Eastern Bloc Cycling Club
Rules of the road
I had to look these up after having the state cop yell at us on our ride Thursday. You'd hope they would know the law. CT cycling laws and traffic safety
Thanks for the link Mike...what did the cop yell at you for ?
I couldn't understand him even though he was using the bull horn. Some said he was telling us to get on the other side of the white line. I was actually by myself at this point. I heard this isn't the first time he's done this.
When he passed me, he was in clear violation of the 3-foot rule. So close I could easily have touched his car...and I do not have 36-inch arms.
> When he passed me, he was in clear violation of the 3-foot rule. So close I could easily have touched his car...and I do not have 36-inch arms.
The idiot honked at me when he passed me. I was about 2 feet to the right of the white line. I was going to flip him the bird, but realized it was a state police car before I had that chance. Maybe next time….
This sub-par officer has done this before (or at least someone in the exact same vehicle and location), I recall twice to me personally over past 6 months... I was near the white line but still on shoulder this past fall and he drove up next to me blasted his horn and yelled through the PA "Get Over"... I am certain he's one of the state troopers that New Hartford rents.
I called and filed a complaint (860-379-8621), I said the office violated the law, created a dangerous situation and based on that I believe he does not actually know the law. The trooper on the phone said "What law is that sir" I said the 3-foot rule when passing cyclists. The trooper said "That's not a law", I said actually it is. He then told me "I've been doing this 29 years and never heard of that" and then told me "That applies both ways" (inferring that I need to be 3 feet out of the way). Since we didn't get his badge or license plate he said there's little he can do but did say he would pass my information to a sergeant for a call back. His attitude was pretty much blowing me off.
We'll see if I get a call, but it's pretty clear the state police don't know the laws around cyclists...
I actually did get a call back from a Sergeant about a half hour later. I started off letting him know I'm not looking for a formal complaint, I just wanted him to be aware of what happened. We had a good conversation, he said he's a cyclist himself, and stated that he probably can determine who it was or narrow it down to a select few on duty during the ride. He said he would speak with them and also send out a note to everyone that cycling season is starting up. I said that would be perfect and I mentioned that the first trooper wasn't aware of the law either... He said he too is not aware of a law 3-ft passing cyclists, I gave him the section 14-232 law (from the link, thanks Mike!), he pulled it up and read it and said, yeah sure enough it is a law, he'll definitely share that out to the troopers.
I thought it was scary enough that virtually none of the drivers on the road have any clue about laws pertaining to cyclists , but if the state cops are clueless as well, that's pretty disconcerting. Christian...glad you educated the sergeant. Hope the word gets out to the other troopers and local cops. Obviously the word needs to get out to the general public too...being dead right isn't an option.
I wasn't at this ride and it doesn't sound from reading this thread like the group was in the wrong but there were guilty in the eyes of this officer for simply being there. Sadly, situations like this are all too common on the road but it is even more disturbing when the motorist is a police officer. I give Christian a lot of credit for contacting the police and engaging in a productive discussion with the sergeant, especially after being rebuffed by the first officer.
This is exactly the reason why we as a club are pushing for self awareness (and self policing when needed) on our group rides. It is clear from this example how perception overpowers the reality of vehicle laws out on the road. All we can do it set the example that will garner some respect and acceptance of the rights of the cyclist. We have to do this with the understanding that this tolerance and acceptance is already at rock bottom, likely due to drivers having been angered by the poor riding etiquette of other cyclists in another time and place.
On a positive note, I rode out to Plainville yesterday via 179, River Road and New Britain Ave. A somewhat busy route on the weekends with many stop lights and stop signs. As part of a continuing personal experiment I made a point of strictly adhering to the rules of the road and at every instance I encountered drivers who waved me on and yielded their right of way. I am a firm believer that things can improve when it starts with us.
Be safe out there.
Christian - Did you happen to mention to the Sergeant that there is no law or regulation requiring that cyclists ride to the right of the white line? (Not suggesting that we shouldn't ride as far to the right as safety and road conditions permit.....)