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  1. #1
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    Got yelled at by an ignorant cop

    I was commuting home today through a construction zone - about a 1/2 mile of 2 narrow traffic lanes in each direction, no shoulder (concrete barriers literally right on the solid white line), no bike lane, no sidewalk, just traffic lanes. My co-worker and I did the only thing we could safely do - we took the right lane.

    No one was honking or yelling at us. Drivers saw us from plenty far enough back to merge over and go around us. The only person that was vocal about us riding there was a police officer that pulled up next to us (now slowing BOTH lanes) and announced over his loudspeaker, "YOU CAN NOT OCCUPY A LANE. YOU'RE IMPEDING THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC."

    I attempted to get his attention to try to have a chat with him, but apparently it was too warm out, so he had his windows rolled up and A/C on, so he didn't see my gesturing, or hear my questions.

    For any locals that might know this area - It's in San Jose, CA - on Berryessa @ the flea market.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@37.3698...j7McMDQv9Q!2e0
    Replace those orange cones with concrete barriers, and you'll know what it's like.
    Chris
    Milpitas, CA
    www.strava.com/athletes/chrism2097

    2012 Trek FX 7.5
    2007 Specialized Rockhopper Disc

  2. #2
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    You were following the rules, IMO that is why you were not ticketed , it was more like harassment , likely he didn't like bicycles.

  3. #3
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    Bikes on a road are considered a VEHICLE! You should have took his plate number and report him to his superior. If I decide to ride on a busy road with 55+ mph speed limits, I'm legally allowed to. I won't, for the sake of my safety but still.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoviceJohn View Post
    Bikes on a road are considered a VEHICLE!
    If you want to get really picky, California law seems to call bicycles "devices" rather than "vehicles" --

    Bicycle Defined
    39000. "Bicycle," for the purposes of this division, means any device upon which a person may ride, which is propelled by human power through a system of belts, chains, or gears having either two or three wheels (one of which is at least 20 inches in diameter) or having a frame size of at least 14 inches, or having four or more wheels.
    (Reading this carefully ... I guess a penny farthing is not a bicycle in California?)

    And then this law --

    Laws Applicable to Bicycle Use
    21200. (a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division... except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.
    ... is what makes it so that these "devices" have to obey the laws that specifically say "vehicle". It's an odd distinction, I know ...

    (And yes, I realize that this doesn't make your statement wrong as you said "considered a vehicle" which is accurate enough ... just thought I'd point it out.)

    Texas has similar wording. Here, a bicycle fits the definition of a vehicle, but since the definition for a bicycle is more specific, it takes precedence -- and it calls a bicycle a device rather than a vehicle.

    That said, this doesn't affect the rest of your argument.

  5. #5
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by novicejohn View Post
    bikes on a road are considered a vehicle! You should have took his plate number and report him to his superior. If i decide to ride on a busy road with 55+ mph speed limits, i'm legally allowed to. I won't, for the sake of my safety but still.
    Ditto!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    I'm finding lots of people just make up fake regulations these days. I don't know if has always been happening or now I'm just in situations where I notice more. Anyway I'm getting sick of it. Every time quotes rules to me I generally ask "Just which law is that mate? Can you give me the exact number?" So many people just talk crepe. Probably got used to Mom and Dad just accepting their dribble and not calling them out on it, so they grow up thinking that's the way the world is!

  7. #7
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    1) Not the best way for that cop to handle the situation. 2) You did nothing illegal or dangerous, and that cop doesn't have a leg to stand on.

  8. #8
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    Once and only once an officer did something similar to me. However he pulled over and waited for me at the end of the stretch, and started reading me the riot act. Fortunately a supervisor pulled up and asked what was up. The officer explained the "problem" whereupon the supervisor looked at me, the road, and back to the cop and asked (in classic NY police language) "Where the **** is he supposed to ride?" and sent me on my way with his best wishes and a reminder to ride safe.
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

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