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Most likely/weirdest tickets

Old 03-02-12, 01:51 PM
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Most likely/weirdest tickets

I was just curious what you all see most riders getting ticketed for or what weird and obscure law is out there that is not publicized anywhere but that folks get nailed for.

For example, "Prohibits the riding of bicycles (or other human power devices) on sidewalks (bikeways or boardwalks) with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property."

On some of my route it is safer for me to run the sidewalk over the street. I am always cautious of other folks. I always slow down if approaching from behind them or give a little thank you nod if coming head on. Does anyone really get a ticket for such things as riding on the sidewalk where it is safe?
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Old 03-02-12, 02:55 PM
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Most of the tickets in my area seem to be written for running red lights and stop signs. We used to see quite a few "failure to ride as far right as practicable" cites until local activists met with SDPD brass and patrol officers were educated about exceptions to CVC 21202, especially riding outside the door zone. Sidewalk riding is inherently dangerous when crossing streets and driveways, however, and should be avoided. Cyclists should ride where drivers are most likely to see them. Drivers are not looking for cyclists crossing from sidewalks, especially from the direction opposing traffic. In San Diego it is illegal to bicycle on sidewalks in business districts. If you are older than 10, you should be riding in the street.
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Old 03-02-12, 04:07 PM
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In Costa Mesa, EVERY single employee of mine has been ticketed for riding on the sidewalk. They also ticket for riding legally in the street, I was ticketed for this along with another rider, I read on a forum that it happened to him(not sure if it was this forum).
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Old 03-02-12, 04:41 PM
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Wow, I would never have guessed that. I always figured it was one of those laws on the books that nobody really cared about. Turns out I was wrong.
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Old 03-02-12, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by toobspunk
In Costa Mesa, EVERY single employee of mine has been ticketed for riding on the sidewalk. They also ticket for riding legally in the street, I was ticketed for this along with another rider, I read on a forum that it happened to him(not sure if it was this forum).
Wait... so in Costa Mesa, they will ticket you unless you are in Bike Trail?
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Old 03-03-12, 12:57 PM
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I assume it's based on each officer. Newport Blvd, is where the tickets happen for riding on the sidewalk. Harbor Blvd is where this tickets have happened for riding in the road.
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Old 03-03-12, 08:53 PM
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Costa Mesa is one of those cities with significant budgeting issues. You don't think that ticketing cyclists for just about anything has anything to do with revenue enhancement, do you?
Just sayin'.
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Old 03-04-12, 12:50 AM
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most likely: running a red light/stop sign
weirdest: i've received two tickets for following too close (motorpacing/drafting). the first was an mta bus and the second was 18 wheeler. both at 35+ mph
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Old 03-04-12, 10:56 PM
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When I lived in SD i was just leaving the court house after being dismissed for jury duty (after 3 days of sitting around in a courtroom).
As soon as I hopped on my domestic/social steed (80's Mino Denti Track) I got nabbed by a notorious bike cop (Thompson) for riding without brakes.
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Old 03-05-12, 12:48 AM
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What? How can they give you a ticket for riding on Harbor? Are there posted signs prohibiting it? I'm not saying I'd *want* to ride on harbor, I barely like driving on that road but seriously, where are you supposed to ride? It's not a freeway.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
What? How can they give you a ticket for riding on Harbor? Are there posted signs prohibiting it? I'm not saying I'd *want* to ride on harbor, I barely like driving on that road but seriously, where are you supposed to ride? It's not a freeway.
According to their laws, like in CVC 21202, if you're in a street that does not have a bicycle lane, you are supposed to drive as far to the right as practicable, but none of the standard CVC 21202 exceptions apply. So the officer is free to ticket you if he feels that you're not driving "as far as practicable".

There's really no safe and legal way to ride on Harbor. You can't ride on the sidewalk, there's no bike lane, and lanes are too narrow for you to squeeze in safely between the curb and the traffic. If you really need to travel north/south in that area, you have to choose between Fairview, Placentia (these two have primitive bike lanes most of the way), and SART.
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Old 03-05-12, 11:39 AM
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Yay for police protection.
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Old 03-05-12, 11:40 AM
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I guess I am gonna stay out of Newport. lol. Most of my riding will be in Long Beach area and as I understand LB is pretty up to speed with the bike scene. Whew!
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Old 03-10-12, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by toobspunk
In Costa Mesa, EVERY single employee of mine has been ticketed for riding on the sidewalk. They also ticket for riding legally in the street, I was ticketed for this along with another rider, I read on a forum that it happened to him(not sure if it was this forum).
I'm pretty sure it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach (unless otherwise signed). It's legal to ride on the sidewalk in Irvine (except through parks without bike route signage and directly next to schools). Tustin allows sidewalk riding, but explicitly states that the rider must yield to all pedestrians. UC Irvine does not allow sidewalk riding. (I'm working to get a uniform sidewalk law for these cities and, eventually, for the county.)

I can't say I like Costa Mesa too much for biking. I like the grid-style residential roads to keep off the arteries, but throughout all of Tustin, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, and the variety of Lagunas, only in Costa Mesa can I expect to actually get honked at or yelled at for following the law on my bike. And I don't trust the cops there. I was riding in a group of well-lit, highly visible, and reflective people on a side street about to cross an artery at about 7:45pm when two guys in an SUV decided they didn't like us waiting ahead of them at a stop light. So, from a dead stop, they gassed it and hit two of the riders. One caught herself quick enough and the other fell onto the sidewalk.

The cops were called and the only one the cop wanted to speak to was the one who was knocked off her bike. The whole time, we all kept insisting that a collision report be filed and the guy be ticketed for his crossing over the double-yellow to move ahead of a pack of riders that was already at the line and taking the lane. The cop refused for about an hour and a half while repeating his mantra: "No visible injury, no visible damage, no crime" and "Whatever goes in the report now cannot be amended later." (He was lying. We amended the report with *all* of our testimony later and sent a letter to the chief via FedEx with a report of the cop's actions.)

He even got a confession from the two guys in the SUV who parked a block away and made their way over to confront the group. Still, it took over an hour and a half for the cop to call over a traffic officer to take an "accident report".

The girl that was knocked onto the sidewalk was crying and shaken, not from the interaction with the car (she's quite tough), but from the interaction from the cop.
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Old 03-10-12, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rubic
Costa Mesa is one of those cities with significant budgeting issues. You don't think that ticketing cyclists for just about anything has anything to do with revenue enhancement, do you?
Just sayin'.
They recently with through MASSIVE PD issues (corruption, under-performance). They also don't mind writing any kind of ticket. However, as I'm told by a friend in local law enforcement, they have some curiously long paper work on crimes and collisions, so they will attempt to persuade you not to file a report if they can.
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Old 03-10-12, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by eugenek
According to their laws, like in CVC 21202, if you're in a street that does not have a bicycle lane, you are supposed to drive as far to the right as practicable, but none of the standard CVC 21202 exceptions apply. So the officer is free to ticket you if he feels that you're not driving "as far as practicable".

There's really no safe and legal way to ride on Harbor. You can't ride on the sidewalk, there's no bike lane, and lanes are too narrow for you to squeeze in safely between the curb and the traffic. If you really need to travel north/south in that area, you have to choose between Fairview, Placentia (these two have primitive bike lanes most of the way), and SART.
21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.


If the lane is substandard (<14' is generally accepted as "sub-standard" by most bike advocates), then you may legally and should (for safety reasons) take the lane. If a cop tickets you for taking the lane, accept the ticket from the cop, contact the OC Bicycle Coalition, and fight the ticket in court. Remember, cops don't always fully understand the laws they're required to enforce. They're just told to cite people based on summaries of the law based on quick lessons of what the law is. Arguing with them will just engender annoyance of bicyclists.

A note on Harbor-- the right lane changes width a few times, so you may have to switch from sharing the lane to taking the lane to stay within the boundaries of the law and safety.
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Old 03-10-12, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ckaspar
I was just curious what you all see most riders getting ticketed for or what weird and obscure law is out there that is not publicized anywhere but that folks get nailed for.

For example, "Prohibits the riding of bicycles (or other human power devices) on sidewalks (bikeways or boardwalks) with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property."

On some of my route it is safer for me to run the sidewalk over the street. I am always cautious of other folks. I always slow down if approaching from behind them or give a little thank you nod if coming head on. Does anyone really get a ticket for such things as riding on the sidewalk where it is safe?

In my area, bicycle lanes are bountiful so I teach to not ride on the sidewalk. If you see every doorstep and every drive way as an intersection (or "conflict area") and understand that light/power poles, plants, and other objects shrink the travel area you'd be expected to share with all other forms of travel except motorized vehicles, then you'll understand that you're less likely to collide with someone/thing on the road than on the sidewalk.

Your local municipality(ies) will determine whether or not riding on the sidewalk is legal. Search Google for " Municode (your city)" to get your city's entire municipal code and do a search for "bicycle" within that. It's a good place to start.

Whether or not you'll get ticket for anything is less of a function of your abiding the law and more a function of the enforcement officer's understanding of the law and willingness to act upon it. It's still good to know the law. Here's the California Vehicle Code relevant to bicycles https://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/tocd11c1a4.htm. Though, if you get ticketed, you may disagree with the officer, but don't get offensive or belligerent. Contact your local bike coalition, get their advice, and if they advise the ticket was written inappropriately, fight the ticket in court.
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Old 03-10-12, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by eepok
[I]21202. (a)...
Compare. Costa Mesa Code of Ordinances, title 4, chapter 2, section 4-26 (d):

(c) Except as herein provided, the rules of the road established by the Vehicle Code and Article 4 of Chapter 1, Division 11, Section 21200 through and including 21207 California Vehicle Code shall be in full force and effect on the city streets of the City of Costa Mesa, as though fully set forth in this chapter.
(d) Except in established bicycle lanes, it shall be unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle on any public street, roadway or highway anywhere except as near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway as practical or in the case of streets, roadways or highways carrying traffic in one direction only, as near as practical to the far left-hand or far right-hand curb or edge of said roadway, and in each instance exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
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Old 03-10-12, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by eugenek
Compare. Costa Mesa Code of Ordinances, title 4, chapter 2, section 4-26 (d):

(c) Except as herein provided, the rules of the road established by the Vehicle Code and Article 4 of Chapter 1, Division 11, Section 21200 through and including 21207 California Vehicle Code shall be in full force and effect on the city streets of the City of Costa Mesa, as though fully set forth in this chapter.
(d) Except in established bicycle lanes, it shall be unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle on any public street, roadway or highway anywhere except as near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway as practical or in the case of streets, roadways or highways carrying traffic in one direction only, as near as practical to the far left-hand or far right-hand curb or edge of said roadway, and in each instance exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
Yep -- I know that muni. code of theirs very well and having just made an "in" with someone working with the city council, I hope to bring to their attention that their interpretation and manipulation of the CVC is against the law. (State law takes precedence over municipal/city law except in very specific circumstances. This is not one of those exceptions.)
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