Speeding Ticket on a Bicycle? Police Officer Testimony Wins Out (Yet Again).

Written by Gregory Monte.

In a previous blog post I wrote about speeding tickets for slow-moving cars:

Taking Your Car Out for a “Walk.”  A Ticket for the Slow-Pokes.

The statutory basis for these types of tickets is Title 75, Section 3364:

Impeding movement of traffic prohibited.–Except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law, no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

Well, this law also applies to bicycles.

I came across a recent court case, Commonwealth v. Smith, Pa: Superior Court 2016, where an individual was issued a ticket for riding his bicycle too slowly.  Here are the details of the case:

“Trooper Beam observed three cars ahead of him as traffic was backed up on Brinkerton Road heading south because appellant was ahead of the vehicles on a bicycle. Appellant was traveling below the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour … Trooper Beam cited appellant for operating a vehicle at a speed so slow as to impede the normal flow of traffic.

Mr. Smith testified that he could not ride completely on the right hand side of the road because of the prevalence of gravel, glass, ice, snow, miscellaneous debris, drainage gutters, potential deer, etc. – to no avail.  The judge believed the police officer’s opinion that he was purposefully impeding traffic.

Smith even cited another sub-section of 3364 related to bicycles to bolster his defense:

 “A pedalcycle may be operated at a safe and reasonable speed appropriate for the pedalcycle. A pedalcycle operator shall use reasonable efforts so as not to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

Unfortunately, the judge didn’t buy this arguement either.

I wrote a recent post where I stressed the point that your personal testimony isn’t worth very much when the police officer contradicts what you have to say – Your Traffic Ticket Testimony is Trivial and Trifling in a Trial.

The only way you are certain to win is if you find a technicality in the law that the judge has no choice but to accept.  My son found just such a technicality in the stop sign statutes which enabled him to beat his ticket.  The sign he was accused of violation was not properly authorized and so it could not be enforced.  If you are interested in the details of his case, check out my free 23-page eBook How My Son Beat an Unfair Stop Sign Ticket in Pennsylvania.


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