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Please Please HELP Seriously!!!(42 posts)

Please Please HELP Seriously!!!Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 9:37 AM
In South Florida we have been having a problem with the police in some areas. Even though we ride early in groups and stop for all traffic signals we get hassled. Last week 17 riders got ticketed and the bottom line is we are about to loose the priveledge to ride on the road.

Go to www.sunsentinel.com and vote no. I am begging you.
re: Please Please HELP Seriously!!!MXL02
Aug 23, 2002 9:46 AM
I'm sorry but in the narrow context of the Sun-Sentinel survey I would have to vote "Yes", cyclists need to obey traffic laws just like everybody else. The police are cracking down in our area also, and guess what, the pace lines now all stop at red lights...I just don't think that is such a bad thing.
re: Please Please HELP Seriously!!!Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 9:50 AM
Like I said we do obey ALL traffic signals. That is half of the point they are making it to fit their yes profile. We always ride single file on 2 lane roads, etc. If this is really how you feel then I am sorry. It just gives the motorist a right, in their mind that we shouldn't be in the road. So the less action we take the more of friends dying being hit by cars and such.. Who's knows maybe it will be someone you love.
re: Please Please HELP Seriously!!!MXL02
Aug 23, 2002 10:03 AM
Look, I do want to support the "share the road" concept, but I can't vote yes with the way the newspaper has the survey so skewed and biased...my recommendation is to write numerous letter and emails to the paper explaining your point of view and demanding that they ask the question differently. They obviously are anti-cyclist. We, the cycling community, have made an impact before with a grassroots campaign against a publication that acts so irresponsibly. In fact, I will go to the web site and if there is an email address, I will personally send them note. But I think voting in a rigged survey is worthless.
Should terrorists obey the same laws as everybody else?gs6769
Aug 23, 2002 9:48 AM
Talk about loadin' the dice!! I wonder which answer the SunSentinel wants people to choose?

Are cyclists a 'problem' in general or because they don't obey traffic laws. Two pretty different slants, methinks.

Oh yeah, I voted 'no'

Yes. Cyclists need to obey
the same traffic laws as
everyone else. (485
responses)

14.5%
No. Cyclists are not a big
problem. The police should
concentrate on speeders and
other hazardous drivers. (82
responses)
Should terrorists obey the same laws as everybody else?Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 9:53 AM
I really wish they would just give us a police escort. I think we all would chip in a buck or 2 to be safer on Saturday and Sunday morning. Oh yea our groups are pretty big sometimes over 100 so a buck or 2 should cover it.

We should obey the same laws, however impeding traffic sorry I can't pedal 45mph.
That's a pretty sizeable groupPack Meat
Aug 23, 2002 10:08 AM
You should look into getting a police escort or in some other way organizing that kind of pack. And I'm sorry but there is no way that I believe that 100 cyclists ride single file on two lane roads. I have no problem with the pigs ticketing groups that large because they are unweildly and dangerous. They also make it difficult for me to ride in a group of 5 to 10 because drivers are all pee'd off at the big groups they don't make a distinction, a cyclist to them is a cyclist.
That's a pretty sizeable groupDragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:12 AM
You are right it is a huge hassle to ride sinle file with that many people but we have been aware of the cops for some time so we do! Give me a break at 7AM there aren't many cars on the road anyway.
There aren't many cars, so...TJeanloz
Aug 23, 2002 10:14 AM
So, because there aren't many cars, you shouldn't have to obey the law.

I'll remind the policeman of that next time I'm caught going 150mph down the highway at 4 a.m....
There aren't many cars, so...Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:27 AM
Read the POSTS above. Did I say we were not obeying the law? NO! I said that we do obey all traffic signals! When was the last time you saw a vehicle ticketed for impedeing traffic (never) and people drive 25 in a 50 all the time or 50 in a 70. Thank you for helping you are such a great cyclist and your efforts will not go unnoticed.
Well then, WTF are you guys getting ticketed for? (nm)Wayne
Aug 23, 2002 10:32 AM
Ever hear of quotas?jose_Tex_mex
Aug 23, 2002 1:08 PM
Here's a scenario:

Townspeople see @$$hole wreckless cyclist and complain to chief.

Chief tells cops their quota better include lot's of cyclists.

Cops write out tickets to cyclists - who TF cares if they stand up or not? They have done what their commander said - the rest is up to the prosecutor.
You aren't breaking laws,TJeanloz
Aug 23, 2002 12:50 PM
If you aren't breaking the law, you aren't getting a ticket, so there isn't a problem here.
I disagree, that's why we have judges...jose_Tex_mex
Aug 23, 2002 1:05 PM
You can get a ticket for anything. I could go down town and write you out a ticket right now just for fun. Doesn't mean you are guilty - that's what the court is for.

With that said, cops probably write more "winning" tickets than not. However, they are not infallible when it comes to the law.

Someone got pissed and complained to the chief. Sh#$ rolls downhill so the foot soldiers had to get out and start writing tickets - great revenue. This "impeding" ticket sounds very nebulous and very subjective.
I'm skeptical,TJeanloz
Aug 23, 2002 1:16 PM
So, you're saying that the police are filing a false claim- that there is a law being broken, when in fact no law is being broken. It's possible. But I don't see it happening.

I also don't see a 100 person group ride following the law to the letter. I've been on a lot of group rides that big (and bigger), and I have never known one that didn't break a lot of laws. It doesn't sound to me like we're getting the whole side of the story- Dragon33 didn't get a ticket, he doesn't seem exactly sure who did, or what the tickets were for. Police are not infallible when it comes to the law, but I think there would be a lot of pressure on them if they wrote seventeen bad tickets in an hour. That smacks of a harrassment lawsuit waiting to happen.
I'm skeptical,jose_Tex_mex
Aug 23, 2002 1:27 PM
No false claim at all. It was the officer's professional trained opinion that the cyclists were impeding traffic and/or not properly following each other. His opinion is not necessarily correct.

Yeah, a 100 person ride can easily cause problems. However, back when everyone rode horses and bikes they probably thought the same about 100 cars.

As for writing tickets, their LT probably inferred the exact ticket to write out - would not surprise me in the least. Most people will not go to court out of the 17 so the town wins by default. As for those that do contest some will win other lose. Those who lose pay more fees. Sounds like the town will do alright.
That's totally the attitude that'll get somebody killed.Pack Meat
Aug 23, 2002 10:28 AM
I can see it now, a pack of 100 rec riders going down the road at 7 am, moving about 18 mph. One local getting stuck behind this group every freak'n week, making him late for the early shift at some job he hates. The boss yells at him for being late again. After work he climbs back into his pick up and grabs some beers with the fellas. After a 12 pack of Pabst he gets surly, his wife calls him and starts bitching about him not being home and drinking again and where's her 40 oz. He climbs into his truck and heads home drunk, surly and pissed off at everybody. He's sees two cyclist up the road and quickly determines that cyclists are the source of all pain in his life. He swerves at them just to scare them and accidently gives himself a Colnago hood ornament. But this scenario is far fetched right?
You are right!!Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:35 AM
That is pecisely why we need the police to police the traffic. To them and the average Joe we are just a annoying disturbance getting in the way. We all pay taxes too and have the right to use the roadways without running lights. By the way most of the speed limits in this town are 30-35mph we usually ride 27 or so.
I don't see how a newspaper survey will change things...TJeanloz
Aug 23, 2002 10:06 AM
Cyclists need to obey all laws. What did these 17 riders get ticketed for? You allude to impeding traffic, but cyclists do have the right to ride, single file, on most every road and can't be ticketed for impeding traffic for doing so. You weren't riding on the interstate, right?

You also can't lose the privledge to ride on the road, unless the state managed to ban bicycles; and I'm guessing that's not going to happen.

My assumption can only be that you don't feel like obeying the laws that you think aren't right, and you're getting mad when you get called on it.
I don't see how a newspaper survey will change things...Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 5:46 PM
well let's see. Obviuosly sombody is paying attention or there would be no survey. I figure if they see thatthere are enough of us maybe we will get some protection rather than harassment. As far as braking laws you really shouldn't assume something of somebody that you don't even know. I am the first one to yield to a vehicle, I will not pull off in the grass so they can pass though. is that breaking the law. Before I stated what was going on, obviously you would rather bash a fellow cyclist than help all cyclist, including yourself have more rights on the road and be treated fairly by motorist. Every day there is a story on this board about encounters with drivers running people off, etc. If we don't stand up we will be run over literally!
KEEP VOTING NODragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:07 AM
www.sunsentinel.com Look at the Poll on right side!!!!
I voted no.spankdoggie
Aug 23, 2002 10:15 AM
The poll is dishonest. It tries to make one think that one supports breaking the law if you vote no.

Davie police have started ticketing bicyclists amid complaints about big groups riding through red lights and impeding traffic. Is this crackdown warranted?

68.9%
Yes. Cyclists need to obey the same traffic laws as everyone else. (602 responses)

31.1%
No. Cyclists are not a big problem. The police should concentrate on speeders and other hazardous drivers. (272 responses)

874 total responses
THANK YOU (nm)Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:28 AM
Don't get hystericalvitusdude
Aug 23, 2002 10:17 AM
I don't see how this poll or even a tempory police crackdown is gonna kick you off the road. The police and public will tire of this effort soon and you may continue as before. I don't know how big your group is, but I have never been in a group of more than about 8 where the riders did not in general behave like arrogant a-holes , taking up most of the road, and pissing-off all and sundry.
Write the editor an email!MXL02
Aug 23, 2002 10:21 AM
Voting is worthless, IMHO. Here is the email address for letters to the editor:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/sfl-letterseditor.customform
and my own letter sent:

Dear Sir:

The situation in Davie has come to my attention via a fellow cyclist. I find the skewed method of your survey reprehensible.

The issue is not whether cyclists should obey traffic laws but whether police have the right to hassle cyclists who are obeying traffic laws. According to my source, many of the citations issued in Davie had no basis in terms of actual traffic violations, and were given simply because motorists were complaining because they refuse to share the road with cyclists. I would ask you to pose a different question to your readers, if you have the temerity, which I doubt: "Do you believe that cyclists who stop at red lights and otherwise obey the traffic laws, should be able to ride when and where they want without hassle from cars or police?" Put that survey on your web site and see what kind of response you get.
Awesome!! (nm)Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:30 AM
What were the tickets for? nmjose_Tex_mex
Aug 23, 2002 10:25 AM
What were the tickets for? nmDragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:32 AM
A variety of things mostly impeding traffic and believe it or not following too closely. The cop said you need 2 bike lengths between bikes.
Should be beat-able in court...jose_Tex_mex
Aug 23, 2002 10:43 AM
I am no lawyer, but for lengths between cyclists ask them how they measured the distance. This should be an easy one to beat. What about parrallax - did he measure the distance from the side or was he looking at an angle? Did the cop pace you?

Definitely go to town hall and check out the statutes. I bet I could beat the tickets without much effort. As for impeding - you have a right to the road, correct? Were you doing about the speed limit?

I would get everyone together who got a ticket and go to court.

Let us know what happens.
Should be beat-able in court...Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:48 AM
I didn't actually get a ticket but a lot of friends did. I am with you easily beat. Most of them are scared to got to court, thinking it will only fuel the cops into more harassment.
Something to be careful about.Spoke Wrench
Aug 23, 2002 10:59 AM
A moving violation might have an impact on what you have to pay for your car insurance.
You're doing them a favor... Overtimejose_Tex_mex
Aug 23, 2002 12:48 PM
Most of the cops I know - and I know a lot, are only happy to go to court because the overtime involved.

It's important to be cool when you get the ticket. Don't be a jerk and the cop won't get bent if you beat the ticket. Also, if he comes back with more tickets he's open to some sort of vendetta prosecution [I would think].

Read the exact statute for which your friends were charged and honestly ask if it is applicable. Then just figure out how it does not apply.
Laws hereDragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:53 AM
http://www11.myflorida.com/safety/ped_bike/laws/ped_bike_bikeLaws1.htm
The following too closely is bogus for bikes.bikedodger
Aug 23, 2002 11:53 AM
The Florida law states:

Title XXIII
MOTOR VEHICLES Chapter 316
State Uniform Traffic Control

316.0895 Following too closely.--

(1) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the highway.

Bicycles are a vehicle under the law, but not a mortor vehicle, an important difference. There is no traffic law in Florida (and all states that I have checked) that in any way prohibits bikes from following each other as close as they want.

Mike
BTW - I voted no - as we all should...jose_Tex_mex
Aug 23, 2002 10:36 AM
Yeah, I agree with them that we should all obey the laws - indeed I do. Never run a light with a cop there - it's just disrespectful. If you [do as I do] stop for the light [and the cross walk], wait until there's no-one coming, and then proceed you should not have any problems in most places. I have had numerous cops wave me through after I stop for a light or a signal - just make the effort. BELIEVE ME, here in the NJ/NYC area we stop for more lights than anywhere else.

With that said, VOTE NO - don't let the drivers influence the cops because of a few bad apples. We are all cyclists and need to stick together on issues that effect us.
Well said ThanksDragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:38 AM
The wording is a no-win situationbrider
Aug 23, 2002 12:15 PM
Yes. Cyclists need to obey
the same traffic laws as
everyone else.

No. Cyclists are not a big
problem. The police should
concentrate on speeders and
other hazardous drivers.

So what does a yes vote imply? By the words under the "yes" description, if that's all you read, it would be true, and I would vote yes. However, when you read the description of the "no", the yes vote then implies that cyclists ARE a problem. So to counteract this you'd vote no. But that then impies that cyclists shouldn't have to obey traffic laws. The fact is that you should actually vote both -- yes, cyclists should obey traffic law, AND no, cyclists are not a big problem. Therefore, I cannot vote on this as it is worded.
You are right.Dragon33
Aug 23, 2002 12:18 PM
The paper has made this look like something that it definately is not. If I weren't familiar with the situation I would agree that we have to vote yes. Since I am familiar though and knwo what is really happening this is just language being used to fuel the fire. Like I said before none of us wanna be hirt or killed and we do obey the traffic laws. In the next city over in fact the cops will pull behind us turn on their lights and escort us to protect from traffic. I am not sure who is behind this but I hope they don't win.
Letters to the editor, letters to your local town hallbrider
Aug 23, 2002 12:22 PM
The pen is mightier than the sword. Get busy on a writing campaign. I'm in the opposite corner of the country from you, so my prose wouldn't do much good. Get the mayor involved (or find out if he's already involved on the other side). Make it known that you're a registered voter, and that you do vote (and if you're not registered, do it). Go to the local news stations. The media loves the smell of political controversy.
Letters to the editor, letters to your local town halldave woof
Aug 23, 2002 1:52 PM
Davie police have started ticketing bicyclists amid complaints about big groups riding through red lights and impeding traffic. Is this crackdown warranted?

33.3%
Yes. Cyclists need to obey the same traffic laws as everyone else. (1099 responses)

66.7%
No. Cyclists are not a big problem. The police should concentrate on speeders and other hazardous drivers. (2206 responses)

3305 total responses

ahh, I love the power of democracy

:-)
I voted no and emailed the editorroadcyclist
Aug 23, 2002 5:02 PM
Although I don't usually ride in Davie (I live in Pompano Beach) this issue really struck home. I voted no and then emailed the editor to explain -
Following one another too closely is a good thing, it's called "drafting". I went on to explain that in Florida bicyclists are REQUIRED BY LAW to ride in the road and that there is an active "SHARE THE ROAD" campaign in our state (including a specialty license plate available).
What about the horses?Walter
Aug 23, 2002 5:49 PM
Seriously, I live in Ft. Pierce now but was born and grew up in S. Fla. Davie was famous for their horse owners and riding on public roads. Never a complaint here, I thought it pretty cool but w/o doubt they slowed traffic. Davie, like all S. Fla is way over-developed now and the horse riders are mostly gone but last I heard there were a few hold-outs. Do they get hassled? (probably not)