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Traffic ticket on group ride this morning - ignorant cop

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Traffic ticket on group ride this morning - ignorant cop

Old 03-19-11, 02:29 PM
  #1  
grwoolf
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Traffic ticket on group ride this morning - ignorant cop

If it was for speeding, at least I'd have a good story. Instead, I'll bore you with this long stupid one:



I was with a group of about 6 and we were heading back into a headwind with a little cross wind right to left. I had just taken a pull and came around to the back. I actually came in 2nd from the back because the lady in back wasn't in our group or taking pulls and was just catching a ride (no problem there).



We were strung out right to left across the entire shoulder with the lady behind me basically hugging the line. Everyone was trying to get a little extra shelter since the wind was blowing pretty good.



Anyway, cop comes up behind us and starts talking to us through the load speaker. Of course, we can hear a word he's saying because the wind is blowing and we're going maybe 15-16mph. He turns on his lights and he's pretty pissed off since he thought we were ignoring him (he was asking us to pull over).



Anyway, he says there's a law about riding more than 2 abreast and he proceeds to write me and the lady behind me a ticket since we were closest to traffic (not sure why that would matter from the legal side of things). I tried to explain to him that we were actually not riding side by side, but single file and staggered. I'm sure it looked like we were a mass of cyclist sqeezed into the shoulder from a distant rear view, but the reality was that nobody was overlapping since it was mostly a headwind. The cop had no interest in hearing an explanation and proceeded to write out the 2 tickets. He said his dashcam will prove that he is right and that we were riding side by side.



When we got back to the LBS (it was a shop ride), a couple people told me the 2 abreast rule doesn't apply when riding on the shoulder. Sure enough, I checked the law when I got home and it only applies to the roadway (which is clearly defined in the law). You'd think the cop would at least know the law before writing the ticket. I'm going to fight it, but it pissed me off that I have to waste my time.



If I had just HTFU and stayed on the front pulling, I wouldn't have been on the back getting the ticket, another lesson learned.
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Old 03-19-11, 02:32 PM
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Meh. Then argue the ticket. And next time a cop starts talking to you with a loudspeaker, pay attention and do not blow him off. Not good to ignore a cop.
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Old 03-19-11, 02:44 PM
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Ticket shouldn't be a problem to get out of. Fight it and hope that the cops will be educated by the process.
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Old 03-19-11, 02:55 PM
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Make sure they provide you with the dashcam footage. It is a little game they play thinking people won't fight it if they use that as their backup. But most often the cops are completely incorrect and their dashcam's help prove that. If that is the case they will usually have an excuse or 5 about why they can't produce the tape and eventually, you get to say, "the court of law does not provide a CONVENIENCE clause when it comes to losing evidence." If the camera proves him to be right, not much you can do but cry, next time, whoever was riding tail should have been paying attention and shouted, "PO PO" or "5-0" or "Pig" or whatever needs to be said to let the group know to fall in line. As much as they would love to, they can't write you a ticket for shouting "pig".
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Old 03-19-11, 02:59 PM
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Take photos of where you got the ticket. Write down everything you can remember and have others write down what they remember. Bring a copy of the law and go prepared to fight this guy. Good luck.
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Old 03-19-11, 03:06 PM
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[QUOTE=X-LinkedRider;12382663] "PO PO" or "5-0" or "Pig" or whatever needs to be said to let the group know to fall in line. As much as they would love to, they can't write you a ticket for shouting "pig".[/QUOTE]

SBAFAH
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Old 03-19-11, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Meh. Then argue the ticket. And next time a cop starts talking to you with a loudspeaker, pay attention and do not blow him off. Not good to ignore a cop.
We certainly didn't ignore the cop, we just had no idea what he was saying to us with the wind noise.

Nobody let it ruin their day, it's just a little disappointing that the cop wasn't willing to talk with us. For those of you that know Austin, this happened on parmer lane. There are hundreds of cyclist out their every weekend and they host running and biking events on this stretch of road several times a year. On the weekend, there are more bikes than cars on this road once you get out of town. Having a guy patrolling that stretch who doesn't know the law and isn't willing to have a conversation with us is not good for anyone.

I was talking to a guy after the ride at one of those run-tex tents (there was some kind of running event going on today) and he said he knew the sheriff and was suprised this happened. I suggested that they have some of the patrol guys show up at the beginning of our rides to talk with us and he said he would relay the message.
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Old 03-19-11, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by grwoolf View Post
I was talking to a guy after the ride at one of those run-tex tents (there was some kind of running event going on today) and he said he knew the sheriff and was suprised this happened. I suggested that they have some of the patrol guys show up at the beginning of our rides to talk with us and he said he would relay the message.
Sounds like a good idea. It can't hurt things in any case.

they can't write you a ticket for shouting "pig".
This could. No they can't write you a ticket but in only widens the gap between you and the cops. They'll be much more willing to find anything to write you up on in the future.
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Old 03-19-11, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by grwoolf View Post
We were strung out right to left across the entire shoulder with the lady behind me basically hugging the line. Everyone was trying to get a little extra shelter since the wind was blowing pretty good.
Wait... I dont get this, if the wind was blowing so hard, why would riding 6 abreast help you at all? Wouldn't being in a paceline be a much better idea?
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Old 03-19-11, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by xdrmusclex View Post
Wait... I dont get this, if the wind was blowing so hard, why would riding 6 abreast help you at all? Wouldn't being in a paceline be a much better idea?
Not riding abreast at all, just a slight echelon to account for the minor cross wind (it was probably 85% headwind). None of our wheels were overlapped, it basically was a paceline.

Last edited by grwoolf; 03-19-11 at 03:44 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-19-11, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by xdrmusclex View Post
Wait... I dont get this, if the wind was blowing so hard, why would riding 6 abreast help you at all? Wouldn't being in a paceline be a much better idea?
A straight paceline only works when you're going directly into wind. If the wind is crossing, you get protection from being diagonal. How diagonal you are depends on the exact direction of the wind.
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Old 03-19-11, 03:47 PM
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It was probably a cross wind, not a headwind
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Old 03-19-11, 03:52 PM
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no biggie, hard for an officer to know all of the road rules off the top of his head. if he thinks you're doing something unsafe according to the word of the law he'll give you a ticket. Go to court, fight it, prove him wrong, educate him and make him do his job better. no hard feelings
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Old 03-19-11, 04:25 PM
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When you go to court, just tell the judge you were drunk or high on PCP. Then tear the ticket up into little pieces. That's what I'd do.
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Old 03-19-11, 04:26 PM
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Screw him...go to court..make him prove he is wrong....haha..should be a good one.
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Old 03-19-11, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by max power View Post
no biggie, hard for an officer to know all of the road rules off the top of his head. if he thinks you're doing something unsafe according to the word of the law he'll give you a ticket. Go to court, fight it, prove him wrong, educate him and make him do his job better. no hard feelings
Wut? That is their job. He obviously knew enough about the law to think he was correct in saying 2 wide was a violation. He was just wrong that it only applied to the actual car lane/roadway on the left side of the solid line...not a bike lane.
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Old 03-19-11, 04:34 PM
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Just curious...how much is the fine?
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Old 03-19-11, 04:43 PM
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When you talk with the prosecutor before court, explain what happened and he/she will probably recommend charges dropped. It still doesn't help that you had to actually GO to court though. That's where the pigs get you. In NJ they don't bother cyclist's much, but esp around Ft. Lee they play that game with motorists for the slightest offense. It's a PITA but it's about all you can do unless you have an in to the mayor, or know an advocate who does.
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Old 03-19-11, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Fleabiscuit View Post
When you go to court, just tell the judge you were drunk or high on PCP. Then tear the ticket up into little pieces. That's what I'd do.
Oh yes, then just spit on the floor, or maybe a snot rocket!
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Old 03-19-11, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by grwoolf View Post
You'd think the cop would at least know the law before writing the ticket.
With the shear number of laws on the books these days - and how they change every year, theres really no way for a LEO to know them all - or even MOST of them. Sometimes they simply take the tactic of writing a ticket /arresting a citizen and letting the judge decide if they broke the law. If you felt he was out of line, you could have always asked for a supervisor on scene.
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Old 03-19-11, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mymojo View Post
With the shear number of laws on the books these days - and how they change every year, theres really no way for a LEO to know them all - or even MOST of them. Sometimes they simply take the tactic of writing a ticket /arresting a citizen and letting the judge decide if they broke the law. If you felt he was out of line, you could have always asked for a supervisor on scene.
Ignorance of the law doesn't work in court for either party. If guilty you will pay. If not guilty you won't. It's all on tape. Report back with the verdict, and stop hiding from a little headwind at the rear of the pack with the woman and children. For crying out loud. I thought you texans were tough?
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Old 03-19-11, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WHOOOSSHHH... View Post
and stop hiding from a little headwind at the rear of the pack with the woman and children. For crying out loud. I thought you texans were tough?
You've obviously never ridden into a Texas breeze. Most times the air is so dense that a light 10 mph breeze can send most northerners tumbling on their backside. A good 20 mph wind stirs up all kinds of nasty things. You've got to watch out for tumbleweeds hurling at you, bugs the size of birds at certain times of the year and also those armadillos that roll up to protect themselves from the elements sometimes get pushed down the road like speeding bowling balls. Just try to time your bunny hop just right or ouch! It's tough out here folks!
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Old 03-19-11, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluechip View Post
You've obviously never ridden into a Texas breeze. Most times the air is so dense that a light 10 mph breeze can send most northerners tumbling on their backside. A good 20 mph wind stirs up all kinds of nasty things. You've got to watch out for tumbleweeds hurling at you, bugs the size of birds at certain times of the year and also those armadillos that roll up to protect themselves from the elements sometimes get pushed down the road like speeding bowling balls. Just try to time your bunny hop just right or ouch! It's tough out here folks!
Everything is bigger in Texas.
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Old 03-19-11, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Gluteus View Post
Just curious...how much is the fine?
I have no idea. Oddly enough, "Riding more than 2 abreast" is not on the standard fee schedule. I'll be calling the court on Monday to get the details.
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Old 03-19-11, 07:16 PM
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It really sucks you have to even waste your time defending this ticket. I'm sure you'll get out of it, but that's the biggest reason to be pissed
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