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Old 07-24-10, 03:42 PM   #1
daimbert
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Got a ticket for riding my bike (NYC)

Hello everyone,

Just brought my bike last week and I got my very first ticket on my bike. First off, I didn't even know people got tickets on bikes but I jumping ahead of myself. I was riding my bike on the street, not sidewalk because it was too crowded, I slowed down after I went through an intersection to make sure my girlfriend caught up. Meanwhile a cop just made a U-turn and without putting on his sirens stopped and got out. First then he asked, are you aware you didn't stop on the red light. I told the officer sorry but I am new to biking and wasn't aware that bikes had to stop on a red light. For goodness sakes, in NYC you never see bikes stop on a red. Next thing I know he asks for my ID and I got a ticket for $270.00. All I have to say is WTF. The messed up thing was that two other bikes did the same exact thing in front of him and didn't mention anything.

Anyway, I think its a little unfair considering I honestly didn't know the rules. Anyone know what I can do to expunge the ticket or at least reduce it?

John
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Old 07-24-10, 03:48 PM   #2
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Ouch! I usually do the "Idaho-stop" in DC and have not yet drawn the attention of police.....yet.

Be that as it may, you just got unlucky man. You can't expect the police to accept the "I'm new and didn't know" line though .....I know what you mean as a cyclist, but you have to understand that it is against the law and there's really nothing you can do but bite the bullet. It's just a bum deal.

It's hard to swallow when you see cars double-parked, speeding in residential areas, making illegal turns, running stop signs, etc. but it is what it is!

--to answer your question, I don't really see much you can do other than calling the number on the ticket and begging the person to reduce it to a smaller violation or something. Honesty would probably work best if you talk to someone.
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Old 07-24-10, 04:18 PM   #3
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Actually what annoyed me the most, besides the ticket, was the fact that the officer said he normally wouldn't give a crap and wouldn't give a ticket but today was a cycling initiative day so he had to care. Does that make sense?
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Old 07-24-10, 04:28 PM   #4
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Ouch! I usually do the "Idaho-stop" in DC and have not yet drawn the attention of police.....yet.

Be that as it may, you just got unlucky man. You can't expect the police to accept the "I'm new and didn't know" line though .....I know what you mean as a cyclist, but you have to understand that it is against the law and there's really nothing you can do but bite the bullet. It's just a bum deal.

It's hard to swallow when you see cars double-parked, speeding in residential areas, making illegal turns, running stop signs, etc. but it is what it is!

--to answer your question, I don't really see much you can do other than calling the number on the ticket and begging the person to reduce it to a smaller violation or something. Honesty would probably work best if you talk to someone.
Yes.
This crap happens to the best of us. It made me think of a time when I was at Lake Havasu fishing with friends some years ago. In California one needs a fishing license so my friends and I took our chances and went out anyway. I was the only one who caught a fish, got excited and jumped up. The patrolling ranger came over and gave out $100-$150 tickets to everyone but me.
A red light is a red light and you should have stopped. It is common sense. With a hefty fine of $270 see if you can get a reduced fee by doing community service. On a weekly basis I volunteer at a rescue mission and from time to time new faces pop up to do community service. Most come in because of traffic citations.
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Old 07-24-10, 05:16 PM   #5
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sorry that happened. I think in the NY Times series of stories on the city's Stop and Frisk data and marijuana arrests, riding on the sidewalk was like number 4 in the amount of tickets written. I tried finding the link but don't remember where it was.
$270 is a lot of money, bloomberg is really doing a number on us for his 3rd term.
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Old 07-24-10, 05:31 PM   #6
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You got a ticket for breaking the law then feigning ignorance? My goodness, what is this world coming to?
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Old 07-24-10, 05:34 PM   #7
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Right now NYC is in "revenue mode." They are doing everything they can to get revenue for the city, including writing more tickets. That is why there has been so many complaints that the NYPD (and the NYPD traffic agents) have a "gotcha" mentality, and the uproar has been so bad that City Council had to pass a law a couple months ago to mandate a 5-minute grace period before writing a parking ticket.

Just don't do anything within sight of an NYPD cop that you know will result in a "gotcha."
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Old 07-24-10, 05:47 PM   #8
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Same Roads, Same Rights, Same Rules.
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Old 07-24-10, 05:52 PM   #9
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Riding in the streets and didn't obey traffic laws? How dumb is that! HTFU, pay the fine and learn your lesson.
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Old 07-24-10, 06:11 PM   #10
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Riding in the streets and didn't obey traffic laws? How dumb is that! HTFU, pay the fine and learn your lesson.
Ernest
Not that I ever expect a conversation to stay even marginally reasonable on BF, but I think you guys are being a bit knee-jerk sarcastic.

I don't follow all the traffic rules 100% of the time, and I'd venture that nearly 100% of cyclists and motorists don't follow all rules, nor all rules to the letter....this is stupid. I follow the vast majority of them nearly all the time -- particularly the ones that are important to my safety and of people around me.

Do you all wait at a red at 5:30 AM in a deserted street with no cars or people around? Do you guys always slow to a complete stop at a stop sign on a deserted street instead of trying to avoid "unclipping" and then rolling on through?

Get over yourselves and ease up on the guy a bit....how about support him and ask why cab drivers never seem to get ticketed for FAR more dangerous maneuvers on busy streets, where there is 10X the risk of harming someone than with a bicycle?

BTW - I commute into and out of Washington D.C. daily and have done so safely for the past 3 years.

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Old 07-24-10, 06:50 PM   #11
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Not that I ever expect a conversation to stay even marginally reasonable on BF, but I think you guys are being a bit knee-jerk sarcastic.

I don't follow all the traffic rules 100% of the time, and I'd venture that nearly 100% of cyclists and motorists don't follow all rules, nor all rules to the letter....this is stupid. I follow the vast majority of them nearly all the time -- particularly the ones that are important to my safety and of people around me.

Do you all wait at a red at 5:30 AM in a deserted street with no cars or people around? Do you guys always slow to a complete stop at a stop sign on a deserted street instead of trying to avoid "unclipping" and then rolling on through?

Get over yourselves and ease up on the guy a bit....how about support him and ask why cab drivers never seem to get ticketed for FAR more dangerous maneuvers on busy streets, where there is 10X the risk of harming someone than with a bicycle?

BTW - I commute into and out of Washington D.C. daily and have done so safely for the past 3 years.
Why don't you get over yourself and stop acting like a child that asks, "He did it too, why did I get punished?". Accept responsiblity for your actions. If you want to run lights in a street with traffic, do so. Don't act like a child when you get caught out. No I don't have to support that kind of Behavior.
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Old 07-24-10, 07:54 PM   #12
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I don't follow all the traffic rules 100% of the time, and I'd venture that nearly 100% of cyclists and motorists don't follow all rules, nor all rules to the letter....this is stupid.
I don't either, but I will suck it up and pay the fine at such time I get snagged for it. No different than getting caught speeding in the car.
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Old 07-24-10, 08:06 PM   #13
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The messed up thing was that two other bikes did the same exact thing in front of him and didn't mention anything.

Anyway, I think its a little unfair considering I honestly didn't know the rules.
That's some childish sႹÎt right there...really.

Ignorance of the law is not a defense.

Yeah it sucks, but sႹÎt...man up, man, take the heat and learn the lessons. Being stupid stinks, but not knowing you're stupid is truly a crime.

The upside is now you know, and you can share what you know with those who do not know. Ain't life grand?
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Old 07-24-10, 08:10 PM   #14
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OP, you did not get a ticket for riding your bike, you got a ticket for disobeying the law.
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Old 07-24-10, 09:45 PM   #15
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I told the officer sorry but I am new to biking and wasn't aware that bikes had to stop on a red light. Anyway, I think its a little unfair considering I honestly didn't know the rules.
R-I-G-H-T ... sure ... mmmm-hmmmm ......... pull the other one.

Your bicycle is a vehicle of the road, just like a car. The rules that apply to a car apply to you. How do you not know that?????

And even if you didn't realize that the bicycle is a vehicle of the road, would you walk right out among traffic, against the red light if you were a pedestrian? Have you no concern for your own safety and the safety of your girlfriend?

Pay the ticket and consider yourself lucky to be alive and uninjured. Oh and ... get ahold of a road rules booklet for your area and read it. You might be able to find one online. Those rules apply to YOU.


And +1 to the comment above, "OP, you did not get a ticket for riding your bike, you got a ticket for disobeying the law." ... riding your bicycle was fine, but you broke the law. You did something illegal. You got fined. That's how it works.
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Old 07-25-10, 12:20 AM   #16
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OP, you did not get a ticket for riding your bike, you got a ticket for disobeying the law.
Exactly! You got a ticket for running a red light. If you didn't want that on your record you should not have blown through the light.
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Old 07-25-10, 01:09 AM   #17
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Do a web search and find the NYC and NY state bicycle laws. Read them and print them out. Go to court. If the cop does not show up, ask the judge to dismiss the case since the city/state cannot prove it's case. If the cop shows, have your bike receipt to show the judge you just bought the bike, show him the print out of the laws and tell him you have read them, understand them and now follow them. Ask him if he can convert the ticket to a warning, community service or please at least reduce the fine.

Whatever you end up paying, just consider it your share of the NYC tax increase.
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Old 07-25-10, 02:02 AM   #18
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Anyway, I think its a little unfair considering I honestly didn't know the rules. Anyone know what I can do to expunge the ticket or at least reduce it?
You didn't know bicycles are supposed to stop at red lights? Don't you learn that in kindergarten?

And what's this "not sidewalk because it was too crowded"? Don't ****ing ride your bike on the sidewalk ever - that's not only illegal too but also dangerous to the pedestrians.
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Old 07-25-10, 04:51 AM   #19
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I am in no way saying he shouldn't have been ticketed, or that he shouldn't take responsibility for his actions.....read my first response to the OP -- it clearly states this.

I'm just saying it sucks for the OP....and that essentially any regular commuter (including drivers) really has no place to take the high-ground.....you're essentially telling this guys he's an idiot while probably breaking the same or similar road laws yourselves.

You just break the law with more style, more luck, and possibly less frequency....and as many of you have pointed out: more enthusiasm for sucking it up!

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Pay the ticket and consider yourself lucky to be alive and uninjured. Oh and ... get ahold of a road rules booklet for your area and read it. You might be able to find one online. Those rules apply to YOU.
Agreed. Mostly. I don't know that the risk of injury is all that great in a bicycle as compared to a car, when you can pull up to the top of the intersection, see in all directions, hear, and pass through the intersection in a vehicle which poses little to no risk of injury of people around you....hence the Idaho stop.

Most "road manuals" provide little if any information about dealing with bicycles safely in traffic (even when the area has a large number of cyclists, bike routes, and a 3-foot passing law). I'd see if there's a manual specific to cyclists first.

DC has a page about common laws where cyclists are likely to be faulted by police instead of motorists! Boy that inspires confidence in road laws protecting my safety!

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And what's this "not sidewalk because it was too crowded"? Don't ****ing ride your bike on the sidewalk ever - that's not only illegal too but also dangerous to the pedestrians.
Now this is a great BF post! It completely ignores the fact that riding on the sidewalk is actually legal and unavoidable in many areas (DC routes some MUP's over marked sidewalks - but prohibits sidewalk riding over the national mall and downtown areas.....other areas have similar situations).

Oh, I guess in keeping with the general tone here I'll add:

You broke the law idiot, what did you expect a freakin' shiatsu!?!

Can you in fact read the NY rules of the road? Can you even read my responses?

If that happened to me, I'd suck it up and pay the fine -- then come on here looking for threads like this to post sarcasm!

You give us cyclists a bad name! Not because we don't also do the same thing you did. No, but because you got caught!

Did you go to kindergarten? Because when I was there I learned to always ride my bike facing traffic, so I can see the cars coming!


Yawn.

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Old 07-25-10, 05:12 AM   #20
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If it's an MUP it's not a sidewalk. And even if it is legal, with what right are you bothering the pedestrians with your bike? Just because you're scared of the cars?
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Old 07-25-10, 05:48 AM   #21
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I'm just saying it sucks for the OP....and that essentially any regular commuter (including drivers) really has no place to take the high-ground.....you're essentially telling this guys he's an idiot while probably breaking the same or similar road laws yourselves.
Speak for yourself, don't speak for the rest of us. I can't speak for anyone else here, but I do my best to follow the rules of the road ... even to the point of looking them up for each place I live or visit to make sure I'm not inadvertently breaking some rule. For example, here in Australia it is a fineable offense to ride without a helment. I can get away without wearing a helmet in Canada, but I can't in Australia, and I knew that before I got here.

If you don't follow the rules of the road, you are at risk for fines.


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Agreed. Mostly. I don't know that the risk of injury is all that great in a bicycle as compared to a car.
Big car ... little bicycle = many, many examples of people who have died or been seriously injured.


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Most "road manuals" provide little if any information about dealing with bicycles safely in traffic (even when the area has a large number of cyclists, bike routes, and a 3-foot passing law). I'd see if there's a manual specific to cyclists first.

DC has a page about common laws where cyclists are likely to be faulted by police instead of motorists! Boy that inspires confidence in road laws protecting my safety!
Good for DC!! Seems like a place that takes the safety of its cyclists seriously. If you follow the same rules of the road as the vehicles do, and ride in a predictable manner, you'll have a much greater chance of riding safely.


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It completely ignores the fact that riding on the sidewalk is actually legal and unavoidable in many areas
Wrong.
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Old 07-25-10, 06:50 AM   #22
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It completely ignores the fact that riding on the sidewalk is actually legal and unavoidable in many areas
Wrong.
Not a fact.

Here's the prohibited sidewalk riding ares locally, linked from the Washington Area Bicyclists Association:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...,0.055275&z=14

http://www.welovedc.com/2010/05/11/d...ng-bike-myths/

Outside of downtown and the national mall sidewalk riding is legal. I don't EVER ride sidewalks personally, but it's not 100% illegal as suggested.

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Big car ... little bicycle = many, many examples of people who have died or been seriously injured.
This is obviously true, no arguments. I was pointing out that a bicycle waiting at the front of an intersection, who can see in all directions (and hear) has a huge advantage in going through the intersection than a car in the same situation.

Hence the "Idaho stop" laws being considered by many states -- where cyclists are allowed to treat red-lights essentially as stop signs. Initial results of this law have been positive, which is surprising to many.

Quote:
Good for DC!! Seems like a place that takes the safety of its cyclists seriously. If you follow the same rules of the road as the vehicles do, and ride in a predictable manner, you'll have a much greater chance of riding safely.
Sort of true. Riding predictably and following the same general rules as cars is advisable.

DC doesn't IMO take the safety of cyclists too seriously though....just an opinion. This guy had 5 tickets prior to killing this cyclist and was still somehow still on the road:

http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/stor...4723&catid=187

You can dig up tons of stories where DC police, given tag numbers of vehicles involved in hit-and-runs and aggressive driving toward cyclists, don't even pursue the people. For the most part motorists are given the benefit of the doubt around here, and I would guess that it's the same or worse in other places.

Quote:
Speak for yourself, don't speak for the rest of us.
Then
Quote:
I do my best to follow the rules of the road ...
....so we're back to the point that everyone probably is doing things that warrant tickets at some point.

Which is further supported by driving statistics:

http://mpdc.dc.gov/mpdc/frames.asp?d...ts_summary.pdf

running stop signs - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10368561

illegally parking - http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0...ines-jump.html

ignoring toll booths - http://www2.insidenova.com/isn/news/...olators/17782/

driving drunk - http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-dr...istics-dc.html

driving aggressively - http://voices.washingtonpost.com/get...wprss=getthere

fleeing the scene - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...092103498.html

None of this is to excuse responsibility - it just points out how stupid it is to stand and say that he's an idiot and we're not. I guess I'm more addressing the snide comments and holier-than-thou positions taken here....

--Done, moving on.

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Old 07-25-10, 07:02 AM   #23
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Yes, I do obey the laws. I always have because I know it's right to do. My taxes pay for "them" and I don't like throwing money away. If you run lights and signs, you are being cheated by your own actions and endangering others' safety. Would you accept being stopped for running a "Stop" when no apparatus actually were in place, but your taxes had payed for it? I think not. Excuse me, I digress.

Yes, I do obey the laws I know of, and if I don't know and get the ticket, I consider myself informed, pay the fine and move on a bit more informed.

BTW, I have never been detained by authorities while riding.

Believe it or not, it's the truth.

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Old 07-25-10, 08:47 AM   #24
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The OP should direct his fingers to the NY DMV website & read NY's traffic laws as they pertain to bicycles. As a former NYer, riding on the sidewalk is a big NO! even if it's empty! Unless NY has done a total turn-around in the last 20 years, bikes obey vehicular traffic regualtions. The OP should be very very happy his wallet is just light, and that he has no moving violation points on his drivers license!
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Old 07-25-10, 09:08 AM   #25
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wow a lot of hateful people here.

Contrary to what you may think I do not mind paying the ticket, what I am bothered with is how many people in NYC are not even aware of these laws and that's with a city of over 8 million. In fact, I would argue that people in this forum are a minority when it comes to knowing bicycle law. BTW when I learned to bike I was eight years old, back then my parents took me to a park to learn and ride my bike. I never took my bike on the street because you "did not do that" and in fact many bicyclist in and around the city do the same thing. It has been over 20 years since I was on a bike. So for those you think you learn this in school I did not.

My issue with the entire thing is that if they are going to treat us as a vehicle and expect us to know these laws then they should require to take classes, pass a test, and get a license or at the very least require that all bike shop in the city give a out a packet of the rules and bike safety when selling a bike. Going to my job I saw SO many bicyclist running red light, speeding through intersection while people were crossing, without night lights, etc. Are they wrong, no not really because many don't even know. In fact I casually talked to two people who were biking and I told them I got a ticket; they were surprised and admitted they do the same thing all the time, especially in suburban areas like got my ticket.

And for the jerks, I follow the law whenever I am aware of it. I won't be posting on this forum again.

Thanks for all the people who were understanding.

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