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Just got a ticket for running a red light. $360. Can I fight it?

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

Just got a ticket for running a red light. $360. Can I fight it?

Old 08-22-08, 10:37 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by ehidle View Post
In general, I think you're out the $360, but they will NOT put points on your D/L for it, at least not legally.
For someone in Pennsylvania, you sure seem pretty confident about California vehicle code.

I have read in the forums about people in some states being assessed points for violations while riding their bicycles. Whether just or not, it does happen.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:09 AM
  #52  
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Why should you pay less because you were on a bike? Is it safer to run a light on a bike? I think the fact that you are slower and less visible than a car would indicate the opposite. It is very interesting that you said you looked around and there were no other vehicles. This clearly wasn't true. There was a police car around somewhere that you didn't see.
The question is what is your integrety worth to you. If you are willing to lie for $360, it isn't worth much. The easiest way to avoid paying big fines is to not break the law. You will learn this when you grow up, hopefully.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:13 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Flak View Post
Gah, stop ending every post you make with "later".

I always picture people sitting around talking about something, and whenever you say anything you immediately get up and leave.

I need coffee.
+1.

"Later" only works if you are not going to post again to the thread and have left it.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:17 AM
  #54  
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Just more proof positive that traffic enforcement in CA is solely and completely about revenue. It has absolutely ZERO to do with public safety. Any public safety benefit is unintended and incidental to the primary purpose of providing a means to fund government's desire to spend like drunken sailors.

As a bicyclist, it's YOUR ass if you decide to run a light or a stop sign. You will absolutely lose 100% of the time in a conflict with a car. As such, I think the decision is yours based on common sense. I'll admit sometimes I run them too (it's a humongous pain in the arse to come to a stop and then re-accelerate every 100 meters around here). So the common sense approach that I take is assess the situation, if it's clear and safe, continue. You don't break pace and no harm no foul. If I screw up and get pasted by a car, serves me right.

In neither case do I need (or want) Johnny Law taking a "father knows best" attitude with me. Believe me, the risk of getting smeared into the pavement by some yob at the helm of an SUV is more than adequate to get me to pay attention and not take stupid risks. Far more than some stupid fine will ever be able to do.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:25 AM
  #55  
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Don't lie. We have enough liars and cheaters in this world already. Go to your preliminary hearing, on time, as stated on the ticket. Talk to the prosecution, tell them the situation. If you go through all these steps in correct judicial manner, you can hope to plead guilty, do deferred if it would go on your license (not sure?), and have the fine reduced.

If you were not guilty, as in you waited for 3-4 minutes and the light would not change, you could plead not guilty, being prepared to tell truthfully your actions and hope for the best. However, in my personal experience, if the officer that writes the ticket is not there on your court date, your ticket will be dismissed in about 2 minutes.

Unfortunately, it sounds like this wasn't the case and you are guilty. Since we, as cyclists, strive to be taken seriously as equals to motor vehicles, we must be prepared to face the same consequences for our actions without regard to our vehicle when breaking the law.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:28 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by 2WheelFury View Post
Just more proof positive that traffic enforcement in CA is solely and completely about revenue. It has absolutely ZERO to do with public safety. Any public safety benefit is unintended and incidental to the primary purpose of providing a means to fund government's desire to spend like drunken sailors.

As a bicyclist, it's YOUR ass if you decide to run a light or a stop sign. You will absolutely lose 100% of the time in a conflict with a car. As such, I think the decision is yours based on common sense. I'll admit sometimes I run them too (it's a humongous pain in the arse to come to a stop and then re-accelerate every 100 meters around here). So the common sense approach that I take is assess the situation, if it's clear and safe, continue. You don't break pace and no harm no foul. If I screw up and get pasted by a car, serves me right.

In neither case do I need (or want) Johnny Law taking a "father knows best" attitude with me. Believe me, the risk of getting smeared into the pavement by some yob at the helm of an SUV is more than adequate to get me to pay attention and not take stupid risks. Far more than some stupid fine will ever be able to do.
I couldn't agree with you less.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:33 AM
  #57  
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If it was one of those sensors. you could argue that the sensor won't trip for a bike and the traffic lights are defective?
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Old 08-22-08, 11:36 AM
  #58  
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Fight it. Look up the statutes in your state/city/county depending on what kind of cop pulled you over and what court you're going to. Start picking apart the situation. Find loopholes and use them. I've never been convicted of any traffic or criminal offense I've ever been accused of and I've never hired an attorney to fight any of them. Do you know where the cop was when he saw you? Can you argue you made a slight right turn on red, u-turned, made another slight right turn onto the road you were on before, and continued on your way? Could he even see the crosswalk indication to see if it said walk or not? If he says it only tells you to walk when the light is green, ask him to draw you a wiring schematic of exactly how the crosswalk indication system works. Do everything in your power to make him look like the stupid cop that he is.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:39 AM
  #59  
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Why would you think that you have ANY legitimate reason to fight it? You broke the law. Now pay the fine and suck on it.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:47 AM
  #60  
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I cant believe you get a ticket for this. It has all gotten way out of control with this ticketing. When you actually need an officer, they are never there because they are hiding behind a bush clocking speeders. And dont tell me that theyre just doing their job, cause their job is to fight crime not ticket a bicyclist crossing a freakin red light when no traffic is around. Law enforcement has become a major revenue machine. But one thing hasnt changed about police, they are still pigs....... I feel better now!
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Old 08-22-08, 11:48 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That is a bogus argument. You can trip a light with any bike with conductive wheels. The Good Dr. Goodridge says so. Reader's digest version. Technical version..

If you can find the sensor, you can trip it. Sometimes, however, the wires do get covered by road resurfacing. But if the cuts in the pavement are visible, the jig is up.
Not always true. I can trip the light outside my office with my steel grocery getter, but not my Al roadie. Both use Al wheels, and I have switched wheels between them. Sometimes a guy on a bike just doesn't seem the throw the switch.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:53 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Copperhed51 View Post
Fight it. Look up the statutes in your state/city/county depending on what kind of cop pulled you over and what court you're going to. Start picking apart the situation. Find loopholes and use them. I've never been convicted of any traffic or criminal offense I've ever been accused of and I've never hired an attorney to fight any of them. Do you know where the cop was when he saw you? Can you argue you made a slight right turn on red, u-turned, made another slight right turn onto the road you were on before, and continued on your way? Could he even see the crosswalk indication to see if it said walk or not? If he says it only tells you to walk when the light is green, ask him to draw you a wiring schematic of exactly how the crosswalk indication system works. Do everything in your power to make him look like the stupid cop that he is.

You've inspired me. There are 2 types of people that I try never to come in contact with lawyers and cops that write cyclists tickets. I have to admit I occasionally run red lights but this is the first time I've been cited. I've been riding bikes for almost 35 years and never gotten a ticket and never been hit. I remain aware and allert and I've had friends that have been hit while waiting at a red light and a motorist didn't see them and POW!!! These cops have quotas and they don't give a sh#*@t about public safety. All they care about is $$$.
BTW next time I get pulled over for a lame thing like running a red, I'll be sure to give a bogus name and address and tell him that I don't have my DL on me. You don't legally have to carry it while riding a bike right?
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Old 08-22-08, 12:13 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by bike_curious? View Post
BTW next time I get pulled over for a lame thing like running a red, I'll be sure to give a bogus name and address and tell him that I don't have my DL on me. You don't legally have to carry it while riding a bike right?
Sure, there's no plan quite like adding a more serious charge to bypass responsibility for a minor traffic infraction. BTW - They will do some sort of checking when they go back to the car... Remember they do have a computer back there.

Also, the previous advice you seem so tickled with is probably going to be more apt to tick off a judge than to get you out of a ticket. Do you really think that whether or not the officer understands the electronics of the signalling system is going to sway the judge, or is it going to tick him off that you are wasting his time with irrelevant questions? But, if you really think it will work, why not ask the officer about how to make asphalt, or the paint for the stripes on the road??? However, if you persist, be prepared to hear something like, "Unless you stop the irrelevant waste of time, I will be adding $500 to your fine for contempt of court."

Enjoy your time in court, you may be spending considerable time there based on this message.
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Old 08-22-08, 12:50 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by 2WheelFury View Post
Just more proof positive that traffic enforcement in CA is solely and completely about revenue. It has absolutely ZERO to do with public safety. Any public safety benefit is unintended and incidental to the primary purpose of providing a means to fund government's desire to spend like drunken sailors.

As a bicyclist, it's YOUR ass if you decide to run a light or a stop sign. You will absolutely lose 100% of the time in a conflict with a car. As such, I think the decision is yours based on common sense. I'll admit sometimes I run them too (it's a humongous pain in the arse to come to a stop and then re-accelerate every 100 meters around here). So the common sense approach that I take is assess the situation, if it's clear and safe, continue. You don't break pace and no harm no foul. If I screw up and get pasted by a car, serves me right.

In neither case do I need (or want) Johnny Law taking a "father knows best" attitude with me. Believe me, the risk of getting smeared into the pavement by some yob at the helm of an SUV is more than adequate to get me to pay attention and not take stupid risks. Far more than some stupid fine will ever be able to do.

Seriously, on a bike, we are out in the open. I can usually hear if there is any traffic near by and see 1/4-1/2 mile down the roads. It's very easy to assess in most situations whether it's safe to cross an intersection. I think traffic lights are a failure of civil engineering. I believe this from both a car and bike perspective.

I think that keeping things moving on all roads as much as possible should be the design goal. How many times have you sat at a signal light with no one moving? I have seen this at many lights on both bike and car, this is a broken system. It just sucks that we are entrenched in it as we have a very hard time switching things across our country.

Maybe we can learn something from our neighbors
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,...143663,00.html - I know this is signs less that signals, I feel the same though
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Old 08-22-08, 12:52 PM
  #65  
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This thread is thick with fail.
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Old 08-22-08, 12:55 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Dorsilfin View Post
Claim the light was faulty, and that you waited for it but your bike would not trip the sensor.
Faulty light, no trip? Okay, walk the bike across the intersection and remount.

Works for me . . . in front of cops.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:06 PM
  #67  
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Move to Chicago. Article says its only a $25 fine there.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,3716423.story
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Old 08-22-08, 01:07 PM
  #68  
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You can fight any ticket; that doesn't mean you'll win.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:08 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by bartonfink View Post
This thread is thick with fail.
+1.

The nuts are about to take over the nuthouse.

Bob
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Old 08-22-08, 01:16 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
I heard something a few weeks ago to the effect that cyclists can go through a red light once they determine that it's safe to do so, since we can't trip the signals. You might have to do a little research and when you take that to court that will play in your favor. Cop needs to stay current on the laws.

Good luck.
Without reading the other 5 hundred posts all I have to say is in Virginia that is the case too. In fact any vehicle can run a red light if they are sitting there and determine that the light is faulty. If you are not under a light that has light sensors but rather the magnetic strips in the pavement then you will most likely have to wait for a car to come up and 'trip' the light.

So, were your really waiting there or did you sort of crawl through it?

By all means go to court.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:18 PM
  #71  
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You rode through an intersection when the light was red. Stop crying and pay the ticket.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:19 PM
  #72  
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I'm saying this now... you take it to court and you will have your @$$ handed to you on a gold platter. Just suck it up, pay the fine and don't do it again. Your lucky you got out of it with your life, I can't count on all my fingers how many times i've witnessed an accident or a near-collision due to someone running a red.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:21 PM
  #73  
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Tell the judge about clipless pedals and that you just got them. Take your shoes with you to show the judge. Tell him/her you thought it safer to (carefully) go through the light with no traffic than to risk trying to get clipped in when (potentially) riding beside cars and fall under their wheels. Act like a total wuss and s/he may just buy it.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:21 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by bike_curious? View Post
WE NEED CHANGE NOW!!! WE NEED OBAMA!!! WE NEED TO GET OUT OF IRAQ AND BACK ON OUR BIKES AMERICA!!!
Dude. STFU. I was more or less sympathetic until you pulled this crap out. Your getting a ticket for running a red light has nothing whatsoever to do with who wins the election in November or when we leave Iraq. Get a clue.

And stop fulfilling all the accusations that Obama supporters are a bunch of self-centered whiners. It makes the rest of us look stupid.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:27 PM
  #75  
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Hey, OP, do your due diligence, find the law that applies to your situation, make a couple of copies, go to court. You can dispense with 98% of the b.s. in this thread and quit angsting about your sitch. And if you go in as a responsible, respectful adult, you may not have to pay the fine.

Gah!
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