Bike ticket --> Suspended license? Does this make sense?

  • Home
  • Bike ticket --> Suspended license? Does this make sense?
11 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"Tell me if you think this makes sense...

1) Got a ticket in December for ""not having a bell or horn"" and ""not yeilding right of way to pedestrians."" Basically, I got caught going through a red light and the cop gave me those two tickets for $80 instead of a ""going through a red light"" ticket for $150.

2) For ID I showed my NYS driver's license.

3) When I paid the ticket, I mistakenly paid $70 instead of $80, although I could've SWORN the tickets were for $70, not $80...

4) While at the DMV today (renewing my expired driver's license) I'm turned away because my license had been suspended on January 12th. Turns out that my $10 oversight ended up triggering the suspension. Bummer.

So here's my question: If I had shown the ticketing officer some other form of ID other than my driver's license, would my license have been suspended? Can they suspend my DRIVER'S license for a BICYCLE violation?

How does that work? Please advise...

- Mike"

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
You can't get points on your driver's license for a bike ticket

This is not a precise answer to your question, but, according to two lawyers active on behalf of cyclists who spoke at the 2/22 meeting at Cardozo, you cannot get points on your driver's license for infractions you commit on your bicycle.

If you would like their names, telephone me. (212) 371-4700.

Anonymous's picture
Nathan Smith (not verified)

Thank God

If they ever put 2 and 2 together they wouldn't allow me on the road with any sort of transportation. :)

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
Stop making sense...

"""To Permit is to Control."" We don't get issued drivers licenses to assure us that we all know how to drive. Just look around when you're out on the road and you'll realize that plenty of people who have licenses in their wallets don't know jack about driving.

They issue licenses to control us. Make us pay fines, registration fees, etc.

They want your money. You need a license. Makes perfect sense."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Bill, what about chronic drunks and children behind the wheel?

Uh, no, not quite, my Libertarian friend, Bill.

Consider this: Because the state issues drivers licenses, there is such a thing as having your license revoked due to bad (and worse) driving. Not that people without licenses don't drive, but the requirement that you have a license probably does discourage some unlicensed drivers.

I don't want chronic (or any) drunks driving. I don't want ten year olds driving. How are you going to prevent them from driving if you don't have a licensing procedure.

(Do you--as I suspect you do--feel the same way about licensing guns, that it's just a revenue producing venture by the state.)

The licensing fee probably goes little farther than paying the apparatus and administration that issues and records it.

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)


I doubt that licensing keeps drunks off the road– just look at how many drunk drivers there are. When they end up in a headline worthy crash, they often were found to be driving with a suspended or revoked license.

10-year-olds driving just because licenses are not required? You can't drink till you're 21– no license needed.

Parents are responsible for the actions of their minor children. That should keep the ten-year-olds from behind the wheel, though every so often you do hear about the occaisional toddler caught joy-riding in his parents car– even though licenses are ""required.""

Yes, we should all have guns. We'll need them to take back the country from the fascists."

Anonymous's picture
George Arcarola (not verified)

I've often wondered if showing a different form of ID might be a good idea. I'd hate to have issues with auto insurance for the 'stupid' things I might do on the bike.
Anyone know what's right? If I claim to have no ID would I be subject to arrest?

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
Don't know but willing to bet...

I don't have answer to your question. But I don't carry my driver's licence while biking. I carry my health insurance card instead! I'm a weight-weenie, I can't stand that extra 1/10 once of the licence!!! ;o)

This much I know: a driver's licence is REQUIRED for operating a MOTOR VEHCILE, but not required for riding a bike. So, I don't see how the police officer can arrest someone ONLY for NOT having a driver's licence.

I myself and at least one of my friend had been stopped for speeding while DRIVING but was unable to produce a licence (left at home). The end result was actually quite remarkable: the cop let each of us go with only a warning!

Anonymous's picture
Peter Engel (not verified)
If you ride CM, don't carry your license!

"Well, I'm reluctant to carry my driver's license now.

In Friday night's Critical Mass ride, I was tagged from behind by NYPD Cmdr. Bruce Smolka at Sixth Avenue between 29th & 30th Street, told I was ""under arrest,"" and then taken to the side, and ""guarded"" by an officer on the sidewalk as my driver's license was run.

Smolka then conferred with other cops in a van. There was confusion for a few minutes as World Carefree Network observers asked us whether we were under arrest. I said I didn't know.

Smolka disappeared after leaving the van. 15 minutes later, I was given a $200 summons for running a red light, only the ticket was issued by P.O. Borland and it says the offense occured at 30th Street.

There are several things that bother me:

- I never even made it to 30th Street (where the light was green) before Cmdr. Smolka grabbed me.

- I actually didn't run any red lights on 6th Avenue. The ride respected those laws, mainly because we were riding alongside the police.

- If P.O. Borland didn't witness me riding through the red light, as Smolka claimed, can he issue the citation?

As you probably guessed, I'm pleading Not Guilty and taking this to court, mainly because I didn't actually break the law. I also feel my rights may have been violated. On the selfish side, that ticket is $200 and points on my license. I can see how these kind of NYPD tactics would discourage CM participation.

I honestly have very mixed feelings about what occurs during CM rides, and don't like the general lack of respect for traffic laws or motorists shown by riders. I rode on Friday night with an open mind, to see for myself what the NYPD would do now that courts say the CM ride isn't illegal. Well, now I know, and I'm angry. I also wish I'd read this post first.


Anonymous's picture
Gideon Oliver (not verified)

I'm sorry to hear about your experience with AC Smolka. I understand that the tickets indicate that folks have 15 days to plead guilty or not by mail. There should be a FAQ available about tickets on the FreeWheels website by Monday regarding how to pay the correct fine (according to our research, the surcharge is not applicable) and with some bare-bones advice about how to fight the tickets in traffic court. I believe FreeWheels will also attempt to provide a forum in which folks can discuss their experiences fighting the tickets, and share knowledge about the process. I'll check in again when the FAQ is available.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Your ticket may be fatally flawed.

At the Feb. 22 meeting at Cardozo Law School I referred to above, Rose Weber, an attorney, pointed out a summons states the officer who signs it witnessed the alleged infraction.

She spoke of this in the context of superior officers randomly handing off Critical Mass riders to be ticketed and processed by officers who did not witness the cited event...making their citation defective and they liable for making a false statement.

Ms. Weber was a wonderfully feisty woman, hellbent on rectifying police misconduct. You would be well advised to consult her. You can contact me for her phone number.

Anonymous's picture
Peter Engel (not verified)
Your Ticket May Be Fatally Flawed

Thanks, Richard, I've already been in touch with Rose.

cycling trips