Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wrong Citation?



I got an email from someone with keen eyes (thanks Gary and crew!) and they note that the citation on my ticket is incorrect. I was cited for 21201(a), which states:

21201. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.


But the description says "Must right to right of roadway" (sic). I don't know the semantics of ticket writing, but is this automatic grounds for dismissal? I clearly have 2 brakes on my bike. I don't even own a fixed gear bike.

Is there a case of fixed gear profiling going on in Long Beach? Maybe the cops are familiar with law, but not the basic ones that govern lawful riding?

4 comments:

dudeonabike said...

My 2 cents: Not sure there's a hard and fast rule on throwing out tickets due to certain officer errors. Depends on several factors (how major/minor the error), whether it is/can be corrected, whether you get notice of the correction, etc. Here's a good thread on what I mean: http://tinyurl.com/d74okb
If you've got time on your hands, it would be worth contesting, pointing out to the judge the officer's mistake--and certainly the unintelligible grammar. Legally, it may give you improper notice of the crime for which you're being cited. And that's a no-no. I've had traffic judges be sympathetic--s/he could do nothing, could throw it out, could reduce your fine, could reprimand the officer, etc. If you've got some time on your hands and choose to contest it, and you make your case presentation interesting, you just might amuse the judge (who may be reluctantly sitting through a days-worth of boring traffic violations)and possibly win him/her over to your side. It might be a fun thing to go and photograph and blog about. Tickets totally suck though, so I feel your pain. But I fought my cycling ticket and came out victorious (but I'm an attorney so I just had to give it a try).
(Aside: Dig your blog and life journey, so big props for that.)

2whls3spds said...

My 25 pesos worth...the cop was bored and had no real clue as to what he was writing a ticket for. Take it to court and show his incompetence and ignorance of the law. I have had to do so several times.

Aaron

John Nelson said...

You should contest it. I'd back it up with all the the good work you do to promote bicycling as a viable mode of transportation. Not that it matters much and I'm sure it's common knowledge but when there's a recession and cities are strapped for revenu, surprise surprise, the number of tickets issued sky-rocket.
Here's a quote from a recent story:
"Traffic tickets go up significantly when local government revenue
falls, they found. Their study showed for the first time evidence of how 'local governments behave, in part, as though traffic tickets are a revenue tool to help offset periods of fiscal distress.'"...

anthony_coley said...

On a side note if I rode a brake-less fixed gear bike and received a ticket I would contest it based on the wording of SC: 21201

/*
21201. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
*/

I would contest that my legs are brakes and I could "make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement." I see those fixie guys locking up their rear wheels all the time..

Good luck with what ever you do..