Friday, August 14, 2009

I fought the law

Or at least I plan to. If you also follow Facebook, you may have noticed that I got a ticket from a Prairie Village police officer yesterday evening for not stopping at a stop sign while riding my bike. It happened while I was riding in the Thursday evening Blue Moose group ride.

The Blue Moose ride typically goes fast and has a reputation for not being very car-friendly. I'd only done the ride once before. Since my first time a few weeks ago, the PV police have warned the group that they would write tickets if the bad behavior continued. Last night's ride was much better with stops at all traffic lights and near-stops at most stop signs.

I ended up staying with the lead guy at a very fast pace for the second half of the ride (woohoo!). We were a couple of miles from finishing when we came to a stop sign on a not very busy street. We slowed considerably, looked both ways, saw no cars, and rolled through the stop. We noticed a PV police officer parked a few blocks away. A few blocks after that, the same officer was parked in the street with his lights on. He was directing all passing cyclists into a church parking lot.

The officer and two others wrote tickets for everyone in the lot for not obeying a stop sign. As he wrote the tickets, a few of us asked if the violation would be an insurance-reportable moving violation. The officer didn't know, and he said he didn't know much about writing tickets for cyclists in general because this was his first experience with it.

So, I plan to show up for my court date on September 1. While I don't mind doing my part to fund Prairie Village infrastructure, I don't want my insurance rates to increase. Check back for updates on or after September 1.

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