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Cop said your rack is illegal

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Cop said your rack is illegal

Old 04-28-08, 09:54 PM
  #1  
vrkelley
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Cop said your rack is illegal

So we're doin a road trip and getting ready to meet up with some other roadies. We pass probably 4 speed traps and as we're making the last exit, I breathe sigh of relief...No speeding ticket. I look in the rear view mirror only to see the red and blue cherry go-rounds! AWK I was not speeding, I tell the cop (cuz after the 2nd trap, I put on the cruize control).

No you weren't speeding but the 2 bikes on your rack are illegal. (My 4-bling Yakima rack only had a 2 carbons)! I couldn't see your brakes, turn signals, or license. You'll have to take those bikes off the rack.

It starts getting heated. Where do you want me to put 'em

So you're not gonna comply then (as he pulls out the ticket book)...my friend speaks up and starts smoothing things over and we get off with a warning.

WTF?
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Old 04-28-08, 09:59 PM
  #2  
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Wow, that blows. Maybe the Cop's ex-wife has had the lawyers on him all week?
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Old 04-28-08, 10:13 PM
  #3  
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This was the same in the UK. I got pulled over once.

I started using a high mounted rack or a roof rack. I bought a extra number plate and strapped that onto the bike.

Covering up your licence plate was the big no no. The lights are usually not too badly effected as they were shining through spokes.

If I loaded 4 bikes on a rack then I would get a light and plate relocator.
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Old 04-28-08, 10:13 PM
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that cop has a stick up his a**
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Old 04-28-08, 10:21 PM
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Though pulling you over just for that seems a bit much, he does have a point if you really are blocking your signals. And being that he didn't write you up even after "things got heated" suggests that he pulled you over much more to make a point than to nail you. Just because your rack is convenient doesn't mean it's 100% legal all the time.

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Old 04-28-08, 10:23 PM
  #6  
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We have a cop in the next town that pulls over or yells at cyclists for riding 2 abreast. He yelled at a couple of us a few weeks ago on this empty road at 7 am on a Sunday. Later I checked the road laws, and we may ride 2 abreast providing we do not impede the flow of traffic.

Maybe his daddy never got him that new bike he always wanted.
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Old 04-28-08, 10:26 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by dervish View Post
that cop has a stick up his a**
Yeah, cuz enforcing safety is whack.

Sounds like the cop was cool about it. He gave him a warning when he could have simply given him a citation.
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Old 04-28-08, 10:28 PM
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Block the view of your brake lights can be dangerous. It happened to me...I was following a car with bikes on the rear and he suddenly stops on the freeway...trash on the road and I damn near hit him. I rolled next to him and told him that his lights were blocked. It appeared to be a family headed out on a vacation with stuff on the roof, bikes on the rear rack, and stuff stacked to the ceiling inside.
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Old 04-28-08, 10:29 PM
  #9  
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Eh, I'm going to have to say the cop had every right to stop you. It wasn't really his problem that there wasn't a good option to moving the bikes elsewhere. Glad your friend was there.

Where did you put the bikes after that anyway?
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Old 04-28-08, 10:33 PM
  #10  
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A pic of the car with bikes on the suspect rack would be nice. Did you have covers on the bikes which blocked everything?
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Old 04-28-08, 10:45 PM
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thats lame, just tell him to go home or be a real cop and put you're life on the line.

I hate cops who feel like they're helping society by giving you a fixit ticket or some dumb ****.
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Old 04-28-08, 11:01 PM
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Over here, if your lights were obscured and you had no other way of carrying the bikes without obscuring the lights, the cop might not have just cited you, he might have put a big red sticker on your windscreen that would have made the vehicle illegal to drive - even to drive it home, until it was subject to a satisfactory inspection. You would've had to have the car towed and arranged alternative transport for yourselves, then removed the rack and had the car towed to an inspection center to have the red sticker removed. I confess, I have only heard of this happening once, to a driver who really wound the officer up when he could have gotten away with a warning - absurd, but well within the road safety laws.

As to registration plates; in this state, you're required to purchase a small duplicate plate made specifically for mounting on bike racks, and you can be fined for not having one. That said, no-one I know has ever had one and I've heard of no fines .
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Old 04-29-08, 12:27 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Asian Sensation View Post
thats lame, just tell him to go home or be a real cop and put you're life on the line.
Yeah - try that yourself sometime and report back "you're" results.
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Old 04-29-08, 12:34 AM
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OP is the one with the stick up his rump with the attitude about being pulled over for having blocked lights.

I always have to laugh when my co-workers/friends complain about being pulled over and/or getting a ticket - driving violations are about the easiest things in the world to avoid; usually you just don't do something and you're fine.
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Old 04-29-08, 01:10 AM
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I'd say he needed something to do and you were an easy target. Don't take it with a grain of salt. Maybe your lack of lights could lead to a potential accident involving you, a car and worst case scenario a fellow cyclist.

I bet if you had old Schwinn Varsity's he'd pull you over and say "I had one of those when I was a kid...sure was fun...Hey get that problem fixed before I have to give you a fix it ticket."
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Old 04-29-08, 01:16 AM
  #16  
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You should have got out of your car and fight the cop 1 on 1.
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Old 04-29-08, 04:48 AM
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Getting heated with a cop.
Have you NEVER been to YouTube?
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Old 04-29-08, 04:51 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by s4one View Post
You should have got out of your car and fight the cop 1 on 1.

Only if your friend has a video camera and a Youtube account. LOL.
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Old 04-29-08, 05:13 AM
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I always wondered about covering up the license plate, as in why is the marketing and sale of the racks that are almost certainly going to cover up plates legal?

Must be the all-powerful bike-rack lobby. Your experience is enough to make me find a solution that won't have the cops stopping me for such trifles.

Never mind that it is a good idea (and often the law) to keep the plates and lights visible -- that is a given. For me, the biggest benefit to society by my complying is that I want to increase the likelihood that police officers wlll be able to serve the community in some more meaningful way. Perhaps it will reduce the chance of their adminishing me while some more immediate nearby threat goes undetected.
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Old 04-29-08, 05:32 AM
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I followed a friend's Cherokee with 4 mountain bikes on a tray rack one day. The only visble light was the 3rd brake light. I mentioned to him about not being able to see turn signals. It would not be fun to be rear-ended with $10k+ of bikes on a rack. I'm pretty sure the bikes were more valuable than the Jeep.
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Old 04-29-08, 06:13 AM
  #21  
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Just tell the cop you didn't pick the Turn Signal option when you bought the car. No one uses turn signals in the states anyway.
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Old 04-29-08, 06:14 AM
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My state trooper son has pointed this problem out to me a couple of times. I always just shrug my shoulders and tell him that I don't know what else to do and he just shrugs his shoulders and says "I'm just warning you that you may have to explain it to somebody, someday, somewhere."
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Old 04-29-08, 06:15 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by ruppster View Post
I followed a friend's Cherokee with 4 mountain bikes on a tray rack one day. The only visble light was the 3rd brake light. I mentioned to him about not being able to see turn signals. It would not be fun to be rear-ended with $10k+ of bikes on a rack. I'm pretty sure the bikes were more valuable than the Jeep.
The bigger risk than the ticket would be getting rear ended, and having the other driver's insurance company refuse to pay for your $10,000 worth of bikes, arguing your negligence in obscuring the brake lights.

That should be reason enough to make sure your lights are visible.
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Old 04-29-08, 06:33 AM
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Your rant shows a lot of immaturity and is completely out of line IMHO. You need to grow up. Believe it or not cyclists have to follow the rules just like everybody else.

Rear racks limit the visibility of the tail lights and sometimes completely blocks them from view. Rear racks should be illegal. They are completely unsafe and I would never consider using one.

Consider getting wheel bags and take the wheels off and put them inside the car. That might make the rear lights visible enough to be acceptable. Or get a roof mount.
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Old 04-29-08, 06:59 AM
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Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law...(I've always wanted to say this)
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