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-   -   I got pulled over on my CT700 today (http://www.bikeforums.net/recumbent/548301-i-got-pulled-over-my-ct700-today.html)

HngUpNDrv 06-03-09 06:44 PM

I got pulled over on my CT700 today
 
I got pulled over today by a S. Milwaukee cop. He said he pulled me over because he said I ran a red light, and I have to follow the same rules of the road like cars. I told him that I didn't run the light, I waited 45 seconds and it was clear so I went through. He then told me that it was illegal, and I said that about two years ago Wisconsin passed a law that gives bicycles, motorcycles, and scooters the right to go through a red light after 45 seconds if the rider thinks the light is vehicle activated by weight and it is safe to proceed. The cop told me that he has never heard of that law. So he took my name, address and phone number. The thing that upset me the most was that he pulled me over on a up hill (in the middle of the hill). When he let me go I rode for two more miles and started to second guess my self and I started to wonder if I was wrong. So I stopped and called my boss (my wife) and told her what happened and asked her to get on the net and see what she could find. We talked for about20 minutes while she was looking, but she couldn't find anything. Now I really starting to think that I was wrong, so we hung up and I started to head home. I was about 1 mile from home and my cell rang, it was my wife, she said "I found it" you were right. It is Wisconsin State Statute [346.37(1)4] My wife called S. Milwaukee PD none emergency number and told them the Statute number they said that they would have the officer that pulled me over call. And yes he did call he read statute on his computer in his squad car and said he would have to talk to his supervisor. He wouldn't admit it, but you could tell he was a bit embarrassed he was wrong, but didn't admit it or apologize.

PaPa 06-03-09 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HngUpNDrv (Post 9037218)
And yes he did call he read statute on his computer in his squad car and said he would have to talk to his supervisor. He wouldn't admit it, but you could tell he was a bit embarrassed he was wrong, but didn't admit it or apologize.

You should've called his supervisor instead. And why, pray tell, would the officer call his supervisor?... I suspect he is either lying (hoping you will assume that there is no need for you to do it), or is calling to remind him that it's his turn to buy the suds on bowling night.

Makes one wonder just how many innocent victims he has wrongfully cited for the same, bogus offense? Or perhaps he really does know the law, and is just trying to meet his quota by playing off the public's ignorance. Then you come along and spoil the party.

BlazingPedals 06-04-09 05:50 AM

Most cops know the laws about speeding well enough, but they tend to write tickets based on 'feel.' That is, if something doesn't seem right, they'll write a ticket and make something up. Yes, a local detective even admitted that to me. Standard practice is to allow drivers to treat a malfuntioning red light as a 4-way stop, but it sounds like the Wisconsin law goes even further and specifies a time limit. Good for them!

IbikezLA 06-04-09 06:35 AM

Idaho also has a law that lets cyclists treat red lights like stop signs.

http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/ids...SECT49-720.htm

Wanderer 06-04-09 07:54 AM

As does Illinois!

Village Idiot 06-04-09 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals (Post 9039463)
Most cops know the laws about speeding well enough, but they tend to write tickets based on 'feel.' That is, if something doesn't seem right, they'll write a ticket and make something up. Yes, a local detective even admitted that to me. Standard practice is to allow drivers to treat a malfuntioning red light as a 4-way stop, but it sounds like the Wisconsin law goes even further and specifies a time limit. Good for them!

I'd say most, if not all cops do that. They don't have every single law memorized and I've seen other instances of this. You hear about it all the time on the motorcycle forums. I think most states probably have a law about this, since smaller vehicles and alternative transportation may not trigger weight or magnetive activated switches.

mikewille 06-04-09 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wanderer (Post 9039967)
As does Illinois!

Do you have any references for this? Not that I don't believe you, but I'd like to be prepared for
any potential interactions with law enforcement over this issue.

Tom Bombadil 06-04-09 09:55 AM

I'm still getting over the shock that you waited 45 seconds. Most of the cyclists I see on the road wait 1-2 seconds at red lights.

Shiseiji 06-05-09 09:50 AM

Quote:

Idaho also has a law that lets cyclists treat red lights like stop signs.
I was visiting my Mom in Boise and had a guy on a bike run a stop sign then flip me off because I hadn't given him the right of way (I was turning left with my signal on and had expected him to stop). Funny what sticks in our heads. I have come to the conclusion that many police and district attorneys are constitutionally incapable of admitting wrong. It is just part of the make up that makes them what they are. Is why calm, reasonable and allowing them to "save face" often pays off the most. JMHO.

In VA "Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs, signals, lights, and markings. Violation of state traffic laws is considered a traffic infraction and is punishable by a fine of not more than $100 unless other specific penalty provisions apply."

BlazingPedals 06-05-09 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shiseiji (Post 9047409)
In VA "Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs, signals, lights, and markings. Violation of state traffic laws is considered a traffic infraction and is punishable by a fine of not more than $100 unless other specific penalty provisions apply."

That's true everywhere, but there has to be a provision somewhere for when the system breaks down. What about when there's a blackout and the light isn't working at all? Since most lights are computer-controlled, if a light doesn't 'sense' a bicycle, it won't turn green for the bicycle - ever. In those cases, the vehicle operator, whether car or bike, is allowed to treat the light as a 4-way stop. IOW go when it's safe to do so. Happens to me all the time because the sensor loops are tuned to detect cars and traffic engineers would rather have a 'no-trip' condition for bikes than to have spurious trips.

The question becomes, how long do you wait to determine that the light isn't ever going to trip for you? If you're in a left-turn lane and the light cycles for everyone else 3 times, you're probably safe in assuming it'll never change for you. But what if you know from experience that it won't? Is it OK to just wait for a hole and go? Do you have to wait, possibly for a half-hour or more, for a car to trip it for you? Or do you have to wait for 3 cycles every time? The 45-second rule helps define that.

benjdm 06-05-09 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals (Post 9048086)
That's true everywhere, but there has to be a provision somewhere for when the system breaks down. What about when there's a blackout and the light isn't working at all?

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+46.2-833

Quote:

46.2-833. Traffic lights; penalty.

...

B. If the traffic lights controlling an intersection are out of service because of a power failure or other event that prevents the giving of signals by the traffic lights, the drivers of vehicles approaching such an intersection shall proceed as though such intersection were controlled by a stop sign on all approaches.

megaman 06-05-09 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil (Post 9040770)
I'm still getting over the shock that you waited 45 seconds. Most of the cyclists I see on the road wait 1-2 seconds at red lights.

I'd wait the 45 seconds. Why, I'm unlucky enough to have had a cop watching that intersection just waiting for traffic law infractions.

City_Smasher 06-06-09 12:41 AM

To me, it sounds like this cop didn't know about the law. After you told him about it, he took your personal information and let you go, which implies that he was giving you the benefit of the doubt while he looked into it. You said he also sounded embarrassed when he called you, after he had been informed it is a law.

I'd be willing to bet that not only a lot of cops, but a lot of motorists are unaware of this particular law. The majority of people on the road, drive cars.

Motorcyclists & bicyclists are aware of this issue with traffic lights, from experience. I'll bet most motorists and cops, have probably never given it much thought.

bentX2 06-06-09 04:02 AM

South Carolina
 
In South Carolina they passed a law allowing bikes to proceed thru a red traffic signal after waiting two minutes. I admit to not being capable of remaining still for two minutes and carefully running the light, maybe as a rolling stop.

bobkat 06-06-09 01:31 PM

I agree with City Smasher. Sounds like this officer ended up in the "Well I'll be darned" mode. Hopefully any citations you were written will be dropped.
I have no idea if my state has such a law, but common sense would dictate to me that if I waited at a red light for a reanobale time and it seemed stuck, I'd wait for a good break in traffic and carefully go on through. If I had to I'd take my chances with any reasonable judge.


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