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Police Fun

This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  quizbot 11 mos, 1 week.

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Elmo

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Aug 17 2013 at 6:35am #

I was riding home from work yesterday evening down Penn, headed from downtown to Lawrenceville. Usually when I go home, there’s often police officers at the Penn crosswalks to stop traffic to help peds cross. As I approached an intersection with a police officer, it was clear there were no pedestrians, and so I kept riding at a continuous pace.

Just about as I was about to go through the intersection, the police officer started yelling at me to stop, so I slammed on my front brake and locked my legs (fixie) but it wasn’t enough to prevent me from going over the bars.

I asked the officer why he stopped me, and he said “well, I could have been a pedestrian!”, to which I responded that I would have slowed down to let them cross, but there was very clearly no pedestrians. Then he yelled at me for not having a back brake, to which I responded it’s useless when you have a fixie, and no cyclist can react and stop traveling full speed in 2 feet. He gave me a pamphlet that the police and BikePgh made together about cycling laws. I read down the laws and he wasn’t able to tell me which one I was breaking.

Incredibly frustrating experience from an officer that very clearly just hates cyclists and wants to mess with them.

  • This topic was modified 11 mos, 1 week ago by  Elmo.

mlinwood25

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Aug 17 2013 at 8:09am #

He had no reason to stop you. None. That part seems pretty clear to me. There are no equipment requirements on bikes. Him handing you a pamphlet likely means he was looking to stop a cyclist. I wonder if this is the beginning of a trend with our PGH police force…


Drewbacca

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Aug 17 2013 at 8:46am #

If you can’t stop safely, don’t stop. Stop when it is safe to do so, then ride back to confront the officer. There are no laws to stop on a dime, to my knowledge.

The brake thing is a reasonable concern on the part of a police officer that clearly isn’t familiar with bicycles.


Elmo

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Aug 17 2013 at 11:22am #

Drewbacca wrote:If you can’t stop safely, don’t stop. Stop when it is safe to do so, then ride back to confront the officer. There are no laws to stop on a dime, to my knowledge.

The brake thing is a reasonable concern on the part of a police officer that clearly isn’t familiar with bicycles.

It was a reaction to the officer yelling “WHOA STOP!” while I was about to go through an intersection – if I would have had time to think I would have slowed down.


Steven

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Aug 17 2013 at 1:13pm #

Title 75 section 3507(c)

Every pedalcycle shall be equipped with a braking system which will stop the pedalcycle in 15 feet from an initial speed of 15 miles per hour on a dry, level and clean pavement.

FWIW.


salty

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Aug 17 2013 at 1:30pm #

No exclusion there for accomplishing that by going OTB :-)


Drewbacca

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Aug 17 2013 at 7:20pm #

Steven wrote:Every pedalcycle shall be equipped with a braking system which will stop the pedalcycle in 15 feet from an initial speed of 15 miles per hour on a dry, level and clean pavement.

I’m going to have fun testing this one out…


reddan

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Aug 17 2013 at 8:07pm #

Steven wrote:Every pedalcycle shall be equipped with a braking system which will stop the pedalcycle in 15 feet from an initial speed of 15 miles per hour on a dry, level and clean pavement.

I’m going to have fun testing this one out…

Hmmm…I’m sure we can set up an appropriate test environment at Try-A-Bike. Anyone got a radar gun?


Drewbacca

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Aug 17 2013 at 11:17pm #

reddan wrote:Anyone got a radar gun?

This is not the first time someone has asked for one… I need to start searching. I won’t personally be at this try-a-bike, but I see a “how fast can you stop” type of event being a lot of fun.


quizbot

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Aug 18 2013 at 1:25am #

Elmo wrote:I read down the laws and he wasn’t able to tell me which one I was breaking.

Of course not! It’s not their job to interpret the law, only to enforce their individual interpretation of it. Cop was just being a prick.

Two weeks ago I was walking with my 6yo daughter in Bloomfield & turning the corner onto Ella from Liberty around 3pm on a Saturday… a cop van with 2 cops in it was waiting for the light at Ella/Liberty and someone ran the red on Liberty directly in front of them. Runner was stopped in line waiting to make the left onto the Bloomfield bridge.

Van window was down and I asked the driver, “Did you see that guy run the red light?”

“Yeah, I’M A POLICE OFFICER, I THINK I CAN HANDLE IT!”, with a completely condescending douchebaggy seething tone. Standing there holding the hand of my 6yo, she looks up at me and I can tell that the exchange does not fit in with her age-appropriate expectation of the cops being the good guys.

I honestly could not believe how dickish he was being for simply asking if he saw someone run a red light. If they’re gung-ho to yell at a cyclist for riding through an empty crosswalk, you’d think that a car blatantly running a red would bring about some sort of correction, right?

The light changed, he turned right down Liberty appearing to follow the car, crossed the lane divider and pulled into Del’s lot, backed out into oncoming traffic and proceeded up Liberty the other way with a blind eye.

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