[*BCM*] [Fwd: Re: [massbike] Globe: Bicyclists are entitled to use the entire lane of traffic]
trevay at massbike.org
Mon May 19 12:02:12 EDT 2008
Turil <turil at thewiseturtle.com> wrote:
> State law trumps any local ordinances, unless there is a variance sort
> of thing granted by the state legislature (oh what the hell is that
> thing really called?)
Home rule petition.
> Also, pretty much all those ordinances are so ridiculously worded as
> to make them void in a court of llaw, at least by a good lawyer with a
> legit judge.
Well, you and David had the former, but not the latter, in your
Concord situation, so as you know, the issue of whether the law is a
strong one or not often doesn't matter.
Also, civil (traffic) hearings before a clerk, as well as trial courts
don't set aside laws -- that's left to an appellate court.
So for a cyclist accused under one of these "ridiculously worded"
laws, the foolishness of the act of the city council doesn't matter
much. The cyclist would have to 1) lose at trial, and 2) appeal the
law and win, with the help their "good lawyer" who no-doubt costs good
If a cyclist were to go that far, and the law is thrown out by his or
her efforts, the they truly deserve the thanks of woman and man alike.
So present them with a laurel, and hardy handshake -- because that's
all they're likely to get.
> But really, it's all pretty meaningless when the court system is so
> disconnected to the laws themselves.
Right -- but, as Bones oft said to Capt. Kirk, "It's worse than that, Jim!".
It's unlikely any cyclist will get a ticket from a Somerville police
officer who observes the cyclist riding outside a bike lane. What's
more likely is that a cyclist riding outside a bike lane will be
involved in a collision with a motorist, and that motorist's insurance
company will use the law to assert that the cyclist is at-fault for
the collision because the cyclist was breaking the law.
After that -- good luck getting your bike fixed!
-- Tom Revay
More information about the Bostoncriticalmass