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Taking the lane vs impeding traffic

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Taking the lane vs impeding traffic

Old 04-03-15, 02:28 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Indeed it does. Thanks. I did not realize that MI has a mandatory helmet law for adults.
Where did you get the impression that it does? From the last link from LMB above: "
[h=3]14. Does a bicyclist have to wear a helmet?[/h] [h=5]Although the MVC does not require bicyclists to wear helmets, we strongly recommend wearing one ..."
[/h]
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Old 04-03-15, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Where did you get the impression that it does? From the last link from LMB above: "
14. Does a bicyclist have to wear a helmet?

Although the MVC does not require bicyclists to wear helmets, we strongly recommend wearing one ..."

I think the confusion was from the middle link, Michigan does indeed have mandatory helmet laws, but only for motorcycles and other motorized vehicles, not for bicycles.
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Old 04-03-15, 05:27 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by intransit1217 View Post
So we were 2x4 last night on our way out to do on the bike drills. Unfortunately, the shoulder was narrow enough that to pass us cars had to cross a double yellow line.

To me, that is impeding traffic.

What say you?
By "2X4", I presume you mean there were eight in the pack, riding in four rows of two.

Wisconsin Legislature: 346.80

Look specifically at 3(a) that says two abreast on a two-lane road.

Wisconsin has a 3ft. 'close pass' law: Wisconsin Legislature: 346.075

I included this since you mentioned 2X4. So, The four pairs of two should be evenly spaced to allow a vehicle to pass one pair at a time.

Last edited by Chris516; 04-05-15 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 04-05-15, 08:54 AM
  #29  
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As always, it will be situation dependent. If I need to take the Lane I will. If there is traffic behind me, I will find a safe place to pull over and let them by at the earliest opportunity. You had to take the lane for obvious reasons, so for you, you did nothing wrong. As for the drivers passing you on a double solid, most State and Provincial Laws allow a motorist to cross the double solid while passing cyclists, slow moving vehicles/equipment and pedestrians when it is safe to do so.

In order to impede traffic, you would have been in a position on the road that would have prevented motorists from overtaking you.
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Old 04-05-15, 02:54 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Fargo Wolf View Post
As always, it will be situation dependent. If I need to take the Lane I will. If there is traffic behind me, I will find a safe place to pull over and let them by at the earliest opportunity. You had to take the lane for obvious reasons, so for you, you did nothing wrong. As for the drivers passing you on a double solid, most State and Provincial Laws allow a motorist to cross the double solid while passing cyclists, slow moving vehicles/equipment and pedestrians when it is safe to do so.

In order to impede traffic, you would have been in a position on the road that would have prevented motorists from overtaking you.
There's more to it than that. A standard interpretation of impeding traffic involves the alleged impediment's speed relative to a normal vehicle of its type. Since cyclists have much lower top speeds than cars, any interpretation that only takes into account whether or not the faster vehicle can pass effectively precludes the slower vehicle type from being able to lawfully use the public right-of-way. Thus, a car travelling at 15 mph would be impeding traffic but a bike travelling at the same speed is not.

It's so sad to see so many new cyclists adopt the motorhead viewpoint that absolute speed is the only factor without taking into account the vehicle type.
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Old 04-05-15, 05:04 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
There's more to it than that. A standard interpretation of impeding traffic involves the alleged impediment's speed relative to a normal vehicle of its type.
Any standard/legitimate source for this "standard interpretation" besides BF and similar blog legal conjuring?
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Old 04-05-15, 08:31 PM
  #32  
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Overtaking a Group of Cyclists - Stayin' Alive at 1.5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJiixtKuVq8
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Old 04-05-15, 08:34 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Any standard/legitimate source for this "standard interpretation" besides BF and similar blog legal conjuring?
last i checked, that's consistent with case law in all 50 states and the UK... that if, under the conditions, a vehicle has a top speed of (say) 25mph, then that vehicle when travelling at or near 25mph is NOT impeding traffic.

if that weren't the case, then people who drive farm equipment on the roads would be getting ticketed every day for impeding traffic.
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Old 04-05-15, 08:38 PM
  #34  
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Bikeheads will move the goalposts as needed to support their singular point of view.
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Old 04-05-15, 08:44 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
last i checked, that's consistent with case law in all 50 states and the UK... that if, under the conditions, a vehicle has a top speed of (say) 25mph, then that vehicle when travelling at or near 25mph is NOT impeding traffic.

if that weren't the case, then people who drive farm equipment on the roads would be getting ticketed every day for impeding traffic.
I'm sure it varies by state, but you only have half the picture for most (or many) states. Yes, they wouldn't be impeding traffic if doing the best they can, but are obligated to pull over as necessary (defined by how many vehicles are backed up) to let others pass. Even without a legal obligation, it's SOP to move over and allow folks to pass from time to time, where possible.

So you;re right, farmers on tractors don't get ticketed, but they also don't hold people up more than necessary. Like the roads themselves, life is a 2 way street.
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Old 04-05-15, 08:49 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
last i checked, that's consistent with case law in all 50 states and the UK... that if, under the conditions, a vehicle has a top speed of (say) 25mph, then that vehicle when travelling at or near 25mph is NOT impeding traffic.

if that weren't the case, then people who drive farm equipment on the roads would be getting ticketed every day for impeding traffic.
There are restrictive rules and regulations for vehicles defined as SMVs such as farm equipment that don't apply to bicycles which have their own rules and regulations.
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Old 04-05-15, 08:59 PM
  #37  
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generally, the guidelines for where and when to move over to let other traffic pass is along the lines of "where it is safe and practicable". based on the video i posted, i would argue that if there's no shoulder, single file is neither safer nor more practicable than two abreast.

if there's a shoulder, if a platoon of traffic can overtake safely, if that's followed by a gap in traffic where a "slow moving vehicle" can re-enter the road, and if it can all be done safely... then of course the smart thing to do is pull over and wave other traffic ahead. too many roads lack a safe place to pull over, or traffic is steady and there's no gaps to get back on the road, or... it doesn't always work that way.
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Old 04-05-15, 09:01 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
last i checked, that's consistent with case law in all 50 states and the UK... that if, under the conditions, a vehicle has a top speed of (say) 25mph, then that vehicle when travelling at or near 25mph is NOT impeding traffic.

if that weren't the case, then people who drive farm equipment on the roads would be getting ticketed every day for impeding traffic.
I take it that your reference to "case law" means there are no statutory laws implementing this alleged special dispensation for bicycles.

Is any of this U.S. "case law" actually documented anywhere as setting precedent for traffic courts? If so, you wouldn't add that clarifying statement about "if that weren't the case...", which to me sounds as if you are just speculating about alleged "case law" on this issue.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 04-05-15 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 04-05-15, 09:01 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
If that is the case, why not ride four abreast rather than two?
That's illegal in some places. Queensland for example.

Originally Posted by Chief View Post
or maybe find a bike trail ??!!
Sometimes this is not possible. You need to get from one place to another, and there may not be any bike trails that connect those two places. So sometimes roads are a necessary evil.

Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Check your states laws?
Can't recommend this enough. Every locality has its own laws regarding cycling on the road. Under Queensland law as I understand it, you're allowed to ride two abreast, but not more than that, and drivers here are allowed to cross a solid line to overtake you provided there is no oncoming traffic. Drivers are required to give one metre clearance.

This differs to Victoria for example, that simply state you give "sufficient" clearance. (They do not define what "sufficient" is.) I'm not sure what New South Wales requires. I don't think we're alone here, I'm sure the laws in the US differ wildly between states too, your best bet is to go get a copy of the act in question and have a good read, or seek professional advice from a legal representative.
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Old 04-05-15, 09:07 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I take it that your reference to "case law" means there are no statutory laws implementing this alleged special dispensation for bicycles and other slow vehicles.

Is any of this U.S. "case law" actually documented anywhere as setting precedent for traffic courts? If so, you wouldn't add that clarifying statement about "if that weren't the case...", which to me sounds as if you are just speculating about alleged "case law" on this issue.
the issue is not specifically addressed by statutory law in any jurisdiction that i'm aware of. and it's not a "special dispensation", it seems like common sense, as it applies to farm equipment, disabled vehicles, bicycles, animal-drawn vehicles, people riding animals, etc.

it's come across my desk a few times. if you want references, go hire a lawyer.
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Old 04-05-15, 09:13 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
the issue is not specifically addressed by statutory law in any jurisdiction that i'm aware of. and it's not a "special dispensation", it seems like common sense, as it applies to farm equipment, disabled vehicles, bicycles, animal-drawn vehicles, people riding animals, etc.

it's come across my desk a few times. if you want references, go hire a lawyer.
OK, thanks for clarifying; your "case law" is nothing more than your opinion about what makes sense to you.
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Old 04-05-15, 09:20 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
OK, thanks for clarifying; your "case law" is nothing more than your opinion about what makes sense to you.
no, when i say "case law", i am actually referring to court cases that stand at the state level appellate courts.
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Old 04-05-15, 09:35 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
no, when i say "case law", i am actually referring to court cases that stand at the state level appellate courts.
Don't worry, I Like TB will never look anything up. If someone notes that the sun rises in the east, he'll ask for a citation. It's just the way he rolls.

This one is kind of funny since there have been many threads in A&S devoted to the case out of Ohio that has become somewhat of a touchstone for this issue and he has had the reference on his monitor but seems to have forgotten it (or not).
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Old 04-05-15, 09:38 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
no, when i say "case law", i am actually referring to court cases that stand at the state level appellate courts.
Traffic court cases that stand at the state level appellate courts? Yeah, OK, sure, whatever you say.
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Old 04-05-15, 09:44 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Don't worry, I Like TB will never look anything up. If someone notes that the sun rises in the east, he'll ask for a citation. It's just the way he rolls.
i should know better than to bother commenting on any thread that he fouls with his presence...

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Traffic court cases that stand at the state level appellate courts? Yeah, OK, sure, whatever you say.
yes. traffic cases are appealed at the state level. it happens routinely. when it happens, the decisions often becomes part of "case law". if this surprises you, then you are way, way, out of your element trying to debate it.
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Old 04-05-15, 09:50 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Don't worry, I Like TB will never look anything up. If someone notes that the sun rises in the east, he'll ask for a citation. It's just the way he rolls.

This one is kind of funny since there have been many threads in A&S devoted to the case out of Ohio that has become somewhat of a touchstone for this issue and he has had the reference on his monitor but seems to have forgotten it (or not).
It is not up to me to substantiate smasha's WAG story about undocumented "case law" in all 50 states setting a precedent enforcing what he thinks is common sense. That's basic logical argument about that the person making the claim is responsible for supporting it. But logical argument ain't how you roll is it?

Ya know like maybe you can describe how "the case out of Ohio" sets a precedent that any other jurisdiction or traffic court is required to follow. Or provide any reference to the alleged "standard interpretation" of impeding traffic as it refers to bicycles that you mentioned previously. Is it the same vaporous source as smasha's case law on the subject?

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 04-05-15 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 04-05-15, 10:31 PM
  #47  
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I suspect that for most drivers any bike in the lane they are in is impeding traffic... It's just the way people see things, whether you actually are or not impeding traffic is a different matter...
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Old 04-05-15, 10:33 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Bikeheads will move the goalposts as needed to support their singular point of view.
What a pant load.

Please read the entirety of the Code of Viriginia WRT bicycling, relevant portions bolded:

https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/leg...0+cod+46.2-905

§ 46.2-905. Riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds on roadways and bicycle paths.
Any person operating a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing shall ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following circumstances:
1. When overtaking and passing another 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, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right curb or edge;
4. When avoiding riding in a lane that must turn or diverge to the right; and
5. When riding upon a one-way road or highway, a person may also ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as safely practicable.
For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane too narrow for a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorized skateboard or foot-scooter, or moped and another vehicle to pass safely side by side within the lane.
Persons riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, or electric power-assisted bicycles on a highway shall not ride more than two abreast. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, shall move into a single file formation as quickly as is practicable when being overtaken from the rear by a faster moving vehicle, and, on a laned roadway, shall ride in a single lane.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Department of Conservation and Recreation shall permit the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any bicycle path or trail designated by the Department for such use.
So if the lane ain't wide enough for a bike and a car to fit in safely, the CYCLIST GETS THE WHOLE LANE - no matter how fast (or slow) he's moving.

Note also that bikes moving at the speed of traffic have no responsibility at all to keep as far right as practicable. At all.
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Old 04-05-15, 10:35 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
i should know better than to bother commenting on any thread that he fouls with his presence...


yes. traffic cases are appealed at the state level. it happens routinely. when it happens, the decisions often becomes part of "case law". if this surprises you, then you are way, way, out of your element trying to debate it.
Geez, you don't even need case law.

It's spelled in in VA, at least, and VA is probably not very different from other states.
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Old 04-05-15, 10:39 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
I suspect that for most drivers any bike in the lane they are in is impeding traffic... It's just the way people see things, whether you actually are or not impeding traffic is a different matter...
A good case just happened to me yesterday. I was at the light waiting to go straight. I was near the centre of the right-hand lane. The SUV wanting to turn right on red honked at me. The passenger shouted at me, "You should move over so we can go!" Of course, if I had been in a car, they wouldn't have done that.
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