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Speeding ticket while 'just riding along'

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Speeding ticket while 'just riding along'

Old 06-02-20, 11:10 AM
  #1  
AMGwagon
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Speeding ticket while 'just riding along'

I can neither confirm, nor deny such alleged activities happened in reality... just asking for a friend: what is the best way to challenge a speeding ticket issued to a cyclist? Let's say a ticket was issued and indicated that the offense was captured with radar. There are two primary problems that I can see:
* po po was not stationary (approaching, then circled back and caught up to alleged rider) and radar tickets can only be issued from stationary vehicle (as far as I am aware); and
* radar is known to be wildly inaccurate when used on cyclists.

So, am I correct in suggesting that "if" a person were to be issued a speeding ticket while on a bicycle that the legal challenge is reasonable given the two points above?

This is a pretend scenario and was just in a dream, but I appreciate any views, advice, wisdom from experience.

Cheers
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Old 06-02-20, 11:25 AM
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probe1957
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If you are guilty, why not just pay the fine and move on?
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Old 06-02-20, 11:33 AM
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Your first assumption is false. Radar/lidar has been capable of compensating for being in a moving vehicle for over a decade (more like 2 decades now). For you leadfoots out there, there are a lot of cruisers and even motorcycle with both front and rear facing radar now.

Depending on the technology, it may or may not be very accurate pinging a bicycle.

Usually if it's a speeding ticket, your best defense is that cycles aren't >required< to have a speedometer, so there's no legally obligated reason for you to know how fast you were going, regardless of whether you actually have a cycling computer or not.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV.
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Old 06-02-20, 12:08 PM
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Did your friend dream this up, or did you dream that a friend asked this question?
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Old 06-02-20, 12:19 PM
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Speed limits are for motor vehicles, not bikes.
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Old 06-02-20, 12:22 PM
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I never show a reading when I pass the radar trailers the sheriff put on the side of the road to show your speed. If you go to court the police might not appear to testify.
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Old 06-02-20, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Your first assumption is false. Radar/lidar has been capable of compensating for being in a moving vehicle for over a decade (more like 2 decades now). For you leadfoots out there, there are a lot of cruisers and even motorcycle with both front and rear facing radar now.

Depending on the technology, it may or may not be very accurate pinging a bicycle.

Usually if it's a speeding ticket, your best defense is that cycles aren't >required< to have a speedometer, so there's no legally obligated reason for you to know how fast you were going, regardless of whether you actually have a cycling computer or not.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV.
Thank you for your contribution.
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Old 06-02-20, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
I never show a reading when I pass the radar trailers the sheriff put on the side of the road to show your speed. If you go to court the police might not appear to testify.
You know... this cop did say: "Mail this in, and claim 'Not guilty'". So perhaps you're right! His reply to "why" was basically he didn't even know if a legal offense had been committed. Bicycles are in fact beholden to the same rules as motorists, it's just very rare to be tested on speed limits. Again, I stop at lights and stop signs (at least when there are witnesses), so I try to keep the peace with motorists, and police.

Cheers
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Old 06-02-20, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AMGwagon View Post
...just asking for a friend:...
How fast was your "friend" riding? What was the speed limit there?

Originally Posted by AMGwagon View Post
..radar tickets can only be issued from stationary vehicle (as far as I am aware);
Really?

Originally Posted by AMGwagon View Post
I* radar is known to be wildly inaccurate when used on cyclists.
Really?

(You'd likely need to provide sort of reference for either of these before anybody would consider these claims as "proof" of anything.)

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-02-20 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 06-02-20, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Usually if it's a speeding ticket, your best defense is that cycles aren't >required< to have a speedometer, so there's no legally obligated reason for you to know how fast you were going, regardless of whether you actually have a cycling computer or not.
* You aren't allowed to speed (whether or not your speedometer is working properly or present).

* You might be legally required to have a speedometer in a motor vehicle.

It's two separate offences.
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Old 06-02-20, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
I never show a reading when I pass the radar trailers the sheriff put on the side of the road to show your speed. If you go to court the police might not appear to testify.
They pick me up every time. I take pleasure in attempting to see if I can get it to hit the speed limit. The radar reading shown is usually congruent with my cyclometer reading.
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Old 06-02-20, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
I never show a reading when I pass the radar trailers the sheriff put on the side of the road to show your speed. If you go to court the police might not appear to testify.
They aren't necessarily the same thing.

I register with these routinely but there might be a minimum speed for it to show.
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Old 06-02-20, 03:05 PM
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What speed limit? There isn't one except on bike trails otherwise it's the same as the road.
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Old 06-02-20, 03:15 PM
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I don’t suppose that you have a gps track for this ride. If so, and if it shows you going slower than the speed limit, you could go to court and enter it as conflicting evidence.
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Old 06-02-20, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I don’t suppose that you have a gps track for this ride. If so, and if it shows you going slower than the speed limit, you could go to court and enter it as conflicting evidence.
He hasn't claimed "his friend" wasn't speeding.

(Seems pretty certain "his friend" was speeding.)
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Old 06-02-20, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
I never show a reading when I pass the radar trailers the sheriff put on the side of the road to show your speed. If you go to court the police might not appear to testify.
Around here, you have to hit about 15 mph before they show a speed. I can get them to turn on with either one of my two bicycles any time.
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Old 06-02-20, 03:44 PM
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The place to argue a ticket is in the court. Arguing with the cop is not the place to argue.

As @Notso_fastLane posted, radar has been compensating for the vehicle speed for a very long time. Much longer than two decades. Even in the 80's highway patrol here was using doppler technology with radar units that allowed them to figure out speed of the other vehicle no matter what direction it was going in relation to the vehicle it was in.

Don't make assumptions on how well radar works based on your interaction with a speed sign. Just like some sailboats are better than other speed boats they don't do much the same other than float.

Are speed limits only for motor vehicles? I don't know for certain, but it likely depends on the state you are in. I'd be proud to go in a pay a speeding ticket for cycling. Unless it was only a 20 mph zone. <grin>

Is radar wildly inaccurate on cyclist? That likely got passed around by those thinking that radar speed signs use the same radar the cops use. At any rate probably depends on the specific unit. Might be the only valid argument your friend could make to the Judge. Knowing what the model radar unit was used will at least let you go to the mfr's site and read some literature and see if there is any statement about such. However unless your state requires speed to be measured by a radar, that may not fly in court either.

Last edited by Iride01; 06-02-20 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 06-02-20, 05:43 PM
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Are you kidding me? I am framing my first bicycle speeding ticket. If I don't have one by the time I am 70, I am going to make it a mission to get one. I hope I can get the cop to pose with me.
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Old 06-02-20, 06:09 PM
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What Paul just said, or a variation thereof
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Old 06-02-20, 07:41 PM
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Old 06-02-20, 08:29 PM
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Way too little info from the o.p. (deliberately?) for y'all's to be whipping yourselves into such a froth to compose cogent responses. Even urban speed limits are challenging to achieve for a cyclist on level ground. On downslopes it might be possible but for law enforcement to get interested the average cyclist has run out of nerve. There would have to be some clearly displayed recklessness accompanying the speed limit violation to result in a pull-over situation.
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Old 06-02-20, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Way too little info from the o.p. (deliberately?) for y'all's to be whipping yourselves into such a froth to compose cogent responses. Even urban speed limits are challenging to achieve for a cyclist on level ground. On downslopes it might be possible but for law enforcement to get interested the average cyclist has run out of nerve. There would have to be some clearly displayed recklessness accompanying the speed limit violation to result in a pull-over situation.
I used to ride out to Thatcher State Park near Albany and back, made for a nice 30mile ride, longer if you went out the other side. It has a sweet downhill with a long sweeping curve coming out of the park back towards Albany that dropped to a 30mph zone. I'd heard legends of cops giving cyclists tickets there but never met anyone who got one.When riding it I always considered 50mph or slower when hitting that 30mph sign to be a failure, 55 was common and easy and 60 was risky since it required rolling (running) a stop sign near the top to do it; I'm sure faster people then me did better then that. Over the 7 years I lived there I rode that trip a lot, easily guess 30-40+ times and passed officers sitting at the bottom with their speed trap set up a number of those times and none could ever be bothered to stop me for the ticket I wanted to frame on my wall. I'd have happily sat in a court room and very loudly have plead guilty to 25 over the limit on a bicycle just to get it too.
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Old 06-03-20, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Your first assumption is false. Radar/lidar has been capable of compensating for being in a moving vehicle for over a decade (more like 2 decades now). For you leadfoots out there, there are a lot of cruisers and even motorcycle with both front and rear facing radar now.

Depending on the technology, it may or may not be very accurate pinging a bicycle.

Usually if it's a speeding ticket, your best defense is that cycles aren't >required< to have a speedometer, so there's no legally obligated reason for you to know how fast you were going, regardless of whether you actually have a cycling computer or not.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV.
In Texas, and possibly other states, you're not required to have a speedometer on a motorcycle over given age (or possibly at all). You're still obligated to stay within the posted speed limit. I'd think it would be the same on a bicycle.
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Old 06-03-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Way too little info from the o.p. (deliberately?) for y'all's to be whipping yourselves into such a froth to compose cogent responses. Even urban speed limits are challenging to achieve for a cyclist on level ground. On downslopes it might be possible but for law enforcement to get interested the average cyclist has run out of nerve. There would have to be some clearly displayed recklessness accompanying the speed limit violation to result in a pull-over situation.
Way too little info from the o.p. (deliberately?) for y'all's to be whipping yourselves into such a froth to compose cogent responses.
Your response works here too. Unless, your response isn't "cogent".

It makes no sense criticize people for doing what you just did.

Yes, it's "deliberate". Obviously.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-03-20 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 06-03-20, 11:11 AM
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If there was motor vehicle traffic on the road, one could argue that the radar picked up the vehicle with the larger reflection.
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