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« Dealing with the reality of injustice | Main | My New Fuso: WIP »
Friday
Apr062012

SF bike cops roll through stop signs too

 

San Francisco cyclist Amy Weiss followed two cops on bicycles along Haight Street; she noticed they rolled though stop signs without any signs of slowing. They just maintained their same steady pace.

Obviously these cycling police officers think the same as any other cyclist, that coming to a complete, foot down stop every city block when there is no cross traffic, is bullshit. The problem is Amy recently got a $388 ticket for doing exactly the same thing, when she rolled though an empty intersection.

When Amy politely asks the bike cops what the rules are, they pretty much refuse to become engaged in any conversation about the issue.

I hope this video makes its way onto the local news in San Francisco, and the SFPD is made to make an official statement about it. Because either cops on bikes observe the law to the letter, or the rest of the police department should stop ticketing cyclists for this infraction unless someone is endangered or impeded in some way.

When I approach a stop sign and the intersection is clear of other traffic, I stop pedaling and slow down; I look to the left and right turning my head as I do so. I realize this is not entirely necessary as I can see practically 180 degrees by just swiveling my eyes. However, I feel it is important to be “Seen” to look both ways.

What pisses off the motoring public is the cyclist who blows through stop signs at speed, without even appearing to look; even though this may not be the case.

I also notice in the video that the two cops ride side by side chatting. Perfectly legal, but again if this were two citizens who were not police officers, doing the same, it would evoke a lot of road rage and horn blowing from following motorists.

Finally the two officers ride much closer to parked cars than I would. Maybe if a few more bicycle cops get doored it will bring attention to this very real, often deadly hazard.

 

Footnote: On another subject concerning San Franciso; what ever happened to David Mark Clark, the guy who deliberately ran down four cyclists in his SUV in 2010? The last I heard he was to stand trial for attempted murder and was planning to plead insane. Did he cop a plea deal, or is he still awating trial?

 

                        

Reader Comments (7)

Come on Dave, cops don't think like cyclists, they think like cops! They have to enforce laws, not obey them. They do the same when in their cruisers, blow stop signs and exceed the speed limit with no lights or siren. Who's going to stop them? Other cops? Yeah, right! Here in Ontario it's not even against the law, if you read the fine print.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Just as a note. She also rolled the stop sign. She also is using a cell phone while riding. I understand she is making a point about the police officers .We also don't know how badly she rolled the intersection in which she got a ticket. Most police officers let it go. We also don't know how she reacted to the police officers.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

SF Resident here- Hrm, forgot about Clark. From what I remember his trial kept getting put off/rescheduled after his lawyer entered and insanity charge. I'll have to look it up. I know that some of the victims were preparing lawsuits as well.

Lately in SF there's been more news about two pedestrian deaths which stemmed from bicyclists running red lights. The 2nd pedestrian died yesterday Sad stuff. http://bit.ly/HDsTVC

And I agree w/ Alex above- I'm not sure where she got her ticket or under what circumstances. There are some intersections that the PD are much more likely to issue tickets if you don't fully stop.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkenny

All pertinent comments above. I dislike the videographer's passive-aggressiveness as well as her thought process of their rolling through the stop sign as being "all right". If she's expecting to get her ticket thrown out, she's going about in the complete wrong manner.

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Wong

Double standards? No doubt and when the public loses confidence with the front line of law enforcement, be concern. My young sons see law enforcement officers violating numerous laws, including cycling in pairs on the wrong side of the road for blocks while not even bothering to stop at stop signs, what's new?

April 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack

A quick scan around the internet appears to indicate that Clark pleaded not guilty in September of 2011. I did not look harder for trial results. I did see a bit where he "admits" to having heard voices in his head for some period of time prior to the incident.

April 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterskylab

I'm not sure where "used a cell phone while riding" came from, I can't hear any other convo except when she's talking to the cops. I'd assume the video is from a helmet-mounted camera. Even if it was a phone camera in her hand, sure she's wrong to do so, but it doesn't change the fact that the cops still pedaled through the stop.

Even so, it doesn't matter what the circumstances of Amy's previous fine were. I admit we only have one side of the story to go by, but going by what she said, she was did the same thing that happened above, and was charged with running the stop, and not with doing so recklessly or causing danger to others.
Two wrongs don't make a right - the rules are pretty clear, and it's not like the cops were in a pursuit or in a hurry to get somewhere. The double standard is pretty blatant.

What she got wrong this time was her comment on how she thinks it's okay. It's not. Not for her, nor for the cops.

April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJC

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