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  1. #1
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Avoiding Tickets for Failure to Stop

    According to the TV news, a nearby town (which I ride through frequently) is cracking down on cyclists who, for example, don't stop at stop signs.

    I need to decide whether slowing down almost to a stop, is good enough to avoid a ticket, or whether I need to actually put my foot down. Experiences?
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    Randomhead
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    learn to do track stands, I always figured that actually stopping was good enough. California at one time had a law that required cyclists to touch the ground with their foot. I taught my kids to drag their foot on the ground once they saw the way was clear. "I put my foot down" seems like it should be good enough.

    There is a stop sign near my house where I'm always afraid to stop my car. It's on an exit lane for a limited access highway, and nobody ever stops except for me. The guy driving the car behind me this morning didn't stop, I thought he was going to rear end me.

  3. #3
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    Stopping? What is this stopping thing you speak of? I thought slowing down so the other car gets out of your way is good enough?

  4. #4
    Senior Member limeylew's Avatar
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    Avoiding Tickets for Failure to Stop

    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    According to the TV news, a nearby town (which I ride through frequently) is cracking down on cyclists who, for example, don't stop at stop signs.

    I need to decide whether slowing down almost to a stop, is good enough to avoid a ticket, or whether I need to actually put my foot down. Experiences?
    Heck, why don't you just STOP.

    You don't have to be a genius to stop, even I can do it. :-)
    Lewis.
    A cyclist is a cyclist's worst enemy.
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  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Well, what does the Calif. Veh. Code say?

    21453. (a) A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at
    a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near
    side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection,
    and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown, except as
    provided in subdivision (b).
    (b) Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, a driver, after
    stopping as required by subdivision (a), facing a steady circular red signal,
    may turn right, or turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street. A
    driver making that turn shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully
    within an adjacent crosswalk and to any vehicle that has approached or is
    approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the driver, and
    shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that vehicle until the driver can
    proceed with reasonable safety.
    (c) A driver facing a steady red arrow signal shall not enter the
    intersection to make the movement indicated by the arrow and, unless entering
    the intersection to make a movement permitted by another signal, shall stop at
    a clearly marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the
    near side of the intersection, or if none, then before entering the
    intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication permitting movement
    is shown.
    (d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in
    Section 21456, a pedestrian facing a steady circular red or red arrow signal
    shall not enter the roadway.
    *
    Last Affected Bill - (AB 0563)
    (Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 14, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2002.)

    21456.3. (a) An operator of a bicycle facing a green bicycle signal shall
    proceed straight through or turn right or left or make a U-turn unless a sign
    prohibits a U-turn. An operator of a bicycle, including one turning, shall
    yield the right-of-way to other traffic and to pedestrians lawfully within the
    intersection or an adjacent crosswalk.
    (b) An operator of a bicycle facing a steady yellow bicycle signal is, by
    that signal, warned that the related green movement is ending or that a red
    indication will be shown immediately thereafter.
    (c) Except as provided in subdivision (d), an operator of a bicycle facing
    a steady red bicycle signal shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none,
    before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if
    none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an
    indication to proceed is shown.
    (d) Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, an operator of a
    bicycle, after stopping as required by subdivision (c), facing a steady red
    bicycle signal, may turn right, or turn left from a one-way street onto a
    one-way street. An operator of a bicycle making a turn shall yield the
    right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to
    traffic lawfully using the intersection.
    (e) A bicycle signal may be used only at those locations that meet
    geometric standards or traffic volume standards, or both, as adopted by the
    Department of Transportation.
    *
    Last Affected Bill - (AB 0056)
    (Added (purportedly amended) by Stats. 2005, Ch. 126, Sec. 4. Effective
    July 25, 2005. )


    22450. (a) The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance
    to, or within, an intersection shall stop at a limit line, if marked,
    otherwise before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.

    If there is no limit line or crosswalk, the driver shall stop at the
    entrance to the intersecting roadway.
    (b) The driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign at a railroad grade
    crossing shall stop at a limit line, if marked, otherwise before crossing the
    first track or entrance to the railroad grade crossing.
    (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local authority may adopt
    rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution providing for the placement
    of a stop sign at any location on a highway under its jurisdiction where the
    stop sign would enhance traffic safety.
    *
    Last Affected Bill - (AB 1728)
    (Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 630, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2008.)
    So you have to stop at a sign or a light. What does stop mean?

    587. "Stop or stopping" when prohibited shall mean any cessation of movement
    of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict
    with other traffic or in compliance with the direction of a police officer or
    official traffic control device or signal.
    *
    Last Affected Bill - ( )
    (Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1917.)
    There is no requirement in the Vehicle Code that a cyclist put a foot to the pavement, only that the bike cease movement. If you can trackstand, then I would argue that's legally sufficient.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Let's look at cost/benefits of the "what part of STOP don't you understand?" concept:

    Admittedly the cost of totally stopping, taking my foot out of the toe clip, and putting it down, is pretty low. OTOH, if I'm riding on a street that has a stop sign every block for 8 blocks, it gets a little annoying.

    As far as safety, I'm convinced that my "almost a track stand" strategy is safe. I agree that it is illegal according to section 21456.3 paragraph q of the traffic code. But is it good enough to avoid a ticket? That is, is a cop who is looking for the people who blow through a stop sign going to ticket me.

    Has anyone here been ticketed when they all but stopped at a stop sign?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member sdastroguy's Avatar
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    I guess I don't have to worry about this much. I just stop at the stop sign. It really isn't that hard to do. And it goes right up there with signaling lane changes and the like.

    Stop signs are put there for a reason. And unlike what most people think, it's not just to annoy people.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limeylew View Post
    Heck, why don't you just STOP.

    You don't have to be a genius to stop, even I can do it. :-)
    +1

    And it doesn't cost anything either.

  9. #9
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    How about if you stop - trackstand briefly - but a cop who doesn't believe it is possible to stop without putting a foot down tickets you? Should the advice be to stop and put a foot down? Assuming local law doesn't specify putting a foot down.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, try a fancy trackstand with a cop, who's trained to look for your feet making contact with the ground... good luck fighting ur ticket.

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    How about if you stop - trackstand briefly - but a cop who doesn't believe it is possible to stop without putting a foot down tickets you? Should the advice be to stop and put a foot down? Assuming local law doesn't specify putting a foot down.
    My guess is if he was having a bad day or his boss was watching or if you are a long haired hippie freak and he hates longed haired hippie freaks, you would get a ticket.

    In many states, the weight of the car must shift back to qualify as a complete stop. It would be my guess the the equivalent on bicycles is to put one's foot on the pavement. It could be argued that you do not have full control of the stop in a trackstand.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  12. #12
    Spark of the Divine Fire
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    There is a circumstance where the cost of stopping is excessive. Am I the only one who has certain intersections I have to cross that requires me to move my a$&, and not start from a deader-than-dead, feet-on-the-ground stop?
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  13. #13
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    Admittedly the cost of totally stopping, taking my foot out of the toe clip, and putting it down, is pretty low. OTOH, if I'm riding on a street that has a stop sign every block for 8 blocks, it gets a little annoying.

    As far as safety, I'm convinced that my "almost a track stand" strategy is safe. I agree that it is illegal according to section 21456.3 paragraph q of the traffic code. But is it good enough to avoid a ticket? That is, is a cop who is looking for the people who blow through a stop sign going to ticket me.

    Has anyone here been ticketed when they all but stopped at a stop sign?
    My wife has -- and the funny thing is that she's very law abiding. She slowed to a crawl.

    It may be a pain to stop every block, but it also is a pain to spend tons of time researching laws and even then having to worry about getting ticketed. If you don't like stopping so often, seems like the answer is another route.

    I think your strategy is safe enough. If you're barely moving and ready to come to a dead stop, few people will hassle you.

  14. #14
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    In many states, the weight of the car must shift back to qualify as a complete stop. It would be my guess the the equivalent on bicycles is to put one's foot on the pavement. It could be argued that you do not have full control of the stop in a trackstand.
    That's how I would do it. Stop, but do it far enough out that a cop down the block can see you stop -- if they only see you as you're moving, they'll never know that you actually stopped. Then put your foot down to signify that you really did stop.

    It's about leaving no doubt as to what you were doing.

  15. #15
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    My guess is if he was having a bad day or his boss was watching or if you are a long haired hippie freak and he hates longed haired hippie freaks, you would get a ticket.

    In many states, the weight of the car must shift back to qualify as a complete stop. It would be my guess the the equivalent on bicycles is to put one's foot on the pavement. It could be argued that you do not have full control of the stop in a trackstand.
    If you aren't fully stopped and in control, it's not a trackstand. It's a skid. Or a wobble. Or one of those zero-speed falls that all the clipless newbs keep posting about.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelaharms View Post
    There is a circumstance where the cost of stopping is excessive. Am I the only one who has certain intersections I have to cross that requires me to move my a$&, and not start from a deader-than-dead, feet-on-the-ground stop?
    It's good for you to stop. Helps build strength.

  17. #17
    Spark of the Divine Fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    It's good for you to stop. Helps build strength.
    Except if I get killed by the tons of steel hurling past... Some places, if I stop, I will have to walk my bike across in a crosswalk.
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  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelaharms View Post
    Except if I get killed by the tons of steel hurling past... Some places, if I stop, I will have to walk my bike across in a crosswalk.
    Why would tons of steel hurl past at a stop sign? They are supposed to stop too.

    And walking your bicycle is OK too. I've done that before when necessary.

    Better to stop than get run over ... better to walk than get run over.

  19. #19
    Spark of the Divine Fire
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    The cross street traffic, I mean.

    I really think the places that have "bikes yield at stop" laws are doing it right. Have y'all read this article? Why Bicyclists Hate Stop Signs
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  20. #20
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    Truly this is the end of End Of Days. There`s actually a thread on what it means to stop??? I thought the verbal gymnastics of Bill Clinton and the `What do you mean by IS?` question would stand for all time. It would seem not.

  21. #21
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesdca View Post
    Truly this is the end of End Of Days. There`s actually a thread on what it means to stop??? I thought the verbal gymnastics of Bill Clinton and the `What do you mean by IS?` question would stand for all time. It would seem not.
    You should hear what we in my building say when discussing our condo bylaws.

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelaharms View Post
    The cross street traffic, I mean.
    Even more reason to stop!!

  23. #23
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Even more reason to stop!!
    What he means is that, even after he's stopped, the gaps in the cross traffic are barely enough to cross safely, if at all.

    FWIW, I cross faster on the bike than walking... as long as my feet don't slip off the pedals.

  24. #24
    Spark of the Divine Fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    What he means is that, even after he's stopped, the gaps in the cross traffic are barely enough to cross safely, if at all.

    FWIW, I cross faster on the bike than walking... as long as my feet don't slip off the pedals.
    "She," but yeah. If I'm rolling, I can get across ok. If I have to start at a dead stop, it's much harder to get across quickly. That's all I meant.
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  25. #25
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    "She"... oh duh, "Angela Harms" makes more sense than a Hispanic name like "Angel A. Harms".

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