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Webster Groves Bicycling Laws


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#16 Mike S.

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 01:06 PM

Much respect to you and your wife for riding your bikes in all conditons.  

Never present a motor vehicle operator's license at the scene of a bicycle traffic stop.  

If the police officer asks whether you are licensed to operate, tell them the truth but do not present the license unless they demand it.  

Just ask, "Are you demanding to see my driver's license?".  

If they say yes it should be easy to get the charge(s) dropped.  

If not, they will probably just back down and ask for some other way to identify you.  

Then you may get a ticket for violating some section of the Health and Safety code or Jay Walking.

#17 achin'_bacon

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 01:12 PM

Thank you for ALL of your help and encouragement.  I have initiated a correspondence
with Michael Nelson of Webster Groves Police Department and plan on forwarding
the correspondence to the Glendale Police Department and other folks you have
pointed out.

Also, my wife spoke on the phone with Lt. Spear who was polite but very neutral.  He
mentioned that the troops were recently given orders to wary of "CYCLISTS IMPEDING TRAFFIC"
due to impending hwy 40 closure and increased traffic.  Lt. Spear said it is up to
an officer's discretion as to whether a cyclist is impeding traffic... and this officer
thought she was.

The incident occurred on Brentwood Blvd near Elm (4 lane road).

Below is my response to Capt. Nelson after he inquired about the officer's name:

My wife says the officer did not get out of the car and the whole
interaction took place through the passenger window.  She was so
frightened by the man, especially after the "Are you arguing w/ me and
threat of a ticket" she did not want to ask him for his name for fear
of aggravating him further.  The name on her license is Rachel xxxx
and if he indeed ran her name through your system perhaps this would
be a means to track it down.  She said he looked like he was in his
fifties and perhaps balding.

My wife just got off the phone w/ you or someone from your department
and she said the take home message was it is the officer's discretion
whether or not a cyclist is impeding traffic and that this issue has
recently been stressed due to impending hwy 40 closure.  We are not
insensitive to the cars behind us and indeed often pull off onto the
sidewalk when traffic is high and shoulder marginal.  However the
officer threatened to write her a ticket for impeding traffic.  Could
you forward me any references of a law which dictates such.  The
cycling community which is tracking this issue on the stlbiking.com
forum should be aware of this.  Many people have replied and
investigated these laws and I didn't recall anyone citing or
mentioning this law.  Hwy 40 closure will have a big effect on the
cycling community as well and we should all be aware of each other and
the laws.

Thank you for your time,
Four wheels baaah-aaad
Two wheels goooh-oood!

#18 kb0tnv

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 08:14 PM

I e-mailed the St. Louis Bicycle Federation and they responded that they are already discussing this post.  I even received a response that someone from the group will be contacting the Webster Groves Police Department in person.  So all our voices will be heard.  That is why I donate and support the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation (full name).    If you wish to view their discussion they have a free Yahoo Group you can join by going to their web site (http://stlbikefed.org/).  When I first saw this post I was very surprised.  I thought Webster was a few of the places where you would think this wouldn't happen.  Hopefully the original poster's wife will receive an official "apology".  I know I would pull out all the stops if it was my wife (who has cycled with and with out me for transportation).  I would have alearted both bikefeds, the media and more!  Thankfully we do have some advocate organizations who can speak for us.  AAA is for Autoholics ;0) or something like that.  We have the stlbikefed and mobikefed...in order to make sure they are still around we must support them!  Both with time and money!  Thanks to all who have supported them in the past and will in the future (last minute 501c3 donations for 2007)  .  Hope all works out for the best.  :D   I know that when I hear of one of my fellow cyclists being bullied it really makes me mad!  :angry:  It could have been me!  Thanks for sharing since it wasn't easy.

Keep Cycling!

#19 John_Kuthe...

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 08:39 PM

I should scrape together enough $$ to join the STL Bike Fed. Even as a poor student, as a recently avid commuter cyclist, I think I need to lend what little financial support I can to them.

I'll be going over to their website now and see how I can do that! Thanks for the call to action!
First job of Govt: Protect people from Govt
Second job of Govt: Protect people from each other
But it must never become the job of Govt to protect people from themselves!

#20 John_Kuthe...

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 08:44 PM

View PostJohn_Kuthe..., on Dec 4 2007, 08:39 PM, said:

I should scrape together enough $$ to join the STL Bike Fed. Even as a poor student, as a recently avid commuter cyclist, I think I need to lend what little financial support I can to them.

I'll be going over to their website now and see how I can do that! Thanks for the call to action!

Wow! That was easy! PayPal enabled and everything!! :-)
First job of Govt: Protect people from Govt
Second job of Govt: Protect people from each other
But it must never become the job of Govt to protect people from themselves!

#21 Diogenes

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 11:04 PM

View Postkb0tnv, on Dec 4 2007, 08:14 PM, said:

AAA is for Autoholics ;0) or something like that.
Clever!  Sure wish I'd thought of that...

#22 king furby

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 07:46 AM

This stuff is going to happen to you occasionally.  Off the top of my head, I can think of four separate incidents I've had with the police in Webster Groves.  Making you ride on the sidewalk or even stop at stop signs aren't things that are going to be enforced consistently.  When dealing with police officers it's never a good idea to argue with them.  They're in a position of control and they rarely ever want to hear your side of the story.  Suck it up and move on.  It's life.  

Yes, I'm an a-hole.
Sincerely, B.S.

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#23 Incstlouis

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:31 AM

Furby - Won't it feel better to "stick it to the man"?

#24 localyokel

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:37 AM

It's kind of ironic that getting bikes off the street is a solution to the highway 40 shut down.  Every bike is one less car isn't it?
How hard can it be?
Original Music

#25 John_Kuthe...

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 11:29 AM

View Postking furby, on Dec 5 2007, 07:46 AM, said:

...When dealing with police officers it's never a good idea to argue with them.  They're in a position of control and they rarely ever want to hear your side of the story...

Ain't THAT the truth!!! "Yes sir, officer!" said with an upbeat yet submissive tone. A very good phrase to learn (or "Yes ma'am, Officer!" as the case may be!)

They have the gun, they have the badge, they are in control. Never challenge it.

Arguing is for the judge, not the police officer.
First job of Govt: Protect people from Govt
Second job of Govt: Protect people from each other
But it must never become the job of Govt to protect people from themselves!

#26 speedshe

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:39 PM

View PostDiogenes, on Dec 4 2007, 11:04 PM, said:

View Postkb0tnv, on Dec 4 2007, 08:14 PM, said:

AAA is for Autoholics ;0) or something like that.
Clever!  Sure wish I'd thought of that...

This type of attitude stagnates growth in our world...  How will things change if issues are not addressed?  Police officers, like all of us, should be accountable for their actions and abuse of the badge should be reported.  I don't think questioning a law (which in this instance is NOT a law) should be avoided because the officer has a gun.  There are good cops and bad cops and the bad cops should be accountable.  Just as I would be if I stepped out of line in my profession.  

Where is the conviction?

#27 John_Kuthe...

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 01:03 PM

View Postspeedshe, on Dec 5 2007, 12:39 PM, said:

View PostDiogenes, on Dec 4 2007, 11:04 PM, said:

View Postkb0tnv, on Dec 4 2007, 08:14 PM, said:

AAA is for Autoholics ;0) or something like that.
Clever!  Sure wish I'd thought of that...

This type of attitude stagnates growth in our world...  How will things change if issues are not addressed?  Police officers, like all of us, should be accountable for their actions and abuse of the badge should be reported.  I don't think questioning a law (which in this instance is NOT a law) should be avoided because the officer has a gun.  There are good cops and bad cops and the bad cops should be accountable.  Just as I would be if I stepped out of line in my profession.  

Where is the conviction?

You mean my post, instead of the above post?

The police do not always correctly interpret the law as We The People hope they would, but it's not up to an argument between We The People and The Police to settle that issue. The Police's job is to enforce the law as they see fit. Sure, We The People wish every police officer was well informed and acting in the best interest of the law and We The People, but unfortunately that's not always the case.

Correcting misinterpretations and misenforcement of the law  is the job of a judge in a court of law. The judge has the ultimate responsibility of interpreting the law and deciding if any laws were broken. And actually it had to come first to the Prosecuting Attorney, who first files the charge(s) which ultimately may end up being decided in court.

It's a painfully slow process, but it's better than many alternatives!
First job of Govt: Protect people from Govt
Second job of Govt: Protect people from each other
But it must never become the job of Govt to protect people from themselves!

#28 Adam Woehler

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 04:38 PM

If you are going to back-talk a cop, you may want to commit to memory one of the phrases-of-the-year:

DON'T TAZE ME BRO!


If they stop you, let them do what they are going to do.  If they don't ticket you, make sure to get a business card or badge number.  I'm one to talk though... my last run-in with the law on my bike had me screaming at an officer seated in his car.
When life gives you limes, sugar, rum, and peppermint, make mojitos!

#29 shill

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 10:44 PM

I'm one to talk though... my last run-in with the law on my bike had me screaming at an officer seated in his car.


how did that work out for you. whan i did that i got a $50 ticket for not riding far enough to the right. i guess i was supposed to ride in the gravel on a narrow road.

scott
Don't quote me boy, I aint said $hit

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#30 Adam Woehler

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:21 AM

View Postshill, on Dec 5 2007, 10:44 PM, said:

how did that work out for you.

Nothing happened to me.  If the cop wasn't going to chase down the pickup truck that was harassing me right in front of him, then he wasn't going to go to the effort of writing me a ticket.  I hate Grafton, IL.
When life gives you limes, sugar, rum, and peppermint, make mojitos!