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Old 11-01-08, 07:31 PM   #1
CCrew
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Anyone ever gotten a speeding ticket?

Don't really know how to deal with this one. Son got one today on his tri-bike for 38 in a 25. Cop clocked him from the patrol car. Bliped the siren, lights, the whole drill.

Kid's 16 and has only a learners permit, don't want to just pay this and see him get points on his license. Inclination is to fight it since VA law doesn't require him to have a speedometer. And yes, I've checked - they cited him on a motor vehicle code, so it would go against his license.

Although I am proud of him - kid's an animal - I can only dream of maintaining that pace!
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Old 11-01-08, 07:45 PM   #2
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First of all, what kind of TT bike was he riding?

Second, you could take it to court and hope the judge goes easy on him due to his age...
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Old 11-01-08, 07:57 PM   #3
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First of all, what kind of TT bike was he riding?
We bought him a Cervelo that he was longing for. I'd have to doublecheck but IIRC it's a P2C. He got into Tri in a big way this year and has finished top 5 overall in every event he's done. Last was a duathalon where he took first overall and we bought a dedicated tri-bike since it was obvious that he was serious and it wasn't a passing thing. Varsity swimmer and Cross-country, and riding a bike since wee kid, so he took to tri naturally.

Me, I'm an old man, I bike commute to work and have two speeds - slow and stopped

I can't help but be proud of the kid, 38mph is getting down the road. He said he knew the cop was behind him, but he wasn't trying to pass so he didn't pay him much mind.

-R

Last edited by CCrew; 11-01-08 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 07:58 PM   #4
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I dont recommend fighting any type of ticket without a lawyer. But then again Ive been screwed by many a bored traffic judge.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:02 PM   #5
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Got one for around the same speeds in a state park in western New York state around 93. I went to fight it and they laughed at me. Then again I don't know when points came into effect. I ended up paying 25 as a fine and some silly park fee.


I was going down a hill though so I can't claim anything near as cool as your son...
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Old 11-01-08, 08:05 PM   #6
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If he doesn't need a speedometer, how would he know he was speeding? I'd fight it. I bet the law only counts for motor vehicles anyhow.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:12 PM   #7
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If he doesn't need a speedometer, how would he know he was speeding? I'd fight it. I bet the law only counts for motor vehicles anyhow.
That's where I am with it. He has a cateye on the bike, mistake he made was that the cop asked him if he knew how fast he was going. He told him yes. Epic fail there, but hey, he's a kid. If I was running 38mph on a flat I'd be flipping proud

-R

Last edited by CCrew; 11-01-08 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:12 PM   #8
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I would fight it. When I lived in Michigan, there was a plea called, "Guilty with an Explanation" or something like that. When I went to argue a ticket once, virtually all the people there plead that way. The judge allowed them all to get out of there without the points on the license, although he did make them pay the fine.

I know these things vary from state to state, but you may want to look into something like that.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:26 PM   #9
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I'm no lawyer, but a quick glance at VA law leads me to believe you could even get a ticket for exceeding the limit on a skateboard. The law targets "A Person" may not exceed the limit, not specifying operating a Motor Vehicle, or even vehicle at all. The exception is to people operating certain vehicles which automatically have a lower speed limit.

A lawyer may help, but I wouldn't even try the no speedo bit other than to maybe say there isn't one. Saying that, since it isn't required to have one, speed limits don't apply to him would not up my opinion of him if I were the judge. A judges opinion of the defendant may influence any leniency used.

Last edited by tdister; 11-01-08 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:33 PM   #10
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I had a friend in SoCal nailed for the same reason. He beat it here as there is a separate specific code number for bicycle-specific violations. He told the Judge I was going that speed but I am not guilty of what I was cited for. "Explain", said the Judge. The code on the ticket is for a Motor vehicle violation. Ask the officer what my vehicle was. "A bicycle". "And where is the motor?" "Dismissed." Yes, you bet, absolutely, get a lawyer who specializes in bike law. The League of American Bicyclists should be able to help you.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:38 PM   #11
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50 years from now no one remember whether you won or lost the case. I couldn't tell how to advise you on whether to fight or pay. I would keep the ticket and frame it. He could tell his grand-kids about that one.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:50 PM   #12
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In California, a ticket on a bike does not count as a moving violation on your DMV record. I would check to see what the law is in VA. Did the LEO ask him for ID? Did he produce his permit? If not, it is doubtful they will match it to his ticket.

My suggestion would be to go to court, and have your son explain to the judge that he was on a bicycle. He recognizes what he did was wrong, and is willing to pay the fine, but is there a way to resolve the matter without it counting as a point on his record? As an attorney who has served as a judge pro tem (a REALLY crappy job), I would be inclined to accept the humility of this approach, fine him $1, and send him on his way. But, that's just me . . . check with a lawyer in VA.
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Old 11-01-08, 09:01 PM   #13
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El Pelon probably has the best advice but, just because this kind of thing is fun to me...

If going to straight up fight it, maybe you could see if there are any guidelines (manufacturer or government) on operating the radar gun that may have been impossible to follow when using it on a bicycle? Meaning, is it standard procedure to aim at a headlamp, bumper, lic. plate etc?

How sure can the officer be that he wasn't measuring a mechanical part of the bike that is moving faster than the ground speed (a crank arm for example is moving ground speed plus RPM speed)? Maybe ground speed isn't the term I'm looking for here.

Is there any data to suggest that the radar has even been tested on bicycles or similar sized objects? Maybe it recorded other traffic, if any?

Again, not a lawyer, the above is jsut for fun may be the worst advice possible for all I know. I wouldn't try it on my own. Court is about procedure as much as actual valid arguments.

Last edited by tdister; 11-01-08 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 09:30 PM   #14
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I think it's a valid speeding ticket. He was on a vehicle, and exceeding the speeding limit. It sucks, but it's our responsibility as bikers to act within the traffic laws. If anything, it helps break the stereotype of the lawless stop-sign-ignoring cyclists.
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Old 11-01-08, 09:50 PM   #15
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In WA bicycles are required to follow the rules of the road (a few exceptions are made related to lighting requirements, or when they're considered pedestrians, etc. ), whether or not they have a speedometer. Either way, in WA the ticket would hold, though a judge would likely lower the fine.
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Old 11-01-08, 09:51 PM   #16
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haha thats bull****, he should have said he did not know his speed and it was a cadence monitor. I go past the speed limit all the time in FL and have not gotten a ticket I joke about it but man va is strict. You are not required to carry ID when you ride either, he should have said he did not have ID
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Old 11-01-08, 10:09 PM   #17
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I'm in VA and my friend got pulled over for speeding on his bike. Same situation, 36 in a 25 (but it was down a hill), 16 at the time, he got a ticket, took it to court, and he had to pay it. The judge did pull the points thing off since he wasn't in a car, and wasn't acting recklessly (personally, i don't get too reckless when i'm booking it)

Take it to court, it can't get worse. btw, props to your son. My friend (different one) is also in top 5 under 18 in Tri in VA.
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Old 11-01-08, 10:11 PM   #18
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Cop asked for ID, and he produced his learners permit. Learners # will also be his lic #, so it'll track.

tdister, he was clocked by a moving patrol car, not radar. He knew the car was behind him - following at a respectable distance. He took it as a support vehicle and went for the sprint

We make him carry ID, and he's always worn a helmet since he was a kid so it's second nature.

I'm going to call the patrol officer in the morning, and see what he says. I find it hard to believe the VA Commonwealth will want to pursue it. For all I can find though, it appears it's a legit charge. 46.2-874 of the VA code. Looks pretty ambigous to me.

I can't be mad at the kid though.

-R
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Old 11-01-08, 10:27 PM   #19
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Ah, missed that. I also missed that he incriminated himself...the police are trained to get people to do that.

I'd also agree that it's legit in most every way, I can see no reason that cyclists shouldn't be held to the speed limits same as other road users. If I got caught speeding, I wouldn't feel wronged or be mad, but I would probably try to worm my way out of it if I knew I stood a good chance (especially if my once a year defensive driving option was used up).
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Old 11-01-08, 11:25 PM   #20
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I had a friend in SoCal nailed for the same reason. He beat it here as there is a separate specific code number for bicycle-specific violations. He told the Judge I was going that speed but I am not guilty of what I was cited for. "Explain", said the Judge. The code on the ticket is for a Motor vehicle violation. Ask the officer what my vehicle was. "A bicycle". "And where is the motor?" "Dismissed." Yes, you bet, absolutely, get a lawyer who specializes in bike law. The League of American Bicyclists should be able to help you.
+ 1 Hire a traffic lawyer with a bicycle specialty. The potential savings in future insurance premiums alone is well worth it. It will also give your son a real life "how the system really works" lesson (not just what he's taught in school)
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Old 11-02-08, 12:23 AM   #21
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I would try to fight it. It would suck to have points on his license before he even gets it(although I don't know why the law would give him points on a drivers license for riding a bike....)

Here in CA you just have to ask for the calibration records on the radar they used as they are required to be recalibrated every 2 weeks by a professional and it usually doesn't happen. I don't know if this works for the cars spedometer though.
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Old 11-02-08, 12:40 AM   #22
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HAVE IT FRAMED!
That's a keepsake.
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Old 11-02-08, 01:23 AM   #23
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50 years from now no one remember whether you won or lost the case. I couldn't tell how to advise you on whether to fight or pay. I would keep the ticket and frame it. He could tell his grand-kids about that one.
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HAVE IT FRAMED!
That's a keepsake.
+1 alot
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Old 11-02-08, 02:20 AM   #24
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Can you give us the exact location of the violation so we can get some google satellite shots and such? Usually if there's a 25 limit it's there for a reason, like limited sight lines, heavy pedestrian traffic, many driveways, etc. 38 on a tri bike would probably be unsafe in that kind of area, and even with a helmet could easily result in a fatality for the cyclist if something bad happened like a car pulling out in front of the cyclist from a blind driveway. Maybe the officer was just looking out for your child's safety? That said, I agree with the "frame it" sentiments .
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Old 11-02-08, 03:34 AM   #25
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If it's the same in VA as it is here the points expire after a year or two. He just has to be careful not to get any more until then.

It really is silly though. The cop must be a real loser to ticket a bicycle. A warning and a good laugh would be far more in keeping with the "crime".

I police staff sargent I worked with once told me that there was an old saying among the force "There's less shame having a sister in a *****house than a brother on traffic...." Seems there may be some truth to it.....
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