Piermont police harrassment

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Anonymous's picture

"I bet everyone has seen the Piermont Avenue/River Road signs which state fines for not riding single file on the road between Piermont and the Tappan Zee Bridge (of which I have no problem with), but is there a law that says you must ride with both hands on your handlebars at all times?

Yesterday afternoon I was riding solo on my way to Nyack on this section of road and grabbed for a GU pack from my jersey pocket while riding no handed. I just got the GU pack open and (while glancing into my helmet mirror) was startled to see a car trailing me closely and not passing when he had ample opportunity. Then I heard an announcement over the car's p.a. that ""I must ride with both hands on my handlebars"". What is this some joke, I thought? Was this really an actual police sedan making this statement. My first response was shock but I complied while he slowly passed me and I had my uneaten GU pack in my mouth (and the ripped off top portion still in my hand). I wasn't surprised to see this police car because he had just passed coming towards me but I guess he decided to turn around down the road and tailed me just to look after me and essentially break my balls. Afterall, I was riding alone, close to the right and not littering or swerving while riding no handed. This was wrong on so many levels that I won't care to elaborate, but it is an absoulute true story and I had to pass it along to you all.

I suppose it's a good thing he wasn't there when I ran all those stop signs and red lights the rest of the way to Nyack or I would have been in real trouble!"

Anonymous's picture
Heath (not verified)
Signaling for a turn

You should have asked him how you were supposed to signal a turn if you had to keep both hands on the bar.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac (not verified)

NYS Vehicle Code Article 34. Section 1235. Carrying articles.

No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle, or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars. No person skating or gliding on in-line skates shall carry any package, bundle, or article which obstructs his or her vision in any direction.

Based on this, both you and the cop were incorrect.

Anonymous's picture
Derrick (not verified)

maybe he thought you were trying to eat a donut and got jealous...

Anonymous's picture
Five - "O" (not verified)
so.. was it more of a Broken Ego or Broken Balls? (nm)
Anonymous's picture
1 of 12 hand-picked alpha males (not verified)

...the guy was making a joke. Lighten it up a little.

Anonymous's picture
Diane Goodwin (not verified)
Piermont Police Harrassing Locals too ...

... yes, it's true. Cyclists are not the only ones being harrassed.

I was recently told how annoying the police are in Piermont. From what I understand Orangeburg, NY has jurisdiction and locals are trying to get rid of the Piermont Police - they do nothing except bother everyone and serve no purpose. They are known to set up road blocks in the town so that leaving Piermont without hitting one is impossible. They watch the townies and will ticket anyone and everyone. A story I heard involved a motorcycle being driven around the block to test drive it after it's repair. The person received tickets/points, etc... (I think it didn't have a plate) and the cops knew the driver too ....

Something else to mention is that we should really watch for children along River Road. They aren't out there all the time ... but my friend has a young daughter and it can be scarey trying to cross the road. I think he was mentioning pacelines. He also mentioned how loud the cyclists conversations were ... he can't leave his window open.

Anonymous's picture
the bike whisperer (not verified)
Please do not talk or ride in pacelines on River Rd. in Piermont

Please do not talk or ride in pacelines on River Rd. in Piermont. A man lives there, and you are bothering him. Also, when he tries to cross the street (to go where?), you make it extremely dangerous. Unlike Gray and Red buses, UPS vans, construction vehicles, Utility trucks, and Hummers, you on your bikes are apparently invisible, even more so in pacelines. Unless you are talking, but that drives him so crazy that he has to shut his windows so he can hear the gentle hum of the traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Anonymous's picture
Tryptophan (not verified)

You should have asked him if the police are equally vigilent with car motorists in the area. Do they follow and make sure they are not taking both hands of the steering wheel to turn to a new radio station, eat, or gab on the cell phone?

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
The police officer may have been breaking the law

If it was just the driver in the police car, the chances are he took one hand off the steering wheel to shout at you down his megaphone, in clear violation of the law. But the police have always been a law unto themselves.

Anonymous's picture
iridenyc (not verified)
Officer O'Leary, Piermont Police Department -harassment

"Who's gotten a ticket from the Piermont PD for ""Failure to Ride Single File""? Officer O'Leary actually gave me an ""appearance ticket"" for this. He strategically located his ""two abreast trap"" just before the ""Cyclists must ride single file, $250 fine"" signs started on N.bound River Rd, between Hester and Ritie Street.

I'm not a lawyer by any stretch, but here's two pieces of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, and a definition from the New York Code. It seems that if River Rd. does not fit the definition of a ""controlled access highway"", then the Piermont Police have no business giving out tickets there for riding two abreast.

Section 1234(b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast. Persons riding bicycles upon a shoulder, bicycle lane or bicycle path intended for the use of bicycles may ride two or more abreast if sufficient space is available, except when passing a vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian standing or proceeding along such shoulder, lane or path, persons riding bicycles shall ride single file. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall ride single file when being overtaken by another vehicle.

· Sections 1621(a)(2), 1641(1), and 1660(12) give the state Department of Transportation, cities and villages, and towns, respectively, the authority to ""Prohibit, restrict or regulate the operation of vehicles on any controlled-access highway or the use of any controlled-access highway by any limited use vehicle, pedestrian, horseback rider or vehicle or device moved by human or animal power.""

the new york code defines a controlled access highway:

Section 109. Controlled-access highway. Every highway, street or roadway in respect to which owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons have no legal right or access to or from the same except at such points only and in such manner as may be determined by the public authority having jurisdiction over such highway, street or roadway.

Any idea if River Road fits the bill as a controlled-access highway? From my read of it, it's not, but what do I know?

BTW I missed my court date with Officer O'Leary and Joan from the Village Court of Piermont won't return my calls. Hopefully I won't be detained at JFK the next time I come home from a business trip...

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