Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I am a fool!

I just got a $281 ticket.

For running a red light.

On my bicycle.

I had a red light, traffic going in the opposite direction had green + left-arrow. There were no cars in the opposite left-turn lane. I wasn't going to get a light until the next light cycle at least and bikes don't trigger the sensors at that intersection. What the hell ya gonna do, right?

But what's really stupid is that when the cop asked for ID I gave it to him. I could have just said, "No, I don't carry my license when I ride my bike." He'd have given me a big old ticket for operation of a vehicle without a license. Which does him a lot of good when he can't identify me (he was a motorcycle cop, so he couldn't have actually arrested me). So I'd just give him a fake name and address (Hi, I'm William Hawthorne, 1240 N. Monroe St. in San José) and be off scot-free.

Next time... next time...


Danielle said...

Doh! I got pulled over once for the same thing, but I just got a lecture. In fact, I have been pulled over in my car about five times as well and only got a warning. I think being a girl helps :-)

And I don't think they can give you a ticket for riding a bike without a license. Otherwise, thousands of elementary school kids would be in big trouble! So yeah it seems like a weird deal. They can also take away your license if you have multiple violations on your bike. Which makes no sense whatsoever, since you can still ride your bike. I am actually curious what the actual logistics of these bike laws are, i.e. if you said you didn't have your license if there was anything whatso ever they could do...

Al Dimond said...

I think there's a distinction between riding a bike on a sidewalk like a pedestrian and riding on the street like a vehicle. We're "expected to follow traffic laws" I guess. I sure hope parents don't let their little kids ride in the bike lanes on that street, though... that would be a recipe for disaster. (Actually, you can't get very many places around here on side streets at all. When I think of my walk to school as a kid, I can't think of a place in Santa Clara where you could walk that far without crossing or walking along a 4-lane street.)

I just hope it doesn't affect my car insurance rates too much. I guess if it does I could protest that I was on my bike. But it probably won't work. D'oh!

I once saw a police officer on a bicycle in Urbana trying to stop someone in the middle of the quad. The guy started running through the crowd crossing Green street and everyone was too busy listening to their iPods to get out of the way of the cop. Either that or they just wanted to fight the power.