO may interpret your responses negatively and detain you... no matter how professional or polite you are in your response.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Actually it's the National Park Service;National Capital Parks are their own thing,I believe over in Suitland.

    Which parkway were you on?
    https://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-...d=0CLIBEPwSMA8

    We have had some issues here in DC with the Park Police and some of the parkways. Cycling actually isn't allowed on some of them(and would be really dangerous on a couple of them anyway),but many times they don't make the distinction. If you were on the Clara Barton,I'm pretty sure it's legal(it def is when it becomes Canal Rd),but that's a bad road for cycling. Of course being from out of town there's no way to know that from a map.
    As I wrote, the road that I was on was posted NO TRUCKS. No other posting of prohibitions at all. If cyclists were not allowed, then the road should have been posted BICYCLES PROHIBITED. It was not so posted.

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    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    As I wrote, the road that I was on was posted NO TRUCKS. No other posting of prohibitions at all. If cyclists were not allowed, then the road should have been posted BICYCLES PROHIBITED. It was not so posted.
    I'm guessing you were also dealing with Park Police(green uniform? MPD is blue)? They honestly do not seem to like cyclists. As I said,I don't think cyclists are banned from Clara Barton.

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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    john f

    I may be wrong about what I say about some cops, but in the several forums that I am on I see a common thread of wrong headed or uninformed cops pulling over cyclist. I think that in most states cyclist have all the rights and privlidges of the road. If not bored, or just wanting to harrass cyclist, why do so many cyclist get pulled over?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I'm guessing you were also dealing with Park Police(green uniform? MPD is blue)? They honestly do not seem to like cyclists. As I said,I don't think cyclists are banned from Clara Barton.
    That was so long ago I don't remember the color of the cop's uniform. I was interested to see that he had three different vehicle codes to keep track of, because he looked in all three to try to find something that he could charge me with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    john f

    I may be wrong about what I say about some cops, but in the several forums that I am on I see a common thread of wrong headed or uninformed cops pulling over cyclist. I think that in most states cyclist have all the rights and privlidges of the road. If not bored, or just wanting to harrass cyclist, why do so many cyclist get pulled over?
    You are mistaken about the legal status of cyclists on public roadways. You do not have the rights and privileges (stated as rights and duties of drivers of vehicles) of the road. Yes, in almost all states there is a statute saying so. In California it is CVC 21200: "A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle ... " including use of drugs etc etc. As I wrote before, there is the statute. Its basic provision goes back to the start of vehicle codes. However, it has been rendered right down to guff by the next but one statute, CVC 21202. Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway .... " In short you no longer have the rights of drivers of vehicles; those have been taken from you by limiting you to the edge of the roadway. That's the one thing that traffic cops know about bicycle traffic, so that whenever there is anything that the cop might find suspicious about a cyclist that is the first thing that comes to his mind.

    You-all need to understand that the FTR laws have destroyed your right to use the roadways in the normal manner, but are given the primary duty of staying out of the way of motorists, lest you be crushed. The FTR laws were enacted by motorists, and their message is "Stay out of our way or we will Crush you!"

    It is true that the modern version of the FTR law includes a list of exceptions saying that, under some conditions, in some places, at some times, maybe the FTR requirement does not apply, but very few people know about those exceptions, certainly not traffic cops and traffic judges. The whole business of American traffic law for cyclists has been forced by motordom into a legal tangle that nobody really understands. That is one of the major reasons why the traffic laws that are applicable to cyclists but not to motorists must be repealed.

  21. #71
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    john f

    I may be wrong about what I say about some cops, but in the several forums that I am on I see a common thread of wrong headed or uninformed cops pulling over cyclist. I think that in most states cyclist have all the rights and privlidges of the road. If not bored, or just wanting to harrass cyclist, why do so many cyclist get pulled over?
    I have read a few post on different cop forums talking about how they screwed with cyclists for the fun of it. At least several other cops pushed back on their stupid attitudes.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    john f

    Even with FRAP laws added to the fact that cyclist may use almost any road and hi-way, it still remains that cyclist have the right to use them.

    As stated by many FRAP can ONLY be judge by the cyclist on any particular road. He or she ALONE has to judge what is safe according to the FRAP law. If the police write up a cyclist for what ever reason saying the cyclist has violated the FRAP ordinance, the ticket is almost alway dismissed, or the cyclist found not guilty.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    john f

    Even with FRAP laws added to the fact that cyclist may use almost any road and hi-way, it still remains that cyclist have the right to use them.

    As stated by many FRAP can ONLY be judge by the cyclist on any particular road. He or she ALONE has to judge what is safe according to the FRAP law. If the police write up a cyclist for what ever reason saying the cyclist has violated the FRAP ordinance, the ticket is almost alway dismissed, or the cyclist found not guilty.
    You have ignored the vital difference between having the right to use the public roadways in accordance with the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, and the right to use the public roadways according to the FRAP law. If you like obeying the FRAP law, I suppose that this is OK with you, but if you prefer the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, the FRAP law places you at a disadvantage.

    You argue that the cyclist ALONE has the right to judge what is safe according to the FRAP law. The law doesn't say that, not so far as I know. That's not the way the law works, kid. The cop decides to charge you according to his motorminded emotions, and that's that. You go to court.

    And, as you say, the cyclist charged with violating the FRAP law can often, by hiring a good attorney, get his case dismissed. But that shows that the law violates the principle of innocent until proved guilty by requiring the cyclist to prove his innocence.

    The FRAP laws must be repealed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    I have read a few post on different cop forums talking about how they screwed with cyclists for the fun of it. At least several other cops pushed back on their stupid attitudes.
    I have met two DE state police officers who understood that cyclists are drivers of vehicles and do not need to operate FRAP when the lane is too narrow to share. I met them because I was attacked at a red light by a motorist who thought I didn't belong on the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I am not "militant" about my road use, but I do take the lane when and where I need it... and if MV traffic has to slow down, well that is the way it is. If I am using the lane it is my lane. But by the same token, I also believe that the roads can be laid out better to provide for cyclists... especially where the speed limits are set high for MV traffic. And I do use shoulders where the shoulder is suitable (smooth and flat). I have no special need to be "in the travel lane" if there is a suitable alternative. (and I mean suitable... gravel and chipseal are NOT suitable)
    There is likely very little (if any) difference between the way we ride. However, I have been pulled over several times. Am I "militant" about my road use or just unlucky?

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