LA Muni Code 26 & Cops & bike theft
Thread started by DJwheels
at 09.15.08 - 3:17 pm
Long post...I apologize in advance.
So some of you might remember at the VEGANBANANAPENIS ride that the cops attempted to disrupt the ride a few times in Downtown L.A and even cuffed one of the ridazz at 2nd Street for running a red light. I believe that's what I heard from others observing the incident, please correct me if I'm wrong. I rolled up when they had the guy in cuffs all ready so I'm not sure.
Roadblock was doing his best to explain to the other uniforms that we were all within our right to stand at the corner, observe and wait for our fellow rider who was being detained. +10 to you Roadblock for standing your ground. Obviously it unnerved the one cop who was taking the supervisor role, because he resorted to checking peoples' bikes for front and rear lights AS WELL AS BIKE REGISTRATION AND LICENSES in order to get rid of us.
+2 for sassing that cop when he said you didn't have a head light, when obviously you did. (I was the guy with the black helmet standing right in front of you)
Unfortunately, I think that's when he resorted to asking you for the bike license and then the other uni's pulled out their little CVC and Muni Code cheat sheets and pointed to L.A. Municipal Code 26.01 - Bicycle Licenses. The whole scenario stank of serious bull shit, but a lot of people cleared out at that point, including me.
The incident bothered me because I've never heard of someone getting a ticket for not having a bike license and it appeared to me the cops were using 26.01 as a pretext to intimidate everyone and move them away from the scene.
So I did a little research and looked up 26.01...and yes...it's still there...on the books since 1976. Check it out: LACMC 26.01
Essentially bikes are required to be licensed in the City of L.A and you can get a license application form from your bike dealer when you buy a bike or through the LAPD. 26.01 makes no mention of a fine, but CVC Division 16.7 - Section 39002 does state that it is an Infraction to operate an unlicensed bicycle and Section 39011 sets the maximum fine at $10.
I checked the LAPD website and of course there are no bike license application forms on there. So I went by the North East Division LAPD station asked for one and was told "We don't do that anymore." I wasn't surprised, and, in fact, that's what I expected to hear. However, I acted surprised and said "Oh, really, cuz a cop specifically asked me for a bike license last night in Downtown." He repeated: "Yeah, I dunno, we haven't done that in a long time...you just need the bike serial number and that's it." I guess this guy at least knew the real purpose of 26.01: prevent bike theft and recover stolen bikes....NOT use it to scare people away from the scene of an arrest.
In any case, I didn't want to argue the law with this guy or try to find out why LAPD doesn't formally register bikes anymore.
I decided I'd do a little more research first before I even think about tackling that issue. I totally support 26.01 if it's used to prevent bike theft and recover stolen bikes, but not if it just some old regulation that is not properly executed due to budgetary constraints, resulting in its misuse, which I think was the case Friday night.
Have you ever gotten a ticket in L.A. for operating an unlicensed bicycle?
@PC & Roadblock
Did you happen to get the name or badge number of the alpha male cop that wanted to clear us out of there and was checking people's bikes for lights and licenses?
@Stephen Box & other Bike Writers Collective peeps (if you're out there somewhere)
Perhaps you have had some experience with this issue and can weigh in?
Hopefully, I can gather some more information and put together some kind of record of how 26.01 is really enforced, if at all. It occurred to me today that perhaps a Public Records Act Request can be done to see how many of these citations have actually been written by LAPD in the last 5-10 years or how many bikes were recovered through 26.01.
I think this kind of information could be useful in forcing the LAPD and the City Council to use 26.01 more effectively and reduce some of the bike theft that has been going on lately. This is probably a big endeavor, but with everyone's help we can make some noise here.
Me and links just don't get along.
click: municipal code....table.....then scroll down to 26.01.
09.15.08 - 3:20 pm
awesome digging and followup - i would love to know more info if anyone has it - i know for a while there was a harsh rumor flying in Santa Monica for a bike license - but that was about it..
09.15.08 - 3:25 pm
I got every officer's badge and name.
I know my bike must have been registered at one point in the 20 years it has been alive and I offered them the serial number to look up butthe cop said since I didnt have a sticker he was going to ticket me. I think it's a fix it ticket.
09.15.08 - 3:26 pm
We were told basically the same shit about bike licenses when SnS got a bunch of tickets in downtown long beach. They even told us we had to walk our bikes back to the train station becuase we didnt have licenses. Seems to be the perfect way for them to do their crowd control.
Liscence is easy to get. maybe we should all get them.
09.15.08 - 3:27 pm
or we could make them - with pictures of our bikes!
09.15.08 - 3:28 pm
great work BTW
also, the cruiser that pulled us over on 2nd and hill was driving very dangerously. it was the same cruiser that was pulling everyone over at main and 2nd.
those guys werent listening to anything. they were trying as hard as they could to disperse the ride even when everyone was obeying traffic laws.
09.15.08 - 3:30 pm
You mean the one with dark hair and the old skool cop moustache? R. Alvarez, Central Division, serial number 26529.
09.15.08 - 3:32 pm
It's looking like a $10 fine. If I recall a fix-it ticket's processing fee is $10. Looks like LA City is going to make a quick $10 + license, which at one time was $3. That's worth a lot less than the hours of City resources being wasted for an archaic law. I'd fight it - for the fun of it.
the reverend dak
09.15.08 - 3:33 pm
09.15.08 - 3:36 pm
since riding a bike is hip now, there are less cars on the road. that means there is less revenue for whatever dept since they cant write tickets for cars that arent there. so whats taking the vehicles place? BIKES. being written up for not having your bike registered is like being pulled over in your car for having that little light above your license place out.
09.15.08 - 3:37 pm
badge numbers... I forget which ones were the two dangerous cops. they pulled in front of a pack that was riding completely legal and braked fast. very dangerous. rookies. not from the area, probably live in simi valleynot used to the density and people congregating....
09.15.08 - 3:38 pm
so if your bike dosen't have a serial number...then what
09.15.08 - 3:41 pm
Are badge numbers and serial numbers different things?
09.15.08 - 3:43 pm
serial numbers are kind of crunchy and go great with your favorite brew.
Badge numbers get stale if left out for more than an hour. Not only that, they taste like crap!
09.15.08 - 3:47 pm
every bike has a serial number. freak bikes might even have two or three.
09.15.08 - 3:52 pm
Make up your own unique bicycle serial number and engrave or stamp it into the bottom bracket shell.
There are technically two on my bike, one from the factory, and one I can remember in my head assigned by me engraved onto the frame.
09.15.08 - 3:53 pm
The reason being I can say the number and it's location without seeing the bike.
09.15.08 - 3:55 pm
Awesome. I only remember someone calling out Gutierrez as the one tall uni "detaining" the cuffed rider as the short guy wrote up the ticket.
I'm considering calling the Watch Commander at Central to have a talk about the proper use of 26.01...as Dak put it...for fun.
09.15.08 - 3:56 pm
Oh, not every bike has a serial number. My 62' Sears does not have a number, but a 1962 Los Angeles bicycle license.
09.15.08 - 3:57 pm
Police serial numbers is what I was talking about. The one Roadblock got for Alvarez is not the same as the one he wrote on my ticket.
09.15.08 - 3:58 pm
@ Roadblock: wasn't that cop also giving you some line about how they this was some "new" law that they started enforcing as of Aug 31?
Sure starts to smell a little like harassment, doesn't it. "We won't give you a license, but we'll give you a ticket for not having one!"
Stephen Box can weigh in on this I'm sure, but I remember hearing something to the effect that the LABAC had advised or agreed with the LAPD in the past that they were NOT going to enforce this law.
09.15.08 - 4:03 pm
Did anyone get a video of the cop asking for serial numbers? Because a little youtube video of that, followed by your voyage to several neighboring police stations, the DMV, and city hall in a vain attempt to license your bike would probably play pretty well.
09.15.08 - 4:03 pm
There were plenty of cameras, but I don't know if anyone had the film rolling.
Would make for a great youtube video, but they would NEVER let you record anything inside the police station.
09.15.08 - 4:07 pm
There's also a new law - "Don't block the sidewalk!"
09.15.08 - 4:09 pm
Thats just like what those cops looked like when they approached us with there batons extended. I cant fucking take this police bullshit any longer.
09.15.08 - 4:17 pm
CODES CODES CODES!
It's time to take this bull by the horns. I *Seriously* want to get together with anyone who is interested and talk about ways to better organize so that
a) ridazz know thier rights, what codes apply to what "violations", and hwo to address the concerns of law enforcement personel without escalating the situation
b) organize so that we can change some of these outdated laws and create a more bike-friendly city
c) come up with a legal task force that would (voluntarily, like free people) fight bullshit tickets and make the Police Commissioner educate the police force- hold them accountable.
d) create an arm of ridazz to set up community outreach and events
I have to say that I was there when that officer, officer Alvarez I believe, was speaking to Roadblock, before we went under the second street bridge. The officer was almost frantic and hostile while Roadblock remained calm and controlled. (woot woot!) I was amazed at the officers obvious lack of information and prejudice towards bicycles.
Later, when they had someone in handcuffs, I was amazedat the audacity of a metro bus driver who almost deliberately ( I say that because there was plenty of room in his lane but he crossed the white lane divider to *a;most* mow down many ridazz IN FRONT of the police.
This shit needs to stop. We have an opportunity to change it because it is "popular" to ride bikes all of a sudden. We can use that momentum to affect real change in both laws and attitudes.
We all love it don't we? We all would like to see more people riding well, healthy, happy, and protected, Right??
I propose having a cyclist town hall with every group represented and coming up with a concrete game plan.
Who's down and when are you free?
09.15.08 - 4:57 pm
I just called the Central Division and the person I talked to didn't skip a beat when I asked her about bike licenses. She said they are required and that cops will give tickets to bikers without them.
She said bike licenses could be obtained from the Central Division on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-8pm. You need to bring in your ID, $3.00 and your bike receipt, if you have it. It's ok if you don't have your bike receipt, but you will fill out something giving the make and model, serial number, size of frame and tires and color of the bike. The address is: 251 E. 6th Street, LA 90014, LA and 6th. Phone is: 213-972-1298.
Everyone should get one. I can't wait to see the look on the cop's faces when we all flash our bike licenses.
09.15.08 - 4:59 pm
oh, and a bike license requirement only applies if you live in the city in question. so, for example, at the situation in long beach, you could have just told them to fuck off if you live in LA, but not if you live in LB, for example.
Bike licensing is an archaic law that as a requirement is BS. It's cool if they want to make it available, however, as no bike shop offers it on sale, and the police dept doesnt offer it, it's kind of sounding like harrassment.
oh and just for fun I was digging around in the CVC about bicycles, there's no requirement for one in there, other than the provision about local regulations. Oh and an interesting side not, when it comes to lights, you don't need a rear, just a front light, you only need a rear reflector, interesting.
CVC 21201 section D parts 1 / 2
(1) A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.
(2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle.
there's nothing about a rear light in the code. (the rest of the section is archaic and about reflectors).
09.15.08 - 5:02 pm
I say that there should be some sort of bike ride from station to station flooding them asking for all their bs reqs. Kinda like a peaceful demonstration...
09.15.08 - 5:21 pm
THIS IS ONE TIME WHEN LAPD, DOES NOT CARE WHAT COLOR YOU ARE.
09.15.08 - 5:25 pm
I tell you what, I'm getting my bikes registered because other than that I was riding legal. At that point they would have had nothing left to say.
09.15.08 - 5:42 pm
I'm in. To quote one of my favorite movies, "I'M MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE."
Maybe start a Google Group for people who want to be involved in this....I think it is essential that we deal with this now.
09.15.08 - 5:43 pm
@ Roadblock: that seems like good reason enough for me. Call me chicken, but I don't like having to worry about being potentially illegal. But even more than that, it gives us more of leg to stand on when we challenge them on other grounds.
@ WonderDave: count me in. Group ride, maybe some Tuesday or Thursday evening, get to the station well before 8pm?
Although I suspect the whole thing is not exactly newsworthy, it might be a good thing if we could get some media attention on this and let them know exactly why we're doing it.
09.15.08 - 5:56 pm
IF WE DO THIS DAVE, THAT MEANS, DO NOT SHOW UP WITH DOPE IN OUR POSSESSION. LEAVE THAT SHIT AT HOME.
09.15.08 - 6:00 pm
While looking for baby pictures I found my uncle's bicycle license from 1960. Feel free to reprint.
The license mentions a FLANDRIA bicycle model but it's in Greek. Who would know? Flandria could be a place of origin.
Uncle Dimitri passed away in 1998, his bicycle license lives forever.
09.15.08 - 6:01 pm
It looks enough like you...I think you should bring it with you to rides and show the cops.
09.15.08 - 6:14 pm
You can get a Santa Monica bicycle license in the mail
for 3 bucks but I don't know if it would be any good.
The way I read the law, if you are riding from Hollywood to the beach along Santa Monica blvd you need 4 licenses, one for each municipality you cross.
- Los Angeles
- West Hollywood
- Beverly Hills
- Santa Monica
09.15.08 - 6:25 pm
Hmm, nice to know the city of santa monica thoroughly researches the crap they put on their website. there is no REQUIREMENT for a bike license, only a statement that cities or counties may require one.
And BIKE LICENSES ONLY APPLY TO RESIDENTS OF THAT CITY.
39002. (a) A city or county, which adopts a bicycle licensing ordinance or resolution, may provide in the ordinance or resolution that no RESIDENT shall operate any bicycle, as specified in the ordinance, on any street, road, highway, or other public property within the jurisdiction of the city or county, as the case may be, unless the bicycle is licensed in accordance with this division.
09.15.08 - 6:34 pm
oh, and by no requirement, i mean state requirement, only a city one.
more on the license rules according to the state:
09.15.08 - 6:36 pm
I'm down to help as well. I've mentioned this before I think, but I am a licensed attorney and I have a couple of years of practice under my belt. Unfortunately, very little relates to cycling laws and other criminal procedure related issues. I've had to read them and study them on my own time.
Nonetheless, I'm more than willing to use whatever resources are at my disposal to help out.
Marino, I think one license would be good enough for identification purposes as long as you are aware of any particular cycling rules that are different in whatever city you happen to be riding in, such as sidewalk riding or two-abreast riding.
However, if you're paranoid about having your bike jacked and you know you lock it up in different cities all the time...might not be a bad idea to spend the extra few bucks to register it anywhere you can.
09.15.08 - 6:47 pm
DjWheels I met you at Subway a while back. you rock man.
09.15.08 - 6:50 pm
I WOULD TELL YOU WHATS SUP WITH THE BICYCLE LICENSE DE'LIMA / DEBATE, BUT:
NOBODY LISTENS TO ME SO FUCK YOU.
09.15.08 - 6:52 pm
Two-abreast riding laws are not legal in California - but I think they have never been challenged in court. When we yelled and creamed at the Pasadena City Council about their attempt to ban two-abreast riding, we brought this point up.
Fuzzbeast seems to have this issue pegged - if you are a resident of a city, then you've got to have a license for that city. Not a resident, no license required?
BTW here's some LAMC for you:
CHAPTER IV PUBLIC WELFARE
PLACES AND PUBLICATIONS
SEC. 41.29. HAND ORGANS ON STREETS.
No person shall operate or play any hand organ or hurdy-gurdy in, upon or along any street or sidewalk.
09.15.08 - 7:08 pm
I creamed all over the Pasadena City Council.
09.15.08 - 7:08 pm
and that's only cities that require them, most cities actually don't. there was a list posted last time this argument was brought up.
09.15.08 - 7:12 pm
Josef - you're right. I didn't mean to suggest that there was a prohibition against riding abreast. I did read about Pasadena's failed attempt to pass that law.
What I was saying is IF there are different rules in a particular city, you should know them if you roll through there. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not a defense.
By the way, I stopped by your Flying Pigeon shop a couple of weeks ago to check it out. Liked the bikes, I took one for a spin. I'm recommending your shop to a couple of friends of mine.
09.15.08 - 7:35 pm
Have you seen the 18wheelers who have license stickers from a dozen different states? The cab drivers and gardener trucks that have license stickers from a variety of different cities? Would you need the same for your bike?. A quilt of stickers,one for every city you cross? No. Keep reading
It has nothing to do with residency. Cities can ask you for a license just because you are riding through their streets whether you live there or not.
Los Angeles Municipal code says:
No person shall operate or use a bicycle upon any street or public highway of the City unless such bicycle has been duly licensed as provided herein.
Santa Monica Municipal code says:
(a) Any person desiring to operate or use a bicycle upon any of the streets of the City shall apply therefor to the City Clerk or bicycle retailer (authorized agent) who shall record the name and address of the owner thereof and a description of said bicycle. The City Clerk or authorized agent shall issue the license requested upon payment by the applicant of the fee herein required. Said license when issued shall entitle the licensee to operate said bicycle for which said license has been issued upon all the streets, exclusive of the sidewalks thereof or elsewhere prohibited in the City.
(Fine up to $250 if infraction, up to $1,000 if misdemeanor)
I believe that regardless of whether you get your "license" in Santa Monica or L.A. you get the same sticker. One that says "California Bicycle License" and it has a unique number.
The state of California distributes these stickers to the municipalities who care to participate in the bicycle licensing program.
State Vehicle Code says:
Licenses and Registration Forms
39001. (a) The department (DMV) shall procure and distribute bicycle license indicia (ie numbers) and registration forms to all counties and cities which have adopted a bicycle licensing ordinance or resolution. Those counties and cities shall issue the indicia and registration form to the owner of any new bicycle, and may, upon request of the owner, issue an indicia and registration form to the owner of any bicycle which complies with Section 39007.
09.15.08 - 8:14 pm
I got a ticket for not having a license.
Long story, it involved talking smack to Rampart PD for them asking me if I spoke Ingles/had a job, got cited for no license.
I went back and forth to DMV/Fire Department/Rampart Div. Finally, found out that I could get one at the Rampart division. The cop at the desk was incredulous when I asked him for one.
"You must have really pissed off that cop."
I had to show up to Rampart at 6 in the morning to get one.
09.15.08 - 8:33 pm
If it's only 3 bucks, applies to all the cities in California and helps you recover your bicycle in case it gets stolen, it's not a bad idea at all.
Josef. Can we register bikes at your Flying Pigeon bike shop
in Highland Park?
(hehe note how I work your G00GL ranks, baby)
09.15.08 - 8:55 pm
When Santa Monica started getting fussy about this, the argument against getting licenses en masse (and I'm sorry for forgetting who proposed this argument) was that the law was being enforced sporadically and was therefore harassment.
If this is a new law, only enforceable as of August 31st, they must have had to announce it somewhere. Anyone seen it? If we can prove there was no announcement, or insufficient announcement (i.e., unlikely that most bikers would see it -- announced in the wrong places) ... I would count that as harassment, too. If they didn't announce it, then how the fuck are we supposed to not break the law? Jeez.
09.16.08 - 12:49 am
Here's Jeronimo's thread on each CA city's programs.
09.16.08 - 12:55 am
marino - bringin' some truth o the situation.
If I recall the CVC correctly, a bike sale is supposed to involve some sort of title transfer (like a car but meaningless and uncollected by the state, I think).
Those stickers SUCK. I had my lowrider tagged with that crap when I went to school at a UC. If you didn't pay your bribe up front, the campus police would steal your bike and make you pay them to get it back. All in the name of curbing bike theft.
Now that marino has asked, I am going to pick up a stack of those license applications for my pinche shop. That is an awesome idea.
09.16.08 - 1:05 am
Ya, Bike licenses have been around for a long time. I would like to help organize a bike town hall if one gets put together. I'm new to this scene, but I do know I want to ride unharrassed. My 1st ride was the "No Ride" where we all got detained. What I've found is that the law gets to be rather one-sided. Like, why don't I ever see anyone getting a ticket for driving in the bike lane or dangerously disregarding cyclists? I used to live in Tucson, where tons of people biked, and there was a lot of activism for biker's safety. Here it seems it's a lot about not getting harrassed. That's a start, but what about shifting the focus to biker's safety?
The other issue is knowing our rights. I've been in situations where the cops overstepped their boundaries & illegally searched me. The first time, I didn't know enough. The second time, I knew it & they did it anyway. Another time, I got a ticket for soliciting without a license (selling ice cream!), and when I went to court they dropped the whole thing because the people at the courthouse couldn't even find out how to get a license.
So I'm all about empowering people to avoid getting screwed by cops. Remember - they're supposed to be "protecting and serving!"
09.16.08 - 1:30 am
it's not a new law and yes if you get asked for a bike license it is probably (legal) harassment. But so what? It's the cheapest bike theft insurance you can buy and you can buy it from your favorite local bike shop.
I used to think that it was unreasonable harassment because I thought a different license was required for each city you are in. But if it's one license for the whole state and it costs $1 year, fuck it, why not?
I don't have the teen angst issues some of you have in SM that "I'm not going to get a license cause the police told me so."
09.16.08 - 1:37 am
Bentstrider broke the internets
09.16.08 - 1:51 am
San Pedro's representative to the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee is pushing them to recommend to the City Council that they repeal the license law and make it voluntary. So if you guys are really into the idea of a group ride, how about a group ride to the next LABAC meeting to give him some support and encourage them to do this? If I'm not mistaken the next one is on the first Tuesday of October. Then if he's successful, we do another group ride to the Council to show support for repeal. Bip bop bam, alakazam: they can't harrass you if it ain't the law anymore. Problem solved.
It might also be a good idea *not* to do these group rides to police stations to protest or get licenses. Just go by yourself if you really want one, is what I would suggest. Right now the LAPD as a whole mostlyshrugs at the whole issue and doesn't think about it, but if we start flooding their stations for any reason related to licensing, they will be thinking about it, and as a department they may go on the defensive. This isn't an LAPD issue anyway (it's just individual cops using one of the oldest cop tricks in the book to fuck with people), so I think the wise tactical move is to keep them out of it.
09.16.08 - 2:54 am
My understanding is that there's no city budget or staff available to support a bicycle license program despite the fact that the law remains on the books. I'd be interested to find out how many people have actually been able to get ahold of a license recently, and how difficult it was.
The thing is, an identifying license sticker (which can be easily peeled off) is useless for theft prevention or recovery unless ALL bikes have them normally and it becomes impossible to re-sell a bike without a sticker (since a bike with the license sticker removed could mean it was stolen). If only a handful of cyclists have license stickers, the system doesn't work. I don't think a complete and strictly enforced bicycle license program in L.A. is a realistic possibility at this point, so the law is only useful for cops to harass the majority of cyclists who don't have licenses.
I'm definitely going to look into this, and it would be great if some of you who got cited would bring this up at the next Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting on Oct. 2nd.
09.16.08 - 4:54 am
I've gotta add that the BAC can be the WORST place to bring up ideas like this - unless they are actually taking votes and recommending things to council these days.
Why not just take the existing code, throw in some line-outs, and write in your suggested new code. Forward to Gruel, Reyes, Rosendahl, Garcetti, Alarcon, Weiss, LaBonge, and Huizar's office. Call each office and ask for the transportation policy person - email them a Word document with your changes and a tiny one to two paragraph explanation of the changes.
Ask them for their help in making this a reality - it is a small technical change that makes everyone riding a bike into a law-abiding citizen again by default (instead of a non-licensed law-breaker by default).
When they introduce it in council, committee, committee, then council - that is when you organize rides to endorse the idea. The rides alone do not work. You need this back-room strategy - do the work for them, and let them do their part working it through the system.
I've got to admit though ... the bike license fee could become a source of revenue for bike projects. It would shut motorists the hell up with their lies about how their Vehicle License Fees pay for the roads (they only pay for a fraction of the costs).
09.16.08 - 8:03 am
West Valley told me that they still do bike L's on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. Bicycle licenses are not made available to me, a bicycle shop owner.
If your bike does not have a serial number , or the serial has been defaced, then they consider it stolen.
I'd say get the ticket and then embarass the cops in court. I got one for having my handelbars higher than my shoulders $11.00. It's a small price to pay....
Paul in the 818
09.16.08 - 8:13 am
Probably a good point about the group ride, PC. In the meantime, I'm going to call my local station (Rampart) and see if and when they'll register my bike(s). After weighing all the pros & cons, it's just one less hassle to worry about. I wonder how they'll handle the fact that my Carlton frame appears to have never had a serial number?
09.16.08 - 8:30 am
A great quote I pulled from an article; seems applicable.
"...nothing converts ordinary human beings into 'criminals' faster than laws that shouldn't have been written in the first place."
- Matt Welch, Reason. October 2008.
09.16.08 - 11:27 am
Yes, the BAC has actually been taking votes and recommending things to council at the latest meetings (believe it or not). What you're suggesting might be a lot more effective, however, as long as people stay on point about repealing the bicycle license law. Still, I think it could be beneficial to make the BAC aware of what's going on, particularly since the license law has come up a few times over the last year.
As far as generating revenue, a bicycle license program supposedly would not raise enough cash to pay for itself, much less additional income for bicycle projects, according to LADOT Mowery. That could be BS, but I suspect it's pretty accurate. A bicycle license fee would be only a few dollars from a relatively small group of people, as opposed to an auto registration fee, which is a few hundred dollars from almost everyone in L.A.. I sincerely doubt anyone's ever going to pay upwards of $500 to register a bicycle to make a bicycle license program profitable.
09.16.08 - 1:22 pm
Any body else interested in the ideas I put forth at the beginning of this thread.
Contact me if you're interested in organizing, I'm working on it at my lunch break for the next 1/2 hour.
09.16.08 - 1:28 pm
I was on the critical mass ride 08/08/08 and got a "warning for running a red light". Even though I was recording with my camera as we were pulled over going through a GREEN light. My lady got a ticket for no bike license (i told him mine must have fallen out of my pocket haha). She just got the ticket in the mail for $159!!!!!
I call shenanigans. what can we do to get back at these high school jocks with badges?
09.16.08 - 4:12 pm
I dunno about everyone else, but I still intend to join up and initiate change by rising through the ranks.
Although I could spend more money, become a lawyer of some type and push paper, but my train of thought is "frontlines first".
Crazy idea? Good Idea? Borderline Bad idea?
09.16.08 - 4:15 pm
optimusprime, if that ticket is solely for bike license, i'd say that there's some sort of shenanigan as the law about bike licenses states a max 10 dollar fine.
09.16.08 - 4:29 pm
I think every rider should call and complain to the LAPD. There was probably one car for every 100 bikes out that night. We were not impeding traffic (THERE WASN'T ANY). Most of us were in the right lane. Most of us had lights and were just riding our damn bikes. All the cops need to do is tell us to move to the right and obey laws. I've never seen anyone in a CAR get arrested for running a red light!
I just don't understand. When 1000 cars are on the road it's called traffic. When 1000 bikes are on the road it's called civil disobedience.
09.16.08 - 4:31 pm
go to this website
then go to the bottom of the right side column and download the "Personnel Complaint" form.
You can use the Names and Badge numbers provided in this thread to assist in filing the complaint. I'm sure they will laugh and throw them away but who knows? If they get hundreds of them it may do something.
09.16.08 - 4:57 pm
keep in mind that the person in cuffs was pulled over because he ran a light AND tried to slip away.
the real story here is that the cops were harassing people who were riding perfectly legal and putting those people in danger when they sped up ahead of them and then jammed on their brakes in front of moving vehicles.
09.16.08 - 5:08 pm
Season 2 episode entitled, "1969" featured time-travel involving the vortex of the wormhole encountering a timed, solar storm.
The storm itself contained many, residual radio-transmissions from the year 1969, thereby sending the entire team to Cheyenne Mountain while it was still a nuclear-missile facility.
How this style of time travel would benefit myself and the ridazz?
I simply get an advanced warning of solar storms containing ionized radiation dating from the 1900's, and dial a random address into the DHD.
I hereby get transported into 1900, kick Henry Ford and Rockefeller in the balls, throw 'em into a closet, and hand some city officials and engineers some schematics into trains and bicycles from present day.
09.16.08 - 9:56 pm
"frontlines first" is a terrible strategy for something like this.
Michelle Mowery's advice notwithstanding, this would be a ridiculously easy law to change. Ignorance, fear, or cynicism about how our system works should motivate you towards a more effective course of action. Protest alone rarely works.
The money from a bicycle license program could raise a couple of hundred thousand dollars is it were implemented. I think the idea sucks - it would be yet another reason to harass someone for riding a bike, but there are merits to it as well.
And what is up with bike riders wanting a pass on every law that doesn't suit them? Some of these laws and their applications are unjust, but all you're doing is looking for some validation of your mistakes (congregating with others, having fun in public - all things Los Angeles is designed to discourage). It has gotten really old reading the tale of the drunk, red light violating, bike rider whine and complain about getting caught acting like a dumbass. If you broke the law, just make a better effort next time not to get caught - spare us the online histrionics. I've seen plenty of motorists get done in for running red lights. Some poor slob got his car jacked by the cops in front of my shop the other day for not having paperwork for the vehicle.
What are you going to do to (a) change the law or the culture of enforcement or (b) figure out a way not to get caught breaking it in the first place?
09.17.08 - 7:47 am
Accountability works both ways, cops and ridazz. This forum has a bike bias so it is understandable why people complain but it is getting old. I agree that each should be accountable for their actions. You break the law and you got busted, deal with it. The sense of entitlement that many have is also getting old, riding a bike does not make you immune to traffic laws.
MR will be the victim of it's own success. It is easy for the cops to ignore one big ride once in a while but with several rides going on each day, it is getting to point where they will have to act. Not saying that more rides is bad but we need to rethink how we do them. I hope you can see how several groups of cyclists, drunk and breaking traffic laws almost every weekend can be a problem.
09.17.08 - 8:33 am
I'd like to redirect this thread before it gets derailed.
Responsibility and accountability is something that we as individuals pick up at an early age or learn it over the course of our lives through trial and error.
Almost getting a ticket for not having a bike license taught me...duh..Maybe I should get one.
Regardless of whether we think the bike licensing law is archaic, or invalid, illegal, or unconstitutional as it's written, cops don't care because they don't write the laws...they just enforce them. The fact of the matter is, it is still our responsibility to obey the law, no matter how stupid we think it is.
I'm sure many won't be pleased to hear that based on the responses to all the threads on getting arrested, cited or the police state thread. Nonetheless, that's reality and if you get caught breaking the law for realz, you've got no excuse to complain.
I should also say that police misconduct is not justified, but there are laws to protect you against that as well...federal and state constitution, civil actions for personal injuries..just to name a few....USE THEM.
I'm all for being educated on the ins and outs of the law and knowing how to get out of legal jams. Maybe because I'm a lawyer that's just the way I think. I'm not suggesting you can get out of EVERY legal jam because it always depends on the facts of each case, but technicalities can save the day sometimes.
When technicalities don't help you, but the law is still screwed up somehow...well THEN you can either protest or go the route ubrayj suggested and play the political game with the lawmakers.
Unfortunately, it seems like the bike licensing laws could use some updating and better marketing. Sounds like a lot of people have a lot of different views on it, but very few know how it really works.
Educating ourselves in order to comply with the law in the meantime is SMART. It could save you from a lot of stress the next time the cops are nit-picking on the bike laws.
09.17.08 - 9:36 am
Only reason why I never really complain about cops here is because I do everything you just said, "the best not to get caught."
I keep my eyes peeled, stay on the defensive, and all other avenues to having a good time and making sure to keep my ass out of getting any sort of ticket.
However, I could attest that MR is sort of becoming a victim of it's own success.
But, the bad apples will always draw out the rats.
Perhaps if people paid attention to the suggestive rules on this site before traipsing out on a ride, then we could somewhat reduce the need for cops to come and give us the song and dance about traffic laws.
But, there are still some who here about this through good, old fashioned word-of-mouth, and come out not knowing how to act, or what to really expect.
Get online, look it up.
No computer, go to the library and do your homework on the ride beforehand.
A 15 minute onceover of what to expect should save a potential rida a lot of agony should they ever encounter the situations experienced on any of the past rides.
09.17.08 - 11:51 am