Tag Archives: written citation

The Shootout Stopped And Ticketed

Mass tickets were issued on May 10, 2014 on the Shootout for failure to stop at a stop sign.   Many riders said they did come to a complete stop, but the Sherriff ticketed the entire group.  It is a $187 ticket.   Fortunately, I opted for the Miles Ahead Shop ride this morning and missed it, but made the following post on Facebook.

“I heard the Shootout was stopped for running a stop sign with multiple tickets. Curious if you got one?

The post attracted so much attention that I have been pondering the incident all afternoon.

The entire dialogue is below, but I had a few thoughts of my own.

Our legal system is flawed when it allows people to be ticketed when they did nothing wrong.  Many riders today said they came to a complete stop, one even put a foot down, and they still received citations.  They will have the opportunity to argue their case in court, but that is time and aggravation that is not merited when you did nothing wrong.   Others blew through the sign and were rightfully ticketed.

I have ridden the shootout.  I have seen red lights run, the centerline crossed and riders taking the entire road 5 across.  I’ve also seen professionals, tourists and business owners who call Tucson home (or visit)  because of the cycling.  The shootout has been mentioned by these people many times, it receives national attention as one of the best weekly group rides in the country.  This is one of Tucson’s Treasures.   That translates to more money in Pima County, leads to more jobs and creates a better community for all of us. We need to make sure we protect all attractions that make Southern Arizona so desirable.

Is this the way the shootout has been, is and will be and is just a part of a 150 person group ride? How many citations would be needed to make people change their behavior?  Who is going to take the role of authority and lay down the rules?

One point that was not mentioned is the Idaho Stop.  It is a law that allows cyclist to treat stop signs as yield signs.  From a cyclist prospective, they are great.  I’ll write another blog about them soon.

The following is the conversation about the incident.


Devon Balet Good! They should be ticketed

Michelle Lowenthal Helmke I was lucky to get a flat just before Duval mine Rd  prob 50 tickets given

Kim Bourn Yes, about 60 riders in Green Valley.

Kim Bourn A few riders didn’t stop, others did and entire group got individual tickets.

Linnea Herbertson I got a ticket and I even stopped and put my foot down 🙁

Damion Alexander Thanks Linnea. Kim, did Don get a ticket as well? I’m just trying to figure out how an entire group can be ticketed when most people do stop. It seems like all the tickets should be thrown out. I do agree with Devon on one level, if we are not obeying the laws, we deserve tickets( but perhaps not on a a stop sign in the middle of nowhere where you can see traffic in both directions for some distance)

Kim Bourn Yes, Don got a ticket and did stop.

Linnea Herbertson The cop said he had it all on video, so I’m hoping it shows me stopping because I don’t feel like paying 187 for something I didn’t do! However, it is difficult to differentiate people when we all are wearing kits and and such.

Denise Schuldt Amos I hope anyone who got the ticket and stopped fights it! I also hope the ones that didn’t learned their lesson and pay up. on another note it seems the shoot out is being targeted? I haven’t been on the ride so I don’t know if it’s warranted, but I hate when law enforcement entities decide to do targeted enforcements like that. == Seems to be something that should be discussed at the next BAC meeting.

Tyler Stites Seriously Devon?

Tyler ShafferTyler Shaffer I have been on the ride and there is a moderate level of sensible behavior, but there are also moments of mob mentality guided entitlement. I have been on a ride where a sheriff’s deputy ran riders off the road too. The shootout makes itself a target by the nature of the ride and there will probably always be a push and pull between riders and drivers/law enforcement. For those that break the law because everyone else around you is doing it’s silly to complain for getting nailed for it, and it is also silly to think you will be fine and above getting in trouble if you are riding with people that break the law.

Kevin Harsley I got one & I was 2nd place telling everyone to stop & watch out for them. I did a track stand (which is legal) next to the guy who put his foot down & I got a ticke

Damion Alexander Any lawyers reading this? Is there a group defense? I think Tyler Shaffer made a great point about “”getting in trouble if you are riding with people that break the law”, but last time I checked in America, it was innocent until proven guilty. Of course, you need to prove the innocence and if the video is not conclusive, how can you argue you did stop or how can the man say you didn’t? Kurt Kroese, Scott Biaggi?

Kevin Harsley I certainly did not see any cops in front of the group which leads us to think the video was shot from behind. Which will be impossible to pick out faces in the video. So seems like 1 of 2 things will happen. 1. Judge says I can’t see your face or anyone’s face so everyone who fights it gets off or 2. for the same reason no one gets off and we’re $187 lighter!

Jimmy Bees Civil traffic is not innocent until proven guilty. The legal definitions us more likely than not. As far as targeted enforcement it is don’t to address a problem and anyone that rides the shootout, and I do, can clearly see the disregard for traffic law by the riders. We have brought this on ourselves. How about we work in organizing a few other group rides on Sat to include the east and nw sides of town so the group is not as big and then the real problem can be solved. Bitching about the cited does not solve anything and the problem we started continues.

Chris Cunningham You are innocent until proven guilty. If you get a ticket, and pay it, then you have admitted guilt or you are at least not contesting it. You can go fight it and be proven innocent or guilty in a court of law.

Jimmy Bees  Chris you need to learn the law. Guilt and innocent is criminal law. Civil is responsible or not responsible. Huge difference. Criminal is beyond a reasonable doubt. Civil is more likely than not. 51%vs49%. The officer is considered an independent witness. The person with the cite has to prove they didn’t do it after the officer establishes a few things. Either he saw it or can establish it happened. The court has jurisdiction over where it occurred and who he cited.

Jimmy Bees In addition pima county has a bicycle diversion program like traffic school. Complete it and cite is dismissed

Ken Montaney Strava files should be able to prove whether you stopped or not. And bicycle diversion is a free alternative to paying the fine. Sounds like the officer overstepped his bounds but at the same time sheriff’s have been on the shootout the past 2 months. People should have seen this coming and anyone who did run the stop sign and ruined it for everyone else is an arrogant asshole

Ken Montaney Ps. I got a ticket myself for being an “arrogant asshole” riding around town a couple weeks ago.

Lynn Orchard Everyone. The sheriff wants us to go in and show on his video that we did stop. That is backwards… the burden of proof is on the sheriff. Everyone who was cited must contest and no one should volunteer to ID themselves on his tape. Make him match you in your suit and tie to the blurry sunglass wearing mass of lycra. Also… this was targeted and so it had some direction from some higher ups. A coordinated letter writing campaign to Mr. Huckelberry, the Pima County Administrator, and Sheriff Dupnik is in order. Or we could wring our hands and moan and let them target us each Saturday. Be respectful…Mr. Huckelberry is a HUGE cycling advocate and has done tons of good for our community. His contact info is: County Administrator’s Office, 130 W. Congress St., 10th Fl

Lynn Orchard Ken Montaney that one actually sounds deserved. 😉

Ira Getraer I would fight it and question the cop about pointing out you specifically in the video. He can’t claim to have kept track of every member of that large of a group at the same time.

Does anyone have GoPro footage from a riders perspective? That would atleast prove some people stopped and give a judge reason to doubt the officer knows every single person didn’t stop.

In other news no mountain bikers were ticketed en masse today so maybe try riding where traffic laws don’t apply.

Christine Jeffrey We are being targeted because a lot of the group chooses to disregard traffic laws. There were riders across the center line for most of the ride this morning and from my point of view, the last rider through the stop sign, most of the group didn’t stop and a good number of those that did stop were on the opposite side of the yellow!! Hello!!! Were are all the comments about how we as cyclists should obey traffic laws, instead of complaining about being targeted.

Christine Jeffrey And there was definitely a car right at the stop light taking video.

Lynn Orchard Christine, I was on the pointy end of the ride but I didn’t see anyone over the center line at all… And we were mostly two by two the whole ride, or single file when it ramped up. The cop started trailing us in town and was just looking for anythi…See More

Ira Getraer So you’re saying the same group of cyclists rides the same route at the same time every Saturday, and a lot of them run a stop sign, and you’re upset that law enforcement targeted this behavior to put a stop to it?

Lynn Orchard Yep.

Christine Jeffrey There were definitely people across the line and for the past three and a half years of living here and riding the shootout the majority of the riders roll that stop sign. Of course the cops are going to target it if people are always breaking the law there. They would do the same on a corner if every car was refusing to stop.

Lynn Orchard Christine… did you get a ticket?

Christine Jeffrey No, I new the cop was there, was there last week hiding with a video for the main shootout. Dropped back a couple hundreds yards from the group before Duval Mine road, did a complete stop at the sign, and wasn’t asked to stop by cops so kept riding.

Lisa Ribes Roberts Just FYI guys, legally it is every rider’s responsibility to stop at a stop sign. Two by two if necessary, but a few stopping or pausing and yelling ‘clear’ won’t cut it. I teach the diversion classes for Pima County and that is just about rule #1. Right after riding on the correct side of the road. Please don’t bother Chuck Huckleberry with this; he has more important things to do!

Lynn Orchard Yes bother. Bother bother bother!

Jorgiana Jake Those “roll through” folks give a bad name to the rest of us who follow the rules. I’ve never hesitated to let the rule breakers know that after a ride. If you obey stops in a car, so the same on your bike. If you don’t obey stops (car or bike) the ticket is deserved.

Jon Roberts All, years ago I spear headed a meeting with all local law enforcement, county attorney and governors office to clarify the interpretation of the bicycle statutes. We made great headway for the cycling community and have had relative peace for

Jon Roberts Years. Running a stop sign is not up for interpretation and will setback relations with law enforcement. I hope everyone takes a breath and deals with this properly. The sheriff in GV has a long and rocky history with cyclist but the court is fair. My two cents!

Lynn Orchard The issue is that the police gave tickets to everyone guilty or not….. and that they are there every week hounding the ride. If a cop followed you in you car for 60 miles week after week and was bent on giving you a ticket… eventually he would find a reason. That was what happened today.

Lynn Orchard Christine, I would be interested in hearing your tune if they decided to pull everyone over while you were still in the group. What if next Saturday morning they nab the entire ride because someone crosses the yellow and you are there in the bunch and end up with a ticket.

Jon Roberts Lynn, I was one of the 46 ticketed at the top of freeman during the law enforcement sting operation years ago due to many months of the wed ride breaking rules. I joined the group from my house 2 miles before the stop, breaking no rules and still was cited. So yes it happens out of frustration because the cops are responding to complaints and are forced act. We need to be better Stewards of the road

Ron Buotte I see the attitudes at the Saturday World Championships haven’t changed.

Kyle Van Renterghem I also received a ticket and what really upsets me is that any government entity can fine and punish people who did no wrong. I was towards the front and yes I’m sure people further back probably rolled through the stop sign which is illegal, enough said. However, according to the very knowledgeable Jimmy Bees it is the responsibility of the accused to prove their innocence simply because it is defined as a civil infraction (one that still costs a minimum wage earner 24 hours worth of pay). It very worrying that any government entity can cite/fine an entire group of people and and then say that you are responsible for for proving unequivocally that you did not commit the crime. Especially when there is no way to defend yourself from this sort of accusation short of video taping every action you ever make. That is too much power for any agency. Guilt by association is not an acceptable policy.

Todd Mion Here we go again.

Devon Balet Tyler StitesTyler yes, seriously. I am a cyclist too. Breaking a law is breaking a law. Being on a bike doesn’t make you above simple laws like a stop sign

Damion Alexander Thanks Devon. In a nutshell, that is what this comes down to. It’s the law. Break the law, get a citation. Hang out with people breaking the law, you might get thrown in with that group, even if you are innocent. How many citations would be needed to make people change their behavior? Who is going to take the role of authority and lay down the rules? Is their a figure in the community who riders would listen to?

TPD Citation for Bike Rack blocking license plate

The man, delaying me on the drive home.

I was heading home from El Grupo practice this weekend and saw the red and blue lights in the rear view mirror. I was somewhat surprised to see them as I was traveling under the speed limit on an empty road.  The offence, obscured license plate by bikes and bike rack.

Clearly, with two bikes on the rack it was impossible to make out the plate.  I deserved a ticket based on the law. Fortunately, I was only given a written warning.  However, it has made me look at my rack and realize there is no way I can use it and drive “legally”.  I own three bike racks and all of them are illegal.

I talked to David Tang, The owner of Ordinary Bike Shop to see if he sells a rear mounted rack that will not block a license plate.  David said “This has been an issue with rear mount racks for decades, there are none that allow the plate to be clearly visible when loaded with bikes.  The license plate can be moved to a visible location with an aftermarket product”.  He went on to say “a few racks allow plates to be seen, but some vehicles have weird plate locations, but those are the exceptions”.

I contacted Ryan Roher with the  Pima County Sheriff Dept. for a comment and he directed me to look at ARS 28-2354B3.   In a nutshell it says  “A person shall display the license plate or plates as follows… so it is clearly legible … In a position to be clearly visible.”

In searching the web for examples of how to deal with this issue I found a solution from Barb Berle.  “I now have a lighted license plate holder securely attached to my hitch rack in a position that is highly visible while traveling with bicycles. Since the State of Arizona will not issue a second license plate of the same number, all I have to do is remove my plate from the car and place it in the bike rack holder – easy and secure.”  Good idea,  if you leave the rack on 24/7 or are OK to remove and reattach your license plate every time you remove your rack.  I expect the chances are better of be cited for no plate when you forget the plate on the rack.

There is one positive side to obscuring the plate.  If you have the photo cameras snap a photo of you, they can not ticket you.  I’m not saying this has happened to me(more then once), but perhaps it is part of the equation in weighting if you want to risk driving with obscured plates.

On a side note, I am meeting with Arizona House of Rep Ethan Orr this week to discuss possible laws that will benefit the cycling community.  Perhaps a solution to this exists.  Do you have any ideas?