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$500 ‘Speeding Tickets’ for Riding BIKES Over 15 MPH

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$500 ‘Speeding Tickets’ for Riding BIKES Over 15 MPH

Old 06-28-19, 06:11 AM
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Son_Rising
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$500 ‘Speeding Tickets’ for Riding BIKES Over 15 MPH

Is 16 MPH too fast for bikes? Link to Article Regarding Bike Speed Enforcement in Denver
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Old 06-28-19, 06:37 AM
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Yes. Safety first!
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Old 06-28-19, 07:04 AM
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Since most bicycles are not equipped with speedometers, the courts will have a tough time convicting most cyclists going 16 to 20 mph, and will end up going the route of many traffic LEOs, in going after the blatant speeders.
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Old 06-28-19, 07:16 AM
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I agree with the article. Cash/power grab.

However, I wouldn't be too upset at it being applied to e-bikes going too fast. Most pure-pedal cyclists who can do more than 15 consistently, at least where I've lived, hang out on the road anyway.
Though I've wanted to ride in Denver one day, I haven't done it yet.
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Old 06-28-19, 07:27 AM
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Obviously this could be problematic in many ways.

That said, we just lost a key section of riverfront greenway in NYC to years of complaints of people cycling too fast (both in inflated perception, and also in fact) through a busy and pedestrian-popular area. And yes, there have been incidents, if as often when pedestrians forgot that it was a shared area as when cyclists did.

Instead there's now a hilly, un-lighted, still pedestrian-popular 24/7/12 detour that's already starting to have its own recorded incidents.

As a result, many are calling for the original route to be restored with a speed limit. Dropping to say a 10 mph jogger's pace for a few hundred level yards is far better than the detour or walking through, the challenge is getting from the old anything-goes behavior to a speed limit being honored, and convincing city & park government that such behavior modification is possible.

If a city is going to go the speed limit route, making them location specific in the way automobile speed limits are would make sense. Slow in the busiest areas especially at busy hours; hopefully also able to find some less pedestrian critical areas that could have higher limits for fitness cycling, or not need to have posted limits.

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Old 06-28-19, 07:32 AM
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Lol!
I wonder what Colorado statute requires bicycles be equipped with a speedometer & then defines the accuracy of the installed speedometer.

On a Federal level, (only because I have a CDL) commercial vehicles are required to have a speedometer installed and it's accuracy is required to be within 6 miles per hour at 60. So if you were wondering why no one ever gets a ticket for only going 5 over, now you know. 5 over could still yield a legal under indication as defined by law.

Denver is going to have a tough go with the retro-fit legislation and the redefining of bike path/park paths as "roadways," for the "legal rights & responsibilities" clause of the driving code to apply. But whatever...

Good luck with that.
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Old 06-28-19, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Denver is going to have a tough go with the retro-fit legislation and the redefining of bike path/park paths as "roadways," for the "legal rights & responsibilities" clause of the driving code to apply. But whatever...
Not really, for two reasons:

First, you can have a city ordinance that has no dependence on the rest of a vehicle code, and cite violations of it independently. For example, you can have a whole complex set of environmental and permitting laws, but "no littering" is stand alone.

Second, do you think there would be any actual obstacle to citing the driver of a car for a vehicle code violation committed while intruding on a park path, as well as for their illegal presence there?

I don't like the idea of bike speed limits; it's an indication of a breakdown in personal judgement. But I like them a lot more than I like dismount zones or no bicycling signs.

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Old 06-28-19, 08:22 AM
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Cyclists are exempt from the speed limits in the UK by law, under their own steam at least, so

You need to check your local laws to check. Some police will just try and chance it, relying on you to take their word for it.
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Old 06-28-19, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Not really, for two reasons:

First, you can have a city ordinance that has no dependence on the rest of a vehicle code, and cite violations of it independently. For example, you can have a whole complex set of environmental and permitting laws, but "no littering" is stand alone.

Second, do you think there would be any actual obstacle to citing the driver of a car for a vehicle code violation committed while intruding on a park path, as well as for their illegal presence there?

I don't like the idea of bike speed limits; it's an indication of a breakdown in personal judgement. But I like them a lot more than I like dismount zones or no bicycling signs.
My overall point was you can't charge a moving violation if such "violation" did not take place on a roadway.

Second, independent of the first point: Without a legal requirement to have installed an accurate measuring device they can not make the case that the operator was culpable in neglecting his legal obligation.

To your point, if it is illegal for a car to be on the path they'll charge the driver with some equivalent of operating the vehicle on a non-designated roadway, or vandalism, or malicious mischief or some other suitable misdemeanor crime. But, (to my point) not for speeding, reckless driving, or failure to yield, or failure to use turn signals, or whatever, which all would apply if the vehicle code applied there.

The park is just plainly outside of the vehicle code. So charging bicyclists with a vehicle code violation is absurd.

On a related note: (and I don't mean to derail the thread this early on)
Here in Washington we had a case a few years back where a guy got a speeding ticket. Key to the case was the officer wrote in his statement that his patrol car was located in the median when he properly used used his properly calibrated radar gun to observe the infraction take place. The driver fought the ticket in court & won. The gist of the drivers defense was that to be issued a citation the officer must observe from the roadway. Under the law the median is defined as: "The area between roadways." Therefore the officer was not in a legally defined place for accurate observation.

One reason, (among many) is the speed indication of the RADAR gun is a function of a tangent of the line of travel & any indication other than head on is inaccurate by definition. Another is the officer wrote a specific speed, something like 89 in a 60. Given it's already established inaccuracy from vantage, the appropriate ticket that may have stuck would probably just be: "exceeding the limit" which is more subjective in nature. But it would still have only applied if the officer observed the alleged infraction from the legally defined roadway.
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Old 06-28-19, 08:50 AM
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The reality is that you will rarely find a traffic court administrative judge that interested in hair splitting.

The other reality is that even having to deal with the system is more than half of the punishment, valid ticket or not.

That can lead to things like someone's recently shared case of getting a ticket for running a red, and also for not wearing a helmet (which is not a violation for an adult recreational cyclist here), and deciding to pay both because they actually ran the red, contesting the cop's disregard of the text of the helmet law alone is not worth the effort since there would still be a valid red light violation to pay. (though yes, there is also the strategy of contesting valid tickets and hoping they don't show)

Nor again, is there anything stopping a city from writing ordinances banning specific behavior in parks when there is a legitimate government interest to do so.

Nor is not requiring equipment that would determine if a violation is occurring an impediment to making that a violation, you can for example close a park at a certain hour with signage, without requiring that someone wear a watch if they wish to enter. You can ticket for parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, without requiring that every vehicle have a tape measure in the glove box or that drivers be able to recite the dimensions of a sidewalk paving square from memory. Yes, many oft-violated technical regulations do get additional requirements for monitoring equipment to back them up - but that's to enhance compliance, it is not in any way a requirement for such a regulation to be valid.

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Old 06-28-19, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
The reality is that you will rarely find a traffic court administrative judge that interested in hair splitting.

The other reality is that even having to deal with the system is more than half of the punishment, valid ticket or not.
No argument there. Holy cow is dealing with the system at all atleast half of the punishment. Absolute misery. Even if you win it's often hardly worth the fight, & inconvenience of lost time & wages.

Nor again, is there anything stopping a city from writing ordinances banning specific behavior in parks when there is a legitimate government interest to do so.
They can write all the ordinances they want. It's the means of enforcement & culpability that poses the problem.

Nor is not requiring equipment that would determine if a violation is occurring an impediment to making that a violation, you can for example close a park at a certain hour with signage, without requiring that someone wear a watch if they wish to enter. You can ticket for parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, without requiring that every vehicle have a tape measure in the glove box or that drivers be able to recite the dimensions of a sidewalk paving square from memory. Yes, many oft-violated technical regulations do get additional requirements for monitoring equipment to back them up - but that's to enhance compliance, it is not in any way a requirement for such a regulation to be valid.
At least here, so much as I am aware parks close at dusk which is both subjective & plainly observable as some time after sunset. The motor vehicle code as a seperate body of law from park regulation requires headlights with in 30 minutes plus or minus of sunset. Which is also "dusk" and plainly observable independent of a wrist watch.

The legality of parking within "15 feet" of a fire hydrant with out requiring a tape measure is easily solved by the plainly observable red marking on the curb. The city has done it's due diligence in making compliance possible with out infringing upon your rights or getting muddled in the issues relatef to what standard a hypothetical tape measure is accurate to, the certification process & chain of custody of such certified & calibrated measuring instrument or the qualifications of the instrument operator. A "tape measure tax" would never stand from a personal liberties perspective. (In a former life I ran a calibration lab.)

So far as I know the law, at least in my state only states "shall not block" a fire hydrant which just like red paint on the curb, is also plainly observable with out requiring any special equipment.

It's not to enhance compliance it's to define compliance.

A cyclist, even if cited for breaking a park rule must have a defined means of compliance else the rule is arbitrary & capricious.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
The legality of parking within "15 feet" of a fire hydrant with out requiring a tape measure is easily solved by the plainly observable red marking on the curb. The city has done it's due diligence in making compliance possible with out infringing upon your rights or getting muddled in the issues relatef to what standard a hypothetical tape measure is accurate to, the certification process & chain of custody of such certified & calibrated measuring instrument or the qualifications of the instrument operator. A "tape measure tax" would never stand from a personal liberties perspective. (In a former life I ran a calibration lab.)
This is a perfect example of not understanding how laws work.

In fact, they can enforce the 15 foot regulation even when there are no curb markings. As long as the text refers to the distance from the fire hydrant and not the curb marking, they can even enforce it when there are curb markings which are wrong - yes, a judge may be inclined to be sympathetic, but it is well established law that this does not invalidate the violation.

A cyclist, even if cited for breaking a park rule must have a defined means of compliance else the rule is arbitrary & capricious.
You might wish this to be the case, but it's simply not how the legal system works.

Hopefully you'll never be in the position of having to find out that your belief is in error.

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Old 06-28-19, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
This is a perfect example of not understanding how laws work.

In fact, they can enforce the 15 foot regulation even when there are no curb markings. As long as the text refers to the distance from the fire hydrant and not the curb marking, they can even enforce it when there are curb markings which are wrong - yes, a judge may be inclined to be sympathetic, but it is well established law that this does not invalidate the violation.



You might wish this to be the case, but it's simply not how the legal system works.

Hopefully you'll never be in the position of having to find out that your belief is in error.
Well, I am a highest class lawyer of the internetz.
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Old 06-28-19, 10:42 AM
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As long as we're at it I didn't see anything in the RCW 46 referencing Measures. So any distance provision of Stopping, standing, would be subjective at best under that body of law absent a defind marking by the applicable jurisdiction. And even so those markings are at the discretion of the county road engineer per part 5 of Definitions.

Bottom line is a there is a reason parking tickets are the lowest form of misdemeanor, most easily fought & won. Means of compliance must be defined or plainly observable.

And believe it or not, I'm not actually disagreeing with you concerning convention. Theres just a lot of subtlty & nuance regarding whether or not a ticket can be made to stick independent of whether it's worth the fight or not. The claim is made by the officer it's on him to prove his case. Whether a judge agrees or not depends on how high you want to go & hard you want to fight.

(I once worked with a guy that spent $270,000 to fight a judgement all the Washington Supreme Court. He lost & subsequently ran for Governor on the platform of changing the law. He placed 5th in the primary election with some 13,764 votes..It's a long story & unrelated to bicycles.)

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Old 06-28-19, 11:27 AM
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A 15 mph speed limit is a good idea on crowded bike paths. There was a bad crash two days ago on the Cherry Creek bike path in Denver. The original article in the Denver Post is behind a fire wall but here are some excerpts:

A bicyclist is in critical condition and riders across Denver are talking about safety on the Cherry Creek Trail after a high-speed, head-on crash there Tuesday night. Multiple witnesses said a young woman cyclist crossed the dividing line of the two-way cycling trail, putting her in the path of an oncoming male cyclist at full speed. The man was William Latimer, 55, of Westminster, according to his brother. The collision was so severe, Latimer had no pulse and wasn’t breathing after the crash, according to a physician assistant who had been riding on the trail and stopped. Latimer regained his pulse and resumed breathing but remained unconscious after CPR was performed by the physician assistant, who declined to be identified, and another civilian.

On most days Cherry Creek is a mix of speedy athletes, casual riders and pedestrians — a situation that one cyclist called the Interstate 25 of bicycles. In recent weeks, city rangers have used radar guns to enforce the 15 mph speed limit on the two-lane path, part of a safety campaign that rankled some of the path’s users. On Tuesday night, though, that message had terrible resonance.

Ian Fish, who also administered CPR, said he heard but didn’t see the entire crash. The young woman and another cyclist were riding eastbound, he said. “I heard a sound that sounded like the pedals clipping (into each other). She immediately went across the center divider and entered into a head-on with the guy who was traveling westbound,” said Fish, a regular cyclist on the path. “He was facedown, and it sounded like gurgling, so I figured he was choking on his blood.” Another witness, 17-year-old Tori Ruatain, said she saw the collision from about 200 feet away. Latimer had been passing other bikes at a fast clip, she said, but was in his own lane at the time of the crash. “She swerved a little bit into his lane, and then it was head-on,” she said.

By phone, medical officials guided Fish and the physician assistant through chest compressions and rescue breaths on Latimer. The other cyclist suffered a bloody gash to her forehead. She sobbed in pain as witnesses tended to her.
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Old 06-28-19, 12:14 PM
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Conditionally I may be supportive of the law. If someone is blasting down a crowded path within a few feet of pedestrians, I would support a ticket in that case. If the path is open and empty, I would not. If the enforcement officers will apply a little common sense, it can serve a greater good. I have noticed before, but I really processed it yesterday. As I approach pedestrians from behind I slow and announce my presence in a pleasant conversational tone. Many of them have a reaction that I would best describe as a fear response. They react by hastily scrambling as far right as they can. It happens often. Something has caused them to respond as such.
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Old 06-28-19, 03:16 PM
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For almost forever I have limited my speed on MUPS for my safety, and the safety of others, it is just logical.

That said a $500 fine for a cyclist speeding is outrageous and abusive. It is simply city b'crats trying to find another source of money to spend.
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Old 06-28-19, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
My overall point was you can't charge a moving violation if such "violation" did not take place on a roadway.
On a related note: (and I don't mean to derail the thread this early on)
Here in Washington we had a case a few years back where a guy got a speeding ticket. Key to the case was the officer wrote in his statement that his patrol car was located in the median when he properly used used his properly calibrated radar gun to observe the infraction take place. The driver fought the ticket in court & won. The gist of the drivers defense was that to be issued a citation the officer must observe from the roadway. Under the law the median is defined as: "The area between roadways." Therefore the officer was not in a legally defined place for accurate observation..
The LEO needs to use the word highway rather than roadway as that is defined as everything between the ROW boundaries.
RCW 46.04.197

Highway.

Highway means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

RCW 46.04.500

Roadway.

"Roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk or shoulder even though such sidewalk or shoulder is used by persons riding bicycles. In the event a highway includes two or more separated roadways, the term "roadway" shall refer to any such roadway separately but shall not refer to all such roadways collectively.
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Old 06-28-19, 05:44 PM
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Interesting. Today was my first ride to Union Station in Denver on surface streets rather than on the Cherry Creek path, because it's a really busy time of year there and I'm looking to deal with drivers rather than the rather densely populated scene on the MUP. I have mixed feelings about the park speed limit. I think someone said it well that if the officers use good discretion it's a good idea, but my, the price! It's also a bit ironic when folks routinely speed 25+ mph above the limit our freeways here, with almost no enforcement.
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Old 06-28-19, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Since most bicycles are not equipped with speedometers, the courts will have a tough time convicting most cyclists going 16 to 20 mph, and will end up going the route of many traffic LEOs, in going after the blatant speeders.
My first thought exactly. Unless he voluntarily pays it, good luck on that case.

Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Conditionally I may be supportive of the law. If someone is blasting down a crowded path within a few feet of pedestrians, I would support a ticket in that case. If the path is open and empty, I would not. If the enforcement officers will apply a little common sense, it can serve a greater good. I have noticed before, but I really processed it yesterday.
An irrational conclusion. On a bike what happens to others in a collision, happens to you. As implied, this is more of a backlash from the institution and proliferation of the e-bikes, and the unknowledgeable and inexperienced people that tend to ride them. This is exactly what I was afraid happening (requiring speedometers on bikes?), and why I've been such an advocate of keeping e-bikes separate from conventional bicycles.
As I approach pedestrians from behind I slow and announce my presence in a pleasant conversational tone. Many of them have a reaction that I would best describe as a fear response. They react by hastily scrambling as far right as they can. It happens often. Something has caused them to respond as such.
Stop talking to people on a path. Its a meaningless gesture akin to yelling out your car window as you drive by. They can't understand you. Use a bell. Its instantly and universally recognized with no thought or interpretation necessary. These solution have already been put into place and in many locations already been put into law. They don't need to be reinvented.
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Old 06-28-19, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
My first thought exactly. Unless he voluntarily pays it, good luck on that case.



An irrational conclusion. On a bike what happens to others in a collision, happens to you. As implied, this is more of a backlash from the institution and proliferation of the e-bikes, and the unknowledgeable and inexperienced people that tend to ride them. This is exactly what I was afraid happening (requiring speedometers on bikes?), and why I've been such an advocate of keeping e-bikes separate from conventional bicycles.Stop talking to people on a path. Its a meaningless gesture akin to yelling out your car window as you drive by. They can't understand you. Use a bell. Its instantly and universally recognized with no thought or interpretation necessary. These solution have already been put into place and in many locations already been put into law. They don't need to be reinvented.
People understand me fine. I very often get thanked for the pleasantness of my interaction. I have ridden with a girl who used a bell, and the reaction of the people we encountered wasn't nearly as predictable as it is when I slow and say "I am going to ease around your left" in a conversational tone. Following that, as I am beside them, I'll exchange pleasantries.

The reaction I described in the previous post is, I suspect, a fear reaction based on other riders blasting past them.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:10 PM
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Did anyone read the article? $100 for the first violation, applies to park MUP's only. What's the problem?

Given the behaviors locally on our MUPs, I'm a 100% supporter of this idea. Cyclists have no one to blame but themselves, and this has nithing do with e-bikes.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:40 PM
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Did anybody watch the video? The fact that these harsh cycling laws and penalties have come into effect during the growing popularity of the e-bike and amid the increasing rate of cycling incidents involving pedestrians is just a coincidence? One really needs to stretch his level of irrationality to believe that one.
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
People understand me fine. I very often get thanked for the pleasantness of my interaction. I have ridden with a girl who used a bell, and the reaction of the people we encountered wasn't nearly as predictable as it is when I slow and say "I am going to ease around your left" in a conversational tone. Following that, as I am beside them, I'll exchange pleasantries.

The reaction I described in the previous post is, I suspect, a fear reaction based on other riders blasting past them.
So you're saying that somebody invented the bike bell and municipalities and governments adopted them into law even though informing people in a conversation voice already worked?

Trust me on this one, don't try to reinvent the wheel, and don't go off on tangents. Stick with what works, is universally acceptable, and already has a legal precedent in place.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:46 PM
  #24  
prairiepedaler
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" Is 16 MPH too fast for bikes? Link to Article Regarding Bike Speed Enforcement in Denver"

These schemes are pure racketeering. Safety has nothing to do with it, other than unionized city employee job safety that is. Cities, Municipalities and Cop Unions who generate revenue in this manner are like crack *****s who need an extreme addiction intervention.
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Old 06-28-19, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Lol!
I wonder what Colorado statute requires bicycles be equipped with a speedometer & then defines the accuracy of the installed speedometer.

On a Federal level, (only because I have a CDL) commercial vehicles are required to have a speedometer installed and it's accuracy is required to be within 6 miles per hour at 60. So if you were wondering why no one ever gets a ticket for only going 5 over, now you know. 5 over could still yield a legal under indication as defined by law.

Denver is going to have a tough go with the retro-fit legislation and the redefining of bike path/park paths as "roadways," for the "legal rights & responsibilities" clause of the driving code to apply. But whatever...

Good luck with that.
Police Radar units can be and often are 30% off from accurate. Do this in broadcasting with AM and FM commercial transmitters, the risk of considerable Federal Communications Commission fines is very high. AM transmitters which are more than 10 Kilohertz off are not meeting standards. In my profession, if it is not calibrated and maintained, it is not accurate. Therefore it can't be relied on. Test and measurement equipment must be periodically be calibrated by certified laboratories traceable to NIST. Or it is not accurate, and not relevant for maintaining the equipment. My turntables which play my records are accurate to .1 of 1% always, or it's repaired or replaced (and my criteria are stricter). If a Police Officer runs radar, he should be required to pass an FCC General Radiotelephone license exam, with a Radar endorsement, and know how to use his radar within those rules. Or it is a joke (and sadly judges don't get why, electronic equipment is less accurate, less dependable when it's electronic components age and drift out of tolerances). Consider these situations. Time to hold law enforcement to these criteria on speed enforcement. And they need to know as much about their radar unit, and repairing it and keeping it accurate, as I do the equipment I repair and maintain. This is my perspective as a broadcast engineer (and cyclist for many years and still active in Velo and in broadcast engineering). Technology must be calibrated and accurate, and verified against laboratory references, or it's an inaccurate joke.
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