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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-29-12, 08:21 PM   #1
glockenspieler
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Red light tickets, Offense < Fine

So, today I got the second red-light ticket of the year. I do a regular 20 mile commute through Atlanta, with a host of stop signs and traffic lights. Today, I approached a T intersection, where I'm at the top of the T going straight, in the bike lane, but with cars stacked up in the traffic lane. I always slow here, and if there's no traffic in the lane, I roll through. Turns out, one of Atlanta's finest was in the stack of cars so a block later he pulls me over and gives me the ticket.

For the record, I don't' 'blow through' intersections, I always yield to cars that get to 4 way stops before me (nodding to them to go), but I also try to stay out of tight traffic and sometimes going through a red keeps me out of the tightest traffic.

In GA, violations on a bike adhere to the same fine schedule as for cars. I ran a red light, so with surcharges and taxes, that's $250.

Yeah, I ran the red light. I get that, guilty. But $250? My first ticket was for stopping (putting foot down), and then proceeding through a red light that does not change for bikes.

So, $500 so far for the year, two violations. I think I need a more expensive bike because that's now matches how much i spent on the bike and it seems like I should ride a bike that costs more than the year's violations...
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Old 05-29-12, 08:44 PM   #2
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You could easily foght the stop and continue one if it is a light that changes by a sensor.... As far as rolling thru a red light, I typically stop for lights but roll stop signs.
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Old 05-29-12, 08:47 PM   #3
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bummer, man.
also, one always needs a more expensive bike. period.
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Old 05-29-12, 08:51 PM   #4
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If you stop at a light and it doesn't change for a complete cycle, here in CA it's considered "malfunctioning" and you are permitted to proceed after making sure it's clear. But you have to wait that complete cycle first. If there's one available, I roll over and hit the pedestrian crossing button which will trigger the light to change. Otherwise, I won't run a red. Got a ticket for it once. Can't afford it.
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Old 05-29-12, 08:54 PM   #5
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Where was this? So I can avoid it. I hear it ofter the case on the brewery ride that a cop is waiting.
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Old 05-29-12, 09:00 PM   #6
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You ran the light, your fault. Hopefully you have learned your lesson to stop at red lights now.
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Old 05-29-12, 09:15 PM   #7
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Here in CA, the city of Huntington Beach has enacted a special scofflaw ticket for cyclists that costs less than the equivalent ticket for motorists, but escalates to the equivalent if it is ignored by the cyclist.

I think this is a reasonable approach. Here in CA, in other jurisdictions (I know of no others that have a similar approach), a cyclist is treated as a motorist for the purpose of violations. Running a light, for example, will cost more than $400.
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Old 05-29-12, 09:33 PM   #8
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That sucks. Bummer dude.

Now if that were a SPEEDING ticket, that would be sweetness. Rolling stops are no good though. Almost as bad as being in a car and getting nailed by one of LA's many $500 camera-ticket machines that nailed like 20% of the populace last year.
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Old 05-29-12, 09:34 PM   #9
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I'll stop and wait for all red lights except those T-intersection lights. Of course I'll slow significantly and make sure no peds our turning traffic are present, but that's a situation where a more sophisticated transportation infrastructure might have signals for bicycles.

Last edited by rdtompki; 05-29-12 at 09:35 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-29-12, 09:44 PM   #10
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Almost as bad as being in a car and getting nailed by one of LA's many $500 camera-ticket machines that nailed like 20% of the populace last year.
you probably know this already, but just a psa for any angelenos not yet aware: LAPD won't pursue red-light camera tickets in court
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Old 05-29-12, 09:46 PM   #11
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So you rolled right past the cop and then said to yourself - self, I think I'm going THROUGH this red light.

Perhaps not the wisest decision.

I generally wait if there are cars, whether it's a light or stop sign. No cars, no wait.
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Old 05-29-12, 10:25 PM   #12
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I dont get it... your upset that you got caught twice for running a red lights????? Thats why I dont run them, I do what Joel does here in CA
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Old 05-30-12, 06:50 AM   #13
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Cyclist want to be taken seriously, treated as transportation like cars but don't want to follow the vehicle laws. You ran the light, saw the LEO and had already gotten a ticket for the same thing. Hmmmm, what was your rant?
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Old 05-30-12, 06:58 AM   #14
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Quite an expensive, though obvious lesson. Follow the rules of the road and as an incentive, invest the 250 bucks that your next infringement might cost you, in your bike upfront. Win Win. Follow the logic of the 41.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:52 AM   #15
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Cyclist want to be taken seriously, treated as transportation like cars but don't want to follow the vehicle laws. You ran the light, saw the LEO and had already gotten a ticket for the same thing. Hmmmm, what was your rant?
This sums up my thoughts exactly.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:55 AM   #16
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whether I run lights or not depends on the amount of cross traffic. If it's a light street with nobody waiting at the stop light to trigger the sensor, I will cross it. I personally don't believe people on non motorized vehicles or on foot going slower than traffic flow should have to stop at stoplights. If anything it would slow traffic down. If I was a car I'd rather the person just cross when they felt it was safe on a light street rather than triggering a red light for me to wait at. This is what I do thus. Basically, I use common sense.

On my road bike or on foot I have a wider field of vision, and able to more quickly anticipate and react to situations, and can in general cause little injury to anyone but myself, so basically I'm only putting myself at a calculated risk which I'm willing to take.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:00 AM   #17
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"Doc, it hurts when I do this."

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Old 05-30-12, 11:02 AM   #18
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Yeah, I did the crime, I'll do the time, and so forth.

The ticketing effort here seems to be a rather recent development and enforcement has been pretty uneven. There has been a few warnings given, but mostly tickets are issued on the spot if the cop pulls you over. There has also been a smattering of tickets in Atlanta and surrounding jurisdictions for rolling through low traffic 4 way stop sign intersections, and the fine is the same, $250. I know, scofflaws the lot of them, but I still think that offense<fine.

@Vlaam4ever - East bound on Edgewood Ave at Randolph, about 4pm.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:10 AM   #19
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you ran the light, your fault. Hopefully you have learned your lesson to look for cops before running red lights now.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:11 AM   #20
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Yeah, I ran the red light. I get that, guilty. But $250?
I run red lights all the time...just not in front of cops.

You have two choices: either get better at obeying the law, or get better at smelling bacon.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:13 AM   #21
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I always do a 360 police check before running a red light.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:15 AM   #22
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Yeah, I did the crime, I'll do the time, and so forth.

The ticketing effort here seems to be a rather recent development and enforcement has been pretty uneven. There has been a few warnings given, but mostly tickets are issued on the spot if the cop pulls you over. There has also been a smattering of tickets in Atlanta and surrounding jurisdictions for rolling through low traffic 4 way stop sign intersections, and the fine is the same, $250. I know, scofflaws the lot of them, but I still think that offense<fine.

.

That's why they call it a fine. it's not a tax, or a cost of doing business. It's in place to discourage people from breaking the rules, not be low enough for someone to accept as a cost to break the law.

PS, I'm not saying I wouldn't have done the same thing.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:20 AM   #23
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That's what you get for venturing out of Decatur and into the big city.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:22 AM   #24
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Ouch. Sorry man, that sucks.

Lesson: don't do anything obviously illegal when a cop is around. Unless you can sprint like the wind.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:24 AM   #25
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Next time hop up on the sidewalk, cruise intersection, get back on road
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