Will California bicyclists receive tickets for slowing traffic?

September 22, 2014

bicycles-70aAs a new law takes effect requiring motorists to take precautions as they pass bicyclists on the road, some drivers are wondering whether bicycle-induced traffic pileups will become more common.

The new law that took effect last week allows officers to cite drivers who come within three feet of bicyclists when passing them on the road. But, a California law is already on the books that allows officers to cite drivers on two-lane highways who do not pull over when a line of five or more vehicles assembles behind them.

The mandate applies to bicyclists, as well as to motorists.


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Ted Slanders

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California V C Section 22400 Minimum Speed Law: (a) No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.


Let these wannabe Tour de France and flamboyantly dressed “ Timmy Ten Speed” cyclists obey ALL OF THE RULES of the road as the automobile has to do, therefore, if they can’t travel at the speed posted for said highway with no bike lanes, then they should remain off of that particular highway in the first place, by law!


Since the advent of the motor car, all California roads subsequently were built for automobile, and the bicycle is an afterthought. Therefore, the riders of bicycles are the ones that should be looking out for their safety the most at all times! They are not to take a laissez faire attitude by dangerously riding side-by-side in pairs or more in a SINGLE BIKE LANE, running stop signs and red signals, and acting like because they’re vulnerable, we’re suppose to bend over backwards for them by putting us in possible danger!


Furthermore, don’t get me started on bicyclists needing to pass the same tests automobile drivers have to do, plus paying for yearly registrations, etc.!


TaxMeAgain

For God’s sake Ted, don’t “bend over backwards!” It’d be really difficult to steer your 6,000 SUV that way. I ride bicycles, and I pay all the same taxes you do, my selfish, self centered friend. I pay property, income, sales, vehicle, fuel, and social security taxes just like you do. Besides, we are only using 3 feet of the road, not the whole thing, and we NEVER use the freeways at all.


I wonder if you also complain about traffic…


Perspicacious

No, he only complains about Christians.


Ted Slanders

Perspicacious,


For the most part, I only complain about the hypocritical pseudo-christian, or affectionately known as the “Burger King Christian,” where they want their bible “their way” and not the Hebrew God’s way.


They will pay upon Judgment Day when they don’t follow ALL of the bible, that is for sure! That man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word of God.” (Luke 4:4 KJV) “EVERY WORD of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.“ (Proverbs 30:5)


OnTheOtherHand

Thanks for distracting Ted’s attention — I think. Now we get to read a few of his rants on “true Christians.” At least they are sometimes amusing unlike his post here.


Messkit

Really? Never use the freeways? Does that count the bicycles riding up and down the Grade….after they pass the “Bicycles Must Exit” signs (see, you are REQUIRED to use the stagecoach road)? Or the nimrods who think HWY 58 over the San Marcos pass, is a great Tour De France mountain practice? You know, for going as fast as they can…in the car lanes?


Ever wonder why some bicycle riders insist on taking HWY 41 to Morro Bay….right down the middle? Should I even mention HWY 1, as they ride 3-4 wide as full speed cars and trucks roar on by?


Self centered? More like self aware.


Ted Slanders

TaxMeAgain,


When you mentioned “for God’s sake….” you failed to mention in what God you were referring too.


Relative to this stories topic, I am self-centered by going down the middle of the streets and highways, whereas, your ten-speed cohorts are on the white lines of the bike lanes as if they weren’t aware that they too should be in the center of their lane!


You do NOT pay the same taxes that I do that you mentioned if you ride your two-wheel bicycle without it being registered and paying other vehicle fees upon it, period!

I am sure you’re the bike angel that I see that is following the laws completely, not riding two or three abreast in a SINGLE bike lane, and I am sure you don’t run red lights and you stop at ALL stop signs. Good for you.


I most certainly complain about traffic when Lance Armstrong is up ahead with his brethren, along with their questionable outfits, in taking up the lane of a two lane road and not following the posted speed limit because they’re peddling too slow! While they are riding for FREE upon the highways built for automobiles, they seem to think it’s okay to hold up traffic by not following California V C Section 22400 Minimum Speed Law!


TaxMeAgain

“not following the posted speed limit because they’re peddling too slow!” says a guy who has never ridden a bike.


Einstein, a bicycle is not a vehicle:


Bicycle: 231. A bicycle is a device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. Persons riding bicycles are subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5.


Vehicle: 670. A “vehicle” is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.


VC 22400: Minimum Speed Law: 22400. (a) No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.


No person shall bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the stop is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.


(b) Whenever the Department of Transportation determines on the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that slow speeds on any part of a state highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the department may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall drive a vehicle, except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law, when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected along the part of the highway for which a minimum speed limit is established.


Subdivision (b) of this section shall apply only to vehicles subject to registration.


Ted Slanders

TaxMeAgain,


You were hoisted upon your own petard! Thank you for making our point about this whole scenario, in that bicycles are not vehicles, but use the highways nonetheless whereas the motorist are to follow additional laws as if they were vehicles!


“Subdivision (b) of this section shall apply only to vehicles subject to registration.” Another rub, the Lance Armstrong’s don’t have to register their bicycles, nor do they pay other DMV fees, or take tests, etc., relating to their mode of transportation.


You don’t need to be an Einstein to prove that the “Timmy Ten Speeds” use our highways for free, hold up traffic, and act as though they don’t have to follow the law, as they display their flamboyant questionable attire that would probably make any LGBT member blush!


Jorge Estrada

Recently I’ve become a psycolist and that’s very dangerous for drivers. With me veering all over the road sholder, this new law protects me from my swirving and mirror dodging. Finally California has created another law to fund somebody else.


DocT

So now drivers in CA get tickets for NOT hitting bicyclists…..doh!


Why not play it extra safe and make it 4 feet? Shoot, why mess around…..4 ft. 9 inches provides an even greater safety margin!


panflash

This is getting ridiculous. If bicyclists have “equal rights” on the roads, then they should have equal responsibilities and requirements as well. So they should be required to pass a written exam and a road test and pay the same costs to obtain a bicycle operator’s license, they should be required to register and license their bicycles at the same cost as vehicular drivers, they should be required to hold appropriate insurances at the same levels as vehicular drivers, and they should be subject to the same laws and penalties for violating vehicle code laws and regulations.


The bicycle license plates should be the same size as vehicular plates so that law enforcement officers can properly read them, the plates should be displayed in front and back, and the bicyclists should be required to show their proof of registration and insurance certification when stopped by law enforcement officers.


We’re told that the vehicle registration and licensing fees that we pay are intended for maintenance of the roadways. Well, if bicyclists are allowed to use the roadways, then they should pay their share of those costs too.


And those ridiculous recumbent bicycles should be banned from public streets altogether. Their profile on the road is so low that it is sometimes difficult if not impossible for vehicular drivers to safely observe them.


If bicyclists want “equal rights” on the roads, then they should have no problem sharing the same responsibilities.


OldNed

And while we’re at it let’s require pedestrians who cross roads to be licensed and insured. Oh, and kids who ride their bikes to school should be required to have insurance. Never mind the fact that cyclists typically drive as much as anyone and are already paying their share of road maintenance costs through gas tax and local taxes to fund road improvements. And also never mind the fact that an 18 pound bike with a 165 pound rider does just a little less damage to roads than an enormous SUV or a Ford F350.


TaxMeAgain

exactly.


TaxMeAgain

I get that some bikers blatantly ignore some laws. Not cool.


But, do automobile drivers get that bicyclists are often hit or killed while just trying to use a public road? We are just trying to end the slaughter.


I ALWAYS cross the center line to all plenty of room for bicyclists. You can’t tell when they might hit something and get a flat or wipe out, so I stay away. I always ensure that its safe for me to cross the center line FIRST. If can’t see because of a hill or a curve OR if traffic is coming, I do NOT cross the center line and I brake and wait until I can. This means that I have to slow down to the speed of the bicycle once in a while.


IN MY LIFE I have only had to brake about 10 times. Total time from “my” life lost = less than five minutes.


It’s pretty easy to be nice to bicyclists. I can see, however, why we had to pass a law for this.


NorthCountyGuy

Why are packs of 100s of bikes running stop signs, without even slowing down, being allowed to break the traffic laws?


OldNed

Based on your name, I assume you live in the north county. When is the last time you saw a pack of “hundreds” of cyclists in the north county, let alone hundreds of cyclist running stop signs? I’ve lived and ridden in big cities and have never seen packs of hundreds of cyclists. And I’ve certainly never seen a pack of hundreds of cyclists running stop signs. The level of hyperbole that invariably arises in comments related to cyclists is truly amazing.


OnTheOtherHand

There are 3 circumstances where this is possible (although more likely less than 100).


The SLO Bike Club puts on a fundraising ride from Creston in the spring where there could be that many people starting out at once although they would break up into smaller groups after encountering the first hills. (They make substantial donations from this ride to Creston and Shandon schools and other local charities.)


There is also the Great Western Bike Rally on Memorial Day Weekend in Paso. They split the riders up into smaller groups but may still have up to 100 at the start of some.


The big SF to LA Aids ride sometimes passes through North County and, again, can have large groups at the start of the day.


A few other rides attract smaller but still numerous groups of cyclists. I can’t imagine why cyclists from all over the state would want to come and pay for an organized ride in this area when they could travel in “a pack of hundreds” in big cities, can you?


TaxMeAgain

If there was a “pack of 100s of bikes,” I think it’d make sense to let them all go through (after checking for safety). You CAN wait a minute you know. They are all out riding together, making some stop may split up the group, cause a crash, or worse. What do you care if it takes an extra minute?


NorthCountyGuy

Why are the traffic laws not being enforced against discourteous, dangerous and lawless bike riders?


I recall an incident where a discourteous bike rider passed me on the right while I was fully stopped at a stop sign. Ir ran the stop sign without even slowing down, Then, without warning, the bike suddenly made a hard left turn directly front of my front bumper without even trying to signal.a left turn.


This new law requiring 3 feet of clearance is totally insane.


Many streets and roads in SLO county are too narrow for 3 feet of clearance. Are motorists supposed to crash head-on with oncoming traffic?


TaxMeAgain

So you agree that bikes can be challenging for motorists and yet you also think that staying at least a yard away is “insane?”


OnTheOtherHand

I doubt that a cop would enforce the 3′ law in a case like that — especially since the cyclist violated at least 2 laws to put himself in that position without sufficient time to react. As long as the situation is demonstrably as you stated, I think that even with cyclists on a jury, you could successfully fight a lawsuit if you did.


Perspicacious

If I have anything to say about it they will.


1. Stupid bicyclists, stay to the right edge.

2. Stupid motorists, don’t sit behind the bicyclists like a moron. Slow down and go around them.

3.Stupid officers, try to remember the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. Don’t cite drivers for safely drifting a little over the center line to give the cyclists a cushion. Also cite bicyclists whenever they violate traffic laws.


Thank you very much.


kayaknut

Well they don’t write them tickets now for running stop signs or lights, riding on the sidewalk, not using hand signals for turning, riding at night without proper lights and clothing, or dangerous lane changes so what makes us think they will for this?


Perspicacious

Have you ever seen one of these bicyclist violations when an officer was present to witness it and cite them? I have seen a million bicyclist violations that weren’t cited either, but I never saw an officer around at the same time, that might explain it.


kayaknut

Yes I have, recently, I was driving on Grand Ave and a cyclist ran the red light at 16th and in the lane next to me was a Grover Beach police officer. He could have very easily turned onto 16th and pulled the cyclist over and issued a ticket.


OnTheOtherHand

He should have done so. Having had a discussion with a GB cop a few years ago, they prioritize their enforcement efforts because they have (or at least think they have) too much to do. He probably thought that they cyclist was not a risk to anyone but himself. This is wrong because a move like that can cause a driver to make a panic maneuver resulting in a crash.


I was riding along Grand a few blocks before that and waiting at a light when another cyclist ran the light. I was going to chew his a$$ out when I caught up to him but he turned off just before I caught up. (Possibly on 16th — I wonder if it was the same irresponsible punk kid? (late teens — early twenties, no helmet)


MAD HATTER

The CHP need to monitor Highway 1 on the Mesa. Those bike guys love to not only hog the road but run the light on the hill. I amost took out a few the other day when they ran the red light. Next time you may no be so lucky.


TaxMeAgain

You should see how many cars SPEED! Dang.


OnTheOtherHand

And do California stops and don’t signal turns . . .. But the most dangerous are the ones on their cell phones and/or texting. They are dangerous to EVERYONE else on the road but collisions tend to be harsher on cyclists.