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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm riding here now for 10 years and on the weekend I was actually stopped for speeding (going down South Park Dr in Berkeley). The cop explained to me that just three weeks ago someone died on that road (I read about it and I actually brake before those blind corners but not on the long straight).

As I never check my speed when descending (it's too dangerous to take my eyes off the road, traffic, and surroundings) I wasn't really aware that I was going faster than allowed. Normally the topspeed is about 70km/h (checking the data after the ride), but this time it was significantly higher -- probably due to some draft that the car in front of me caused. I wasn't near the car (too dangerous as it could brake much harder than I), so I didn't expect that. In fact, I was under the impression that I was going slower than usual because I had to brake to avoid closing in on the car.

Anyway: is a cyclist actually required to be aware of the speed? Let's say my cycling computer would be set not to show current speed (or riding without a speed measuring device), would a cyclist here in CA still be required to obey some speed limit?
 

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My advice - pay the fine and frame the ticket.

So what did you get clocked at? Was this a radar trap or was the officer in a car matching your speed?
 

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My concern would be, does the speeding ticket have any negative consequences as far as your drivers licenses and auto insurance is concerned? I would hope not since it has nothing to do with your driving an automobile...but with the government you never know.
 

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Got Time said:
Anyway: is a cyclist actually required to be aware of the speed? Let's say my cycling computer would be set not to show current speed (or riding without a speed measuring device), would a cyclist here in CA still be required to obey some speed limit?
I looked it up in the CA DMV code for speeding. It is all phrased in terms of your actual speed, regardless of whether you have a device that measures the speed.

The one other possible get-out is whether the rules apply to cyclists. Although the phrasing is "driver of a vehicle" it is clarified here that this applies to cyclists. If it had said "driver of a motor vehicle" then it would not apply.

Your other option is to go to court, and either hope that the officer does not show or ask for clemency. If you are going to get points on your license, rather than just the fine, then that might be worthwhile to you. It might not help you, especially given the recent fatality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It was a cop in his car following me and taking a video. He mentioned that the guy who crashed did 49.9mph and I would have been going faster (he mentioned he had trouble following me which I don't believe). But he was nice and gave me a ticket for just 40mph (someone here at the office said I should have asked for one with 50mph -- he is riding for 15 years and still waiting to get a speeding ticket).

I just hope it's not too expensive...
 

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Any presumably a 35mph limit on that road. I would think that if you challenged it, the officer is going to mention the real speed to the judge.
 

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The speed limit on South Park Dr is 30 MPH, definitely posted, and bicyclists are responsible for following the speed limit. Not having a computer or having a broken one doesn't get you out of trouble, a car with a broken speedometer is going to be on the hook as well.

I went down South Park last week and saw the cop with the radar gun... luckily I wasn't going fast enough to get in trouble (not a fast descender and also recently read the article about the man who crashed and died). I've been pulled over driving too fast before, though. The park is definitely crawling with police. Since it's also crawling with cyclists, hikers, pets, and wild animals, you can't blame the authorities for wanting to keep it safe there IMO.

Besides, if you go slower, you can avoid the endangered newts! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the feedback.

I'm not concerned about insurance (I don't have a car) and as I still don't have a CA driver license that doesn't affect me either -- maybe it will when I actually apply for one?
 

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Got Time said:
I'm not concerned about insurance (I don't have a car) and as I still don't have a CA driver license that doesn't affect me either -- maybe it will when I actually apply for one?
In that case they can pre-issue you a driving license indicating that you don't have the right to drive, and then add the points to it. They do this for under-age driving offenders for example.
 

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Geez, the other day I almost got hit by a car running a stop sign. The driver said that he was sorry and did not see the stop sign. It happened on the intersection of Grizzly Peak and Sunset. Where the hell was the police? Pulling you breaks on South Park may be more dangerous than just let them go.
 

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What's next, ticketing riders riding below the posted speed limit? Isn't that also a ticket-able offense?
 

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If you did want to fight it, the best bet is to ask for a fine reduction and plead guilty with the explanation and you were pacing the carS in front of you, but left ~4-6 second gap. Also, that the cars were pulling away from you.

The other defense may be more risky, but the cop says he didn't get your actual speed and couldn't pace you, which he needs to do write you the citation. He might be BSing you and you can make him provide the evidence. But if he does, then you make DVDs of the recording to go along with your wall mounted ticket.
 

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If he really wants to get a speeding ticket...

Got Time said:
It was a cop in his car following me and taking a video. He mentioned that the guy who crashed did 49.9mph and I would have been going faster (he mentioned he had trouble following me which I don't believe). But he was nice and gave me a ticket for just 40mph (someone here at the office said I should have asked for one with 50mph -- he is riding for 15 years and still waiting to get a speeding ticket).

I just hope it's not too expensive...
Tell him to mountain bike at a SF Peninsula Open Space Preserve.

If he needs help, ask Francois. :)
 

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21200vc

Bicycle Use VC 21200

"Every person riding a bicycle upon a street or highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. Including the provisions of law dealing with driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, except those provisions which by their very nature have no application".

You can be cited for speeding on a bicycle, just like any other rule of the road, such as failing to stop for stop signs red signal lights and so on.
 

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Got Time said:
Anyway: is a cyclist actually required to be aware of the speed? Let's say my cycling computer would be set not to show current speed (or riding without a speed measuring device), would a cyclist here in CA still be required to obey some speed limit?
ignorance of the law is not a defense.
 

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Yes, you are required to be aware of your speed. Otherwise, everyone who got caught speeding would claim their speedometer was broken.
 

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get out of it?

Can you get out of it if you go to cycling school?
 

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poff said:
Geez, the other day I almost got hit by a car running a stop sign. The driver said that he was sorry and did not see the stop sign. It happened on the intersection of Grizzly Peak and Sunset. Where the hell was the police? Pulling you breaks on South Park may be more dangerous than just let them go.
What a load of BS from the driver- did he really think that Sunset wouldn't have a stop? That street is only @100 ft long!
 

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ukbloke said:
My advice - pay the fine and frame the ticket.
Right on. Be sure to ask the officer to write neatly because you are going to frame it. In one of those bi-fold frames, opposite a picture of a pile of chicken ****.
 
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