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-   -   Seattle Helmet Ticket + Just A Warning (http://www.bikeforums.net/pacific-northwest/903471-seattle-helmet-ticket-just-warning.html)

volkgti90 07-24-13 04:29 PM

Seattle Helmet Ticket + Just A Warning
 
I got issued a $103 dollar ticket yesterday for no helmet in a PARKING LOT.. It was about 9:30am when i parked my car on the north end of Westlake and proceeded to ride along the water to the south end of the parking lot where my job is (free parking on the north end and needed my car immediately after work). I decided to not grab my helmet as its such a short ride along mainly a sidewalk and a parking lot. Most of the time I still do wear it, but i decided not to this time (big mistake) Two motorcycle cops were patrolling and pulling over multiple bikers at a time for all types of things including riding on the sidewalk, riding on the wrong side of the parking lot and for no helmets. The first cop encounter barely spoke and took my license immediately and started writing the ticket.. All he said was that employees in there cars had complained about bikers commuting through the parking lot and thats why they were there. In my head i wanted to ask if they were ticketing all the drivers for no blinkers and running the multiple stop signs as we all share the road with the same rights. I didn't of course. I told him my helmet was actually in my car and he said to ride back and grab it, then i could proceed. As I proceeded back to my car I come upon another officer who screamed at me with such aggression to stop that I was actually a bit shocked and nervous. I pulled up to him and told him to "relax" in a calm voice as that seemed like the natural thing to do when approaching someone with such aggression. He immediately shouted back at me "you relax" and I asked him what for??? no reply.. He then said why are you riding your bike with out a helmet? I explained to him that i had just got a ticket from another officer and was proceeding back to my car to get my helmet which was about 30 yards away.. He said again " why are you riding your bike without a helmet" and added "and not walking your bike back". I explained to him that the other officer told me i could ride back and grab it.. He then proceeded to indicate that i was a liar and that the officer would not have said that. He radioed over to the other officer to verify the story.. At this time Im thinking the other cop is going to not tell the truth and say he told me to walk it.. Fortunately, i could hear the conversation and other cop said he told me i could ride back to the car, putting the other rude cop in his place for indicating that i was lying.. Either way he made me walk my bike back to the car.

Anyways, I understand that i broke the law, but to set up patrols for bikers who are commuting to work and ticket them for endless things seems like such a waist of police officers time. To talk to people you don't know with such aggression is also aggravating, especially when they hold a position such as this.. I felt offended, mad, hurt in a way. I just want this story to warn people that the cops im assuming are going to be monitoring this heavy bike route for a while and to not take any chances..

Black wallnut 07-25-13 09:40 AM

Is this in the State of Washington? I ask because several years ago my wife was at a local car wash/ gas station in Ellensburg when an unlicensed driver backed into our car causing thousands of dollars damage. Local law enforcement said that because it was private property there was nothing they could do. Is the parking lot publically owned? Maybe helmet laws are like handicapped parking laws where private property does not matter.

enigmaT120 07-25-13 01:53 PM

Seattle has a helmet law for bicyclists? Wow.

Seattle Forrest 07-25-13 03:13 PM

Which parking lot was this? You said Westlake, but it's a big street.

I'm not 100 % certain the police have jurisdiction over private parking lots.

I talked to some bike police a couple days ago about why they ride MTBs when road bikes are so much faster and lighter on those steep hills downtown. I'll spare you the rest of that story, but they told me it's legal to ride on sidewalks here. (I wasn't, but they were talking about how useful shocks and strong wheels are in their line of work.)

volkgti90 07-25-13 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest (Post 15888801)
Which parking lot was this? You said Westlake, but it's a big street.

I'm not 100 % certain the police have jurisdiction over private parking lots.

I talked to some bike police a couple days ago about why they ride MTBs when road bikes are so much faster and lighter on those steep hills downtown. I'll spare you the rest of that story, but they told me it's legal to ride on sidewalks here. (I wasn't, but they were talking about how useful shocks and strong wheels are in their line of work.)

it was the westlake parking lot that runs next to westlake street.. the one with China Harbor and the Rock Salt in it. Im curious about what you said the private parking lot.. I may look into this. thanks

CB HI 07-25-13 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by volkgti90 (Post 15889123)
it was the westlake parking lot that runs next to westlake street.. the one with China Harbor and the Rock Salt in it. Im curious about what you said the private parking lot.. I may look into this. thanks

Traffic laws, do not apply on private property. If the parking lot is private property, get a tax map key, listed property owner and fight the ticket. Sounds like the cops were out to harass cyclist rather than promote safety.

Seattle Forrest 07-26-13 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by volkgti90 (Post 15889123)
it was the westlake parking lot that runs next to westlake street.. the one with China Harbor and the Rock Salt in it. Im curious about what you said the private parking lot.. I may look into this. thanks

Interesting. I ride through there all the time when I ring Lake Union. So does pretty much everyone else, it's really the unofficial bike route through the area. Thanks for the heads up!

(Somebody told me once you're officially supposed to take Dexter to go from SLU to the Fremont Bridge area on a bike, which is kind of bunk.)

m1gel 07-26-13 10:27 AM

Interesting indeed. I see a lot of bike riders on the road everyday at Westlake and Denny either with no helmet or blowing past the stop light and also hopping on the sidewalk whenever they want to. With the amount of people in this area, I'm not sure why they are concentrating more on that side where the danger is minimal compared to the downtown area? I bike a lot and drive also, so I'm all for my safety and the safety of others around me. The closest I witnessed to police writing a ticket was during our ride along the Mercer Island loop with my 13yr old, a cyclist breezed through the 4 way stop, next thing we heard was the sirens going and "cyclist pull over". I believe he got a ticket and was not happy about that. It was also a good learning experience for both me and my son.

Medic Zero 07-27-13 01:47 AM

The police say that this parking lot is actually city property and "roads" even though to all appearances it is a parking lot. It's interesting that one of the cops told the OP that there were complaints of cyclists commuting through there, as IIRC the city/county issued cyclemap shows this area as the place for cyclists to commute rather than the adjacent and very busy (35 mph+) Westlake Avenue. I suspect the cop had his information wrong, what I heard (on a local cyclist page on Facebook) was that some car drivers who used the lot had complained that cyclists were riding "the wrong way" in the parking lot. The thing is that the westernmost "lane" through the parking lot is much easier to traverse, at some points along the eastern (northbound) lane, a car or delivery vehicle can (and does) stop, completely blocking that narrow lane. Joggers, pedestrians, and very slow moving automobile traffic pretty effectively block the easternmost lane at times as well, while the other lane is much wider.

A woman cyclist was hit a day or two before in this area by a drunk driver and had the tip of her thumb severed. Interesting that the polices response to go after the cyclists in this area, but the Seattle PD is about as clueless as can be when it comes to relating to the public.

I often ride home from work through those parking lots, I guess I'll be changing my routes to either the right lane of Westlake or over the hill to Dexter or my other routes through the u-district for a while, because I'm not going to ride in the stop and go of the easternmost lane through the parking lot and I can't afford a $103 ticket.

Here's the link to the severed thumb/drunk driver story:
http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/...t-wasnt-worse/

Litespeedlouie 07-27-13 01:20 PM

I would not be surprised that the Westlake parking lots are city property, just because that was all working waterfront. The city may have developed it.

I believe it's actually King County that has the bike helmet law, but the City of Seattle was excluded until 2003.

Seattle Muni code allows riding on a sidewalk:
Section 11.44.120 RIDING ON A SIDEWALK OR PUBLIC PATH. Every person operating a bicycle upon any sidewalk or public path shall operate the same in a careful and prudent manner and a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of pedestrian traffic, grade and width of sidewalk or public path, and condition of surface, and shall obey all traffic control devices. Every person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian thereon, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.

nhluhr 07-28-13 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by volkgti90 (Post 15885388)
I got issued a $103 dollar ticket yesterday for no helmet in a PARKING LOT.. It was about 9:30am when i parked my car on the north end of Westlake and proceeded to ride along the water to the south end of the parking lot where my job is (free parking on the north end and needed my car immediately after work). I decided to not grab my helmet as its such a short ride along mainly a sidewalk and a parking lot. Most of the time I still do wear it, but i decided not to this time (big mistake) Two motorcycle cops were patrolling and pulling over multiple bikers at a time for all types of things including riding on the sidewalk, riding on the wrong side of the parking lot and for no helmets. The first cop encounter barely spoke and took my license immediately and started writing the ticket.. All he said was that employees in there cars had complained about bikers commuting through the parking lot and thats why they were there. In my head i wanted to ask if they were ticketing all the drivers for no blinkers and running the multiple stop signs as we all share the road with the same rights. I didn't of course. I told him my helmet was actually in my car and he said to ride back and grab it, then i could proceed. As I proceeded back to my car I come upon another officer who screamed at me with such aggression to stop that I was actually a bit shocked and nervous. I pulled up to him and told him to "relax" in a calm voice as that seemed like the natural thing to do when approaching someone with such aggression. He immediately shouted back at me "you relax" and I asked him what for??? no reply.. He then said why are you riding your bike with out a helmet? I explained to him that i had just got a ticket from another officer and was proceeding back to my car to get my helmet which was about 30 yards away.. He said again " why are you riding your bike without a helmet" and added "and not walking your bike back". I explained to him that the other officer told me i could ride back and grab it.. He then proceeded to indicate that i was a liar and that the officer would not have said that. He radioed over to the other officer to verify the story.. At this time Im thinking the other cop is going to not tell the truth and say he told me to walk it.. Fortunately, i could hear the conversation and other cop said he told me i could ride back to the car, putting the other rude cop in his place for indicating that i was lying.. Either way he made me walk my bike back to the car.

Anyways, I understand that i broke the law, but to set up patrols for bikers who are commuting to work and ticket them for endless things seems like such a waist of police officers time. To talk to people you don't know with such aggression is also aggravating, especially when they hold a position such as this.. I felt offended, mad, hurt in a way. I just want this story to warn people that the cops im assuming are going to be monitoring this heavy bike route for a while and to not take any chances..

Curious what statute is on your ticket? The only helmet law anywhere in Seattle is just a health code which carries a $30 fine.

This ticket is 100% bull****.

You'll notice Seattle is not listed here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/helmets.htm
Also: http://www.washingtonbikelaw.com/ami...different.html

Fight that ticket and shame that pig****ing cop.

bhchdh 07-28-13 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nhluhr (Post 15898193)
Curious what statute is on your ticket? The only helmet law anywhere in Seattle is just a health code which carries a $30 fine.

This ticket is 100% bull****.

You'll notice Seattle is not listed here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/helmets.htm
Also: http://www.washingtonbikelaw.com/ami...different.html

Fight that ticket and shame that pig****ing cop.


Seatle is listed in the King County line.

8. Helmets
While some counties and cities require helmets for bicyclists, there is no state-wide requirement. Perhaps there should be.

Studies by Group Health and the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center show that helmet use could prevent up to 85% of bicyclists’ head injuries.

According to the King County Board of Health, if every cyclist wore a helmet, the county could save nearly $10 million a year in direct and indirect costs for head injuries.

Bicyclists are required to wear helmets in King County, but the actual law is harder to find than some questionable tax loopholes.

Where is the local helmet law? In the Seattle Municipal Code? No. In the King County Code? Nope. With some determination, you might find it hidden in the King County Board of Health Code, provided you can find the King County Board of Health Code.

The hard-to-find law states, “Any person operating or riding on a bicycle not powered by motor on a public roadway, bicycle path or on any right-of-way or publicly owned facilities located in King County including Seattle, shall wear a protective helmet designed for bicycle safety.” [BOH 9.10.010(A)]

Any police officer can impose a $30 fine for violations of this law, however few do, perhaps because they can’t find the helmet law under which to make the charge.

nhluhr 07-28-13 07:44 PM

OK so a $30 fine like I said already, not a $103 one. Not sure what exactly you're arguing, except just to be pedantic.

RollinGeezer 07-28-13 10:25 PM

Per the WSDOT website (google Washington State Bicycle Helmet Laws) King County has a helmet law which includes Seattle. Also regarding riding on a sidewalk I remember seeing a RCW saying you could ride a bicycle on a sidewalk unless it was a crowded business area. I can't find it again tho. The helmet laws aren't well known by the police. There are different laws for State, County, and City. The WSDOT is the best I've seen that puts it all together.

Medic Zero 07-29-13 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RollinGeezer (Post 15898943)
Per the WSDOT website (google Washington State Bicycle Helmet Laws) King County has a helmet law which includes Seattle. Also regarding riding on a sidewalk I remember seeing a RCW saying you could ride a bicycle on a sidewalk unless it was a crowded business area. I can't find it again tho. The helmet laws aren't well known by the police. There are different laws for State, County, and City. The WSDOT is the best I've seen that puts it all together.

Yeah, I recall the wording of the law being something like: "bicycles are allowed on the sidewalk as long as they aren't a danger to pedestrians" with some clarification meaning basically that the sidewalk isn't too congested with many pedestrians. I was a courier downtown for a couple of years and every now and then, you'd end up on the sidewalk for a block to get from one place to another, or half a block on the final leg of a journey, never had any problems with the police about it. Seems silly to ride a bike that short of a distance, but a lot of the time you were continuing in the direction you just moved your bike and time was a serious consideration (like having to get a court filing in before court closed for the day), so you needed the bike locked up right outside, not a block away.

CB HI 07-29-13 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Medic Zero (Post 15893533)
The police say that this parking lot is actually city property and "roads" even though to all appearances it is a parking lot.

Use this site to see who really owns the property.
http://gismaps.kingcounty.gov/parcelviewer2/

Medic Zero 07-30-13 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CB HI (Post 15903000)
Use this site to see who really owns the property.
http://gismaps.kingcounty.gov/parcelviewer2/


Appears to all be owned by the city, but that is likely moot, as the police do whatever they want.

Ravenhog 08-01-13 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Medic Zero (Post 15901013)
Yeah, I recall the wording of the law being something like: "bicycles are allowed on the sidewalk as long as they aren't a danger to pedestrians" with some clarification meaning basically that the sidewalk isn't too congested with many pedestrians. I was a courier downtown for a couple of years and every now and then, you'd end up on the sidewalk for a block to get from one place to another, or half a block on the final leg of a journey, never had any problems with the police about it. Seems silly to ride a bike that short of a distance, but a lot of the time you were continuing in the direction you just moved your bike and time was a serious consideration (like having to get a court filing in before court closed for the day), so you needed the bike locked up right outside, not a block away.

The code you speak of is not a an RCW it's actually a WAC
[TABLE]
[TR]
[TD]WAC 308-330-555

[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="colspan: 2"]Bicycles—Riding on sidewalks.
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
(1) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk in a business district.
(2) A person may ride a bicycle on any other sidewalk or any roadway unless restricted or prohibited by traffic control devices.
(3) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian.

For this violation you would most likely be cited for "RCW 46.61.755 Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles." which i think is a $86 fine and then the WAC code would be the reason for the violation




Down in Auburn, WA is $250. And I think its $125 in Kent.
AMC 10.56.185 Helmets.


Everyone riding a bicycle or riding as a passenger on a tandem bicycle or other bicycle equipped to carry two or more riders upon any city of Auburn road, alley, sidewalk, recreational trail or park property shall wear a protective helmet designed for bicycle safety that meets or exceeds the safety standards adopted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission or set by the American National Standards Institute, or such subsequent nationally recognized standard for bicycle helmet performance as the city may adopt by ordinance. The helmet must be equipped with either a neck strap or chinstrap that shall be fastened securely while the bicycle is in motion. (Ord. 5923 § 1, 2005.)


10.56.210 Violation – Penalty.

Violation of the provisions of this chapter is an infraction, subject to penalties in accordance with ACC 1.25.050, unless otherwise provided herein. (Ord. 5923 § 1, 2005; Ord. 5683 § 29, 2002; Ord. 2753 § 1, 1973; 1957 code § 5.08.240.)

1.25.050 Penalties for infractions.

Unless otherwise specifically provided in connection with particular sections, chapters or titles of the city code, noncriminal violations of the city
code shall be infractions and shall carry a maximum penalty of $250.00. Each day, location, violator and incident shall constitute a separate civil infraction.

dlester 08-08-13 11:02 PM

Summary of WA state helmet requirements:

[TABLE]

[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #e6e6e6"]Location Name[/TH]
[TH="bgcolor: #e6e6e6"]Who is Affected[/TH]
[TH="bgcolor: #e6e6e6, align: center"]Effective Date[/TH]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Aberdeen[/TD]
[TD]All ages[/TD]
[TD="align: center"]2001[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Bainbridge Island[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]2001[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Bremerton[/TD]
[TD]All ages[/TD]
[TD]2000[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]DuPont[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]2008[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Eatonville[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]1996[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Fircrest[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]1995[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Gig Harbor[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]1996[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Kent[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]1999[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]King County[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]1993, 2003 updated to include Seattle[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Lakewood[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]1996[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Milton[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]1997[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Orting[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Under 17[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]1997[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Pierce County
(unincorporated)[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]1994[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Port Angeles[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]1994[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Port Orchard[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]2004[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Poulsbo[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]Under 18[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]1995[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Puyallup[/TD]
[TD="align: center"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="align: center"]1994[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Renton[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]1999[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Spokane[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff, align: center"]All ages [/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff, align: center"]2004[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]Steilacoom[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]1995[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Tacoma[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff, align: center"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff, align: center"]1994[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]University Place[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]1996[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff"]Vancouver[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff, align: center"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffff, align: center"]2008[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc"]All Military Installations[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]All ages[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #ffffcc, align: center"]N/A[/TD]
[/TR]

[/TABLE]


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