Moving ViolationsCalGal -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:27:47 PM
AKA: Your state's other revenue source. How does it work where you live? What's the best way to minimize your damage?This thread is tagged: ticket, police
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The city of LA's eliminated ticketing cameras, but 70,000 people have been automatically served tickets at $175 a pop over the past 5 years in the wilds of the Santa Monica Mountains. Often these tickets are punishing people for doing a slow pause or "rolling stop" because there's not a damned soul in sight.
Installed in 2008, the cameras raised the rate of failure-to-stop violations by 22,700%. The governance also appears to be screwy, and fighting it costs about as much as just paying for it and being done with it. It's making so much money that the 7 cameras in the Santa Monica Mountains now raise 8% of the controlling recreation & conservation agency's budget.
And as you would expect there's no evidence at all of any improvement in safety. Mainly because the LAPD hasn't had any reported accidents in those 7 locations in the past 8 years, before or since the cameras were installed.
Cops often, strangely and wrongly, assume the cyclist is at fault in car-bike collisions.
Anecdotally, about 1.5 mo ago I was on the right-hand side riding along when a white sedan drove past me, and as soon as it was in front of me turned to the right, immediately in front of me, to pull into a parking space. The bike and I glanced against her right-side A body panel & passenger door. Dent & black mark on the car, I got bruised on the left side, etc. She was totally upset & started yelling at me about "what the hell were you doing RIGHT THERE?!?" etc. I was shook up too, but said I was just going down the road when she passed me & turned in front of me. Once she got past the shock she seemed to basically accept she'd cut me off, and my bike was OK (front wheel needed a little realignment later), so I let it go & rode off.
But initially? Her assumption was that I just came out of nowhere in bright orange with a neon-green backpack and hit her car for no reason. Nevermind the extent to which I'm likely to get injured vs. her or the car.
If I was a cop, I would habitually assume the cyclist was at fault until I found some proof to the contrary.
Cyclists are supposed to follow the same rules of the road as motorists, but I frequently see cyclists blow by stop signs without a second thought, often forcing the motorist in cross traffic to hit the brakes to avoid a collision. The cyclists often do this without embarrassment or even a polite hand signal that might show they understand they are at fault.
We used to live near such an intersection. It was close to the American River Bike Trial, which is a popular route for local cyclists. I would say that out of the hundreds of cyclists I saw use the street over the two years I lived there at least one out of three breezed right through that intersection. Not a single motorist I saw did the same.
I've seen a lot of that, too. Also, even adult cyclists in serious gear will ride across pedestrian crosswalks. A pedestrian waiting to cross is much easier to see than a cyclist tooling along who suddenly darts across the road in the crosswalk. They're NOT PEDESTRIANS!
When we lived in the city the cyclists drove me batshit crazy, both as a pedestrian and as a motorist. The bike messengers were the absolute worst, darting to and fro in traffic with absolutely no regard for the traffic rules they were supposed to follow. I lived in terror that one would dart out in front of me too late for me to stop.
From that article:
That is evidently the law in DC, as well, and maybe even VA, and hand to God, I think it is just about the stupidest law there is. There used to be a guy in DC whose morning commute sometimes coincided with mine. He had one of those recumbent bikes and had covered it with aggressively pro-biking stickers. ("Share the road, asshole.") I cannot count the number of times that I would get stuck behind him on my way to 395. This jerk would coast gently past the Tidal Basin at about 15 mph in the direct center of the road, and that road is single-lane. The point where he'd peel off onto the bike path left me with about 150 feet to go from 15 mph to 70 mph. Even in the car I was driving at the time, that is not enough time. This guy should have been on the sidewalk, where it is perfectly legal to ride in DC. There's no one out walking by the tidal basin at 0630.
But at least this guy took the bike path when it made itself available to him. I sometimes get stuck on the GW Parkway behind some bike-riding douche who is too Lance Armstrong to take the Mount Vernon Trail, which is RIGHT THERE, but who is evidently not Lance Armstrong enough to actually keep up with the speed of traffic. I hate those fuckers so much.
Being a pedestrian in DC has made me incredibly anti-cyclist. I can't tell you how many times I've almost been hit - in the crosswalk with the walk signal - by some asshole running a red light on Pennsylvania.
I thought I was the only hater of cyclists!
I don't know what's worse: their arrogance in hogging the road, or in thinking they are doing the world some good by driving us crazy instead of their cars.
Cycling on the sidewalk is actually a pretty dangerous way to ride - cars do not expect a vehicle moving quickly to present themselves at entrances or exits along the road.
When I rode for transportation, I took a lane. However, I also cut through neighborhoods to avoid busy streets and did my level best not to block traffic. And I followed the goddamn rules of the road.
We've moved since then, and it was really to dangerous to ride the streets out here. They just expanded the roads to two lane, so if I get another bike I might try it - I live a whopping 1.5 miles from work, so cycling would be great.
The guy I wanted to ride on the sidewalk was not moving quickly. As for the Mount Vernon Trail, it is a paved bike path/walking path that runs right alongside the Parkway for miles and miles.
Asshole cyclists make a crap impression on a lot of people, and I hate them too. Stories like this (came across a few weeks ago) are galling; this perp in particular needs to go to prison for vehicular manslaughter. No difference between him and a car. And I'm completely onboard with hating bike militants, they're all wankers.
That said, there're a hell of a lot of asshole drivers, too. They too make an outsized impression. And if you've never made a rolling stop at a stop sign in your car you should speak up. Good cyclists OTOH make almost no impression. They're polite, out of your way, easily visible. If you're in a car you get right by them or don't even realize they're there. Drivers mostly notice the jackasses, so it looks like that's all there is.
It makes all the sense in the world to me that Greg is one of those cyclists
What makes you think that I am?
My commute is 90% down a paved rail-trail, so I'm not even on the street with cars most of the time. I stop at intersections, ride on the right, and do everything possible not to obstruct traffic. I go out of my way to stay on bike paths and bike lanes. Which from my perspective is all in my own best interest, nevermind the traffic. THE reason I like to bike-commute is that I'm lucky to have dedicated paths that make me feel safe enough to do so. When I do longer rides for exercise I head right out for rural farmland rather than ride in the city, so I can ride without stopping much in an area that doesn't bother anyone.
Cycling on the sidewalk
...is illegal in most places and typically unsafe. Not only because bikes then pop out into the street out of nowhere but because of the danger to pedestrians. A street sidewalk's generally for walking, not cycling.
I take Lizzie's frustrations with bike obstruction to heart, and agree with them. Guy shouldn't block traffic in the first place.
Bike lanes also do a lot to organize traffic, get cyclists out of the way of cars, and tend to ratchet down driver frustration with them.
A good primer for both drivers and cyclists on what to look for & be careful of.
The one I had was the right-hook (page 2).
Heh. I just got an agency email entitled "Cycle your way to wellness! Bike Commuting Workshop Tomorrow!"
I used to work for a bicycle advocacy organization and (a) we were equally frustrated with cyclists who do not observe the rules of the road, which is a lot of them, and (b) we held regular How To Ride Sensibly and Legally workshops. Just because we tried, though, doesn't mean we converted (m)any assholes.
The ideal situation is to separate different transportation modes: pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles. You don't want people walking on the street, and you want to provide enough space on the road, or have dedicated bike lanes or paths, so bikes and cars can coexist and so cyclists are safe.
I've commute cycled for several months and learned that drivers are often clueless asshats, but loathe cyclists too because they are just plain asshats for all the reasons mentioned thus far.
I really hate ending up on a busy 2-lane road without a bike lane or shoulder to ride on. Feel like I'm just waiting to get rear-ended by the next inattentive driver.
One doesn't have to go far online to find incredibly stupid cyclists.
I share the cyclist hate. I didn't realize this, but they are legally entitled to ride in the "bus only" express lanes here. It isn't uncommon to see one of them tootling up the hill at about 10 MPH with two or three full commuter buses crawling behind. Asshats.
SF cyclist who plowed into busy crosswalk, killing a man, will face a felony vehicular manslaughter charge.
Excellent. Hope he gets convicted & punished.
Bicycling agrees but points out the "man bites dog" nature of the story, noting that two other pedestrians had been killed by cars in the area recently. One by a bus, another by a man driving with a cast on his leg.
A car mowing down a pedestrian/cyclist isn't news-worthy because it happens all the time, with very few felony vehicular manslaughter prosecutions for gross negligence. Police departments & DA's offices routinely let drivers off easy who hit/injure/kill people out walking, running, or cycling.
When our society doesn’t take these traffic casualties seriously, we send the message to careless drivers that they will not be held accountable for their behavior. Is it any wonder that they continue to drive carelessly, when we tell them that there are no consequences? Is it any wonder that cyclists would notice that there are no consequences for careless driving—and that some cyclists would take that message as a license to ride carelessly?
None of this excuses lawless behavior by cyclists. When a cyclist carelessly takes a life, he or she should be brought to justice. But if we want to actually do something about making the roads safer, instead of pretending to make them safer, we need to stop scapegoating cyclists while looking the other way when it comes to careless driving—and we need to start imposing some real consequences on those who carelessly injure or kill on our public roads.
For me it's not cyclists vs. drivers - it's the cavalier, risk-taking attitude that thinks "I'm going to take a chance with someone else's life" to get somewhere faster or have a thrill or because I can't be bothered to pay close attention to what I'm doing. A real problem no matter what vehicle a person's controlling.
So yeah, this guy ought to roast. It's a pity the other dick who tried driving with a leg cast on & killed a person isn't getting similar treatment.