Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    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..

  2. #2
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Ellensburg,WA
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Broadway, Specialized Secteur Sport(crashed) Spec. Roubaix Sport, Spec. Crux
    Posts
    1,542
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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.


    Mark

  3. #3
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Falls City, OR
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Fargo 2, Rocky Mountain Fusion, circa '93
    Posts
    1,429
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seattle has a helmet law for bicyclists? Wow.
    Ed Miller
    Falls City, OR
    1993 Rocky Mountain Fusion
    2012 Fargo 2

  4. #4
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    9,871
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    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.)
    Don't believe everything you think.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    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

  6. #6
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    11,420
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by volkgti90 View Post
    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.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    9,871
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by volkgti90 View Post
    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.)
    Don't believe everything you think.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kent,WA
    My Bikes
    CAAD10 3
    Posts
    12
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    Old steel GT's, for touring and commuting
    Posts
    1,815
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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/
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    Litespeed, O'Brien, Specialized, Fuji
    Posts
    255
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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.

  11. #11
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    BH G5
    Posts
    1,867
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by volkgti90 View Post
    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.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hampton Roads VA
    My Bikes
    '07 Trek 520, '10 Gary Fisher Triton, '04 Trek 8000, '85 Trek 500, '84 Trek 610, '85 Trek 510, '92 Trek Multitrack 700
    Posts
    1,573
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    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.
    Last edited by bhchdh; 07-28-13 at 06:37 PM.

  13. #13
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    BH G5
    Posts
    1,867
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Marysville, WA, USA
    My Bikes
    Ancient Conglomeration, new one being built
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    Old steel GT's, for touring and commuting
    Posts
    1,815
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RollinGeezer View Post
    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.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  16. #16
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    11,420
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    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/
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    Old steel GT's, for touring and commuting
    Posts
    1,815
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    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.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    My Bikes
    Surly Ogre, Transit Rock Creek
    Posts
    103
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    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
    WAC 308-330-555
    Bicycles—Riding on sidewalks.
    (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.
    Last edited by Ravenhog; 08-01-13 at 05:01 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek Portland/Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo/LeMond Versailles
    Posts
    464
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Summary of WA state helmet requirements:

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

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •