Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 08:55 AM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
As was posted back in February, I was cited for riding in the road. Yesterday (April 30) I finally had my day in court.
Then it was my turn to testify. I pointed out that the law does not require bicyclists to use the shoulder, and I presented two Idaho Supreme Court cases (Maier v Mindoka County Motor Company and Kelley v Bruch. Thanks to Philip Cook - a fellow LCI from Moscow) that explicitly stated that bicyclists are not obligated to stay in the shoulder. The judge took a few minutes to review these cases and agreed that the law was in my favour there. I testified that I am a League Cycling Instructor and that I teach bike safety and the bicycling related laws. I explained that in a narrow lane it actually isn't safe for a bicyclist to be all the way over on the edge of the lane because it encourages motorists to try to squeeze by when it isn't safe. I presented photos of the area to show how narrow the road is, and a diagram from the Florida Bicycle Association (thanks to Fred Ungewitter in Florida) showing "How to Get more Passing Clearance' by riding further left in the lane. I pointed out in the Idaho Street Smarts manual (written by John Allen) the section that deals with narrow lanes. The Prosecutor had some concerns about where the manual came from.
In all my trial took over an hour, while the previous cases where all less than 1/2 hour each. Both the judge and the prosecutor commented that it had been a learning experience for them, and while the judge acknowledged that Officer Lim was just trying to do his job, given that the law is less than clear about what is "as far right as practicable", the final verdict was Not Guilty.