Friday, February 18, 2011

The Judge Makes His Ruling

This is the comments made by Judge Calvert at the conclusion of my trial.

A. GENE CALVERT, JR. : The defendant certainly has a right to operate a bicycle on a roadway. There are some restrictions upon the operation of a bicycle. There’s certainly roadways where it’s not permissible at all even if you’re operating on a permissible roadway, it has to be done in a safe manner.

The question in this case is whether or not your conduct on the date and time in question should be considered reckless. The fact that you were able to safely navigate the roadways on prior occasions, as your attorney pointed out, is not really relevant. Times and conditions and circumstances of the operation of a vehicle change. Circumstances change with patterns of traffic, visibility, numerous other conditions.

On the occasion in question, taken into account the totality of the circumstances that have been testified here today, there was a high degree of concern with regard to the way that you were operating the motor vehicle -- I’m sorry -- the bicycle in the presence of motor vehicles. And as such, officers were dispatched to your location to discuss their concerns with you and you disregarded their instructions and their request and commenced to return to operate your bicycle on the roadway.

It appeared to be at least in the center of the roadway and at times, maybe even be closer to the center stripe for a portion of that time. I’m sympathetic with the fact that there’s not designated biking lanes on enough of our roadways to accommodate a bicycle traveler. It would certainly do a lot to relieve a lot of the concerns we have regarding numerous issues including, physical health, obesity, and consumption of oil and petroleum products. However, that’s not really part of the decision I’m making today.

Even though it may have been permissible for you to be in the right lane of traffic, operating the motor vehicle or your bicycle in the presence of motor vehicles, at this particular occasion, you were presenting a hazard to other vehicles. And you may not have been aware of it up until that point, but once the officers made you aware of the concerns that have been reported and the numerous calls that had been made regarding the circumstances on that day, for to you disregard that warning and return back into that same state of operating your bicycle in the presence of motor vehicles on that roadway on that day it constituted willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

And so based on that, I am going to find you guilty of reckless driving.


  1. Hmmm...I thought the officers suggested that you ride on the shoulder for YOUR safety, not the safety of OTHERS. Either I missed something (entirely possible), or there is inconsistency or faulty reasoning present.

  2. So regardless of the law and your ability to determine what's safe for you...if mama thinks you're going to get hurt and worries about you, you get a ticket?? What a waste of tax money and we all lost some of our rights.

  3. A sad day for Texas, from a supportive cyclist in Canada. With the onslaught of bicycle infrastructure and self-centered attitudes of entitlement (sometimes on both sides), I have been observing TX as an example of what might be coming to us.
    I do not buy in to the riding on shoulders seen all around Austin as enjoyment in my future.

  4. Am I reading this right? A cyclist's right to
    a road is based on the way other road users
    are feeling at the time.

  5. Be of good cheer honey - God is in control. We shall prevail!

    Love and miss you 5-ever!

    Crystal Bates

  6. Basically this says that bicycling can be forbidden whenever and wherever it makes some nebulous group of other people feel unhappy about it.