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got pulled over for running a stop sign today

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

got pulled over for running a stop sign today

Old 02-18-06, 07:17 PM
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got pulled over for running a stop sign today

So I am cycling through campus, it's about 7pm, and 34 degrees outside on a saturday evening, so there are no students around, and very few cars around. I am coming up on an intersection, and can see that there are no cars at the intersection. There is, however, a cop pulled over to the side of my lane just before the stop sign (my lane was wide enough to be two lanes).

As I approached the intersection, I slowed just enough that I wouldn't pass the "point of no return" in case a car appeared out of no where. As soon as I was close enough to have an unobstructed view of the intersecting lane, I stood up and sprinted to get back up to speed, and blew through the intersection pretty fast. A few blocks later I see flashing lights behind me.

The cop gave me this lecture about the fact that I am a motor vehicle, and that I have to stop at all of the stop signs. He was pretty heated; I must have really gotten his goat . Of course, I knew the best thing to do in this situation is agree with him and appologize; to really play it up like I had no idea and was sorry. I could see that what he wanted was an arguement, but I didn't play into it, so we was reduced to repeating himself 3 and 4 times in order to give his lecture any sort of length.

My thoughts on this matter are thus: I am very well aware of the fact that I am taking my life into my own hands each time I clip in. The way I approach cycling safety is to always behave as though I am invisible. This can be inconvenient at times, but I believe it is the best way to maximize my safety.

I commute to work everyday on my bike. I risk my life and work very hard to do my part in reducing my greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, I don't have the luxury of simply hitting the gas pedal each time I am forced to brake. If this cop weren't so short sighted, he would cut me some slack and allow me some discretion in conserving my precious kinetic energy.

Luckily, I am in the financial position to be able to afford any of the citations which this cop so vehemently informed that I would be subject to if I continued this behavior.
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Old 02-18-06, 07:24 PM
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Gotta love that last sentence of yours!

And I agree with you. Kinetic energy is precious to a cyclist!
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Old 02-18-06, 07:29 PM
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I got a warning like that for blowing through a stop sign a few years ago. They put this stop sign at the bottom of a hill with a steep hill going up the other side and in an area with very little traffic. Since then, I always slow to almost a stop but I almost never come to a complete stop for stop signs, unless there is a car there with right of way.

I always stop for all traffic lights though.
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Old 02-18-06, 07:30 PM
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At least he used his lights to get you to stop. The last time I was pulled over by a cop while riding he decided that racing past me then cutting me off with his car was required. Oh well I stopped in time; and he never gave me a ticket. lazy guy didn't even get out of his car; just yelled out his window "at least slow down for those"
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Old 02-18-06, 07:52 PM
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My wife did get a ticket for cruising a stop sign in Santa Monica (at 8:00 am, NO traffic). Her parting shot to the cop was, "I'll bet your mother is real proud of what you do; I know I am!"
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Old 02-18-06, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla
My wife did get a ticket for cruising a stop sign in Santa Monica (at 8:00 am, NO traffic). Her parting shot to the cop was, "I'll bet your mother is real proud of what you do; I know I am!"
This was supposed to be an insult to the cop?
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Old 02-18-06, 08:02 PM
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When I ride my bike on the road, I expect to be taken seriously. To that end, I obey the rules of the road. I stop for stop signs and stoplights.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:06 PM
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I was pulled over many years ago by an overzealous cop, because when I came to a stop I did a track stand.. The traffic proceeded through, I waited my turn and then went..

He asked me if I knew what I did wrong. I said "well I came to a complete stop" He replies how do you know that? Well traffic proceeded through and I looked down and my computer said 0.00. He lectures me that state law requires that I put a foot down and I am lucky to be let off with a warning..

I like you take traffic lights and stop signs seriously because I more likely to hit by a driver not paying that myself not being aware of what is going on around me..
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Old 02-18-06, 08:08 PM
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If you all want to have the respect of vehicle drivers, they you need to act like responsible operators. You can't have it both ways, wanting to be treated like a vehicle but not willing to obey the laws when it suits you to ignore them.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:11 PM
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If you see a cop you have to expect the worst.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:20 PM
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I probably run 8-10 signs/lights a day just going to work and back. I've been lucky thus far.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sentinel
If you all want to have the respect of vehicle drivers, they you need to act like responsible operators. You can't have it both ways, wanting to be treated like a vehicle but not willing to obey the laws when it suits you to ignore them.
If a car has the right of way I will gladly concede it. WTF is the point in stopping and putting a foot down?

These rules were clearly made with cars in mind. Sometimes they make no sense when translated to the cycling public and enforcing them must be akin to citing a 2 year old for indecency for taking his pants off in public.

I think a cop pulling you over for blasting though a stop sign without even slowing down at 30+ mph is common sense. Pulling a cyclist over because he didn't put a foot down or because he only slowed to a crawl is ridiculous. My .02
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Old 02-18-06, 08:32 PM
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I go through stop signs (and red lights) after checking that way is clear, but I accept that this may cost me a fine some day.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
I go through stop signs (and red lights) after checking that way is clear, but I accept that this may cost me a fine some day.
The only time I will go through stop lights is if there are no cars there to trip the light.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:36 PM
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There are stop signs which I run regularly. No way would I do it if I saw a cop there.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:37 PM
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I just gotta say, you know, you blew a stop sign right next to a cop. What did you expect? Trust me, I get kinetic energy and right-of-way and safe riding and all that, and I blow through a number of stop signs myself. But the law is the law is the law; right or wrong. At least have the common sense to follow the law in front of the cops.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:50 PM
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A couple years ago in high school I got a referal for passing a school bus (on my bike) with its stop lights out. i couldn't believe that they would waste my time and theirs by taking 20 minutes out of my class time to give me this ****ing referal. It was rediculous. And it wasn't like I blasted down past the bus either. The lane was very wide and I slowed down significantly. I didn't want to let the bus get in front of me because i knew that it stops every 50 feet to pick up kids. Turns out it was my old bus driver that wrote me up. She has had it in for me for years.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:54 PM
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The stop sign applies to you. It's the law. *And* you did it right next to the police car? Don't expect sympathy.

Flipside... the police officer lets you go... another vehicle sees that and phones it in and he gets sh*t for letting you go. Buddy of mine got pulled over once for doing something stupid in traffic and the PO says "Everybody was looking at me... I had to stop you... hey, that's a nice bike..."
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Old 02-18-06, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SDRider
If a car has the right of way I will gladly concede it. WTF is the point in stopping and putting a foot down?
It's the law? So we get to choose when it is convenient to ignore them?

Originally Posted by SDRider
These rules were clearly made with cars in mind. Sometimes they make no sense when translated to the cycling public and enforcing them must be akin to citing a 2 year old for indecency for taking his pants off in public.
I am sure some leniency is given for indecency. But then again, a 2 year old dropping trou doesn't run the risk of death.

Originally Posted by SDRider
I think a cop pulling you over for blasting though a stop sign without even slowing down at 30+ mph is common sense. Pulling a cyclist over because he didn't put a foot down or because he only slowed to a crawl is ridiculous. My .02
I would tend to agree. However it is the law so a cop is within his rights to enforce them if he sees fit.

-D
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Old 02-18-06, 09:22 PM
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I wish people would post where this stuff happens....
I would like to move to a place that the cops have enuff
free time to pull people for this type of thing
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Old 02-18-06, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
I wish people would post where this stuff happens....
I would like to move to a place that the cops have enuff
free time to pull people for this type of thing
I don't know if you meant to be sarcastic, but I'm wondering if you're one of those people who think cops should have better things to do like arresting drug dealers, murderers, and *******, while ignoring enforcing the laws that have less of an impact on your community.

The same thing comes up every time someone posts a story about a run-in with a cop: "Don't they have better things to do than sit at a corner pulling over bikers who blow a stop sign?" Hope you have that attitide the next time your bike gets stolen or your house gets burglarized because, after all, cops have bigger fish to catch than the thief who victimized you.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by derath
It's the law? So we get to choose when it is convenient to ignore them?

I am sure some leniency is given for indecency. But then again, a 2 year old dropping trou doesn't run the risk of death.

I would tend to agree. However it is the law so a cop is within his rights to enforce them if he sees fit.

-D
Yeah, I agree. However, it'll be a cold day in hell when I come to a complete stop AND put a foot down just because there's a cop sitting there watching.

BTW-Campus police tend to be 10x worse than regular cops in enforcing dumbass laws.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by la_raza
I don't know if you meant to be sarcastic, but I'm wondering if you're one of those people who think cops should have better things to do like arresting drug dealers, murderers, and *******, while ignoring enforcing the laws that have less of an impact on your community.

The same thing comes up every time someone posts a story about a run-in with a cop: "Don't they have better things to do than sit at a corner pulling over bikers who blow a stop sign?" Hope you have that attitide the next time your bike gets stolen or your house gets burglarized because, after all, cops have bigger fish to catch than the thief who victimized you.
Um, I'm thinking that would fall under the "don't they have better things to do" observation.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SDRider
Um, I'm thinking that would fall under the "don't they have better things to do" observation.
In your opinion, maybe. It's all relative.

If you compare a stolen bike to a rash of serial rapes or murders, then no. Cops have better things to do than look for someone who's stolen a bike.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:45 PM
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As a police officer, I thank those who had common sense to realize the stop sign is there for everyone. As far as I am concerned, I would never expect a rider to drop a foot to the ground, but that may be the law in some places. The laws were meant for vehicles to obey and if you want your bike to be considered a vehicle and get the same respect a car would get, you better obey the laws. I am glad there are many on this board who understand that principle.
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