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Sheesh. I got pulled over on the way in this am..

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Sheesh. I got pulled over on the way in this am..

Old 11-03-09, 05:31 AM
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CCrew
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Sheesh. I got pulled over on the way in this am..

5:15 in the morning. For.... "not wearing reflective clothing". That was the excuse at least.

I'll give him the fact that I did not leave the house this am worried about visible. Most of my route is on the W&OD trail anyway. Last two miles or so are on street.

I'm running a 15w Halogen Niterider on the front, a PB Superflash on the chainstay and another on my backpack. RoadID with reflective band on my right ankle, and a reflector band that was a giveaway from a local county bike program on my left. Reflective piping on full length tights. I'll allow him I was wearing black tights and black jacket and black gloves. It was fricking 34 degrees when I got on the bike durn it!

All came about because he was parked in a bike lane, and I went to go around him and he almost doored me. I guarantee that he wet his pants, but such is life. I saw it coming and was well out of the door zone. His buddy in the car in front off him stopped me. They then proceeded to give me a major dose of grief because I wasn't carrying a license. I swear they were going to give me a ticket... until they asked for other ID, and I supplied my work badge . Once they saw that the tone totally changed..

So after a brief consultation with each other they handed my badge back and told me to be careful and have a nice day
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Old 11-03-09, 05:54 AM
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Sounds like they were bored.
What type of licence is required for riding in Virginia?
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Old 11-03-09, 05:58 AM
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"Not wearing refelective clothing," didn't know that was a requirement to ride. I guess the lights you describe are not enough for them to check out thier side or rearview mirrors. Try carrying a torch next time (like cavemen), see if that works.

Also, how did your i.d. get you out of a ticket?
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Old 11-03-09, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
Sounds like they were bored.
What type of licence is required for riding in Virginia?
I'm assuming that the police were asking to see his driver's license as a form of identification, not to see that he was licensed to ride a bicycle.
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Old 11-03-09, 06:19 AM
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sometime I think that police are just unreasonable. I think the OP is correct--they didn't see him and were surprised. The reflectors that are on the bike should be sufficient especially in addition to his lights. I was stopped once and the police officer threatened to ticket me for not having my driver's license....when I questioned him on what grounds the ticket would be issued since I wasn't driving a car, he backed off.
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Old 11-03-09, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by exile View Post
"Not wearing refelective clothing," didn't know that was a requirement to ride. I guess the lights you describe are not enough for them to check out thier side or rearview mirrors. Try carrying a torch next time (like cavemen), see if that works.

Also, how did your i.d. get you out of a ticket?
LOL. Certainly not a law to have reflective clothing in VA.

The ID? Without saying where I work, lets just say if I chose to raise hell about it they'd be reading about themselves pretty quickly as could about 20 million others a day. Their boss would prolly have an issue with that, and my office is directly across the street from theirs
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Old 11-03-09, 06:34 AM
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North VA cops must go through hell.
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Old 11-03-09, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Mitchxout View Post
North VA cops must go through hell.
Yeah, us cyclists are such criminals here
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Old 11-03-09, 07:13 AM
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I don't know of any law anywhere that requires reflective clothing. Some people believe that it might make themselves safer, maybe. Also while no license is required, you are required to give your correct name.

All together, sounds like an illegal stop to me.
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Old 11-03-09, 07:18 AM
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That's pretty dumb. You should've asked him if he was wearing his reflective vest as issued by the city required for use during any night time activity on the roadway. It's a long shot, but that is the law in many cities, even if it's not in yours. At worst, you might have had him hesitate for a minute and have second thoughts about citing you. Good job beating the rap anyway.
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Old 11-03-09, 07:27 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by dipy911 View Post

All together, sounds like an illegal stop to me.
Certainly does. Besides not being required, reflective clothing wouldn't do anything to prevent a dooring. But the headlight should have been pretty visible if they had bothered to check mirrors or look back - and if they didn't then no amount of extra visibility would be of use. It's good that CCrew was paying attention.

I'd think a letter or email to their department would be in order. This kind of attitude makes for very poor police/citizen relations. First they put someone in danger by their actions and then threaten them with a bogus ticket and improper demand for ID.
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Old 11-03-09, 07:49 AM
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It's not a requirement to carry ID in Michigan. Not sure about where you are.
I'd like to see the law about reflective clothing too.
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Old 11-03-09, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
I'd think a letter or email to their department would be in order. This kind of attitude makes for very poor police/citizen relations. First they put someone in danger by their actions and then threaten them with a bogus ticket and improper demand for ID.
Ya know tho... I'm sure they did it because I was zipping by, and I know I scared the everloving crap out of the guy getting out of his cruiser. Was the stop illegal? I'm sure it was. But in the grand scheme of things I'd rather they be responsive rather than ignore cyclists should one of us need them again. I think in the bigger picture it's best left alone. Were I hassled more I'm sure I wouldn't be taking that stance though.

Yeah, it makes for bad relations, and yeah, I'm not always overjoyed as to what I frequently see as an "above the rules" attitude by some police, but I personally wouldn't want their job, nor the crappy paychecks they get for doing it. No point in just piling on for 10 minutes missing out of my life.
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Old 11-03-09, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dipy911 View Post
I don't know of any law anywhere that requires reflective clothing. Some people believe that it might make themselves safer, maybe. Also while no license is required, you are required to give your correct name.

All together, sounds like an illegal stop to me.
bingo.

since when do we have to carry 'papers'. Gestapo methods are verbotten here last time I heard. No where does it say I must carry ID. correct name given yes, but no id required.

does harassment sound like the probably cause here? grrr... wish these guys would learn their law and stop this nonsense.
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Old 11-03-09, 08:08 AM
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So your work ID got you respect. Are you the Mayor?
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Old 11-03-09, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
So your work ID got you respect. Are you the Mayor?
Judging from this:
Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
...
The ID? Without saying where I work, lets just say if I chose to raise hell about it they'd be reading about themselves pretty quickly as could about 20 million others a day. Their boss would prolly have an issue with that, and my office is directly across the street from theirs
I'm guessing either the DA's office or maybe a news agency?
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Old 11-03-09, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Judging from this:


I'm guessing either the DA's office or maybe a news agency?
I'd say you're an insightful person
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Old 11-03-09, 10:15 AM
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There's no law about reflective clothing. Don't need a license either.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by yoder View Post
There's no law about reflective clothing. Don't need a license either.
Hey, I don't think any of us is questioning it was a bogus stop. It was Arlington's Finest to boot . Right up by Clarendon Metro.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:17 AM
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suggest you call and speak to their supervisors and complain. These police need to be educated. Reflective clothing is not required for cycling anywhere in Va under state law. Consequently, no probable cause and no authority to stop or detain you, nor are you obligated to provide a license. You are obligated to identify yourself, and if being charged, police have the discretion to issue a summons if they believe your identification or place you under arrest and haul you in front of a magistrate to set bond or release terms if they don't believe your identification, or if they want to be jerks. You didn't say what jurisdiction you were stopped in, but post that and I'll search the local regulations, but doubt if there is anything as Va localities cannot override the state code, generally (Dillon rule state)
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Old 11-03-09, 10:57 AM
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CC - Glad for you it worked out OK. Where'd this happen? It would be helpful for us other NoVA commuters to have an idea which LEOs have their knickers in a knot, or not. Or that just need a gentle reminder that sometimes the bike lanes may in fact have a bike using them.

For the record, while there is nothing in the VA code REQUIRING reflective clothing (although depending upon the situation, it might help), there is definite language regarding lights and reflectors:

Equipment

Every bicycle ridden between sunset and sunrise must have at least one white headlamp with the light being visible at least 500 feet to the front. The bicycle must have a red reflector on the rear visible at least 600 feet to the rear. On roads posted with speed limit of 35 mph or greater, the bicyclist must additionally be equipped with at least one red taillight visible from 500 feet to the rear. Taillights may be steady or blinking, are allowed under all conditions, and may be attached to the cycle or rider.

Bicycles ridden on highways must have brakes which will skid the wheels on dry, level, clean pavement.
Reference: §§46.2-1015,46.2-1066


Sounds like you were OK re: lights and they decided you were OK on reflectors (something I need to add to the commute rig), or just didn't notice with the rest of the light show, I will speculate they didn't have anything to cite you and were left with "what else can we think of"?

I'll have to check if there's anything in the DMV code regarding parking IN A MARKED BIKE LANE. Ride safe.
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Old 11-03-09, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by benda18 View Post
I'm assuming that the police were asking to see his driver's license as a form of identification, not to see that he was licensed to ride a bicycle.
Since when is carrying ID required under the law? A good idea, sure, but the last I checked it is not against the law not to.
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Old 11-03-09, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ks1g View Post
I'll have to check if there's anything in the DMV code regarding parking IN A MARKED BIKE LANE. Ride safe.
I believe in CA you can park in a bike lane if there is no parking restriction (signs and unavailable parking space). I wouldn't be surprised if it's similar in other places since so many lanes run along parking spaces.
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Old 11-03-09, 11:30 AM
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Old 11-03-09, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Berniebikes View Post
You didn't say what jurisdiction you were stopped in, but post that and I'll search the local regulations, but doubt if there is anything as Va localities cannot override the state code, generally (Dillon rule state)
Actually, it was in the post before yours. It was on Clarendon Blvd one block in toward town from the Clarendon Metro stop. Lovely Arlington, where you are always first and foremost a "revenue opportunity"
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