Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bicycle Rules For Motorists TDH

1. A bicycle is a vehicle and any person riding a bicycle has all of the rights
and responsibilities as a driver of a vehicle.


2. Bicyclists are required to ride as far right in the lane as possible only
when the lane can be safely shared by a car and a bicycle, side by side.

Even then, there are certain conditions that allow a bicyclist to take the full
lane such as:


a. The person is overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in
the same direction.


b. The person is preparing for a left turn at an intersection or onto a private
road or driveway.


c. There are unsafe conditions in the roadway such as fixed or moving
objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, potholes, or
debris.


d. The lane is of substandard width making it unsafe for a car and a bicycle
to safely share the lane side by side. When this is the case, it is best
for the cyclist to take the full lane whether riding single file or two
abreast.


3. Bicyclists are not restricted to the right lane of traffic. One-way, multi-
laned streets are one example. Another instance is when the bicyclist is
changing lanes to make a left turn.
The bicyclist should follow the same path
any other vehicle would take traveling the same direction.


4. Motorists should merge with bicycle traffic when preparing for a right
hand-turn. Avoid turning directly across the path of bicycle traffic.

Common Motorists Mistakes

1. The most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a motorist
turning left in the front of oncoming bicycle traffic. Oncoming bicycle traffic is
often overlooked or its speed misjudged.


2. The second most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a
motorist turning right across the path of the bicycle traffic. The motorist
should slow and merge with the bicycle traffic for a safe right-hand turn.

3. The third most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a
motorist pulling away from a stop sign and failing to yield right-of-way to bicycle
cross traffic. At intersections, right-of-way rules apply equally to motor
vehicles and bicycles.



TEXAS DRIVERS HANDBOOK
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Revised October 2008

19 comments:

  1. Chipseal,

    One of the items you have is a misquotation of TX law -- a mistake by the Dept. of Public safety:

    >>> Bicyclists are required to ride as far right in the lane as possible only when the lane can be safely shared by a car and a bicycle, side by side. <<

    The law uses the word "practicable", not possible. Practicable (pronounced practice-able) is a very flexible word implying reasonability. Possible is just wrong.

    This is a point that your friends in the Ennis Police Department need to learn.

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  2. I am glad you caught that, Ohio Fred!

    Yes, this is one of many distortions of the laws that the Texas Drivers Handbook makes. They caution the reader from the start that:

    "The information herein is not
    intended to be an official legal reference to Texas traffic laws... If you have a court case or
    other reason to know the actual language of the traffic laws, refer to the Texas
    Transportation Code and criminal laws in the Texas Penal Code."


    But even with that caveat, there is no mention at all in the handbook that cyclists have the duty to abandon the roadway at the approach of faster traffic, as Ennis seems to think is the case.

    http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/DLhandbook.pdf

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  3. Disclaimer aside, I have seen Texas Highway Patrol officers (acting as Department spokes-persons) quote the TxDH and not the TxVC (they also like to quote the "85% head injury reduction" faux-science study of Rivera).

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  4. Kirby, Bryan TXMay 4, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    I got into a verbal confrontation with a motorist yesterday which involved a lot of profanity and threats of violence to my person. I tried to explain that I had the right of way at the intersection he had just tried to run me over. He informed me that a bicycle has no rights. I suggested he read 551.101 which only made him angrier. This is a common problem I see where both motorist and bicyclist are completely ignorant of the law. Talking about traffic laws that concern cyclist on a blog read by cyclists is important but how do you better inform public?

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  5. Kirby, we train motorists one at a time.

    Ride big and defensively- centered in the lane. You are traffic, and traffic will manage to get around you. Some motorists may get annoyed. (Ho-hum.)

    That is the most effective way to train them. Slogans and bumper stickers and street sign and sharrows seem to be ineffective at teaching the public about cyclist's rights.

    Use 'em or lose 'em.

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  6. Kirby, ChipSeal is correct. I had a motorist follow me rather close,while attempting to fit his automobile in the left 2/3 of the lane. Mind you, with no traffic on the inside lane, he tried in earnest to complete his pass. Eventually, after 1/8 mile and my moving over to the left tire track, did he finally take the inside lane and proceed on his way.

    No fear or arrogance on either party. One didn't know what to do and the other did.

    Ride BIG and Ride On! Thanks Rodney

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  7. Rodney's observation is WHY the cyclist has to take charge. The cyclist deals with motorists hundreds of times a day. The motorist is in an unusual situation. Take CARE of YOUR motorists and all those laws - none of those motorists know doodly squat about them anyway! You are the expert in the transaction. Play the part.

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  8. Hey man! Are you okay!

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  9. 06/25/2010
    To whom ever cares about justice in this world,

    I am writing this on the behalf of a person I know. His name is Reed Bates. He is an avid cyclist, hard worker good friend and all around nice guy.
    As I type this Reed is on his 17th day in jail. When I met Reed just a few months ago he told me of a silly situation he was in the midst of dealing with in Ennis TX in Ellis county. He referred to it as silly only because of the BLATANT fact that according to the TX statute a freshman in high school could see he didn’t violate the law. As a cyclist and someone who cares about the environment he doesn’t drive. Using his bicycle as his primary mode of transportation he uses the roadways that all of our taxes pay for as the conduit to get him where he needs to go. He was ticketed in Ennis for using a particular roadway “recklessly“. As a man with a strong sense of right and wrong and just good old fashioned common sense he fought it and while doing so ran smack dab into what more and more is showing itself to be a very severe case of the “good ol’ boy” system of law enforcement and justice in Ellis county. They cited him with violations and tickets that were significantly out of proportion with the actual offense. To fight this Reed started a blog at http://chipsea@blogspot.com with all the details and play by play.

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  10. The purpose of this letter is to illuminate the further injustices of which Reed has been a victim. As I said Reed retained a Dallas attorney to help him with these legal issues. Reed now works for me as a direct marketer for a green energy company here in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. As law abiding citizens whenever required we obtain solicitor permits in whatever municipality we are in at the time. In preparation for working in the city of Rockwall TX we went to their police dept to apply for our permits when they told Reed he had an active warrant for his arrest for a failure to appear on an Ellis county charge. Reed having retained an attorney was completely surprised by this. They took him into custody on the 8th of June. The bond was set at $5000. After contacting Reeds attorney he assured me that he had no knowledge of this court date. This is where he eluded to the reputation of this particular county for “misfiling paperwork”. Forgetting to note on the file that the defendant had obtained counsel thus ensuring copies of all notices of court dates be mailed to counsel as well. Filing an additional charge after the original ones to create situations like this etc. At first I thought this was a case of an attorney who dropped the ball and was now trying to cover his butt. He attempted to speak with the powers that be in Ellis county to point out to them that Reed had retained an attorney and was EAGER to have his day in court and was the last person that would intentionally miss a court date. He ran into a brick wall there and now has essentially given up. I then gave Reed an advance on his pay for $300 in order to have another attorney take a look at it. The new attorney at first had high hopes of quickly resolving the mistake. She soon ran into the same stall and excuse tactics I believe the first lawyer encountered.
    According to the procedures both Rockwall and Ellis county have told us they abide by, what is supposed to happen is when Rockwall took him into custody they said they notify within 24hrs via teletype the county who issued the warrant. If that county doesn’t extradite within 10 days they are bound to release the person. Ellis county said it’s policy states that they must pick up that person within 2 days of receiving the notice from the county in which the person was picked up. Reed got transferred on the 10th day. Someone is lying. He now is in Ellis county detention center and is supposed to get to see a judge today but from what we’ve seen of this good ol boy network in Ennis we’re not very optimistic.
    Anyone who takes the time to look at this can see Reed is the furthest thing from a flight risk and again is EAGER to have his day in court. Any reasonable judge or D.A. should have arranged for the release of Reed weeks ago but instead he sits in a jail taking up a spot that could be being used for an ACTUAL criminal. Obviously I don’t have the power or the means to fight this for Reed alone. I am sending copies of this to any news organization I can think of. The Texas Attorney General the Texas Bar Association and anyone I can think of in the biking community.
    Thank God that since Reed works for me that his job isn’t in jeopardy and I have been able to make arrangements to get his bills paid so other parts of his life aren’t crumbling as he sits in jail in his 3rd week. Had this been most people heaven only knows what other SIGNIFICANT problems this might have caused in their lives. It is situations like this that give all law enforcement and criminal justice workers such a bad name.

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  11. The purpose of this letter is to illuminate the further injustices of which Reed has been a victim. As I said Reed retained a Dallas attorney to help him with these legal issues. Reed now works for me as a direct marketer for a green energy company here in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. As law abiding citizens whenever required we obtain solicitor permits in whatever municipality we are in at the time. In preparation for working in the city of Rockwall TX we went to their police dept to apply for our permits when they told Reed he had an active warrant for his arrest for a failure to appear on an Ellis county charge. Reed having retained an attorney was completely surprised by this. They took him into custody on the 8th of June. The bond was set at $5000. After contacting Reeds attorney he assured me that he had no knowledge of this court date. This is where he eluded to the reputation of this particular county for “misfiling paperwork”. Forgetting to note on the file that the defendant had obtained counsel thus ensuring copies of all notices of court dates be mailed to counsel as well. Filing an additional charge after the original ones to create situations like this etc. At first I thought this was a case of an attorney who dropped the ball and was now trying to cover his butt. He attempted to speak with the powers that be in Ellis county to point out to them that Reed had retained an attorney and was EAGER to have his day in court and was the last person that would intentionally miss a court date. He ran into a brick wall there and now has essentially given up. I then gave Reed an advance on his pay for $300 in order to have another attorney take a look at it. The new attorney at first had high hopes of quickly resolving the mistake. She soon ran into the same stall and excuse tactics I believe the first lawyer encountered.
    According to the procedures both Rockwall and Ellis county have told us they abide by, what is supposed to happen is when Rockwall took him into custody they said they notify within 24hrs via teletype the county who issued the warrant. If that county doesn’t extradite within 10 days they are bound to release the person. Ellis county said it’s policy states that they must pick up that person within 2 days of receiving the notice from the county in which the person was picked up. Reed got transferred on the 10th day. Someone is lying. He now is in Ellis county detention center and is supposed to get to see a judge today but from what we’ve seen of this good ol boy network in Ennis we’re not very optimistic.
    Anyone who takes the time to look at this can see Reed is the furthest thing from a flight risk and again is EAGER to have his day in court. Any reasonable judge or D.A. should have arranged for the release of Reed weeks ago but instead he sits in a jail taking up a spot that could be being used for an ACTUAL criminal. Obviously I don’t have the power or the means to fight this for Reed alone. I am sending copies of this to any news organization I can think of. The Texas Attorney General the Texas Bar Association and anyone I can think of in the biking community.
    Thank God that since Reed works for me that his job isn’t in jeopardy and I have been able to make arrangements to get his bills paid so other parts of his life aren’t crumbling as he sits in jail in his 3rd week. Had this been most people heaven only knows what other SIGNIFICANT problems this might have caused in their lives. It is situations like this that give all law enforcement and criminal justice workers such a bad name.

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  12. This is all over a BICYCLE CHARGE for crying out loud. He rides his bike on the road which the statute in the great state of Texas says he has every right to. When they tried to bully him into complying with a MIS-enforcement of a law, he fought them and that made them mad. He’s not a native Texan and from all outward appearances they have done whatever they could do to make this guys life tough. This needs to be looked into by an impartial outside agency I believe from both within the Texas judicial system and private investigative news organizations. Please someone step forward and help me fight to get Reed released so we then can help him fight this thing. This is the United States of America things like this should not happen to guys like Reed.
    Thank you so much. I hope to hear from anyone willing to help ASAP. The poor guy has been in jail for 17 days. Wouldn’t you want someone fighting for you if you were in his shoes?

    Lee Wiltsey Regional Sales Mgr
    Global One Marketing LLC
    (469) 939-2085. Cell
    (469) 759-7700 ext. 7704
    lwiltsey@gogreenergy.com

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  13. KEEE RIST. Lee, call me. whareagle at gmail.com

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  14. I've now spoken with Lee. I think we're going to visit Reed tomorrow in Ellis County unless we can get him sprung first. As I understand it, he's being held on $5000 bail on the county charge, which you may recall, escalated from "riding a bicycle on the road" up to "reckless driving."

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  15. Okay, but it's still a sneaky move on the county's part, and it reeks of a personal grudge match between the powerful and the powerless. I'll call tomorrow morning. I am NOT going to ride the Waxahachie. I'll go down to Ennis instead.

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  16. Richard Wharton says Reed is out of jail. Did he make bail or was he released by some act of reason?

    Steve A.: Is "riding a bicycle on the road" a real charge? "Reckless driving" doesn't make sense. It depends on a person's state of mind, not just their behavior, "wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property". But Reed was very clear that safety was a primary motive for his behavior. Are there other charges beside "reckless driving"?

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  17. Chip made bail.

    I believe it was the Ellis County charge that prompted his jail stay. He originally reported it at:
    http://www. chipsea.blogspot.com/2010/01/tale-of-two-jails.html

    I.also expect that Chip will clarify things in the near futture.

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  18. "Forgetting to note on the file that the defendant had obtained counsel thus ensuring copies of all notices of court dates be mailed to counsel as well. Filing an additional charge after the original ones to create situations like this etc....Anyone who takes the time to look at this can see Reed is the furthest thing from a flight risk and again is EAGER to have his day in court." Presumably the docs were sent to him as well. Why didn't he check with his attorney then? Without diminishing the weirdness of Ellis County jailing someone for riding a bike on the road, isn't the blame shareable here?

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  19. I was hit in a 1. overlooked situation, by a full size van. Fortunately my sturdy bones and helmet saved me any serious injury.

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