7 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"Riding in NYC for 40+yrs with nary an incident with the police. Just did some shopping riding my commuter bike going about 10 mph... I got pulled over, ID'ed, then ticketed at 76 St & WEA for 'Running a Red Light' (well the Summons actually says, ""reckless operation of bicycle"")
Cop told me ""we're just doing what we're told"".

Now I read here this will cost me about $200?!! You've got to be kidding!

Bikers are obviously fair game -- easy and (lucrative) targets for Bloomberg? Seems to be getting worse, no?
Any advice/experiences? Is it even possible to fight or argue?

-Jed W"

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Advice from a two-time law school drop-out

1. Show up for the trial. Hope the cop doesn't and the case is dismissed.

2. If he does show and testifies you ran a red light, contest the alleged infraction as written on the summons. Argue in cross examination--don't take the stand yourself; don't admit you ran a red light.

You: Was I going an excessive rate of speed?
Him: No.
You: Was I weaving in and out of lanes?
Him: No.
You: Did I endanger or even simply make a driver or pedestrian stop, slow down, or apprehensive?
Him: No.
You: You've alleged I was operating my bicycle recklessly. How was I reckless?
Him: You ran a red light.
You: Is running a red light a violation of the vehicle code?
Him: Yes.
You: Have you ever written a ticket for someone going through a red light?
Him: Yes.
You: That is the infraction you charged on the ticket?
Him: Yes.
You: So you know there is provision in the vehicle code for charging someone with going through a red light?
Him: Yes.
You: Then, if your claim is I ran a red light, why didn't you cite me for running a red light?

Do not give direct testimony so you can't be asked any questions by the prosecutor/A.D.A. (who is young, inexperienced, and assigned to that court precisely to get some training and practice).

In summation argue for dismissal based on the ticket being fatally flawed, that it isdefective in that it is not written for the claimed infraction (the implication--and leave it as an implication--being that running a red light is not necessarily reckless at all times in all circumstances, that it is its own fraction with its own specific code number [which, being in Cleveland as I write this, I don't have].

...Then, bearing in mind, he who writes this dropped out of law school not once, but twice, pay your fine....

Anonymous's picture
XXX (not verified)
fool for a client

What's probably worse than acting as your own attorney (and having a fool for a client, or even worse, for a lawyer) is taking legal advice from a non-lawyer who dropped out of law school (where they don't teach cross-examination anyway). Not only are most of the suggested questions in the wrong form to get the desired answer, this is a classic example of asking one question too many. (There is also no ADA in traffic court; usually just the administrative law judge.)

Anonymous's picture
Don't Pull me over (not verified)
Riverside Drive

I am curious if the cops are going to set up bike checks on Riverside Drive and start pulling over all the groups that go through the red lights on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Why a rear view mirror could pay for itself..

..if you are alert and using it. Assuming you are riding safely, the only concern is getting a 'revenue ticket'. You will have to look behind you to cover all bases.

Don't forget, any tickets on a bike will negate safe driver credit toward your auto insurance. And, in a few years, that will amount to buying a new bike.

Anonymous's picture
hogwich guy (not verified)
plead not guilty and go to court!

i've been ticketed 3 times in nyc for running red lights over the years. these incidents were always while i commuted to work and being extremely cautious (unlike how i usually ride when on the road).

anyway, i pleaded not guilty, mailed the ticket in and waited for my court date. twice the cop didn't show up, thus, as richard stated, the charge was dismissed. the third time, and most recent, the cop showed up. i thought i was screwed. the cop stated his case, telling the judge an accurate description of the events, then the judge asked the cop if he was sure he was finished and if he wanted to add anything else. that's when i started feeling all giddy inside. turns out the judge dismissed the charge and i never found out why. i just got my ass outta there.

todd b.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Todd, you live a charmed life.

Must be your winning smile and that halo over your head.

Anonymous's picture
Dale Cannon (not verified)
Cycle Opps

"You'll need a traffic attorney...it happened to me 3 times......It goes on your license as a moving violation.

When you go to to court and the officer tells the judge what you did and when the judge ask "" How do you plead""

Just say ""well, your honor it is possible that I ran the red light and you don't questions the officers duties or why you're here but all I ask is that you grant lenience here since it's my first violation.

Or you can say the light was green and you were going with the flow of traffic.....

Next time shop Fresh Direct"

cycling trips