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Let ChipSeal Ride

Old 03-16-10, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by The Human Car
To be fair it's more like getting repeatably ticketed and then arrested for having your lights on during the day since that is not specifically allowed by law.
Actually, you're right -- the ticketed for speeding analogy is poor, since speeding is clearly illegal and what ChipSeal is doing should be legal. (Of course, it was originally your analogy, not mine. I just changed it a bit ... but not enough.)
(or maybe like having high beams on during the day as that is prohibited in the presence of traffic.)
Much better analogy -- high beams can blind during the day as well. (Though most daytime running lights are high beams at a greatly reduced intensity.)

Though really, the issue is simple enough to not need to muddy it with analogies at all. They don't improve understanding of the issue, so it's probably better to just leave them out entirely.
The issue is Chipseal is being ticketed and arrested faster then the legal system can resolve the issue.
... and yet he could put an end to that simply by riding on the shoulder. I don't buy the "right hook danger" at all -- take the lane around intersections and driveways if you want, but there's not likely to be very many of them on this road. He's doing it to make a point, and while I applaud his tenacity, I can't feel too badly for him -- at this point, he's just being stubborn. His point is already made, and the courts are in motion -- racking up additional charges doesn't benefit him or anybody else. Even if he does beat the rap (which is far from certain) -- he doesn't beat the ride or many of the costs that go along with it.

And I've got a friend who's close to some of the local cycling advocacy groups -- he's said that at least one group has offered him help, but with some stipulations -- in particular that he cut it out until the thing works through the courts. If I heard that correctly, it sounds like he's not going that route.
And if Chipseal loses his case in a higher court, shoulders will then become mandatory use in TX rather then optional.
That is a possibility, though he would have to lose his case in the Texas Supreme Court before the precedent covered the entire state -- and even then, the police wouldn't have to actually ticket for it, and there could be qualifications to whatever ruling that water it down to make it not quite that bad. Time will tell.
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Old 03-16-10, 01:25 AM
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It's worth pointing out that both DE and PA specify that this law applies to roads with no more than one lane in each direction, while the roads in Texas were 4 lane roads that allowed easy passing. PA also specifies that the slow vehicle must be going slower than the speed limit. In DE the law (Section 4125 only states "slower than the normal flow of traffic", so the police have a choice of ticketing any bicyclist at all in city traffic for speeding or impeding traffic (or both, if the bicyclist exceeds the speed limit by less than the prevailing auto traffic).
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Old 03-16-10, 03:45 AM
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Additionally, CA also specifies the 2 lane highway, but not speed limit.

Here's the CA law again for reference:

Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles

21656. On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.

Amended Ch. 448, Stats. 1965. Effective September 17, 1965.
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Old 03-17-10, 10:31 PM
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Whew, it took a bit of time to read through this entire thread. Mostly, the level of discussion was much higher than I feared. A few points that ought to be made, however:

dougmc writes: "To be fair, he got several tickets before he was arrested. To make the analogy proper, you'd have to have a kid who keeps getting speeding tickets in the same place."

Actually, he got two, and one of the arrests took place on the day of the second ticket. Since then, he has been arrested twice more. Even the latest arrest doesn't appear to have resulted in the Ennis Police taking time to get themselves thoroughly familiar with the statutes affecting cyclists.

I would tend to agree with dougmc that the right hook danger is fairly small. HOWEVER, there are vehicles and other obstructions that periodically block the shoulder of the road in question, necessitating a shoulder rider to merge onto a road with a 65mph speed limit. In the last case in question, Chip told me that he'd BEEN riding on the shoulder but got tired of having to frequently merge back onto the road and finally stuck TO the road. They were waiting for him at the Ennis City limit. His blog has details of what transpired.

I observed the entire trial of Chip. It was night court, and my overwhelming impression was that the jury and most of the rest of the court wanted to get home and watch the Olympics. Chip tried to present the issues but was unable to do so in really short sound bites and that hurt him badly. Mostly, the cops said they had to ticket him for everyone's safety. I don't think the jury considered anything weightier than what fines to impose for each of the three counts.
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Old 03-18-10, 11:45 AM
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texas uses a jury for night court? wow. who gets hooked into THAT duty?
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Old 03-18-10, 06:35 PM
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I don't know how you get roped into night court jury duty, but one of the jurors, upon being given dispensation to go into the hall to let his family know he'd gotten selected, was heard to note he'd gotten stuck. At least he probably wasn't thrown into jail after his service as Chipseal was...
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Old 04-01-10, 05:05 PM
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Bumping this to ask if we have any news about Chipseal. Hope he's out of jail.
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Old 04-01-10, 08:31 PM
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He is out of jail per his blog:
Cycling Advocate
. . . o
. . /L
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