Ticket on BTW Day


by Andrew Martin on May 21, 2010 at 12:33 PM

SPD Hassle

Walking back to the office I caught this Seattle PD motorcycle cop pulling over a messenger. As best I can tell the cop was writing him up for take a left across a double yellow (?). The cyclist was on 3rd and took a left and hopped up on the curb on the opposite side of the road. I’m not really sure what the correct move is there or why it’s illegal - any ideas? Maybe it was a helmet ticket since he only had a hairnet on? Who knows - but Happy Bike to Work Day from the Seattle PD.

I’m a big proponent of following the laws while riding, but this one wasn’t an obvious violation that I saw - maybe I missed something.

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Well, you did say he hopped on a curb. In most cities, riding on the sidewalk is illegal. Even if he stopped immediately, he was still on his bike on the sidewalk.

Here in Houston, cops only write you up for that if you are causing a problem, like riding on a busy sidewalk. But technically, that wouldn’t matter.

Did the guy signal at all when he made the turn?

Bikes are specifically called out as legal on sidewalks in Seattle.  I didn’t see him signal, maybe that’s it, but I think the Washington state law says you only need to signal if you can do so safely.  Since you need two hands to brake he could probably talk himself out of that.  I’ll have to roll past the Messenger hang-out on my ride home and see if I can track him down to get the details.

Does Seattle or Washington have a helmet law?

Maybe the cop saw the cyclist running a stop sign somewhere.