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Update on Tourist w/Headphones traffic ticket.(24 posts)

Update on Tourist w/Headphones traffic ticket.Len J
Oct 9, 2001 4:10 AM
Well I had my day in court yesterday.

For those of you who don't remember, I got a "reckless driving" ticket after I swerved out into traffic as a result of being sideswiped by a tourist wearing headphones who didn't hear my "Bike left" as I tried to pass her.

Anyway here's what happened:

Cop, Tourist & driver who hit me all show up.

Cop (who was in car behind car that hit me)testifies that he did not notice me until he saw me swerve out in front of the car in frone of him. He gave me the ticket for swerving into traffic.

I testify that I signalled to pass, that she had a hood up so I couldn't tell if she had anything covering her ears, that I assumed that she could hear me, that she swerved, hit me as I was passing & knocked me out into traffic, and that when I first saw her after the accident, she had headphones covering her ears.

Tourist testifies that I was riding rapidly and erratically and that I didn't signal that I was passing, and THAT SHE DID NOT HAVE HEADPHONES ON WHILE SHE WAS RIDING.

Witness in car testifies that he saw me trying to pass & that she swerved into me without looking knocking me in front of his car. He also testifies that she had headphones on over her ears, when he got out of the car to check on me.

I then bring cop back up & he testifies that she definatly had headphones on her ears when he got out of car to check on accident.

Bring tourist back up & confront her on headphone issue, she changes her testimony to I can't remember when I put headphones on. & I can't remember if I heard a signal to pass.

Judge then rules........"Not guilty". He then gives her a lecture about safe biking, I'm feeling pretty good, then he turns to me and gives me a very stern lecture about defensive cycling & how lucky I was to be here in this courtroom alive and that us experienced cyclist have a responsibility to other less experienced cyclist to demonstrate thru our actions what safe cycling is. It turns out that he is a cyclist himself and he learned this same lesson the hard way several years ago. He was right, clearly.

I got a call last night from the judge asking if I wanted to ride this Sunday with he & some friends, turns out he's always looking for riding buds. What a small community.

Justice does exist!

Cool, glad to hear that..Jay
Oct 9, 2001 4:15 AM
Yes, sounds like justice has been served.. Sounds good Len!

Funny about the call from the judge though, now that's strange, I wonder if it was coincidence or not that your case went before THAT particular judge? Maybe you should bring that up in your ride... You should definitely do that ride, knowing somebody in the justice system has got to be a cool thing.

take care,
That's the bestPaulCL
Oct 9, 2001 4:44 AM
What a story. Congratulations. The judge was right - you were very lucky that you didn't get run over. All's well that ends well.

And to top it have a new riding partner!
That's the bestLen J
Oct 9, 2001 4:52 AM
Thanks, If you remember the original post, I got propelled over an embankment, did an endo landed in a creek & only had minor scratches, luck doesn't begin to describe it!
Oct 9, 2001 5:01 AM
Depends upon your point of view. Minor scratches after an endo into a creek? Getting pushed into traffic and walking away?? I'd say you were lucky.

Maybe I'm a fatalist. I believe that we, as cyclists, are all due for an accident at one time or another. Spends hours and hours on a bike, you tempt fate. You got yours and you walked away. Lucky.

Be safe. Be nice to the judge - you never know when you'll need that kind of friend. Paul
Lucky?Len J
Oct 9, 2001 5:22 AM
I agree with you 100%. When I said luck doesn't begin to describe it, I meant that the word lucky was understated. Maybe I was looking for "Mega-lucky' or "super-lucky".

re: Update on Tourist w/Headphones traffic ticket.Bike Fool
Oct 9, 2001 5:02 AM
Way too cool!! One for the good guys, and thanks for letting us know how it turned out.
Happy to hear it turned out better than OKDelia
Oct 9, 2001 5:39 AM
Good story. Goes to show that sometimes the system works for the good guy :)
You are a lucky man. Several times over.MB1
Oct 9, 2001 6:06 AM
The main lesson I got from your posts is to be careful out there. Sounds like you got that lesson too.

And count your blessings that you got through the incident and courts relatively unscathed.

Let us know if the judge rides an Airborne and posts here. ;-)
Excellent newsTig
Oct 9, 2001 6:47 AM
I think that even if the judge wasn't a cyclist, the case would have gone the same way. It was clear-cut thanks to the testimonies of the cop and driver. The judge being a cyclist is where the speech came from. More out of his experienced cyclist side than the judge side! I'm glad everything turned out all right, especially the fact that you walked away from it all in the first place. Trust me, getting hit by 4000 pounds of steel hurts, to say the least.

So, what will this judge be riding? A Litespeed? A Trek 5500? Or maybe something a little more classic like Italian steel or a Waterford? We'll all keep our browsers tuned in for next week's episode. Same bat time. Same bat channel!
My guess for the judge-mobile:Lazy
Oct 9, 2001 6:55 AM
I bet he's riding a steel Colnago, Pinarello, or DeRosa. Definitely steel, definitely Italian, and probably about 8-10 years old.

The suspense is killing me.

Oh, by the way congrats on the legal victory.
The mayor-mobilemr_spin
Oct 9, 2001 9:00 AM
Richard Riordan, the former mayor of Los Angeles, is an avid cyclist who rides around town on an Italian Moser frame. And it wasn't just for photo ops. While in office, he also broke his collarbone mountain biking! Now he's running for Governor, and he'll definitely get my vote.
I say: VooDoo Rada for sure! LOL! (nm)RhodyRider
Oct 9, 2001 10:34 AM
Oct 9, 2001 7:04 AM
The right thing happened. Good for you. An independent witness can make all the difference.

Judge didn't want you to think you got off easy. I'll take a lecture over a conviction any day.

especially when the lecture is on target! nmLen J
Oct 9, 2001 8:40 AM
Oct 9, 2001 9:19 AM
My wife rides with headphones (and no helmet!!) all the time when she's solo - it drives me absolutely bugsh!t when I catch her - she's gotten pretty good at hiding them under her hair since she's been cited for it. I swear there are some days when I'm tempted to snip the wires. She also does unpredictable stuff at intersections. Why she hasn't been hit more often is a total mystery to me. I really get after her for her unpredictable riding habits when we're together, but it's like trying to tell a doctor not to smoke cigarettes - it's too late for the ones that are hooked even though they know how bad it is. She just looks at me and says, "What's the big deal Mr. Paranoid?" Just thinking about it makes my blood boil and the thought of having to take care of her for the rest of her life in some vegatative state isn't enough reasoning for her. The fact that I have all sorts of damaged helmets isn't enough reasoning either (she says I have bad karma). Some people you just can't reach. Judge has a point that you really have to ride defensively.

Still - you're way better off than my recent fine: $135 for doing 25 mph in a 15 mph on radar in a park on the mtb while on a fire road.
A speeding ticket on a park fire road?? Geez!Tig
Oct 9, 2001 10:20 AM
Talk about some BS! It sounds like the park rangers have just a little too much time on their hands. I can understand them slowing riders down on a multi-use trail that has conflicts between different user groups. But a fire road?! Is this a state or national park?
re: Update on Tourist w/Headphones traffic ticket.Crankist
Oct 9, 2001 9:37 AM
Hmmm...perhaps a manic demonstration of trick-riding skills for the judge would get you a poetry-reading invitation!
trick riding skillsDog
Oct 10, 2001 9:22 AM
Yup, for Amazing Home Videos, I'd like to see that "bouncing off the front bumper of the car and not going under the car" trick. :-)

I still can't believe he wasn't run over.

The judge might get a kick out of that one.

BTW, when riding with the judge, I'd work on that "track stand at the stop signs" trick, too.

trick riding skillsLen J
Oct 10, 2001 9:53 AM
Blame on dumb luck & coincidence:

What are the odds the the bumper would be the exact perfect height?
What are the odds that He would hit me dead on square, so that the only thing it could do was speed me up?

I suspect that if I did the same thing 20 times, that it would propel me the same way maybe once or twice.

p.s. feel like I'm now below my allocated 9 lives.
Great to hear that you beat the ticket, Judge said exactly .....chris zeller
Oct 10, 2001 11:01 AM
What I replied to your origional message. We as experienced cyclists have a responsibility toward the majority of inexperienced cyclists to ride defensively and not to pass them quickly out of disdain for their inferior equipment, fittness, skill, etc. They have just as much right to the road as we do and we should be giving them credit for being out there at all rather than on their couch like the vast majority of Americans.
TELL ME MORE!!!!!!!Woof the dog
Oct 10, 2001 2:51 PM
So, did the little b!tch at least say sorry? What was the expression on her face when judge found you not guilty? Did she cry when he gave her a lecture? Did she hear him giving you lecture? Come on, if you don't answer, you gonna spoil it for all of us here.


TELL ME MORE!!!!!!!Len J
Oct 11, 2001 3:58 AM
She left quickly in kind of a "huffy" mood. I think she was mostly embarrassed by getting caught lying. I wouldn't have wanted to be in her way when she left.

Great story!TypeOne
Oct 10, 2001 6:47 PM
Ah, justice is served!
I work in a court, and I think judges/juries get it right about 95% of the time. Your story sounds no different!
Have a good ride with hizzoner.