Tickets and trackstands

After Wednesday’s traffic enforcement action, there was some confusion about ticket amounts and whether or not a trackstand (when a cyclist stops, but keeps their feet in the pedals) qualified as a “complete stop” in the eyes of the fuzz.

Traffic division Commander Bill Sinnott wants to clear up the confusion…

You may recall OPB reported that “The tickets will cost the two wheelers $94 and the motorists $274.” They got it right but Sinnott actually misspoke. The fact is that bikes and motor vehicles both get $274 tickets. Sinnott said he’s sorry for the confusion this caused.

And there was a flurry of emails going around about whether or not trackstands are considered legal…or if it was required to put a foot down to avoid a ticket. Here’s what Sinnott says:

“Trackstands are fine. The law requires the wheels to stop moving in order to be considered a stop. However, it’s very rare for a police officer to cite someone just because the wheels don’t “completely” cease movement.” (This doesn’t mean you can roll stop signs!)

So there you have it folks, “straight from the horses mouth” as they say. Big props to Bill for getting me this info and for having the integrity to admit a small error.

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C3PNo
C3PNo
16 years ago

Momentum is our fuel.

The ability to maintain momentum is a neccesary compotent of efficient cycling.

Modern transportation law will continue to misunderstand cycling until it is run by cyclists (not just one).

Jeff
Jeff
16 years ago

C3PNo — spot on. State legislators in Idaho apparently understand this (who would have guessed?), because it’s been legal there for cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs for over a decade. Not to mention allowing cyclists to treat red lights as “stop & proceed when clear”.

When the “stop as yield for cyclists” came up in Oregon legislature during the 2003 session — it actually passed the House but died in the Senate — it seemed to me that many cyclists viewed it as irrelevant, or too confusing for teaching kids, or worse, a nefarious government plot to cull the growing herd of cyclists.

There’s nothing inherently dangerous about it for cyclists, provided you can understand the concept of “Yield”. Nor does it give any special rights to cyclists (god knows we’ve got enough already, judging from the Trib & Big O letters-to-the-editor) as the responsibility for yielding when necessary is completely on the cyclist. It does allow cyclists to use their own judgement & maintain momentum when safe to do so — as well as allowing cops to enforce unsafe cycling behaviors — and that’s fine with me.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

I think the bigger question about a rolling stop law is whether or not it is a good PR move for cycling in general. I mean, think of the backlash this would cause!

As silly and annoying as it may seem for cyclists to have the same laws as motor vehicles, I’m just not convinced having special laws for bikes is the best thing at this point. Oooh…just got the urge to make this into a post!

Jeff
Jeff
16 years ago

Jonathan, you’re right, it is a very dubious PR move. But part of me (fluxuating in the vicinity of 50%) is very tired of trying to appease or reason with the motorist/complainer (viz: recent letters to the Oregonian & Tribune) that would have us believe that every time they venture forth in their SUV, cyclists are lining up to hurl themselves under the wheels.

As someone who does my fair share of driving around Portland, and especially the bike-infested inner eastside, let me say: I just can’t see it. Yes, I see cyclists doing stupid things. Do I feel endangered by them, within my metal carapace? C’mon…

Your question of the political wisdom of this is a good one, but worrying about how to satisfy people who have absolutely no concern for or understanding of bicyclists other than to figure out how to get ’em off the road (or failing that, figuring out how to tax & license ’em) seems like a monumental waste of time.

Jeff
Jeff
16 years ago

And, exactly why do bicyclists hate stop signs? click on the link below and scroll down the list of articles to “Why Bicyclists…”

http://www.tarheelcyclists.org/Articles.htm

andrew morton
16 years ago

Or you can skip the search for “hate stop signs” an just click this link: http://www.tarheelcyclists.org/Articles/Why_Bicyclists_Hate_Stop_Signs.pdf

Pete
Pete
16 years ago

special laws? we need only one..Cars must yield right of way to everyone. Pedestrians, Cyclists, Buses, Taxicabs, Cats, Dogs, squirrels, etc. They are the killing machines and they should be the ones inconvieneced. And I drive a car to work.

Dabby
16 years ago

What is a Trackstand?
It sounds cool. I am going to look into it, then learn how to do one, or it, or whatever it is.
I like the mention of momentum, though, sadly, a track stand is about the opposite of momentum. But, momentum, or, a flow through the city, is what it is all about.
Just like a fine skatepark, a flow is neccesary.
I admit, once again, that I fully look, then run lights. But this is all about flow and momentum.
I think the california stop rule could be good, as long as bicyclists are aware of their surroundings, and take a good look before going.
Once again, if someone could tell me how to do a trackstand, that would be great….

d. davis
d. davis
16 years ago

The trackstand is a manuever where you are stationary on your bike with both feet still on the pedals, balancing. For a how-to, see here or here . Generally speaking they are easier done on fixed gear but not impossible on a geared bike.

Dabby
16 years ago

So, how much for lessons?
I guess my sacrcasm doesn’t transfer well to the supernet…..

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

For those of you who don’t know Dabby, check out this photo. 😉