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Farmers Branch, Texas LEO

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Farmers Branch, Texas LEO

Old 11-09-14, 08:47 AM
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BikeLite
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Farmers Branch, Texas LEO

I got a ticket this morning for running a stop sign (moving at ~5 mph) on a residential street in Farmers Branch, Texas. It was at 8 AM on a Sunday morning with no traffic in sight. The ticket is $237. I will show up in court probably, but not to fight it. Guess I learned an expensive lesson.

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Old 11-09-14, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
I got a ticket this morning for running a stop sign (moving at ~5 mph) in Farmers Branch, Texas. It was at 8 AM on a Sunday morning with no traffic in sight. The ticket is $237. I will show up in court probably, but not to fight it. Guess I learned an expensive lesson.
Just curious, is Farmers Branch, Texas a location that bike clubs often pass through en masse on their so-called group training rides?
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Old 11-09-14, 09:39 AM
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If you're going to the trouble of showing up in court, why not fight it? Maybe the LEO doesn't show up, but if he does the Municipal judge will rule against you, appeal. Depending on the docket the the ticket might get tossed without a hearing when you appeal.
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Old 11-09-14, 10:19 AM
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Sounds like a slow morning for the LEO. I don't know Texas laws that well, but here at home, our LEOs have to differentiate whether the OP was riding a bicycle or driving a car, makes a difference when it comes to fines and insurance premiums.
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Old 11-09-14, 01:42 PM
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You might consider saying to the judge, "Yes. I rolled through that stop sign at less than 5 mph. But every day there must be 30 automobiles who do the same thing there and at every other stop sign in this state."

Here's a disclaimer, of sorts: I'm fully aware that this is not a legal argument. (If I don't put this in, then this thread will have fifty posts pointing this out) But it's a very good common sense argument. And if the judge likes common sense over silly officiousness or revenue generation on the backs of the weakest, then perhaps he'll dismiss the ticket and tell the cop to find better ways of spending his time.
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Old 11-09-14, 02:21 PM
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Hmm....big red octagon with the word STOP in capital letters....what could that possibly mean?
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Old 11-09-14, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bluegoatwoods View Post
You might consider saying to the judge, "Yes. I rolled through that stop sign at less than 5 mph. But every day there must be 30 automobiles who do the same thing there and at every other stop sign in this state."

Here's a disclaimer, of sorts: I'm fully aware that this is not a legal argument. (If I don't put this in, then this thread will have fifty posts pointing this out) But it's a very good common sense argument. And if the judge likes common sense over silly officiousness or revenue generation on the backs of the weakest, then perhaps he'll dismiss the ticket and tell the cop to find better ways of spending his time.
Does this approach actually work? I've never actually gotten a ticket (in a car or on a bike) but I don't think arguing "Yes, I was speeding, but other people speed too" would get you out of a ticket.
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Old 11-09-14, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
..... but I don't think arguing "Yes, I was speeding, but other people speed too" would get you out of a ticket.
Yes. That's exactly what I meant when I said that this is not a legal argument. It wouldn't be meant to force the judge to conclude that he must let you off the hook. This argument stands no chance at all of accomplishing that.

And I don't know if it'll work. I've never been in a position to try it.

But imagine a judge who doesn't have an axe to grind and who likes things that make sense. Maybe, just maybe, he'll dismiss the ticket and chew on the cop a bit for being like the safety patrol boy who reports every kid for anything that they might do.

Sure, the odds aren't great. But what does the OP have to lose? He's toast over this infraction anyway.
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Old 11-09-14, 02:47 PM
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Bummer that it's on you, but I wish the police would issue more citations to cyclists running stop signs and red lights.
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Old 11-09-14, 02:52 PM
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If the police issued a ticket to everyone (cars & bikes) rolling through stop signs where I live the city budget would not be in a deficit. It's so bad they call this a "Kingwood stop". $237 is stiff. I thought my parking ticket in NYC was bad; $115 for parking close to a fire hydrant. I was 1 foot too close.

Sometimes we all pay a "stupid tax".
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Old 11-09-14, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
Does this approach actually work? I've never actually gotten a ticket (in a car or on a bike) but I don't think arguing "Yes, I was speeding, but other people speed too" would get you out of a ticket.
I've heard a number of cases where the argument 'Yes what I did was a violation of the law, but I wasn't infringing on anyone's right of way or endangering anyone' resulted in the judge still entering a guilty verdict but with a greatly reduced fine.
Also make sure that the citation clearly indicates that it was for a bicycle violation. At least in California, such violations are not supposed to be part of your motor vehicle record and therefore shouldn't affect insurance rates or possible license suspension - don't know the situation in TX.
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Old 11-09-14, 06:09 PM
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Never in the history of the world has that argument worked.
It is the first graders argument "he did it too"
and it never works for them!!
It literally is a childish argument
Better strategy-show up-hope cop doesn't.


One month ago-I glided thru a stop sign(in car)-cop got me- $194 down the drain-


Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
Does this approach actually work? I've never actually gotten a ticket (in a car or on a bike) but I don't think arguing "Yes, I was speeding, but other people speed too" would get you out of a ticket.
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Old 11-09-14, 06:22 PM
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Farmers Branch is a suburb of Dallas, in Dallas County.

I-Like-To-Bike, yes REI group rides and maybe even Performance Bike group rides go through Farmers Branch.

The LEO didn't look me in the face when he handed me the citation. The citation does say it is a bicycle.

Farmers Branch, TX - Official Website - Municipal Court
General Appearance Instructions
Individuals must appear in person or represented by their attorney in the Farmers Branch Municipal Court on the court date assigned by the citation or summons. An individual may choose to exercise the option to pay the citation, request drivers safety, request deferred disposition, or dispose of the case with a plea of “no contest” or "guilty" on or before the assigned court date at the Court Clerk’s Window. Please allow three to five business days from the receipt of the citation to allow the filing of the case in the Court before contacting the Court Clerk’s Office. Payments in full may be made in person, by mail or credit card via this Web site."

https://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u...htm/TN.551.htm

Last edited by BikeLite; 11-10-14 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 11-09-14, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bluegoatwoods View Post
You might consider saying to the judge, "Yes. I rolled through that stop sign at less than 5 mph. But every day there must be 30 automobiles who do the same thing there and at every other stop sign in this state."
Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
Does this approach actually work? I've never actually gotten a ticket (in a car or on a bike) but I don't think arguing "Yes, I was speeding, but other people speed too" would get you out of a ticket.
In the case of a speeding citation, which is not what the OP got so this is tangential, yes, this strategy can work. However, it requires that a defendant either prove that the speed limit was not based on either a properly conducted traffic speed survey or a competent traffic engineer's assessment of the maximum safe speed. Often, this is easier than it sounds. Most traffic engineers are kind of lazy, so they rarely document conditions that would cause the speed limit to be under the 85th percentile speed, so either there is a sufficiently recent speed survey or there isn't. If there is, then it's just a matter of looking at the data. If there isn't, then the citation is invalid.

I don't like this sort of law that allows everyone to ignore posted speed limits as long as most others are. In my opinion, it's just another way we encourage irresponsible driving.
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Old 11-10-14, 05:58 AM
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Perfect your track stand, take a vid and show to the judge. "your Honor, just because I did not put my foot down does not mean I did not stop".
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Old 11-10-14, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
If you're going to the trouble of showing up in court, why not fight it?
Maybe because he did run the stop sign.
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Old 11-10-14, 07:21 AM
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I really hate this prevalent thought that causing a stink, raising some details that don't pertain to what you actually did, "not my fault" attitude that people try to use in order to deflect the FACT that they actually did something wrong.
How about take your ass down to court and pay the fine for running the stop sign? You did it. Pay for it. Don't do it again. THAT is smart...LEARNING from your mistakes and not doing it again...

Aside from all that, how did you not see the cop sitting there?
Bet you look next time.

Edit- apologies OP, as I wasn't really directing my ire at you...you have already stated you wanted to take care of the issue...it's these apologists that piss me off...

Last edited by Juan Foote; 11-10-14 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 11-10-14, 07:51 AM
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$237 is an obscene fine!!!!!!
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Old 11-10-14, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
Maybe because he did run the stop sign.
What does that have to do with fighting the ticket? Seriously, rolling stop - it's petty and picking his pocket.

If you're going to just pay the ticket you can do it online. And in my wilder youth I've had a number of tickets in Texas, and I never had one reduced or dismissed in a hearing*. In fact I was lucky if I was even allowed to give my side, the magistrate judge just reading off a cue card. Magistrate courts in Texas have automatic grant of appeal. If you go into a local court, having an option not to, it's pointless in my experience unless you intend to fight, and pointless to fight unless you have a strategy that may win.

edit: by pleading guilty or no contest that is. I've never had one stick that I fought.

Last edited by wphamilton; 11-10-14 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 11-10-14, 09:48 AM
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So you rolled through a stop sign with a police there?

The police was doing his job. Just pay the fine and move on.
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Old 11-10-14, 09:52 AM
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i certainly wouldn't argue in court the context that "others (motorists) to it, so why am i being singled out " ?

however, i would argue , and have successfully done so myself, that you exercised prudent judgment my slowing down to 5 mph, were keenly aware of your surroundings and observations that there was no one else in sight except the cop that pulled you over, and made a practical decision to SAFELY proceed. not like you blew thru it at 25mph, for which no argument would fly on your best day.

best guess is the judge might take some mercy on a claim of prudent and practical behavior, because he / she surely won't buy into the sense of entitlement suggested by the 'they did it, why can't i ?" argument.
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Old 11-10-14, 10:16 AM
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My question is this.

How did the police officer know you were going 5 MPH? Radar doesn't work well on bikes, yet alone on bikes going 5 MPH.
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Old 11-10-14, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
$237 is an obscene fine!!!!!!
Being in Farmers Branch should be punishment enough.
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Old 11-10-14, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
I got a ticket this morning for running a stop sign (moving at ~5 mph) on a residential street in Farmers Branch, Texas. It was at 8 AM on a Sunday morning with no traffic in sight. The ticket is $237. I will show up in court probably, but not to fight it. Guess I learned an expensive lesson.
You're reading it wrong; the actual violation is "failing to pay enough attention to your surroundings to notice the cop."

Got a few of those when I was living up there.
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Old 11-10-14, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
How did the police officer know you were going 5 MPH? Radar doesn't work well on bikes, yet alone on bikes going 5 MPH.
I didn't see any claim that the officer knew he was going 5 mph - a citation for going through a stop sign just requires knowing that the speed was > 0. But radar works fine on bicycles and should have no problem with a bike going 5 mph. The radar speed signs we have around town all register my speed correctly (at least in agreement with my GPS).
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