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  1. #1
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    describe

    tonight, I was riding home from a coffee shop. I've got red rear blinkers, white front blinkers, and a Giro helmet. I stop & wait at the red light for 2 cars on the cross-street.. I waited for both to pass the intersection... and proceed accross the street (with ZERO cross-traffic).

    40 seconds later i hear a bullhorn, and see O-S ('oh shi*t') blinkers behind me. 2 piggies step out, ask for license, and issued me a ticket.

    I was nicely dressed.. was being polite.. had no traffic or criminal record.. max safety gear.. completely empty cross-traffic.. and still got cited. what's more: they were state highway patrol!!! and i was in the city near downtown~!!!!


    well, i guess you cant win all the cards...
    Last edited by redfooj; 03-31-04 at 12:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Yep. Ran a red light on a pedestrian only cycle. It was a fair cop.
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  3. #3
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    First of all, the state highway patrol has jurisdiction in every single part of the state. If they are in uniform, they are on duty. They have no limited jurisdictions like the city police or county sheriffs.

    I'm guessing you were cited for running a red light. No matter what kind of vehicle you are using on the road that is against the law, the officers were within their right to cite you for breaking the law. Why were you in such a big hurry that you had to run a red light?

    Don't get to upset over this, you were clearly in the wrong and admitted as much. It is cyclists like you who break the law that give the rest of us a bad name. It pisses me off every time a cyclist complains they got a ticket for breaking the law. You do realize this makes it harder for the rest of us who are trying to advocate for better cyclists rights and conditions on the road don't you? Why in the hell can't some cyclists get a clue on matters like this? I commend the officers for citing you, next time obey the damn law & stop making it harder for us advocates!

  4. #4
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    First of all, the state highway patrol has jurisdiction in every single part of the state. If they are in uniform, they are on duty. They have no limited jurisdictions like the city police or county sheriffs.

    I'm guessing you were cited for running a red light. No matter what kind of vehicle you are using on the road that is against the law, the officers were within their right to cite you for breaking the law. Why were you in such a big hurry that you had to run a red light?

    Don't get to upset over this, you were clearly in the wrong and admitted as much. It is cyclists like you who break the law that give the rest of us a bad name. It pisses me off every time a cyclist complains they got a ticket for breaking the law. You do realize this makes it harder for the rest of us who are trying to advocate for better cyclists rights and conditions on the road don't you? Why in the hell can't some cyclists get a clue on matters like this? I commend the officers for citing you, next time obey the damn law & stop making it harder for us advocates!
    yes, i realize that it was in their jurisdiction and it was lawful for them to ticket me.. im not crying foul about the legality of the ordeal.. all im saying is that, considering the circumstances, the issuance of the ticket (rather than a warning) was unreasonable.

    tell me you've never jaywalked, or driven 5mph over on the freeway.

    moreover, i've never seen anybody get a ticket on a bicycle... less get pulled over. my main point was to get people's experiences for insight into the appellate process. (more/less leniency from judge... which record ticket will affect... normal offense or reduced... etc)

    from what i understand, it's a normal traffic citation... so im looking at a ~250$ fine

  5. #5
    need to go out and ride.. ruirui's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfooj
    yes, i realize that it was in their jurisdiction and it was lawful for them to ticket me.. im not crying foul about the legality of the ordeal.. all im saying is that, considering the circumstances, the issuance of the ticket (rather than a warning) was unreasonable.

    tell me you've never jaywalked, or driven 5mph over on the freeway.

    moreover, i've never seen anybody get a ticket on a bicycle... less get pulled over. my main point was to get people's experiences for insight into the appellate process. (more/less leniency from judge... which record ticket will affect... normal offense or reduced... etc)

    from what i understand, it's a normal traffic citation... so im looking at a ~250$ fine
    damn.. that's steep! $250 fine? i wonder if that will raise up ur car insurance. btw, do you need any kind of insurance to be riding a bike? i know it's a stupid question, but since the say a bike is like any other vehicle on the road.. then should it require insurance as well?

  6. #6
    It's so cold out there... scroz's Avatar
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    what about those dumbass traffic lights that don't recognise when a bike has pulled up? Do you just have a picnic on the road and wait for a car?

  7. #7
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scroz
    what about those dumbass traffic lights that don't recognise when a bike has pulled up? Do you just have a picnic on the road and wait for a car?
    You can argue that the traffic signal is defective.
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  8. #8
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    I find it humourous that cyclists want to be treated with respect on the road, that is to be recognised as a "motorised vehicle" by cars and the police, then complain when they are caught for breaking the law. Why should the law discriminate between car and bicycle? You can't have it both ways.
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  9. #9
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    You might be able to talk your way out of it with the "defective signal" defense. Here in California, if a signal does not respond to your presence after some reasonable period of time, you can proceed with caution when it is safe to do so. I do this from time to time at lights that are not capable of detecting my bike. If I ever get stopped because of it, that will be my defense.

    Of course, your local laws could be different, and if the cops saw you pull up to the light and then run it shortly afterwards, that defense might not work for you.
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  10. #10
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirui
    damn.. that's steep! $250 fine? i wonder if that will raise up ur car insurance. btw, do you need any kind of insurance to be riding a bike? i know it's a stupid question, but since the say a bike is like any other vehicle on the road.. then should it require insurance as well?
    well, the ticket was issue by a state patrolman.. and is under the 'department of public safety' (Texas' version of DMV)

    i wasnt able to find a $fine-chart for the TX-DPS, but the fine for failure to comply to red light in my city (Austin) and its surrounding cities is approximately 250$.

    logistically i do not expect it to have any bearing on my vehicular insurance or "driving" record (imagine if i had not a license nor a car)

    Quote Originally Posted by pyze-guy
    I find it humourous that cyclists want to be treated with respect on the road, that is to be recognised as a "motorised vehicle" by cars and the police, then complain when they are caught for breaking the law. Why should the law discriminate between car and bicycle? You can't have it both ways.
    firstly, the law is not binary. that is why I mentioned the mitigating circumstances. there are very certain differences between cars and bikes... its ridiculous to equalize bikes to car. would you, then, think it befitting for an issuance of ticket to a biker for moving too slow? (unless you avg 25mph riding somehow)

  11. #11
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfooj
    yes, i realize that it was in their jurisdiction and it was lawful for them to ticket me.. im not crying foul about the legality of the ordeal.. all im saying is that, considering the circumstances, the issuance of the ticket (rather than a warning) was unreasonable.

    tell me you've never jaywalked, or driven 5mph over on the freeway.

    moreover, i've never seen anybody get a ticket on a bicycle... less get pulled over. my main point was to get people's experiences for insight into the appellate process. (more/less leniency from judge... which record ticket will affect... normal offense or reduced... etc)

    from what i understand, it's a normal traffic citation... so im looking at a ~250$ fine
    Law enforcment officers are trained to use their best judgment when doing their job. Sounds like they did just that. But with that said they are not perfect or infallable by any means.

    I've never been issued a ticket while riding my bike, but I've never broken any laws while riding it either. I am how ever by no means perfect. Yes, I've jay walked a time or 2 and even driven over the speed limit.

    I do think how ever $250 is a little steep for running a red light. Are you sure that is all you were cited for? I'd take a closer look at the ticket if I were you. You may want to fight it in court. I think if the officers do not show up the judge throws it out and you don't pay the fine, but don't quote me on that.

    If you do fight it keep some things in mind though. All state patrol cars across the nation ar enow equipped with camers that record both audio & video you may have been recorded running the light & certainly were recorded when the officers pulled you over.

    Because you were recorded & because of the means in which a traffic light functions the "defective traffic light" or the traffic light sensor did not detect me defense will probably not work. Traffic lights detect traffic at an intersection using differant methods. Some of those include motion sensors, weight sensors, metal detection, camera, counters & timers. Most have at least 2 of these to operate the traffic light. If one is not needed the other kicks in or serves as a back up if one fails.

    If you fight it in court the best you may be able to hope for is a reduction in the fine.

    If cyclists want to be considered legal vehicles of the road we need to obey the same traffic laws. Where I live the only place a cyclist can not legally ride is on any highway or interstate that has a posted minimum speed limit. Other wise a cyclist can legally ride on any public road way. The minimum posted limit was set up to keep farm equipment off the interstates because of the safety risks to motorists travelling at higher speeds then a large tractor could move at. It had nothing to do with cyclists.

    I'm pretty sure the speed limit laws are the same in your area. So your comment about a cyclist being able to average 25 mph is a little off base. Most areas I've been do not have minimum posted limits on road ways that have a maximum speed limit of less then 65 mph. For example I have never seen any minimum speed limit posted on a highway that has a max. limit of 55 mph. I have seen several areas that have a max. speed of 65 mph and no minimum speed limit. Generally the max. limit and the minimum limit go hand in hand.

  12. #12
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I was pulled over many years ago from supposedly rolling through a stop sign.. The cop said I blew threw it and I told I know for a fact that I came to a complete stop.. He said how do you know that, I went back to my bike and showed him my cyclocomputer that show MPH in 10ths of MPH.. I told him nicely of course that it registered 0 mph and I looked both ways. He let me go.. Remember there are a lot of police officers who see bike riders as a nuisance. Be polite and you might get off.. If you act like a jerk your getting the ticket for sure..

  13. #13
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfooj
    describe

    tonight, I was riding home from a coffee shop. I've got red rear blinkers, white front blinkers, and a Giro helmet. I stop & wait at the red light for 2 cars on the cross-street.. I waited for both to pass the intersection... and proceed accross the street (with ZERO cross-traffic).

    40 seconds later i hear a bullhorn, and see O-S ('oh shi*t') blinkers behind me. 2 piggies step out, ask for license, and issued me a ticket.

    I was nicely dressed.. was being polite.. had no traffic or criminal record.. max safety gear.. completely empty cross-traffic.. and still got cited. what's more: they were state highway patrol!!! and i was in the city near downtown~!!!!


    well, i guess you cant win all the cards...
    What State?
    So what if you did not have a license. I find that funny. I never cary a license around with me on my bike. What if you never even had a license?

  14. #14
    RayG rgarza28's Avatar
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    I never got a ticket while riding my bike but I have been pulled over by city police. I was riding at night and made the mistake of waving at the officer as I passed him. It's kind of weird to have the lights turned on you while riding. I didn't break any laws but he thought it was suspicious that I was riding at night. I told him that I just got off work and that this was a good time for me to ride. He wanted my name, address and phone number incase of any buglaries that may happen. Great, I'm a suspect before any crime has been committed! But, hey at least I didn't get a ticket :-)

  15. #15
    My own worst nightmare
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    In WI, in addition to the "defective signal" thing, it's legal for a pedestrian to cross against a red light when the traffic clears. It's also legal for a cyclist to cross in a pedestrian crosswalk, as long as s/he doesn't restrict the right-of-way of any pedestrian, etc. So one trick a lot of cyclists do is pull up to the light, slide over to the crosswalk, wait for clear traffic and cross. You might be able to claim that that was your intent, but you just didn't get over far enough to be in the crosswalk.

  16. #16
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madpogue
    In WI, in addition to the "defective signal" thing, it's legal for a pedestrian to cross against a red light when the traffic clears. It's also legal for a cyclist to cross in a pedestrian crosswalk, as long as s/he doesn't restrict the right-of-way of any pedestrian, etc. So one trick a lot of cyclists do is pull up to the light, slide over to the crosswalk, wait for clear traffic and cross. You might be able to claim that that was your intent, but you just didn't get over far enough to be in the crosswalk.
    im banking first on the possibility that the patrolman will not show up to court, and, secondarily, the feasibility that the fine will be greatly reduced. i was quite far on the right, actually. this particular street had no bike lanes, so i generally stay a bit far right--not too much so that cars will ignore my presence, but just enough so that they can easily pass me. also, with the absence of the bike lane, by going ahead cross the empty intersection i was helping the fluidity of the traffic in my direction of travel... but ill save it for the judge

    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna
    What State?
    So what if you did not have a license. I find that funny. I never cary a license around with me on my bike. What if you never even had a license?
    texas. the thought about lying about my carrying of a license crossed my mind, but i was being honest because i genuinely thought i would get a warning at most... and had nothing as a cause for worry (warrants/drugs/etc). i think that, had they wanted to, they would have gotten my identification one way or another... if not by voluntary submission then by detention... it's like catching one for a non-traffic offense (tagging/etc) w/o a license

  17. #17
    Yup pyze-guy's Avatar
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    firstly, the law is not binary. that is why I mentioned the mitigating circumstances. there are very certain differences between cars and bikes... its ridiculous to equalize bikes to car. would you, then, think it befitting for an issuance of ticket to a biker for moving too slow? (unless you avg 25mph riding somehow)

    If we, as cyclists, want to be treated with the same concideration on the road as cars, we have to follow the same rules. You caught caught, it sucks, too bad. If you saw a car doing this in the same situation, would you have been okay with that, or would you be perturbed by the fact that the traffic laws were being disregarded?
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  18. #18
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    If you wish to use the 'defective light defense' then you need to do a couple things:

    1. You need to verify that the intersection is controlled using traffic sensors. Look for magnetic sensing loops cut in the pavement where you were waiting for the light.

    2. Verify that the sensor will not detect your bike. Try rolling up to the light in the same direction you were riding sometime when there is not enough traffic for another car to come by and trigger the light. Make sure that the sensor does not trip the light for you.

    If your tests show that the light would not trip for you, then you can argue in court that the light is defective for your bike. If you have prior experience with this trafic light, it would be best as you could argue that past experience demonstrated that the light could not detect your bike and so, based on that experience, you did not wait on the light and proceeded at the first safe opportunity.

    If the light does not use sensors, then you would be best to try to take a defensive driving class so the ticket does not go on your 'driving' record. Hopefully, your state allows this. Otherwise, you may be able to ask the judge for 'deferred adjudication' where you pay the fine and get put on probation for a period of time. If you don't get another ticket, then the conviction is erased and does not count against you.

    Of course, this is not legal advice. It's only what I would try to do. You should probably talk to a lawyer if you wish to pursue a defense.

  19. #19
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyze-guy
    If we, as cyclists, want to be treated with the same concideration on the road as cars, we have to follow the same rules. You caught caught, it sucks, too bad. If you saw a car doing this in the same situation, would you have been okay with that, or would you be perturbed by the fact that the traffic laws were being disregarded?
    youre assuming that everybody follows your suit. i do not want to be treated with the exact same consideration as a car... similarly i do not treat commercial trucks as cars, either--they accelerate slower, turn wider, take up more space, etc. red lights laws are to protect the subject, and, more importantly, others. i did not reasonably subject myself to harm, and i especially did not subject others to harm (well, i guess 531 steel is pretty tough). you live in your oversimplified world and ill live in mine

  20. #20
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    I had a traffic violation about 6 months ago for rolling through a 3-way stop. While I wasn't really in any danger, they still ticketed me. But I lucked out and the court decided to only send a letter to my parents (who I had already told, so no big deal). But the important thing is that I learned my lesson, when faced with a potential $100 ticket to save all of 3 seconds, I'll be sure to stop.

  21. #21
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfooj
    all im saying is that, considering the circumstances, the issuance of the ticket (rather than a warning) was unreasonable.
    Yeah, every city, state, etc has them...they are called quotas. Look at the date this occured. Someone had a quota to fill. And you happened to be in sight and violate the law. I dusted a red tonight in front of a CPD Cruiser...nothing. Maybe I got lucky, maybe they were sleeping. Who knows. But look at it one way: your ticket just might go to pay to fill a pothole somewhere...or maybe not.
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  22. #22
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by 165-48:17
    Yeah, every city, state, etc has them...they are called quotas. Look at the date this occured. Someone had a quota to fill. And you happened to be in sight and violate the law. I dusted a red tonight in front of a CPD Cruiser...nothing. Maybe I got lucky, maybe they were sleeping. Who knows. But look at it one way: your ticket just might go to pay to fill a pothole somewhere...or maybe not.

    The quota thing that every one thinks law inforcment officers have to follow is nothing but a big urban myth. There is no so called ticket quota that officers have to follow that says how many tickets they have to write each month. How do I know this? Simple, I asked the police departments in 5 differant cities, 2 of them are in 2 other states. I also asked 3 differant state patrol departments in 3 differant states, & 4 differant county sheriffs departments, 2 of those are in 2 differant states. Everyone had the same answer, it is a big untrue urban myth. And no one knows where or how it even got started. So the fact that redfooj got a ticket had nothing to do with the so-called quota.

  23. #23
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfooj
    im banking first on the possibility that the patrolman will not show up to court, and, secondarily, the feasibility that the fine will be greatly reduced. i was quite far on the right, actually. this particular street had no bike lanes, so i generally stay a bit far right--not too much so that cars will ignore my presence, but just enough so that they can easily pass me. also, with the absence of the bike lane, by going ahead cross the empty intersection i was helping the fluidity of the traffic in my direction of travel... but ill save it for the judge


    texas. the thought about lying about my carrying of a license crossed my mind, but i was being honest because i genuinely thought i would get a warning at most... and had nothing as a cause for worry (warrants/drugs/etc). i think that, had they wanted to, they would have gotten my identification one way or another... if not by voluntary submission then by detention... it's like catching one for a non-traffic offense (tagging/etc) w/o a license
    Texas huh ok I'll avoid Texas
    Seriously I do not wait for red lites sorry. It's not a safty issue when you can clearly see that there is absolutly nothing comming so I go through the red. Law shmaw. btw not only do you have to look to see that there are no cars comming but more importantly that there are no pigs watching

  24. #24
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna
    Law shmaw.
    I hope you'll feel the same way when some speeding drunkard wipes the road with you.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  25. #25
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    If you wish to use the 'defective light defense' then you need to do a couple things:

    1. You need to verify that the intersection is controlled using traffic sensors. Look for magnetic sensing loops cut in the pavement where you were waiting for the light.

    2. Verify that the sensor will not detect your bike. Try rolling up to the light in the same direction you were riding sometime when there is not enough traffic for another car to come by and trigger the light. Make sure that the sensor does not trip the light for you.
    Serious question: Is a traffic light that just takes an inordinately long time to change (say, 10-20 minutes), simply because it's in Queensland, which seems to be 35 years behind the rest of Australia, considered defective?
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