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mammon
08-31-2006, 01:46 PM
I recently was stopped by a motorcycle cop for "failure to obey a traffic control device" (running a redlight). The ticket is $250. I admitted no wrong-doing. Does anyone have advice for contesting or at least just showing up for the court date? Will they cut the fine in half? I can't believe a ticket for a bicycle is the same as it is for a car. Please share your similar experiences.

GelFreak
08-31-2006, 01:56 PM
if you ran the light you deserve the ticket. Bikers are getting a bad name because of antics like that.

A bicycle is a vehicle under OR state law, hence why the fine is the same.

PoPo
08-31-2006, 07:09 PM
If you show up for court but the officer who cited you doesn't, the judge often drops the charges. This happens every once in a while. If you show up and are found guilty, the judge has the flexibility to drop the fine amount somewhat, theough he/she usually checks your driving record before making that decision. Good luck!

Rixtir
08-31-2006, 07:37 PM
I recently was stopped by a motorcycle cop for "failure to obey a traffic control device" (running a redlight). The ticket is $250. I admitted no wrong-doing. Does anyone have advice for contesting or at least just showing up for the court date? Will they cut the fine in half? I can't believe a ticket for a bicycle is the same as it is for a car. Please share your similar experiences.Why can't you believe it's the same ticket? A bicycle is a vehicle, just as a car is a vehicle. That's why you're allowed to ride on the road instead of the sidewalk. And just like other vehicles, a bicycle is subject to the traffic regulations. If a car ran a red light, the driver would be ticketed, and rightly so. You ran a red light, and the officer was right to ticket you.

SupJones
09-01-2006, 10:27 AM
This happened to me some years ago. I wrote a letter in which I stated my innocence. I got a response that my fine was cut in half and I paid it. I never had to go to court.

FixForLife
09-01-2006, 10:44 AM
that's the problem with the law, WE ARE NOT CARS. i see people j-walking constantly and i never see a cop give any of them a ticket and they are walking (instead of running) a red light. the law's and fines on the books that are set up for us need to be re-written and actually need some input from us, not just the guys that sit around and write up new laws.

GelFreak
09-01-2006, 11:31 AM
I disagree. Although we are not cars we are vehicles that can cause damage to property, people, and possible death to ourselves or others. Pedestrians cant move at 20+mph... Traffic lights and stop signs are designed and placed for a reason. Obviously a few here and there could use a little update in terms of possible removal or timing.

J-walking is a ticketable offence, but it doesnt pose the risk of iminante injury that running a stop sign or red light does. Its all about the lvl of danger. If its a high risk offence its going to be more likely to enforced.

Some times we all need to think outside of the box. Instead of thinking...I hate that god *&^# cop that gave me the ticket for running that red light. Who cares...i didnt kill anyone or sell drugs. Its all relative to our day to day life...without enforcement of rules it would be mass chaos day in and day out.

geoff
09-01-2006, 11:58 AM
If a bicycle is a vehicle, will this ticket affect car insurance rates?

Also, aren't drivers in oregon required to insure their vehicles? Cause, I don't have bike insurance...

RobCat
09-01-2006, 12:16 PM
I'm with GelFreak. A law is no less a law because it inconveniences you. Obey the law, don't get fined. Simple.

BillD
09-01-2006, 12:17 PM
........................... the law's and fines on the books that are set up for us need to be re-written and actually need some input from us, not just the guys that sit around and write up new laws.

Idaho has a law which allows bikes to treat a stop sign as a yield sign. I would like to see a similar law passed in the Oregon Legislature (the guys that sit around and write up new laws) and have informed my representatives of my wishes. Have you contacted your reps? After doing so, you can put that down as "input from us".

Bill

GelFreak
09-01-2006, 12:27 PM
I agree...I wouldnt mind having stop signs to be able to be treated as yeild signs for bikers but that would require more than just complaining on forums for that to happen. *hint write the mayor, odot, and congress.

nishiki
09-01-2006, 01:05 PM
Why are you bashing on the guy?

We all ran through red lights on our bikes, maybe just once... Yes even you old wise man don't deny.
$250... that rough but you should make sure there is no cops around when you do this

GelFreak
09-01-2006, 01:44 PM
actually i'm 23, thank you very much, and no I even stop at stop signs that I think are rediculiously placed.

And the reason I'm adamint about this topic is because I hear from countless people that bikers downtown are such a nuesence because they constently run red lights, weave in and out of traffic, and have complete disregard for others.

nishiki
09-01-2006, 01:53 PM
What are the perks of bicycling if you can t break the rules?

GelFreak
09-01-2006, 02:00 PM
LOL...being in great shape, better health, doing your part to lower carbon D. emmisions, lowering traffic congestion, not having to pay for gas that fuels terrorism, . . . . . shall I continue?

Russell
09-01-2006, 02:16 PM
I've never run a red light on my bike.

*shrug*

It's partially law abidance and partially that I don't feel like paying half the value of my bike on a ticket. I don't see basic traffic laws as the kind of immoral legal dictate that I am ethically bound to violate; it's just a light. There are times perhaps when it’s safer to cross an intersection earlier than motor traffic, but most of the time when people do it they are either lazy or weak and don’t want to put out the watts to get going again.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don't think Emerson was thinking of traffic lights when he wrote: "Be it known unto you that henceforward I obey no law less than the eternal law".

Haven_kd7yct
09-01-2006, 02:33 PM
Actually, Oregon has a law on the books that says after 3 minutes of sitting at a red light, you can treat it as a stop sign.

Of course, that means a) you have to sit there for 3 minutes, and b) you do have to stop ....

I stop at all stop lights and stop signs, in my car and on my bike. A bike is a vehicle, would you run stop lights and signs in your car?? If the answer is yes, please let us know where you regularly drive so the rest of us can stay away! :)

Seriously, though, as there aren't any laws lessening the fines for bicycles, the cops did the right thing by assessing the appropriate fine, even if we think it's a bit high. So yes, I agree, it seems a little disproportionate, given that your bike doesn't weigh as much as a car (I hope)...

That said, write your state lawmakers and exhort all your biking buddies to do the same. But don't be surprised if they come up with some weird idea to make you get a bicycling license or some such thing! :)

SEA_poseur_n_PDX
09-01-2006, 02:51 PM
as a recent transplant who's lived in many cities in the US – I have to say I'm amazed at the blatant lack of respect for traffic laws that cyclists have in this community (rivaled only perhaps by NYC). and the response I get for pointing this out when I see it on the street affirms a strong sense of entitlement that Portland cyclists feel towards everyone else in the city (and is often very nasty). I'm sad to see that this entitlement extends to the law – because those same laws are what protect us from crappy motorists.

so are portland cyclists hypocrites by definition? we're not a very quiet bunch whenever a cyclist gets hit by a car. I see no shortage of people in the cycling community calling for the stiffest penalties for that driver.

(e.g. http://bikeportland.org/2006/08/11/fatal-crash-sparks-outrage-activism )

so what makes us exempt from the law? because we're cooler than cars and pedestrians? because we're less mature?

I would be strongly in favor of stop signs mean yield to cyclists – but guess what everyone? That's Not the Law Here! and every time you ignore the law it makes the rest of the cycling community look like a bunch of hypocritical 13-year-olds.

nishiki: is it impossible for you to have fun without breaking the law?

FixForLife: using your logic, if I saw someone J-walking I should be able to ignore, what? any law? should I be allowed to run someone over for not having a brake on their bike. :) just because you don't agree with a law doesn't make it any less valid. I have a three year old who uses the same logic to make his decisions.

FixForLife
09-01-2006, 03:24 PM
no one is talking about ripping through stop signs without even looking. and to all these people that say, "i never run a stop or a light", i'm calling the biggest bullsh!t ever. please, lie to yourself all you want, not to the board though
and bill, i have sent letters to local reps.

$250 is alot of money, and the fact that we get the same charge as a car is a joke. if you want to wait at every light and stop sign, then do it. i'm not gonna sit around and wait with ya, but if i get a ticket, i'll fight it cause i'm not car and i'll not be charged like one.

so, if you want to go with the letter of the law, then next time you get caught in a bike lane sting off the hawthorne, don't come complaing. just go pay your ticket for your reckless bike riding

FixForLife
09-01-2006, 03:30 PM
just because you don't agree with a law doesn't make it any less valid.I have a three year old who uses the same logic to make his decisions.

umm yes it does. that is how we get our laws changed, WHEN PEOPLE DON'T AGREE WITH THEM. when we don't think something is valid, we as a people have a right to try and change it. sounds to me like your kid will do just fine. and trying to tell me "uses the same logic to make his decisions" is pretty childish....just ta let ya know

FixForLife
09-01-2006, 03:33 PM
actually i'm 23, thank you very much, and no I even stop at stop signs that I think are rediculiously placed.
what, do you want a golden statue or maybe a cookie...i know, a new stick

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 03:45 PM
Idaho has a law which allows bikes to treat a stop sign as a yield sign. I would like to see a similar law passed in the Oregon Legislature (the guys that sit around and write up new laws) and have informed my representatives of my wishes. Have you contacted your reps? After doing so, you can put that down as "input from us".

BillThe O.P. got cited for running a red light, not running a stop sign. Even if Oregon had the idaho law, the O.P. would still have gotten ticketed.

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 03:46 PM
Why are you bashing on the guy?

We all ran through red lights on our bikes, maybe just once... Yes even you old wise man don't deny.
$250... that rough but you should make sure there is no cops around when you do thisSorry, when you say "we," you're including me, and I've never run a red light on my bike.

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 03:49 PM
What are the perks of bicycling if you can t break the rules?So why piss and moan about the consequences of breaking the rules if you want to break the rules? You know that old saying, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime (don't do it, don't do it.)."

And do you TRULY believe that the only benefit of cycling is "breaking the rules"? You could just as well break the rules in a car, you know....

SEA_poseur_n_PDX
09-01-2006, 03:50 PM
FixForLife is gonna send you a cookie.

:)

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 03:51 PM
so are portland cyclists hypocrites by definition?Yes.

so what makes us exempt from the law? ... because we're less mature? Bingo!

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 03:53 PM
and to all these people that say, "i never run a stop or a light", i'm calling the biggest bullsh!t ever. please, lie to yourself all you want, not to the board thoughI don't run red lights, and I don't run stop signs, and that's the way it is. Don't point your little boy finger at me as justification for your own immaturity, cuz it just ain't so.

BillD
09-01-2006, 05:49 PM
...................................
$250 is alot of money, and the fact that we get the same charge as a car is a joke. if you want to wait at every light and stop sign, then do it. i'm not gonna sit around and wait with ya, but if i get a ticket, i'll fight it cause i'm not car and i'll not be charged like one. ................................

Actually, it's $242.00 and the amount is supposed to:
1, alert you to the fact that you have done something wrong
2, deter you from doing it again.

..... maybe it's too low. :D

Bill

dan
09-01-2006, 06:10 PM
when you're riding a bike, you are generally moving slowing than cars, giving you more time to see what's coming as you approach a stop sign. when i approach a stop sign i slow down, and look and listen for cars/bikes. no one coming=no stopping. and i don't stop at 4-way stops unless someone else is stopped and about to go. maybe one day someone else on a bike will do the same thing at the same time and we'll have a spectacular collision, but then again it would be our own faults. and a good story. but anyway, my point is that riding a bike is not the same as driving a car. i thought that's why we rode bikes, instead of driving cars...

FixForLife
09-01-2006, 06:35 PM
I don't run red lights, and I don't run stop signs, and that's the way it is. Don't point your little boy finger at me as justification for your own immaturity, cuz it just ain't so.

well, my "little boy finger" can spell

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 06:37 PM
when you're riding a bike, you are generally moving slowing than cars, giving you more time to see what's coming as you approach a stop sign. when i approach a stop sign i slow down, and look and listen for cars/bikes. no one coming=no stopping. and i don't stop at 4-way stops unless someone else is stopped and about to go. maybe one day someone else on a bike will do the same thing at the same time and we'll have a spectacular collision, but then again it would be our own faults. and a good story. but anyway, my point is that riding a bike is not the same as driving a car. i thought that's why we rode bikes, instead of driving cars...I ride a bike because it doesn't pollute, doesn't contribute to global warming, and because it's healthier for me. I've never ridden a bike because I was under the impression that it somehow exempted me from the traffic laws.

I think there's good reason to change the law such that stop signs may be treated as yield signs. However, even if that were to happen, a red light is still a red light, and it will still be illegal to run a red light; a bicycle is still a vehicle, and vehicles are subject to the traffic laws. The day a bicycle isn't a vehicle under the law is the day they'll ticket you for riding off the sidewalk.

And the reality is, in Oregon a stop sign is not a yield sign-- it's a stop sign. If we don't want to do the hard work to change the law, that's all well and fine, but until we do change the law, it's illegal to run a stop sign, and running it isn't some form of Gandhian civil disobedience, it's just a traffic violation. The Jim Crow laws were unjust; the mere fact that a law is inconvenient doesn't make it unjust, and stopping at a stop sign is just an inconvenience.

So we can obey the law, and we can work to change the law, or we can pay our tickets without the faux social justice whining.

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 06:38 PM
well, my "little boy finger" can spellWhoopty fuckin do.

FixForLife
09-01-2006, 06:38 PM
FixForLife is gonna send you a cookie.

:)

or a new stick to replace the old one up his high and mighty stopping every 2 feet ass.

if you want to stop all the time, do it. but don't act like you are gods gift to breaking and waiting.

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 06:42 PM
or a new stick to replace the old one up his high and mighty stopping every 2 feet ass.

if you want to stop all the time, do it. but don't act like you are gods gift to breaking and waiting.I never did act like I was God's gift. You made a blanket accusation that EVERYBODY runs lights and that anybody who claims not to run red lights is lying. And that's just not so. I stop, and so do others. If you want to break the law, go ahead, but stop whining when you get caught, and don't use me as a justification for your failure to obey the law.

dan
09-01-2006, 06:55 PM
i think rixter is upset guys...let's just send him cookies instead of sticks.

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 07:02 PM
Nah, I'm not upset. But I do like cookies. :)

Rixtir
09-01-2006, 07:26 PM
If a bicycle is a vehicle, will this ticket affect car insurance rates?You'd have to ask your (hypothetical) insurer. It is a traffic violation.

Also, aren't drivers in oregon required to insure their vehicles? Cause, I don't have bike insurance...The insurance requirement applies to motor vehicles.

GelFreak
09-01-2006, 07:43 PM
you guys need to stop arguing ... we are supposed to be on the same side here. Laws are laws...weather you choose to follow them is your personal choice, BUT don't complain when you get caught...AND DEF. don't come on a pro "follow the rules" site looking for help to fight it.

PLAIN AND SIMPLE - If you want the vehicle community to have a better image and be more aware of us WE ALL need to do our best to show we deserve it by doing everything we can by following the laws. Oregon is growing right now, and personally I think the next few years is critical for us to set an example. These next few years could determine if the state tries to make it safer for us or tougher on us.

THanks for the stick...it helps me stop even better at the lights and stop signs now.

RobCat
09-02-2006, 08:16 AM
That stick...would that be more comfy with the addition of a suspension seat post? Or no? I'm always looking to optimize the performance-to-comfort ratio, see.

dhormann
09-16-2006, 10:10 PM
If a bicycle is a vehicle, will this ticket affect car insurance rates?

Also, aren't drivers in oregon required to insure their vehicles? Cause, I don't have bike insurance...

The answer is probably no regarding the insurance rates going up, but that depends on the insurance company not the gov't. Any no all vehicles are not required to have insurance, only cars and motorcycles.

DJoos
09-17-2006, 12:33 AM
If we want to be respected on the roads, than we must obey the laws of said roads.

BLDZR
09-17-2006, 07:26 AM
consideration of this argument.

1) traffic laws in the United States have never been written in the interest od cyclists. Oregon is no exception. The laws are written by motorists, for motorists. I don't think that a cyclist should feel bad for violating a law that harms no one, provided that cyclist rides under control, and with full attention to his/her surroundings.

2) as my experience in this matter goes, the ticket is BS, but it stands, you should reschedule your court date, and appear, in hopes that the officer does not. If he does not, the state has no witness, and you get to go free. If you fail to appear, the cops would like you to believe that your license will be suspended. They cannot do this. If the do, the DMV will be more than happy to reinstate your license. You will, however, get a bench warrant, and nobody likes those...

3) Shut up you bunch of hippies. Laws do not make you safe, your own common sense does. One of the reasons I'm glad I'm no longer in portland is that I don't have to deal with so many high-on-the-horse cyclists who try to enforce their own version of order and courtesy. I'm not going to wave to you, because I don't know you. I'm not going to stop at that sign or light because of what impression others get, I'm going to stop , or not, if it is the safe and sensible thing to do. A major reason to ride a bike is to slip through the cracks of traffic, and get to your destination in a more satisfactory, and less obtrusive way. Riding your bike like the 40 year old virgin is no way to win hearts and minds. Think about it: if you ride without any concern, somebody will try to run you down for being an a**hole. If you ride like a total square, somebody else will try to run you down for being a "pussy faggot."

By all means, ride your bike however you like. But shut the hell up about "scofflaw cyclists" and those that "give us a bad name." You can't, and shouldn't be responsible for everyone on a bike. My riding style is my decision, and your opinion of it doesn't mean crap.

Simple Nature
09-17-2006, 08:26 AM
You have two hopes in court... One already mentioned is that if the cop doesn't show up, the ticket will be dropped. They must be there unless you admit guilt. You do not have to plea until the officer is there. (plead not guilty when paying your bail)

Second... There is an obscure part of the law that states that you can run a red light if it is malfunctioning. In the case of a bicycle, this is an easy one to use because most lights do not detect bicycles. The only caviat, you need to have stopped before going through the light. I don't know what the wait time has to be but you might just catch the cop off guard in court with this one.

Yes, often, if you show up in court or even when posting bail, with a guilty plea, your fine will be cut almost in half.

You could always find a lawyer, but which evil would you rather support ;)

alpinejunkie
09-17-2006, 08:29 AM
Well said BLDZR, I happpen to agree with everything you said, and it is all so true.

donnambr
09-17-2006, 01:52 PM
So BLDZR and alpinejunkie, do you think Ray is completely off the mark when he writes about how jurors' perceptions of us are causing cases of cyclists injured by motorists to be lost that should have been won? (http://www.stc-law.com/strategies.html) If you do think Ray's got the reasoning all wrong, what are your ideas for changing the perceptions of the average potential juror in a cyclist injury case, the vast majority of whom drive a car and don't ride a bike and may not even personally know someone who does? If trying to get cyclists to follow traffic laws isn't a good way to change motorist perceptions, that's fine, but what are good ways then?

TCR Punk
09-17-2006, 02:15 PM
Second... There is an obscure part of the law that states that you can run a red light if it is malfunctioning. ;)


I believe if the stop light is malfunctioning, you must treat it as a four way stop. I think. You just don't fly right though.

BLDZR
09-17-2006, 05:09 PM
If trying to get cyclists to follow traffic laws isn't a good way to change motorist perceptions, that's fine, but what are good ways then?

I honestly don't think there is any way of changing motorists' perceptions, save having them get on bikes themselves. This is rude, pushy, greedy America, and a general sense of entitlement is in greater quantity than is a sense of empathy.

Rixtir
09-17-2006, 07:55 PM
consideration of this argument.

1) traffic laws in the United States have never been written in the interest od cyclists. Oregon is no exception. The laws are written by motorists, for motorists. I don't think that a cyclist should feel bad for violating a law that harms no one, provided that cyclist rides under control, and with full attention to his/her surroundings.

2) as my experience in this matter goes, the ticket is BS, but it stands, you should reschedule your court date, and appear, in hopes that the officer does not. If he does not, the state has no witness, and you get to go free. If you fail to appear, the cops would like you to believe that your license will be suspended. They cannot do this. If the do, the DMV will be more than happy to reinstate your license. You will, however, get a bench warrant, and nobody likes those...

3) Shut up you bunch of hippies. Laws do not make you safe, your own common sense does. One of the reasons I'm glad I'm no longer in portland is that I don't have to deal with so many high-on-the-horse cyclists who try to enforce their own version of order and courtesy. I'm not going to wave to you, because I don't know you. I'm not going to stop at that sign or light because of what impression others get, I'm going to stop , or not, if it is the safe and sensible thing to do. A major reason to ride a bike is to slip through the cracks of traffic, and get to your destination in a more satisfactory, and less obtrusive way. Riding your bike like the 40 year old virgin is no way to win hearts and minds. Think about it: if you ride without any concern, somebody will try to run you down for being an a**hole. If you ride like a total square, somebody else will try to run you down for being a "pussy faggot."

By all means, ride your bike however you like. But shut the hell up about "scofflaw cyclists" and those that "give us a bad name." You can't, and shouldn't be responsible for everyone on a bike. My riding style is my decision, and your opinion of it doesn't mean crap.Scofflaw.

Btw, I saw some idiot scofflaw yesterday blow a red light, nearly hit the car that had the right of way, then nearly run down two pedestrians in the crosswalk. I'm sure he had all sorts of BS to spout about his "riding style" too.


Ooops, I missed this post:

I honestly don't think there is any way of changing motorists' perceptions, save having them get on bikes themselves. This is rude, pushy, greedy America, and a general sense of entitlement is in greater quantity than is a sense of empathy.And you apparently missed the irony of talking about rude, pushy, greedy America, and a general sense of entitlement. It absolutely describes the scofflaw cyclist mentality.

BLDZR
09-18-2006, 07:50 AM
Meh.

well, you just keep riding the way you like, carrying the banner for every cyclist and stressing about the opinions you're earning by doing so. I've got to earn a living out there, and my bag's only big enough to carry my deliveries, not the weight of the world.

One day, maybe you'll be lucky and the whole world will turn into a great big hippie town, where cars have disappeared, and everyone waves to each other on the way to and from the organic market - where no one will have to watch their own back because everyone else is always worried only about everyone else.

And I'll continue living in the real world, in the real city, where there are too many people piled on top of each other for me to worry about what opinions each and every one of them carries about me. Yourself included.

Buckwad
09-18-2006, 08:33 AM
LOL...being in great shape, better health, doing your part to lower carbon D. emmisions, lowering traffic congestion, not having to pay for gas that fuels terrorism, . . . . . shall I continue?

I read a great statistic (I know they all lie a little), that mentioned that an average cyclist that does not drive can save 105 Megawatts of energy over 35 years.

But, since that cyclist lives longer, they consume 9/10 of that energy!

The point is it's not just about energy savings, but as you mention, increased health, happiness, safety, etc. There are many psycho-sociological perks that get ignored.

Haven_kd7yct
09-18-2006, 10:25 AM
I believe if the stop light is malfunctioning, you must treat it as a four way stop. I think. You just don't fly right though.

I looked it up; you have to sit at that red light for about 3 minutes before you can treat it as a four-way stop.

And seriously, who is going to sit there for 3 minutes?? Not just cyclists, but other road users, too? :)

Rixtir
09-18-2006, 11:54 AM
Meh.

well, you just keep riding the way you like, carrying the banner for every cyclist and stressing about the opinions you're earning by doing so. I've got to earn a living out there, and my bag's only big enough to carry my deliveries, not the weight of the world.

One day, maybe you'll be lucky and the whole world will turn into a great big hippie town, where cars have disappeared, and everyone waves to each other on the way to and from the organic market - where no one will have to watch their own back because everyone else is always worried only about everyone else.

And I'll continue living in the real world, in the real city, where there are too many people piled on top of each other for me to worry about what opinions each and every one of them carries about me. Yourself included.That's a good capitalist cog.

BLDZR
09-19-2006, 06:33 AM
That's a good capitalist cog.

I have a policy about flame wars so I'll simply say this.

Good luck on your ticket, Mammon. The vehicle code is a two edged sword, but if you know the law and the loopholes, you should be fine. Don't be intimidated by the cops or the judge. And dont' be intimidated by "concerned" cyclists who would chase you down and yell at you for a minor trafffic infraction. They are not the cops - they're just road ragers.

Rixtir
09-19-2006, 01:53 PM
I have a policy about flame wars so I'll simply say this.It’s a good policy, and one I’m willing to respect….

But, have you considered that maybe statements like:
Shut up you bunch of hippies.

And
high-on-the-horse cyclists

And
But shut the hell up about "scofflaw cyclists"

And
My riding style is my decision, and your opinion of it doesn't mean crap.are all unilaterally belligerent statements that didn’t generate the “love peace and understanding” response you expected from “the hippies”? Your retreat to a policy against flame wars doesn’t seem very genuine when you’re the one who started flaming, nor does it seem very genuine when you open with a statement against flame wars, and close with

And dont' be intimidated by "concerned" cyclists who would chase you down and yell at you for a minor trafffic infraction. They are not the cops - they're just road ragers.As I said, I’ll respect your policy against flame wars, but I’m here to engage in discourse—hopefully civil discourse—and I won’t let you or anybody else use me for a punching bag. Fair enough?

Now, in the spirit of civil discourse, and not directed at you in particular, I find it interesting that people who claim a 19th century right wing philosophy of nature red in tooth and claw, dog-eat-dog, every man for himself, that exalts the rights of the individual to do as he/she chooses, the community-be-damned, would turn to “the community” for help the instant they get a ticket for disregarding the law. It’s interesting, because the question Donnamb asked is in regards to what Portland bike lawyer Ray Thomas has to say about cyclists helping cyclists—that in order for him to help cyclists in the courtroom, he needs cyclists to help themselves on the streets—by fostering the goodwill in the community that helps him win cases in the courtroom. So if all of you scofflaws are such rugged, thumb-your-nose at the community right wing individualists who don’t care what “the community” thinks, why come to “the community” for help when you get in trouble?

RobCat
09-19-2006, 04:10 PM
It’s a good policy, and one I’m willing to respect….

But, have you considered that maybe statements like:


And


And


And
are all unilaterally belligerent statements that didn’t generate the “love peace and understanding” response you expected from “the hippies”? Your retreat to a policy against flame wars doesn’t seem very genuine when you’re the one who started flaming, nor does it seem very genuine when you open with a statement against flame wars, and close with

As I said, I’ll respect your policy against flame wars, but I’m here to engage in discourse—hopefully civil discourse—and I won’t let you or anybody else use me for a punching bag. Fair enough?

Now, in the spirit of civil discourse, and not directed at you in particular, I find it interesting that people who claim a 19th century right wing philosophy of nature red in tooth and claw, dog-eat-dog, every man for himself, that exalts the rights of the individual to do as he/she chooses, the community-be-damned, would turn to “the community” for help the instant they get a ticket for disregarding the law. It’s interesting, because the question Donnamb asked is in regards to what Portland bike lawyer Ray Thomas has to say about cyclists helping cyclists—that in order for him to help cyclists in the courtroom, he needs cyclists to help themselves on the streets—by fostering the goodwill in the community that helps him win cases in the courtroom. So if all of you scofflaws are such rugged, thumb-your-nose at the community right wing individualists who don’t care what “the community” thinks, why come to “the community” for help when you get in trouble?

I could not agree more, nor state it more eloquently. We read too many of these rants wherein behaviors of motorists are taken to task while equally unwise and abhorent actions of cyclists are described as necessary and/or excusable. Detestable. Ride courteously and with respect, or please donate your bicycle. Thanks.

BLDZR
09-19-2006, 06:16 PM
Ride courteously and with respect, or please donate your bicycle. Thanks.

Thing is, this is the same thing I am saying. Ride as you see fit. Use common sense, be as safe as practically possible, and make decisions based on the situation at hand. But I've read too many rants about the scapegoat "scofflaw cyclists." I too have had enough.

The problem with the de-evolution of this and other discussions on this forum is that the crux of the "scofflaw bikers" argument rests on perception, which is NECESSARILY different from person to person. To argue that by being nice and courteous you can change the world is the pinnacle of naivete. A person's perceptions are based on biases, both recent and engrained. To hope that you can change everyone's biases by your courteous and law abiding actions seems quaint to me, to say the least. Try riding really politely in New York City, and let me know how far it gets you.

I'm not going to argue a point about how it's my right to run red lights or go the wrong way in one-way traffic, I absolutely do not have that right. But if I choose to do those things,in violation of the law, and am cited for doing so, then it is my responsibility, not the responsibility of the whole cycling "community," to pay the according fines. Therefore, as it is MY responsibility to pay the fines, it is MY responsibility to ride in the way the keeps me out of trouble. Or not. Where does a passerby fit in to this? nowhere.

I do not apologize for my tone, nor my inflammatory statements. By both character and profession, I am indeed a jerk. However, that the question asked by the OP was met with such scorn is frankly enraging to me. Can anyone here really explain how a cyclist berating another cyclist about how he/she rides is any different from a motorist doing the same thing? It's all road rage, and the polite, courteous thing to do would be to respect the other person by keeping your mouth shut.

And please, quit it with the "right wing" crap. I've been a staple of the Portland Messenger community for years, and anyone who's been involved in any major cycling event knows how much time and sweat I have spent dealing with the city of Portland for messengers' rights. I AM part of the community, and I have a right to my opinion. You have a right to yours. But you don't have a right to force your opinion on me. That's not very "liberal" of you, now is it?

dhormann
09-20-2006, 10:30 AM
I looked it up; you have to sit at that red light for about 3 minutes before you can treat it as a four-way stop.

And seriously, who is going to sit there for 3 minutes?? Not just cyclists, but other road users, too? :)

Where did you look that up at? Seventeen years in law enforcement and I've never heard that one. I'll typically wait until the light cycles through and if it doesn't switch for my bike, I wait until its clear and then go. The only ones I've had trouble with are when the wire circle is paved over and I can't see it. Otherwise I can make them all switch, but you need to park your wheel right on the wire to make it work.

Haven_kd7yct
09-21-2006, 09:48 AM
www.oregon.gov, and follow the links to the DMV... they've got the OR driver's manual and the OR bike manual on there, and I believe I found it in the OR bike manual.

:) Pretty sure that's where I found it; I get a little lost on the oregon.gov websites sometimes! :)

Attornatus_Oregonensis
09-21-2006, 12:45 PM
Idaho has a law which allows bikes to treat a stop sign as a yield sign. I would like to see a similar law passed in the Oregon Legislature (the guys that sit around and write up new laws) and have informed my representatives of my wishes. Have you contacted your reps? After doing so, you can put that down as "input from us".

Bill

Do you have a citation for that law, BillD? I think that text could be useful in a more comprehensive lobbying effort.

Bjorn
09-21-2006, 01:17 PM
Not sure on the idaho law, but it nearly became a law here in oregon. I got this from the BTA website:

HB 2768 - Rolling Stop for Bicyclists at Stop Signs

Bill Summary: Cyclists treat stop signs as yield signs. Right-of-way rules would remain.

BTA Position: Supported

Status: Passed House; died in Senate Rules Committee

BTA Activity and Comments: The BTA supported this bill for various reasons, including current cycling practices. We did, however, convince the sponsor to remove stoplights from the bill. Many cyclists supported this bill and others opposed it.


I believe that if the stoplight part had stayed in then it would have been the same as in Idaho. Getting this reintroduced and passed should be a priority.


Bjorn

Rixtir
09-21-2006, 02:17 PM
Playing Devil's Advocate, why should we change the laws? The proposed change would leave right of way rules in place. But the same scofflaws who blow stop signs and stoplights also disregard right of way. I saw two separate cyclists blow stop signs/stop lights in the last week, and disregard right of way for other vehicles as well as for pedestrians in the crosswalk while they were blowing the stops. There's no reason to believe that if the law changes, these scofflaws will begin to respect right of way. So if the attitude is that they'll do as they please, regardless of what the law is, why should the law be changed?

jami
09-21-2006, 05:13 PM
here's the text of the idaho yield law, attornatus, and anyone else:
http://www3.state.id.us/cgi-bin/newidst?sctid=490070020.K

if you like what you see, please find your oregon legislators here:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

and write them here:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/writelegsltr/

this is one area in which i strongly agree with libertarians -- the government doesn't need to tell me there's a tractor trailer coming. i can see that.

TCR Punk
09-21-2006, 05:23 PM
here's the text of the idaho yield law, attornatus, and anyone else:
http://www3.state.id.us/cgi-bin/newidst?sctid=490070020.K

if you like what you see, please find your oregon legislators here:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

and write them here:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/writelegsltr/

this is one area in which i strongly agree with libertarians -- the government doesn't need to tell me there's a tractor trailer coming. i can see that.


Thats awesome.

BillD
09-21-2006, 05:35 PM
Do you have a citation for that law, BillD? I think that text could be useful in a more comprehensive lobbying effort.

Here it is:
Idaho Statute (http://www3.state.id.us/cgi-bin/newidst?sctid=490070020.K)

Bill

steamboat
09-26-2006, 11:16 PM
I recently got my own first-ever bike ticket for going through a stop sign at a 4 way stop. Of course, I looked all ways as I approached. There were no cars in sight approaching any stop signs. $250 is indeed a joke - as it is to liken a bike to an automobile "vehicle," which the officer of course recited to me, along with trying to tell me I was not safe. The thrust of my complaint is that we are not just like a vehicle and never will be, and that the typical result of a bike accident is considerably less than for a car (or truck). I am not arguing what the letter of the law currently is, I'm arguing that the ticket amount is several times larger than it should be for these reasons, but yes, also that the laws need to be modified.

We can (legally) go on sidewalks in most places. And we can decide not to go through an intersection at all, but rather turn into the pedestrian walkway and go to the curb or whatever. We can go around in circles in the middle of a road for that matter. Sometimes I go down the middle of an open road weaving back and forth because it feels so great. But I don't do it when it may cause confusion to nearby motorists in front or behind me.

The day bikes are vehicles and ridgidly act like them is the day we have even more congestion on the roads, not to mention irate drivers and, like someone else suggested, a loss of certain universal reasons to ride a bike in the first place.

Back to the officer telling me I wasn't safe - doesn't it seem that ticketing bikers is overly subjective, arbitrary and inconisistent, far more so than for cars? The unspoken rules are much fuzzier, no pun intended. What are the stats for the number of times the police decided NOT to give a ticket to someone who went through a stop sign but DID give one to someone else for going through the same sign, or a different sign for that matter. Police could give hundreds, if not thousands, of tickets every day if they wanted. But if they did, they would see a major revolt from the public. Oh, almost forgot, my officer generously told me he could have cited me for running the previous stop sign as well but wouldn't. Yeah, right - that was the one that was a very leisurly, slightly uphill right turn from a non-busy side road to another non-busy side road.

I would like to know what are the Portland or national stats on bike related accidents, injuries, faults, costs, etc?

I agree that people need to go to court and make these arguments. And of course, also make them to the appropriate political officials.

Rixtir
09-27-2006, 12:06 AM
I've seen too many "STFU"s on here, to much "I'll do what I want" bravado on here, to care what happens to the self-centered crowd, frankly. You got a ticket? I don't care. Go cry to somebody else.

Of the stop sign/light runners I've seen lately, I've seen about equal numbers-- about half yield to other vehicles and pedestrians, about half charge through the intersection, forcing motorists to brake and pedestrians to run.

We all live in a society. We all have to share the roads. Contrary to your argument, your actions DO affect others around you. If you fail to yield, they affect the motorists who have to brake, and the pedestrians who have to dodge you. If you do get killed or injured, they affect the motorist who was unwillingly drawn into your game. If you injure or kill a pedestrian, that obviously affects somebody other than you. And like it or not, believe it or not, your actions do affect the non-cycling society's perception of ALL cyclists.

You can deny away, but you can't escape the reality-- in a society, what you do affects others. That's why we have rules that apply to everybody, rather than personal codes that apply only to the person who made up their own personal code. If the same rules apply to everybody, then everybody knows what the rules are, what their rights are, and what their duties are. There is no confusion about who has what right, and who has what duty, when the rules are clear. It's a necessity in a society where one person's actions affect others in that society.

So for all of you who don't care about the rest of society, go cry about your tickets to somebody who cares, because I don't.

Well, actually, I do enjoy knowing that the cops are doing their job...

steamboat
09-27-2006, 11:36 PM
Contrary to your argument, your actions DO affect others around you. If you fail to yield, they affect the motorists who have to brake, and the pedestrians who have to dodge you.
And like it or not, believe it or not, your actions do affect the non-cycling society's perception of ALL cyclists.

You can deny away, but you can't escape the reality-- in a society, what you do affects others. That's why we have rules that apply to everybody... It's a necessity in a society where one person's actions affect others in that society.


Nice try Rix, but no cigar. In fact, are you even a biker? Anyone could understand the basics of what I'm saying. Again, the ticket amount is way out of proportion, if not the ticket itself. The realistic/unspoken bike rules aren't clear for some of the reasons previously stated and are left up to arbitrary policeman trying to help make folks like you feel like there is some sort of order in the world. The world is not black and white. And I do not make pedestrians nor cars dodge me or brake because, for example, they weren't even there at the intersection, in my specific case. If anyone had been there, I would have stopped/yielded if they had the right of way. And being concerned about society's perceptions is truly hitting bottom. I guess the terrorists win again! Quick, cancel the Mozart opera that includes a scene with a symbolic head of Mohammed on a pole!! (along with Jesus and Buddha heads)

For the reader's further amusement and thought, I offer this timely defense of my (and others') sensibility, with a link to an npr radio piece that aired today. It is an interview with an Italian author about his new book that takes a look at the Italian way of thinking. Below is the link to the audio interview and book excerpt, followed by the same excerpt pasted directly into this posting.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6154369

The highway, or the psychopathology of the stoplight
People say we're intelligent. It's true. The problem is that we want to be intelligent all the time... They are stunned by the fireworks display that is the Italian mind... in Italy rules are not obeyed as they are elsewhere. We think it's an insult to our intelligence to comply with a regulation. Obedience is boring. We want to think about it. We want to decide whether a particular law applies to our specific case. In that place, at that time.

Do you see that red light?... It's not an order, as you might naively think. Nor is it a warning, as a superficial glance might suggest...
When many Italians see a stoplight, their brain perceives no prohibition (Red! Stop! Do not pass!). Instead, they see a stimulus... What kind of red is it? A pedestrian red? But it's seven in the morning. There are no pedestrians about this early. That means it's a negotiable red; it's a "not-quite-red." So we can go. Or is it a red at an intersection? What kind of intersection? You can see what's coming here, and the road is clear. So it's not a red, it's an "almost red," a "relative red."...
And what if it's a red at a dangerous intersection with traffic you can't see arriving at high speed? ... We stop, of course, and wait for the green light.

Rixtir
09-28-2006, 02:38 AM
Nice try Rix, but no cigar. In fact, are you even a biker?I spent a good chunk of today riding across the river and back to run my errands. Same yesterday. And tomorrow. And the next day....

I also walk a lot, because my bikes-- all 5 of them (randonneur, tourer, city bike, 29er, and commuter)-- are in various states of dis/repair. Unless you're old enough-- in your mid-thirties-- my guess is that I was commuting by bike before you were born. And for those who tell me "STFU, hippie," I was probably punk before you were born, too. But enough about me.

For what it's worth, I think it's ridiculous to expect a cyclist to stop at every corner of our unusually short city blocks, as I did on my ride home tonight. I think the law should be more accomodating to the realities of human-powered transportation. But it's not. And pissing off everybody who isn't on a bike isn't going to make the laws more accomodating. And in the larger scheme of things, Polar Bears facing extinction due to global warming is an injustice that is going to occupy more of my attention span than the manufactured injustice of somebody's entirely preventable and willfully acquired traffic citation.

I'll take you at your word that you're a courteous biker who always yields to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists who have the right-of-way. All the other red light/stop sign runners who post here also say they always yield the right-of-way. Maybe they all do. Maybe the really conscientious red light/stop sign runners (now there's an interesting concept) all post here, and all the ones who blow through intersections and don't yield don't post here. But they are out there-- about half of you, by my rough estimate. Tonight, there was the woman who blew a light, and forced the cars that had the right-of-way to wait (patiently, I might add) while she crossed the intersection. I caught up to her at the next light, so she really must have saved some time there. Last night, there was the guy who blew through a light, forcing the bus that had the right-of-way to brake for him. Last week, there was the guy who blew through a light, forcing a car to brake to avoid hitting him, then forcing two pedestrians to turn back and run for the curb to avoid a collision. And the day before that, there was the guy who blew by me while I was in the crosswalk. So maybe none of those clowns post here.

But here's what I'm thinking. We change the law so that stop signs may be treated as yield signs. Let's forget for the moment that the people we are asking to chaneg the law-- the Legislature, representatives of the people, and all that-- are the same people "we" are thumbing our noses at. Never mind that for now. Instead, let's talk about the problems with changing the law. First, the same people who run stop signs also run red lights. So we'll have to change the law to also let them run red lights, or there's really no point in changing anything. OK, so now it's legal to treat stop signs AND stop lights as yield signs. Only problem is, about half, by my rough estimate, of the stop sign/stop light runners also fail to yield the right-of-way. So nothing's really been solved by changing the law.

And here's the fun part: You know what these scofflaws who don't yield will say when confronted by all the law-abiding, stop light/stop sign running cyclists? "STFU, I'll ride how I want." "The next lycra-wearing pussy who tells me to yield, I'm going to throw his bike in the traffic lane." "The law is unjust, so I refuse to obey." "A bike does less damage, so it doesn't matter if I fail to yield." "Mind your own business." "Are you even a biker"?

And then they'll post here, finally, to complain about the injustice of their failure to yield tickets. And I'll be amazed that I was born in a world with Polar Bears, and they were gone before I left...

So maybe you'll keep quiet, because you just want to mind your own business. And I'll keep quiet, because what's the point in saying anything, and the cops will look the other way. And everybody will do as they please, and the unspoken rule will be that the rudest, pushiest, most selfish users of the road will rule the road, and ultimately, that means the Hummer drivers will be top dog, and cyclists will be dog meat. Only I don't want to live in a society like that, and neither will you, in the end.

Anyone could understand the basics of what I'm saying. Again, the ticket amount is way out of proportion, if not the ticket itself. The realistic/unspoken bike rules aren't clear for some of the reasons previously stated and are left up to arbitrary policeman trying to help make folks like you feel like there is some sort of order in the world. The world is not black and white. And I do not make pedestrians nor cars dodge me or brake because, for example, they weren't even there at the intersection, in my specific case. If anyone had been there, I would have stopped/yielded if they had the right of way. And being concerned about society's perceptions is truly hitting bottom. I guess the terrorists win again! Quick, cancel the Mozart opera that includes a scene with a symbolic head of Mohammed on a pole!! (along with Jesus and Buddha heads)In a free society, the censorship of ideas is usually abhorent, at least in theory, if not in practice. But in a society where we depend on the goodwill of others to pass laws that protect us, and to treat us fairly on the road, and in the courtroom (http://www.stc-law.com/strategies.html), we have to understand that to earn respect, we must also show respect (http://www.stc-law.com/bikebacklash.html).

I agree, the world isn't black and white, but in a society, the rules must be black and white, or nobody-- not the other members of society, nor you, nor the police-- knows what the rules are. That doesn't mean the rules must be simplistically black and white, but it does mean that they must be understandable for all, and that others must be able to predict what you and everybody else will do on the road, assuming that you and everybody else are following the rules.

For the reader's further amusement and thought...Thank you, that was interesting.

Rixtir
09-28-2006, 10:31 AM
Anyone could understand the basics of what I'm saying. Again, the ticket amount is way out of proportion, if not the ticket itself. The realistic/unspoken bike rules aren't clear for some of the reasons previously stated and are left up to arbitrary policeman trying to help make folks like you feel like there is some sort of order in the world.Perhaps it was inconsiderate of me to not address this, the salient point of your post, so my apologies for violating an unspoken rule which some may perceive about multiple posts. The unspoken rules are at best unclear and rather subjective, but my apologies to any who feel offended.

Anyway, to be fair...

$250 is indeed a joke - as it is to liken a bike to an automobile "vehicle," which the officer of course recited to me, along with trying to tell me I was not safe. The thrust of my complaint is that we are not just like a vehicle and never will be,Under Oregon law, the word "vehicle" has a much broader definition than "motor vehicle." You're confusing the two; they're not the same thing. "Motor Vehicle" is a subset of "Vehicle." So is "Bicycle"...

801.590 “Vehicle.” “Vehicle” means any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway and includes vehicles that are propelled or powered by any means. “Vehicle” does not include a manufactured structure. [1983 c.338 §109; 2003 c.655 §94]

A bicycle is a vehicle. So is a motor vehicle. So is any other device by which any person or property may be transported. And you wouldn't want that to change, because the day a bicycle isn't a vehicle is the day some town in Oregon can decide that bicycles don't belong on the road. Or the sidewalk.

So a bicyle is, and should be, a vehicle, and is therefore subject to the applicable sections of the Vehicle Code.


and that the typical result of a bike accident is considerably less than for a car (or truck). I am not arguing what the letter of the law currently is, I'm arguing that the ticket amount is several times larger than it should be for these reasons,First, bicyclists can and do injure and kill pedestrians (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20301924-5006785,00.html). The "typical result" is no comfort to the injured or dead pedestrian. Second, the "typical result" of a collision between a car and a bicycle is injury or death to the bicyclist, and damage to the car. The bicyclist has no legal or moral right to inflict either upon the unwitting motorist who is just trying to get from point A to point B. It's not just about what happens to you when you take your own life in your hands; it's about what you inflict on somebody else.

Second, you might think the ticket is disproportionate, because the "typical result of a bike accident is considerably less than for a car," but that's not how liability works-- at least not exactly. Liability is based on a duty you owe to everybody else, and a violation of that duty. A citation is merely a preventative measure designed to coerce you into complying with that duty you owe to everybody else. Your liability isn't based on how much damage would "typically result," and neither is the preventative measure society installs to coerce you into compliance-- at least, not exactly. Instead, the coercive measure is based on the perceived danger of the behavior society is discouraging, and the amount of coercion society believes is necessary to discourage that prohibited behavior. It could be argued, in fact, that the citation amount isn't high enough, because it's not coercing the desired behavior.

but yes, also that the laws need to be modified.

We can (legally) go on sidewalks in most places. And we can decide not to go through an intersection at all, but rather turn into the pedestrian walkway and go to the curb or whatever.True, but that's not evidence that bicycles aren't vehicles.

We can go around in circles in the middle of a road for that matter.Not legally, you can't.

Sometimes I go down the middle of an open road weaving back and forth because it feels so great.Also illegal.

But I don't do it when it may cause confusion to nearby motorists in front or behind me.

The day bikes are vehicles and ridgidly act like them is the day we have even more congestion on the roads,How so? In Oregon, bicycles have their own lanes; how would observance of the traffic rules result in more congestion? Is that just rhetoric?

not to mention irate driversYou're not listening to the drivers-- they're irate now, and the reason they cite is bicyclist's flagrant violation of the traffic rules.

and, like someone else suggested, a loss of certain universal reasons to ride a bike in the first place.And as I said, I don't ride a bike because of some mistaken belief that the laws don't apply to me; I ride because it's better for the environment, and better for me.

Back to the officer telling me I wasn't safe - doesn't it seem that ticketing bikers is overly subjective, arbitrary and inconisistent, far more so than for cars?No. The police have always had discretion. I was stopped by an officer a few years ago-- while driving-- and had expired registration. I was given a a citation, and a warning to park the car until it was legal. He could have impounded my car, but didn't. It was entirely up to the officer's discretion. It always is.

The unspoken rules are much fuzzier, no pun intended. What are the stats for the number of times the police decided NOT to give a ticket to someone who went through a stop sign but DID give one to someone else for going through the same sign, or a different sign for that matter. Police could give hundreds, if not thousands, of tickets every day if they wanted.Of course they could. But they don't. And I doubt the reason is "public revolt." The fact that you got a ticket, but someone else didn't, isn't an argument that you were unfairly cited. You violated the law, and you were caught. In fact, the officer gave you a break-- you got one $242 citation, instead of two.

At best, the fact that you got a ticket but somebody else didn't is an argument that it's unfair that they didn't get a ticket for blowing a stop sign. Which is what the motorists argue when they have to stop and then see you blowing a stop sign.

Russell
09-28-2006, 11:34 AM
The highway, or the psychopathology of the stoplight
People say we're intelligent. It's true. The problem is that we want to be intelligent all the time... They are stunned by the fireworks display that is the Italian mind... in Italy rules are not obeyed as they are elsewhere. We think it's an insult to our intelligence to comply with a regulation. Obedience is boring. We want to think about it. We want to decide whether a particular law applies to our specific case. In that place, at that time.

Do you see that red light?... It's not an order, as you might naively think. Nor is it a warning, as a superficial glance might suggest...
When many Italians see a stoplight, their brain perceives no prohibition (Red! Stop! Do not pass!). Instead, they see a stimulus... What kind of red is it? A pedestrian red? But it's seven in the morning. There are no pedestrians about this early. That means it's a negotiable red; it's a "not-quite-red." So we can go. Or is it a red at an intersection? What kind of intersection? You can see what's coming here, and the road is clear. So it's not a red, it's an "almost red," a "relative red."...
And what if it's a red at a dangerous intersection with traffic you can't see arriving at high speed? ... We stop, of course, and wait for the green light.

Are you holding up Italy as a model for what you want Portland to look like from a traffic perspective? I hope not.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3611087.stm

Attornatus_Oregonensis
09-28-2006, 01:22 PM
Thanks jami and BillD for the links. And to Bjorn for finding the text of HB 2768. If you are interested in writing a group letter to Portland-area representatives and/or the BTA requesting the re-introduction of HB 2768 or introduction of a similar bill, please email me privately, feel free to suggest text, and if there is enough interest I'll share a draft letter with everyone.


Playing Devil's Advocate, why should we change the laws? ... [T]he same scofflaws who blow stop signs and stoplights also disregard right of way. ... So if the attitude is that they'll do as they please, regardless of what the law is, why should the law be changed?

I would take issue with this characterization. If the general attitude were that we'll do as we please regardless of the law, then the law probably should not be changed. But I don't think that's the general attitude.

I never disregard the right of way -- sometimes to the point of having to urge motorists to do the safe thing and take theirj right of way. But I don't always come to a full and complete stop at every stop sign. Yet I believe that I am a safe cyclist. And I believe that my behavior is typical of the majority of cyclists. (Perhaps we should have a separate discussion of scofflaw cyclists, for whom I share your frustration.)

It seems to me that whether you believe the law should be changed turns on whether you believe that cyclists can and are riding safely when they follow the right of way laws but don't necessarily stop completely at each signal. I think most people feel this way (but I'm sure I'll hear from those of you who don't). Also I believe that requiring the complete stop required of motor vehicles -- because it is not necessary for safety -- represents a hinderance to cyclists. Having to put a foot down, which most cyclists must do to fully stop, is inconvenient and slows cyclists down unnecessarily. But we want a public policy that encourages safe cycling. Thus, the law should change in this regard.

I'd also like to say something that may seem obvious but is only intended to be helpful: The law is so important because it reflects our collective judgment of what behavior is and is not permitted. There is no alternative to the law; it's all that stands between us and either chaos or tyranny. And its your responsibility to know the law. So when you violate it, you have to be willing to accept the consequences.

But I sympathize on the ticket. I think the law is unjust in this instance, so I'm trying to help change it. Please join me. If I could offer a free piece of advice (and you know what that's worth), it's this: Let's stay focused on the goal of making cycling a safe and viable transportation choice for Portland and beyond. Working to educate others and change cycling law and policy is the only constructive option.

Rixtir
09-28-2006, 04:28 PM
I would take issue with this characterization. If the general attitude were that we'll do as we please regardless of the law, then the law probably should not be changed. But I don't think that's the general attitude.I think if i were to say that every rider who blows lights/signs also disregards right-of-way, that would be overly broad, and false. I've seen some very careful and conscientious riders slow and then roll through. I've also seen some riders blow through at speed with absolute disregard for anybody else; I've seen numerous incidents of drivers and pedestrians having to maneuver to avoid these riders. Both types of cyclists are riding in this town, and in significant numbers.

On that basis, and not on your own personal riding style, my question still stands: If cyclists will do as they please, regardless of the law, then why change the law?


And I believe that my behavior is typical of the majority of cyclists. (Perhaps we should have a separate discussion of scofflaw cyclists, for whom I share your frustration.)My observation of the scofflaws who refuse to yield right-of-way is that there are so many of them that it's open to debate as to whether yielding represents the majority practice.

It seems to me that whether you believe the law should be changed turns on whether you believe that cyclists can and are riding safely when they follow the right of way laws but don't necessarily stop completely at each signal. I think most people feel this way (but I'm sure I'll hear from those of you who don't). Also I believe that requiring the complete stop required of motor vehicles -- because it is not necessary for safety -- represents a hinderance to cyclists. Having to put a foot down, which most cyclists must do to fully stop, is inconvenient and slows cyclists down unnecessarily. But we want a public policy that encourages safe cycling. Thus, the law should change in this regard.I agree with this; my question turns on whether effecting a change in the law will make any difference when failure to yield is so common an occurrence amongst those who blow through intersections.

I'd also like to say something that may seem obvious but is only intended to be helpful: The law is so important because it reflects our collective judgment of what behavior is and is not permitted. There is no alternative to the law; it's all that stands between us and either chaos or tyranny. And its your responsibility to know the law. So when you violate it, you have to be willing to accept the consequences.Well put! I agree with this as well, but you and I are in the minority in this thread. Those who "conscientiously" blow through stop signs have been quite vocal about their disregard for the collective judgment.

RobCat
09-29-2006, 08:25 PM
...Well put! I agree with this as well, but you and I are in the minority in this thread. Those who "conscientiously" blow through stop signs have been quite vocal about their disregard for the collective judgment.

Proud to stand with the minority. :cool:

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-03-2006, 12:54 PM
Went for a night ride last night in NW. I never did come to a "full and complete" stop at any of the stop signs, but I also never took someone else's right of way or blew through any intersections. I just slowed down, got out of the saddle so I could track-stand if necessary, looked in all directions, then moved on -- you know the drill. I counted 11 stop signs total. So, I guess I racked up $2,750 in fines. Biking's getting expensive.