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..