Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I was going to try to extend my big bear classic recollections tonight (although I've probably written about the race for longer than I raced the race.) But a very kind police man gave me a new topic. 

My commute home from work is about two miles long, and all down hill. In the two miles, there are five traffic lights. The lights are incredibly worthless at night, and do nothing except stop the flow of traffic and waste time. The lights really should just be turned off from 9pm to 6am.
On my way home tonight, I pedaled through one red light. I slowed to make sure no cars were coming, (there never are anyway), and went on through. I was under the assumption that cyclists were permitted to treat a red light as a stop sign. Apparently, I was mistaken.

Half a mile later, a police car turns on his lights and shoots in front of me, parking half way on the sidewalk. The officer gets out of his car and shouts "So what, you don't think you have to obey the rules of the road? Think you can just blow through red lights? Is it gona mess up you 'pace' to stop?" I explained to him that I had read it was permissible for a cyclist to use a traffic signal as a stop sign.
"Ohhh that's what ya read did you? Well were'd you read that?"
"I can't remember" I said
"Oh so you can't remember. So which one is it? You can't remember or you read it?"
"I read it somewhere."
"Well were did you read it?"
I told him again that I couldn't remember. The conversation continued like this for at least one more 'where?' 'cant remember.' cycle. He then proceeded to tell me that if I did it again I would be fined $110 and get points on my drivers licence.

That's $110 AND points on my drivers licence. For riding a bike. He then said "And if you want to doubt me, I'll give you the fine and ticket right now." I said I didn't doubt him.
But here's the PA bike code.

Section 3502. Penalty for violation of subchapter.
Any person violating any provision of this subchapter is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $10.

$10 is a little weee bit less severe. But I was also wrong. A bike is subject to the same rules as a car in PA. Which I think is ridiculous, but I guess I'll have to follow the law until its changed. I just do not think the police man had to be such a dick about it. 

1 comment:

sean said...

i've been ticketed for it before. the officer never showed for court, but i was ready to plead guilty. if we want the same rights as cars, we have to follow the same rules. that's pretty sweet if pa is only a $10 fine. ny was the exact same penalty as in a motor vehicle.