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Old 08-27-08, 11:38 PM   #1
bhop
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LAPD cracking down on bikes?

So last week, I saw LAPD pulling over a cyclist near Santa Monica in the opposite lane. I figured the bike ran the red light that I was coming up to or something.

Today, in Hollywood, I was waiting at a red and this fixie guy pulls up next to me, says hi, then runs the light. Light turns green, I hear a car peel out behind me. I think "wtf?" look back and it's LAPD racing around me. He turns on his siren and pulls the cyclist over.

That's two within a week. So it seems to me that the cops are cracking down on bikes running lights, so if you're in LA, be careful and/or follow the laws.
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Old 08-28-08, 12:36 AM   #2
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Good for LAPD. No need to roll through red lights. That's not to say I haven't done it myself, but it doesn't make is legal.
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Old 08-28-08, 03:53 AM   #3
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i was on my way to a red light in costa mesa tonight with a dedicated right turn lane and was about to blow through it to make a right (traffic from the left still had the red). i looked to my left and there was a cop looking right at me so i had to slow the *** down and stop. right when i stopped the light turned green.
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Old 08-28-08, 08:53 AM   #4
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I wouldn't necessarily call that "cracking down". In most cases if you blatantly run a red light in front of the police, they will pull you over.
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Old 08-28-08, 09:50 AM   #5
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More bikes are on the road with the high gas prices, so cops are going to be more aware. They are also happy that word is getting out because then more people might pay attention to the laws...

but not likely!
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Old 08-28-08, 10:03 AM   #6
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Busting drug dealers and thiefs is too much work, besides, if you ticket a guy with a $5,000 you know he'll pay up.
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Old 08-28-08, 10:09 AM   #7
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Um, follow traffic laws and you'll be fine?

I do it everyday and i pass more than my share of LAPD, Sherrif, and LA County Police.
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Old 08-28-08, 10:28 AM   #8
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I wouldn't necessarily call that "cracking down". In most cases if you blatantly run a red light in front of the police, they will pull you over.

I guess you're right, I probably used the wrong choice of words, but I have seen people run lights on bikes in front of cops on several occasions and never saw a police cruiser chase them down until this week.
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Old 08-28-08, 12:08 PM   #9
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I have a strong temptation to run lights, but I just think about how I must look to other motorists. That always gives me enough self control to obey the traffic laws. Now breaking the speed limit. That's where I have a problem. I'll frame that ticket.
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Old 08-28-08, 12:54 PM   #10
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Now breaking the speed limit. That's where I have a problem. I'll frame that ticket.
+1

I was doing 50 today in a 35mph zone then a little later I was doing 47 in a 40 and I was thinking, "damn, I wonder if a cop would give me a speeding ticket?"
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Old 08-28-08, 01:00 PM   #11
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Yeah, it sounds like regular enforcement. But bikes have definitely been getting more attention here lately. From what I read on blogs like westsidebikeside.com though, it sounds like lapd is more bike friendly compared to other departments like SMPD and Culver City.
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Old 08-28-08, 02:09 PM   #12
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Sometimes bicyclists think we're invisible, or at least above the law. Cops, OTOH, are very aware we exist, often because they have to clean up the mess when we get smeared on the streets they patrol.

While I don't subscribe to the notion that all cyclists are ambassadors to the vehicular world, it certainly doesn't help us when stupid cyclists screw up on the road. It's not unlike peeing in the pool we all swim in.
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Old 08-28-08, 02:23 PM   #13
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While I don't subscribe to the notion that all cyclists are ambassadors to the vehicular world, it certainly doesn't help us when stupid cyclists screw up on the road. It's not unlike peeing in the pool we all swim in.
... from the diving board...
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Old 08-30-08, 01:39 AM   #14
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I agree it's bad form to run the reds. But there is a major annoyance in the SF Valley: The bikeway. It doesn't have sensors, so you have to push the button to trigger the light. And the button is (I believe intentionally) placed far enough away from the path that you can't push it and still be pointing in the right direction to roll down the ramp into the intersection. Anytime you reach for the button, you're going to be pointing away from the intersection ramp.

I believe the planners did this so that people couldn't hit the button and roll out into the intersection in one gesture. It forces a stop, if you wish to comply with the traffic signals. Unfortunately, it practically forces me to roll through lights at the more seldom-traveled bikeway intersections.

Anyone else frustrated with this arrangement? I can trip sensors riding over the Sepulveda pass's bike path, but I have to almost dismount to push the button on... the BIKEWAY.
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Old 08-30-08, 08:55 PM   #15
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Yesterday in Santa Clarita I sprinted through a red light, no opposing traffic, suddenly the Highway Patrol was all lights and sirens and PA telling me to pull over. I whipped into a parking lot and they jumped out of their truck (yes a truck). They were super cool and wanted to know about my bike. They didn't cite me but told me that the ticket is the same ticket as you'd get in a car, the same point on your license. Normally I'm not a big fan of cops but they were so nice and attitude free I'm gonna start obeying the traffic laws...
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Old 08-31-08, 11:26 AM   #16
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I will personally say that I don't run through lights UNLESS I'm stuck at a signal that won't trip for more than two cycles. I then go when it's safe to do so.

I do have a quick story to share that happened to me the other day while driving home from work:

I was going north on Topanga Canyon in Chatsworth going with the flow of traffic at rush hour (about 35-40 which is under or near the legal speed limit) in a line of cars about a half mile long leading up to Rocky Peak and eventually the 118. At the intersection of Chatsworth and Topanga Canyon, a cyclist blew the red light and made a right hand turn right into traffic in front of me while I was going through the intersection. If you're thinking he stopped and then made a legal right hand turn when safe, think again. BLEW through the light is right on par. I did not see him coming at all because he passed on the right side of the stopped vehicles at the intersection. This was not a person on a bike, but a jersey and lycra clad, helmet wearing, road bike riding cyclist. Now I've seen my share of dumb riders on the road both driving in my car and on my bike, but wow...this one took the cake and ate the whole thing. If his turn would have been any wider, neither I nor the car behind me or to my side would have had any time to react without causing injury to the cyclist or causing an accident.

If that person is reading this right now I have to say that was an extremely stupid and pottentially life threatening maneuver. I don't say this as an enraged motorist whatsoever because I smile everytime I see a bike on the road, but as a fellow cyclist looking out for your life.

So everyone, if you're planning to run a red light, at least do it smartly. That's an oxymoron right there, but you know what I mean.

Last edited by cwilliams; 08-31-08 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 09-03-08, 11:59 PM   #17
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****. I don't know how many laws I break riding home from school but I'm sure swerving in and out of traffic and running as many lights as possible totals up to a hefty amount.

Look out for the black/white.
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Old 09-04-08, 12:40 AM   #18
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waiting two cycles is nuts. I really hate stopping though, unless I am really tired. It's just so annoying. I do stop though, the only time I will run a red light is when there is a bike lane and instead of a four way intersection it is 3 way and I am in the bike lane on the right side and there is no cross street. I know it doesn't make it any less illegal, but it's like I have my own dedicated lane, the only way I should be able to get hit is by another cyclist making a left turn (pretty unlikely)
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Old 09-04-08, 01:56 PM   #19
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Off subject a little bit, but it goes to some riders sense of entitlement on the road. Like CWilliams above, I love to ride my road bike, and although I too have been pulled over, I do understand the frustration of auto drivers and at times, P.D. I love to ride on PCH, and also smile jealously everytime I have to drive by a cyclist, but we must be careful to respect not only our fellow cyclists, but also share the road with everyone.

This past weekend, I was driving home with my family after breakfast in HB and and I was turning on to 1st St. towards PCH, I noticed two bikers turn right from PCH onto 1st, cut across 2 lanes with no regard for the cars behind, and to my amazement, across two additional opposing lanes in front of my car. Nothing as much as a heads-up, a wave, just complete disregard and ill-advised assumptions that everyone will stop and make way. I can't stand it when I see behavior that demands respect, but in itself gives none back. Either this was just complete ignorance, or ego-busting bravado. In reality, it is a bad example, poor judgement and disrespectful. If I had not been staring with jaw-dropping amazement, I may not of been aware of my need to slam on the brakes. My wife was like, "What the Hell?" I love when I have to jolt my kids in their carseats because someone cuts me off so blatantly and illegally! What makes is even worse is the guilt and trauma they would have inflicted on my family and me had I hit one of them. Please ride carefully and respectfully for everyone.
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Old 09-04-08, 07:52 PM   #20
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waiting two cycles is nuts. I really hate stopping though, unless I am really tired. It's just so annoying. I do stop though, the only time I will run a red light is when there is a bike lane and instead of a four way intersection it is 3 way and I am in the bike lane on the right side and there is no cross street. I know it doesn't make it any less illegal, but it's like I have my own dedicated lane, the only way I should be able to get hit is by another cyclist making a left turn (pretty unlikely)
Same thing I thought but they still pulled over three of us and gave us tickets.

Becareful
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Old 09-04-08, 10:17 PM   #21
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...told me that the ticket is the same ticket as you'd get in a car, the same point on your license...
Amazing that cops don't know the laws they enforce.

If you get a ticket while riding a bike, you cannot get points on your driver's license. Of course, don't argue with a cop. However, it is permissible to politely insist that the police officer puts down that the violation occurred on a bicycle. This way, you can contest it in front of a judge.
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Old 09-05-08, 10:20 AM   #22
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Just so you all know, I have a Friend who works in the admin dept of a local PD, this friend told me that almost all Police depts have recieved a mandate from their respective Cities to make more revenue by citing more Drivers, so this will obviously include Cyclists..but we all drive too, right?

Blowing through a red in a Car (is stupid) is reckless driving and carries a hefty fine, does blowing through on a Bike count as the same? I suppose because a Bike is seen as a vehicle in CA it must do, right?

Anyway, drive/ride safely, apart from the obvious risks it could cost you $$$ too..
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Old 09-05-08, 06:41 PM   #23
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Not stopping for a stop sign in Redondo Beach will cost you $159.00.

I heard traffic lights are closer to 300
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Old 09-07-08, 05:13 PM   #24
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Not stopping for a stop sign in Redondo Beach will cost you $159.00.

I heard traffic lights are closer to 300
WOW. Is Redondo Beach particularly heavy on traffic laws or something? And is that for biking or car or both? That sucks. I know I could not afford that.
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Old 09-08-08, 02:51 AM   #25
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I will often Blow through some of the lights on the way home from work. But that is around 9pm and there usually isn't too many cars. So I could get stuck at a light for several minutes. I just look around to see who is around me when I do it.
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