Or maybe he was confused after losing an hour of sleep two Sunday’s ago when the nation switched to Daylight Savings Time.
Either way, Jerry Counts was well within his rights on March 13th to ride his bicycle along a section of I-15 north of San Bernardino, where bikes are legally allowed on the roadway.
Yet he was handcuffed and ticketed by a CHP officer for violating CVC 21960(a), using a non-motorized vehicle on the freeway.
Yes, they handcuffed a 75-year old man to write a traffic ticket.
An invalid one, at that.
When was the last time you heard of a 75-year old man being pulled from his car and cuffed for a simple traffic violation?
As Ginny Sullivan of the Adventure Cycling Association points out in an email, this section of the freeway is part of the ACA’s Bicycle Route 66, running south of Oak Hill Road between exits 138 and 129, where no viable alternate route exists.
The DMV puts it this way,
Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”
As the photos she pulled from Google Earth show, there are no signs at either entrance prohibiting pedal-powered bicycles from riding on the freeway.
I’d like to write this off as a simple mistake.
However, it fits a long pattern of CHP officers being unaware of the rights of cyclists, whether it’s riding on the freeway, or ticketing cyclists for riding two abreast or in the traffic lane. Which points to officers receiving inadequate training both at the academy and in the field.
Although the bigger question is why the officer felt the need to handcuff a man well past retirement age, for the simple crime of riding a bicycle.
Advocating on his behalf, Sullivan has contacted both the CHP and Caltrans District 8 asking that the ticket be dismissed, and that Caltrans provide the CHP with a letter stating that bicyclists are allowed on that section of the freeway. And that the CHP train its officers accordingly.
I’d take it a step further, and request a formal apology to Mr. Counts.
I’d also ask that the notoriously auto-centric CHP follow Caltrans lead, and accept that bikes are legally a part of the California traffic system, and we’re here to stay.
Because we shouldn’t have to know the laws regarding bicycling better than they do just to defend our right to the road.
Specialized apologizes for last week’s Playboy Bunny fiasco, claiming the models were hired by their German affiliate, without knowledge of its global marketing staff.
Which is kind of hard to believe, since they were hired to promote Specialized’s new Playboy-branded e-bike.
Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Glendale Mayor and Metro Boardmember Ara Najarian and Bike SGV Executive Director Wes Reutimann about Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure. And reminds us about Thursday’s celebration to benefit Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next.
Once again, Santa Monica police will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk this Saturday, regardless of who commits them. So straighten up and ride right, for one day at least.
The WeHo Bike Coalition announces that the West Hollywood city council has approved bike lanes on Fairfax Ave; when completed, they’ll join existing lanes in LA to create a continuous bike lane from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose.
The World Cycling League debuted in Carson over the weekend as teams from Pennsylvania and Mexico battled it out for the inaugural victory.
Bike Long Beach offers photos of last weekend’s successful Beach Streets Downtown.
Santa Barbara bike riders compete to see who can ride the slowest down a 50-foot course without putting a foot down or swerving out of their lane. Meanwhile, promise to ride slow yourself and you could win a new bike from People for Bikes.
A Salinas man is riding 40 miles a day for 40 days to raise funds for the homeless.
Yes, it is possible to ride cross-country sans chamois or other bike gear.
BuzzFeed offers 19 things every cyclist needs. Most of which most cyclists could probably do without.
Former pro Alex Candelario is offering bike tours through usually off-limits back country on Hawaii’s Big Island.
A bighearted firefighter replaces a bike that was stolen recently from a 10-year old Spokane boy.
A teenage driver in my hometown will be sentenced to 100 hours of community service at a bike nonprofit, and a $1,500 donation to a nonprofit bicycle organization, as part of a new diversion program for killing a cyclist after falling asleep at the wheel.
CNN looks at Chicago’s Heritage Bicycles, which has made bikes for everyone from Beyonce and Jay Z to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Washington’s popular bike-riding running back departs for the hated Cowboys.
Once again, someone used a DC bike rack to jump the fence at the White House. Considering how often that keeps happening, wouldn’t it be prudent to move that rack just a little?
An Orlando doctor says yes, riding a bike really can help with Parkinson’s.
Despite numerous studies showing bikes are good for business, Vancouver business owners oppose a bike lane on a busy shopping and dining street, which the city says is needed for safety.
Saskatoon’s mayor questions the cost of clearing snow from a protected bike lane; then again, he opposed building it in the first place.
Toronto’s notorious crack-smoking, anti-bike former mayor Rob Ford has died at 46.
A Belgian bike race is expected to go on despite Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.
Indian police crack down on bicyclists riding without a helmet.
An Australian program is working with kids as young as 10 years old to develop the first aboriginal cycling star.
A road raging Aussie driver is fined a whopping $100 plus $169.10 in court costs after smashing a cyclist’s helmet cam in a fit of anger.