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  1. #1
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    Reckless Driving for Riding in Middle of Lane...wtf (dallas)

    From the ride of silence group on facebook:
    Cyclist found guilty of reckless driving while riding in the lane in Dallas, TX. Judge's statement - " "You may be right that it is safer to ride in the middle of the lane instead of the shoulder, but it is reckless of you to do so"..." http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/rideofsilence

    More info...
    http://cycledallas.blogspot.com/2010...-reckless.html

    My thoughts...He should be able to appeal since tx law says you ride as far right when safe and only the cyclist can determine safety, if the judge stated it is safer then he admitted the cyclist was correct and within the law. TX also has laws about what roads we can ride on and it sounds like this road was allowable so it can't be deemed reckless.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    Far more reckless and dangerous for drivers to be traveling 10 - 20 mph (or more) over the posted speed limit....as most Texas drivers do.
    I'll admit I've become much better at obeying speed limits since I resumed cycling 4 years ago.
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
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  3. #3
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    There's a lot more context to this one... suffice to say, on that road in those conditions there are not many experienced cyclists who would take the lane.... it's busy 4 lane highway (with nasty shoulders)... sure, the guy was technically legal, but he was also (in my opinion) being stubborn to the point of endangering himself and others.
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  4. #4
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    true, i'd never take the lane on a road w/such a fast speed limit..i do however ride on the shoulder of a 2 lane (1 lane northbound, 1 southbound) with speeds of 65 mph a huge nice shoulder and i ride through towns with population around 100 people! so i think mine is fairly safe

    ....this got me thinking, aren't the high costs of our judicial system mainly because judges don't stick to what is legal and not legal so people always have to appeal? seems like the burden of proof for wreckless driving in this situation would be tough to meet

    ...plus, what about reckless driving and endangerment for motorists passing to close to cyclists? honking, yelling, throwing things, speeding - just seems these cops and judge would have more work cut out for them if they applied their loose interpretations of the law on everyone and not just this cyclist
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    There's a lot more context to this one... suffice to say, on that road in those conditions there are not many experienced cyclists who would take the lane.... it's busy 4 lane highway (with nasty shoulders)... sure, the guy was technically legal, but he was also (in my opinion) being stubborn to the point of endangering himself and others.
    +1 And the shoulder doesn't look that bad to me. Yes it has those rumble strips and it isn't great, but I would still ride there rather then in the road

  6. #6
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    Some pics of the road in question

    http://cycledallas.blogspot.com/2010...ively-not.html

  7. #7
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    Not sure if I'd ride on the shoulder there or not. It would depend on the amount of traffic at the time and how often there are obstacles on the shoulder (incl. dirt/gravel entrances) that require the rumble strip to be crossed. But Texas law (and that of many other states) gives cyclists the *option* to use the shoulder while imposing no requirement on them to do so. So I disagree with the court's ruling and hope it will be overturned on appeal.

    The judge's decision is particularly troubling since he agreed that the cyclist might be safest when taking the lane but felt that he was possibly endangering other traffic. I see no justification in requiring anyone to sacrifice their safety because of the chance that someone else will be too impatient to wait a few seconds for a safe passing opportunity.

  8. #8
    NYC nycphotography's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
    Holy crap. Those are beautiful shoulders. Ride just to the right of the rumble strips. What kind of self righteous prack is going to take a lane on that road?

    That kind of crap is precisely why drivers hate us.
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  9. #9
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    Supposedly the shoulder would continuously go away and reappear, not sure if true though. Those types of shoulder are dangerous and can squeeze/run cyclists off the road when the shoulder tapers down and merges with the road...the gravel is also pretty dangerous and could result in a wipe out where the cyclist goes into traffic...but i don't think reckless driving is the correct charge, reckless endangerment seems more appropriate, BUT he was within the law so i don't really think there should be any charge.

    Reckless driving: is a mental state in which the driver displays a wanton disregard for the rules of the road; the driver often misjudges common driving procedures, often causing accidents and other damages.

    Reckless endangerment: A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. “Reckless” conduct is conduct that exhibits a culpable disregard of foreseeable consequences to others from the act or omission involved. The accused need not intentionally cause a resulting harm or know that his conduct is substantially certain to cause that result. The ultimate question is whether, under all the circumstances, the accused’s conduct was of that heedless nature that made it actually or imminently dangerous to the rights or safety of others.
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  10. #10
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Regardless of whether or not YOU, personally, would ride on this road or choose the shoulder, EVERY cyclist in Texas should hope that this conviction is overturned.

    This is frighteningly close to setting a precedent that could ultimately restrict our right to ride a bicycle on public roadways.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  11. #11
    Borracho For Life
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    To clarify, this is not in Dallas nor is it in a suburb. Waxahachie is pretty far away from Dallas.

    I support the rights of cyclists to ride wherever they wish. Personally I would not ride on US Highway 287. It is one of the longest highways in the United States. Goes all the way from SE Texas to Yellowstone National Park and beyond. It is a major highway.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
    Holy crap. Those are beautiful shoulders. Ride just to the right of the rumble strips. What kind of self righteous prack is going to take a lane on that road?

    That kind of crap is precisely why drivers hate us.
    I don't feel so strongly... but I agree.

    Yes, I do hope it's overturned simply because I don't want to have to question my safety by thinking "Man, am I gonna get ticketed for riding where i feel comfortable?"

    That road looks VERY similar to hwy 3 between Houston and Galveston. I ride on the shoulder where I can, and when it squeezes, we get into the road. Paying attention to what is ahead as well as whether a pack of cars is coming makes it no problem. IMO. While not the most comfy thing... the rumble strips can be traversed.
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