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  1. #1
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    Bicycle Moving Violations

    Hey folks,
    I was just riding along when....

    Actually I got pulled over this morning on 7th Ave Pkway in Denver for running a stop sign in a bike lane. It's a $54 ticket.

    Obviously the drill is that cyclists enjoy the same benefits as cars and thus must obey the same traffic signals and rules. My concern is whether anyone has received a moving violation on a bicycle, and did you just pay the ticket or did you go to court and fight it?

    Part of me thinks that the city should have much higher concerns than giving cyclists tickets for running a stop sign in a bike lane early in the morning on a non-busy street, but I'm not sure what legal recourse I have or how to convince a judge to throw out the ticket if I choose to show up.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by nochain
    Hey folks,
    I was just riding along when....

    Actually I got pulled over this morning on 7th Ave Pkway in Denver for running a stop sign in a bike lane. It's a $54 ticket.

    Obviously the drill is that cyclists enjoy the same benefits as cars and thus must obey the same traffic signals and rules. My concern is whether anyone has received a moving violation on a bicycle, and did you just pay the ticket or did you go to court and fight it?

    Part of me thinks that the city should have much higher concerns than giving cyclists tickets for running a stop sign in a bike lane early in the morning on a non-busy street, but I'm not sure what legal recourse I have or how to convince a judge to throw out the ticket if I choose to show up.

    Thanks.
    A couple of weeks ago I was riding on 7th ave Parkway and a motorcycle policeman pulled me over around Detroit st. for running a stop sign. He said that if the neighbours start complaining, then they are going to start writing tickets. I think maybe that's happened? Regardless, that kind of sucks.

  3. #3
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    No doubt it sucks, and that's the exact same story that I was told.

    I'm not disputing that I ran a stop sign. What I want to know is how many others have dealt with this and whether it's worth appearing before the judge.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nochain
    No doubt it sucks, and that's the exact same story that I was told.

    I'm not disputing that I ran a stop sign. What I want to know is how many others have dealt with this and whether it's worth appearing before the judge.
    Well it sucks not only that you got a ticket but now they are making a mission out of monitoring 7th ave pway. I live right there but now I need to find a different way get to my training routes.

    Was there any traffic at the intersection? Also, where was the officer? That might make a difference.

  5. #5
    Yo no fui.
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    Most likely, if you appear before the judge, you'll still have to pay the fine, although the Judge may (or may not) waive the court costs, which you'll incur by showing up to court. Unless you had really "good" facts, it's best to just pay traffic tickets.
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

    "A true cyclist sometimes has to bite the dust before he can reach the stars.” Laurent Fignon

  6. #6
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    Frankly, I didn't even know the officer was behind me until he turned on his siren to pull me over so I didn't know which intersection he was at or where he was sitting. It was the section between Colorado and University/York.

    There weren't any vehicles at the intersections that I crossed.

    This was at 7:00 in the morning with ZERO traffic. It's not like I was riding at 3:30 on a busy Saturday afternoon.

  7. #7
    Yo no fui.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nochain
    Frankly, I didn't even know the officer was behind me until he turned on his siren to pull me over so I didn't know which intersection he was at or where he was sitting. It was the section between Colorado and University/York.

    There weren't any vehicles at the intersections that I crossed.

    This was at 7:00 in the morning with ZERO traffic. It's not like I was riding at 3:30 on a busy Saturday afternoon.
    That's all well and good, but you ran the sign, which is all the judge will care about.
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

    "A true cyclist sometimes has to bite the dust before he can reach the stars.” Laurent Fignon

  8. #8
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    Pablo - unfortunately, I think you are correct and I will have very little argument to stand on.

    I'm sure that I could ***** about the city using police resources on something besides cyclists on a vacant residential street, but the judge will only care about whether I broke a simple traffic law.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nochain
    Pablo - unfortunately, I think you are correct and I will have very little argument to stand on.

    I'm sure that I could ***** about the city using police resources on something besides cyclists on a vacant residential street, but the judge will only care about whether I broke a simple traffic law.
    The "they have better things to worry about" argument is not going to fly. It just doesn't make any sense logically. For arguments sake, lets say murders take the highest priority. There are always going to be unsolved murders, so does that mean all police resources only go to trying to solve these murders? Of course not. Even though the murders might be the biggest thing to worry about, we still have to enforce the lesser crimes. I go to traffic court monthly, and if your judges are anything like those here, if you admit to the offense, nothing else really matters.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleeveleSS
    I go to traffic court monthly, and if your judges are anything like those here, if you admit to the offense, nothing else really matters.
    Are you inferring that if I appear and admit to the offense, I could get clemency and/or a reduced fine?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nochain
    Are you inferring that if I appear and admit to the offense, I could get clemency and/or a reduced fine?
    Again, I'm sure this varies quite a bit by state, but here they give almost everyone traffic school. First timers usually get a quick online course that they can take from anywhere, and once completed the ticket doesn't go on your record. Some of the judges let people take the course every year or so. They also have longer courses that you have to go and sit in a class for four or eight hours, for those that have already taken the online course relatively recently.

    And I wasn't implyinga reduced fine, what I was saying is many people go to contest the charges and then admit to the offense somewhere within their testimony. The judge basically says, "Thanks for playing, but you just admitted to it, so I'm not going to dismiss it." What I meant was that if you are going to admit to the offense like you have in this thread, there isn't much point in contesting it, because you won't win. Just ask for traffic school.

  12. #12
    Yo no fui.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleeveleSS
    Again, I'm sure this varies quite a bit by state, but here they give almost everyone traffic school. First timers usually get a quick online course that they can take from anywhere, and once completed the ticket doesn't go on your record. Some of the judges let people take the course every year or so. They also have longer courses that you have to go and sit in a class for four or eight hours, for those that have already taken the online course relatively recently.

    And I wasn't implyinga reduced fine, what I was saying is many people go to contest the charges and then admit to the offense somewhere within their testimony. The judge basically says, "Thanks for playing, but you just admitted to it, so I'm not going to dismiss it." What I meant was that if you are going to admit to the offense like you have in this thread, there isn't much point in contesting it, because you won't win. Just ask for traffic school.
    How is spending several hours in traffic school cheaper and $54?
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

    "A true cyclist sometimes has to bite the dust before he can reach the stars.” Laurent Fignon

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nochain
    Are you inferring that if I appear and admit to the offense, I could get clemency and/or a reduced fine?
    You'd probably only get a reduced fine if you were biking to make a donation for the judge's retention election, were were trying to get across the street to save puppies from a burning building.
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

    "A true cyclist sometimes has to bite the dust before he can reach the stars.” Laurent Fignon

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo
    How is spending several hours in traffic school cheaper and $54?
    Not quite sure I understand the question.

  15. #15
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    Me too

    Guess I should be glad I was running late today.

    I ride that route to/from work most days and haven't seen cyclists pulled over. I typically slow down and make sure I can see what's happening at each intersection, but this is a residential street and a bike route (with bike lanes), so I can't see that this should be a huge priority for cops to monitor - there are a lot of other places in town that would be a bigger traffic or safety concern.

    I wonder if the neighbors that are complaining are the same people that are constantly rolling through the same intersections in cars or that are running/walking/pushing baby strollers in the bike lanes every day (usually heading in the wrong direction). Maybe we're making the bike lanes too dangerous for the neighbors to use for other purposes. Can I complain about having to veer out into the traffic lane to avoid the non-cyclists that are using the bike lane as a sidewalk, will cops start ticketing them too? Rant off…
    Last edited by D-Town; 04-28-2009 at 03:28 PM.
    "Embracing the situation Is our only chance to be free..."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-Town
    I wonder if the neighbors that are complaining are the same people that are constantly rolling through the same intersections in or that are running/walking/pushing baby strollers in the bike lanes every day (usually heading in the wrong direction). Maybe we're making the bike lanes too dangerous for the neighbors to use for other purposes. Can I complain about having to veer out into the traffic lane to avoid the non-cyclists that are using the bike lane as a sidewalk, will cops start ticketing them too? Rant off…
    Holy smokes! I have often veered out into the traffic lane to share the bike lane with non-cyclists.
    1) I can't tell you how often I ride that section and either dodge 5-8 housewives (not exaggerating) walking in the bike lane.
    2) Bimbo with a stroller and two dogs in the bike lane.
    3) I even had an altercation with a MOPED rider in the bike lane.

    Runners use it too, but they seem to be conscientious and/or easier to share the lane with. This makes me sound like an aggravated rider looking for a confrontation - I'm not, but I definitely feel like I got the short end of the stick on this one.

    I'm very tempted to start hanging out there with the police officer and pointing them out to see what happens.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-Town
    Guess I should be glad I was running late today.

    I ride that route to/from work most days and haven't seen cyclists pulled over. I typically slow down and make sure I can see what's happening at each intersection, but this is a residential street and a bike route (with bike lanes), so I can't see that this should be a huge priority for cops to monitor - there are a lot of other places in town that would be a bigger traffic or safety concern.

    I wonder if the neighbors that are complaining are the same people that are constantly rolling through the same intersections in or that are running/walking/pushing baby strollers in the bike lanes every day (usually heading in the wrong direction). Maybe we're making the bike lanes too dangerous for the neighbors to use for other purposes. Can I complain about having to veer out into the traffic lane to avoid the non-cyclists that are using the bike lane as a sidewalk, will cops start ticketing them too? Rant off…
    I definitely know what you mean. I stop cyclists for riding on the sidewalk, but I have all these walkers and runners who are in the bike lane. I feel like it is a double standard for me not to stop them, but I don't know if I have a statute to stand on. My gf is an avid runner, and says that people run on the road even if there is a sidewalk because the asphalt is easier on the legs than the concrete. She runs a lot, so I believe her, but I still think it is a double standard. To me, you guys are lucky to even have a bike lane. I have about 200ft, literally, of bike lane in my 9 mile each way commute.

  18. #18
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    just let him know that you were just trying to get rid of the dog that was chasing you. it was for your safety not to stop. people should not have their dogs loose.

  19. #19
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    No points on your license

    By the way, points are not assessed for violations by cyclists. So it shouldn't affect your insurance or drivers license. Anyone know differently?
    -----

    Bicyclists who violate traffic laws may be subject to the
    same penalties as drivers of motor vehicles, except that
    points are not assessed against the cyclist's driver's license.
    (C.R.S. 42-4-1412)

    From the Colorado driver handbook, page 30 (which is 32 in the pdf file):
    http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite...&ssbinary=true

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cartmaniac
    By the way, points are not assessed for violations by cyclists. So it shouldn't affect your insurance or drivers license. Anyone know differently?
    The officer definitely said that points are not assessed for this.

    SleeveleSS - running on asphalt is infinitely more comfortable than sidewalks but the issue is that runners seems to move over when cyclists are coming and understand the whole sharing the road idea.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleeveleSS
    Not quite sure I understand the question.
    If I spent two hours at work, I'd make X dollars, which is more than $54, if I spent two hours of my free time riding or hanging with my wifey, that's worth more than $54 to me. I'd pay up.
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

    "A true cyclist sometimes has to bite the dust before he can reach the stars.” Laurent Fignon

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo
    If I spent two hours at work, I'd make X dollars, which is more than $54, if I spent two hours of my free time riding or hanging with my wifey, that's worth more than $54 to me. I'd pay up.
    Well, here you don't pay the ticket and the class, you pay for the class and attend. Most of the time people are getting tickets in cars, not on bikes, and they don't want the points on their license or the increase in insurance rates. This makes the class cheaper in the long run, even if it has more of an upfront cost. Also, not everyone makes more than $54 for two hours of work. I'd venture to say a significant portion of the population does not.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleeveleSS
    Well, here you don't pay the ticket and the class, you pay for the class and attend. Most of the time people are getting tickets in cars, not on bikes, and they don't want the points on their license or the increase in insurance rates. This makes the class cheaper in the long run, even if it has more of an upfront cost. Also, not everyone makes more than $54 for two hours of work. I'd venture to say a significant portion of the population does not.
    I'd venture to say that it'd be worth taking the hit for paying for and attending the class, regardless of what you make, and driving or biking more lawfully in the future.
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

    "A true cyclist sometimes has to bite the dust before he can reach the stars.” Laurent Fignon

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