The case of "impeding traffic" in Trotwood, Ohio

However, more importantly, publication of the case greatly increases its precedential value to future cyclists who wish to challenge traffic citations.
At the February 7, 2000 trial, Officer Vance testified that Mr. Selz "...was driving in the middle of the lane..." and was going " more than 15 miles per hour..." She further testified that " had to stop and ... go over to the other lane to get around him..."

It should be noted that State Route 49 at this point consisted of five lanes, two in each direction with a universal turning lane between them. It should also be noted that Mr. Selz was charged with violating Trotwood Municipal Code Section 333.04(a), for "impeding traffic" and was not charged with a violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.55(A), which requires cyclists to ride "as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable..." (This ended up as a critical distinction in the eyes of the court of appeals, as will be discussed below.)
It became clear as the trial progressed that the City of Trotwood was going to take the position that if you can't ride 45 mph then you can be charged with "impeding traffic."
I argued that the most important word in the Trotwood ordinance was the word "traffic." "Traffic" cannot be impeded, so just what is "traffic." State law tells us that traffic includes far more than cars and trucks and buses. "Traffic" is defined to include "...pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars, trackless trolleys, and other devices either singly or together while using any highway for purposes of traveling." Thus a bicycle operator IS traffic -- the bicycle operator is part of the class of people protected by the statute.

"Traffic" is a broad piece of fabric, with many different threads. Not all "traffic" goes, or is capable of going, 45mph. By including these slower moving objects in the definition of "traffic" the legislature is allowing for varying speeds of vehicles on the roadways. If something is going as fast as it can on a roadway on which it has a right to proceed, how can it be "impeding" traffic?
On October 20, 2000, the Court of Appeals released its decision - a victory for Steven Selz. The court found a case in Georgia involving a slow moving farm combine. In that case, the Georgia court found that operator of a slow moving vehicle, which was traveling at or near its top speed, could not be convicted of "impeding traffic" under a similar law. The Court of Appeals compared the Georgia case to this one and stated:

In either case, holding the operator to have violated the slow speed statute would be tantamount to excluding operators of these vehicles from the public roadways, something that each legislative authority, respectively, has not clearly expressed an intention to do.

Publication of the court's decision on May 14, 2001 gives the opinion increased importance and precedential value. ...

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by B' Spokes

Like most people I live a hectic life and who has the time for much exercise? Thanks to xtracycle now I do. By using my bike for daily activities I can get things done and get an hour plus work out in 15 minutes extra of my time, not a bad deal and beats taking the extra time going to the gym. In case you are still having trouble being motivated; the National Center of Disease Control says that inactivity is the #2 killer in the United States just behind smoking. ( ) Get out there and start living life! I can carry home a full shopping cart of groceries, car pool two kids or just get lost in the great outdoors camping for a week. Well I got go, another outing this weekend.
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