Watch the Small towns

Discussion in 'Laws and Legislation for Motorized Bicycles' started by Greenbiker, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Greenbiker

    Greenbiker New Member

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    So, as a preface, if you are interested in what i am riding, i just posted my set up in general discussion.
    So a word about small towns. I live in a large (relatively medium actually) city. But, there is a tiny mousefart of a town plopped down inside it. This particular town is what a lot of people refer to as a ticket machine or a ticket trap. Theres a police station, a coffee shop, a gas station, and three or four titty bars, all in a row. And a small neighborhood behind it, that may have a functioning school sometimes.
    Ive lived here for a while, right across the street from it. Ive seen people pulled over. But ive never had any trouble from the. Never stopped. Never messed with. Nothing. Ridden through in cars. On standard, electric, and gas bikes, probably hundreds of times, at all times of day or night. No stops, Nada.
    I also did quite a bit of research before starting my motorized bike "hobby" a few years ago. I found out what was legal. How it was legal, and what wasnt and why. It turns out my state is a bit convoluted on the issue, but it boils down to this. A bicycle (with operable human powered pedals) regardless of number of wheels, equipped with a motor not exceeding 80cc, and not capable of mortorized or hybridized powered motion on flat land in excess of 35 mph is for the purposes of the motor vehicle law a BICYCLE. A bicycle requires no license. No registration, no insurance, no title, etc. Electrics may be up to 25 or 30 (dont care to look it up, and im on a gas bike so idc) mph and up to 1k watts for the motor. They are also bicycles.

    I built to these specs.
    I have a suspended drivers license, and it was the 4th of July weekend. The burger joint i wanted to go to was on the other side of the said small town. I decided to grab a burger, so i hopped on the gas bike and proceeded through the small town. It was dusk and i did forget to activate my tail light. I did have my head light one and for its size, it puts out light comparable to automotive head lights.
    I was about half way through the small town and i noticed a vehicle with BRIGHT headlights on hovering steady on my left rear quarter, just behind me. This is a pretty common occurrence as people are either unsure if they can pass, "mothering" me as if i cant ride wirhout their guidance, or they are just rubber necking in the worst possible spot they can. Happens all the time. So, i signal the driver to pass by, and that when the flashing lights so bright you can see the inside of your own skull come on.
    Well i pull over. Cause thats what you do, and honestly, i have no chance of out running usain bolt much less a proper automobile.
    Well i can tell this guy isnt the brightest by the first words out of his mouth. Which were:
    " I'M pullin' YOU over, brother!" As if he thought i might have things reversed by my earlier hand gesture. This is indicative of someone who thinks everyone ought to be aware of their prescence at all times and mercy on the one who isnt. I don't like this guy already. His next words did not elevate him in my estimation at all, quite the opposite really.
    Those were: (upon approaching me on the curbside)
    "Why are you riding this?"
    Not hello, do you know why we stopped you?
    How are you this evening?
    Are you aware that you do not have a functioning tail light according to x law?
    Nope it was "why are you riding this?"
    This tells me im about to have a bad time of it. Not just because of his word choice, bit his tone also. We'd just met, and he already sounds angry and annoyed with me. It doesn't take me any hands to to count the number of times a relationship that started like this ended well. And to be honest, i got a pretty good look at this guys eyes and listened to him talk a bit. He seemed hopped up a bit. He was itching for a ticket to fill the holiday quota and he could just tell i was in dire need pf a ticket.
    Well he did the procedurals and asked me for a DL, i told him i had a state id and no DL. He told me i needed a DL for this MOTOR VEHICLE. I told him it wasnt a motor vehicle under state law. He told me to sit tight while he went and researched it. 15 or so minutes later, he comes back and says this is a motor vehicle and im going to jail fpr driving under suspension. Also, hes gonna impound the bike.
    I reiterated my position that under state law, what i was operating was a motorized bicycle, which is treated as a bicycle.
    He told me that it was a motor vehicle or how else cpuld he write a dui for it or for a lawn mower ( see his inappropriate leaps in logic and context here?) Or a horse. (I should have pointed out that the dui laws are written for vehilces which include motor vehicles, but doesnt qualify all vehicles as motor vehicles, a false syllogism he used there, i dodnt expect him to understand syllogisms or how he used one falsely.) He also said that they have to require a license or everyone without a license would be riding one around. I pointed out that this isnt true as they are at best clunky junky hobby horses that a person really has to WANT to use to bother with. He didnt have a response to that. He did however show ,e the "legal resource" he used to determine that he had the right to arrest me, kidnap me, steal my property, remand it to the possession of a third party and hold it for ransom. It was a motorized bicycle law aggregator and opinion website. No he didnt go to thenpublicaly available motor vehicle code website maintaoned by the state? No. Did he look at the tax collection department to see whats required to have tax remitted on it? Nope. An opinion website. One that was wrong. It applied the wrong law set to a motorized bicyxle which he then used to justify arresting me.
    And he knew it. He know exactly where to find any law on motor vehicles he wants, because he showed me the law from the website when he was writing my ticket for driving under suspension. Fun y how he jad actual state law when it helped him!
    But, what can you do? Well you call a buddy (from my cellphone, in my cell!), you call a bail bondsman, and you yell at someomes kid when he tried to take your money off the "property table" in the booking room/kitchen, and you wait. The bondsman and said buddy show up. I find out the bond will be 20% not 10 and plus, plus, plus! Theres 10% release fee assocoated with this particular small town. So all things, paid, I walk out. Bike is still in the pokey though and thats annoying. For the record, he wrote me two tickets, one for DUS and the other for defective equipmemt for not having the tail light on.
    I have my court date, so i decide that someone there will see that there was a mistake amd this would be resolved and I would receive my bike and maybe my release fee refunded.. laff
    Yeah right. I got to court (repping myself on the advice of an attorney that an attorney was an unnecessary expense for this case) and spoke to the town prosecutor and who defaulted to making me a ridiculous offer of not doubling the defective equipment ticket because of the
    DUS ticket. I quoted the law (verbatim with references should he have cared to look it up) to him and told him i was pleading not guilty since what i was doing wasnt driving but riding a bicycle. He told me he didnt agree and he would see me at trial. Let me takenthis moment to describe the peosecutor to you as the sort of man from whom you get the distinct impression that he has never touched a breast either with permission or for free. But i digress.
    Trial is set for two weeks later and during that time i decide that its just too expensive to let the bike set in hoc any longer and i bail it out. I have twice during this period spoken to superiors in the police department whom are alk baffled as to why I was stopped and arrested because they know what i have is a bicycle. But they cant do anything bexause the officer wrote it as a moped which is defferent under the law. Whatever, they cant help me directly. But they didnt a one of them offer to just waive then $50 fee that allows you to go to the car jail and pay the real ransom.
    So trial rolls around, and have printed copies from the states law website of the pertinent laws and description of my device ready to get up in front of the judge and plead my case. Yes sir i was ready.
    You know what those scurvy dogs did?
    They dropped the case.
    On procedure.
    Because the cops didnt show up to work that day.
    Not on merit.
    Basically a reverse alford plea
    "We arent saying we were wrong to have arrested you and taken your stuff, we are just saying we cant convict you for what we arrested you on"
    The prosecutor warned me even after seeing the law and descriptions that they would try to file at the county level and see if the county wanted to pick it up.

    Whats this all mean, well since they never admitted they shouldnt have done what they did, they got to keep my pre ransom ransom fees , and at some point this could pop back up to bite me. The county i live in doesnt issue suponeas for traffic issues, they just issue bench warrants so they can charge you and mess up your day good and proper.
    Fortunately, thats not going to happen cause the little town has a reputation and everyone both hates it and finds it amusing. They would have looked at it and said, you want us to take an obviously bunged up case your officers couldn't be bothered to show up for, where they work, nor is there an actual report written for it. Yeah, we'll pass.
    But about $800 later ive gotten through it and if I learned anything its this:
    What the law is doesnt really matter. Its what the cop wants it to be that matters. Know the cops in the area you ride through and how they feel about things because thats the people you deal with on this stuff. The pain in the ass is too great to chance it, if you doubt their knowledge, they avoid them if you can.

    Stay cautious out there.
     
  2. Slogger

    Slogger Member

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    Motorbikes can stick in the craws of authoritarian types. Cars will swoop by real close to show you their disapproval of your presence on their road.
    The laws here are a mishmash of references to different paragraphs of a complex code with very little spelled out clearly.
    One part mentions a permit you need, but the ladies at the state office never heard of it and you can't really get one. I saw where it said 24 or bigger tires, 1 3/4 wide or bigger, chainguards, a signal, brakes, a muffler, no passenger pegs, lights at night and so on. I built it with all that stuff. I also have a m/c license.
    I emailed the local police before I even ordered the engine. The chief said to obey the laws for bikes and cars and stay off the sidewalks and I wouldn't have a problem.
    I stay off the bicycle paths, I know they would get on me for that, too.

    I bought a bicycle helmet and wear it when I ride since I learned on here that most riders that get hassled weren't wearing one.
    Cops love helmets. A minor submission to authoritah.

    Were you wearing a helmet, GB?
     
  3. xseler

    xseler Well-Known Member

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    I stay outa Valley Brook unless I'm heading to Wheeler's Meat Market.

    I live just a bit to the south.......SE 96th. The cops in my neighborhood just wave as I go by. However, I do carry a copy of the Oklahoma Statute in my small tool bag --- just in case. I was also whizzing around Draper Lake a couple months ago and met some OKC Police motorbikes in the opposite lane. Was right at the speed limit and they gave me the biker wave.

    By the way, I always wear a helmet.
     
    #3 xseler, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  4. Greenbiker

    Greenbiker New Member

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    Ha, i guess i was too descriptive about the place, wasnt trying to give it away, but i guess if you are from here then its hard not to recognize it when you hear about it. Well i don't make it that down that far south often but im riding a 4 stroke rig on a black cruiser with a large steel dual basket on the back.
    It has a large red marine fuel tank on the back so of you see me give one of those biker waves you talked about.
     
  5. Greenbiker

    Greenbiker New Member

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    And no, i didnt have a helmet. We arent a helmet state as far as i know. Ive never been spoken to about it and they didnt even mention it during the stop. I had on a dorag and that may have tripped their trigger, but mostly i think it was just to get a ticket out of the deal. I just avoid the town now altogether. Okc doesnt seem to care as long as you dont act stupid. I made a janky turn one night at a stop light in front of an okcpd and all he did was whoop me and go on. I was safe but the turn was janky and he was just letting me know he saw.
     
  6. Slogger

    Slogger Member

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    Helmets aren't legally necessary here either. That's what makes it such a clever cop schmoozing gesture on my part. Motorbikes aren't actually fully legal here, but nobody's really sure.
    The helmet makes them think, awww, he a gud boy.. let's move on.
    The Bell hardhat does keep my forehead warmer in cold weather, and if I wreck maybe it'll do some good.
    Sorry you got shook down like that. Sucks.
     
    #6 Slogger, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  7. Greenbiker

    Greenbiker New Member

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    Well it got dropped. So now I don't have a DUS of recent provenance on my record wheni do go to get my license back. But yeah if i had the time and momeyid self prosecute the cops, judge, amd prosecutor for false arrest, theft etc. But I haven't the means to do that and while some law enforcement would smile to see that town get some comeuppance, some would see it as crossing the thing blue line and act like asses. Someome always has to ruin the party.
     
  8. Greenbiker

    Greenbiker New Member

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    I haven't had any cars disrespect me majorly in a long time. Mostly its just the red neck types in big trucks or whiteboy gansta wannabes in muscle cars that feel like they have to show me how much more powerful their car or truck is than my bike. I thinknthey are just reassuring themselves that they are better than me. I have a friend that has a pretty decent ebike and he frequently tells me of people refusing to yeild or givw him the required 36 inches radius. Of course he looks like the guy from trailer park boys too so that tends to bring out the ******* in people with an inner *******. Also hes a lot like the guy from trailerpark boys and prone to exaggeration and misinterpretation also. So who knows. Hes told me someone tried to use a cop to steal his bike from him by claiming HE stole it from THEM. I can see soemone trying to do this, but he didnt mention anything about them getting arrested at the end and thats really the only place i see that ending with the city cops here, they gonna arrest someone if that happens, and i bet they would like to make the false statements arrest alot more since its easier to prove than theft and since the trailer park boy is more sympathetic looking to a judge or jury, hes likely to walk or walk with a wrist slap.
    The thing that bothers me most i mentioned in the original post. People will hover on the left rear quarter for one of a few reasons. Its really bothersome because normally i would have a blind spot there, but i dont because i have a dunctional lazy eye on the left. Its not perfect vision, but i can tell what something js and wheere its at. At night time this creates a functional blind spot because theirnhead lights are in my eye. So i can see that they are there, but thats about it. Its just silly because they wouldn't do that to a regular bicycle or any other vehicle. But they see a little motor on it and their brain stops working.
     
  9. xseler

    xseler Well-Known Member

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    That just sums it up perfectly!! laff
     
  10. Kletus

    Kletus Member

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    Valleybrook has been a sore spot with Oklahoma city for ages. Titty bars,illegal activities crooked cops and courts.
     
  11. Greenbiker

    Greenbiker New Member

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    The titty bars dont bother me. Id rather it be in the sunlight than underground, cause when you drive unpopular activity underground, it tends to become more dangerous for all involved. But the LEO situation is pretty out of hand, and the things is that it doesnt seem to be all of them. The chief SEEMED like a decent enough guy for the little i dealt with him, but like maybe hes not really totally running things. The other officers i dealt with all seemed sympathetic but sorta inneffectual, like go along to get along. Im prety sure the reason the arrestors didnt show upnwas they were told not to because the powers above them knew they were in error, and even if they just sumarrily decided against me, i cpuld simply pay the fine, then appeal at the county level which they wpuld have to respond to or risk summary judgement against them and be ordered to repay and restitute my damages or even possibly worse results. They would either have to remit that or appeal the appeal, which has absolutely no bennefit for them because they would have to pay to file the appeal, pay their attorney to rep it, then face at best being judged for, at which we all just go home because they have my money. But then they risk paying to do all that to have the appeal decision upheld and still having to pay restitution and whatever else the judgement was. Sonitnwas in their best interest to just drop it on procedure because it makes me less unhappy and it keeps them from having liability for doing wrong. Just galls me im having basically to pay for my bike twice.
     

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