Several months ago I was contacted by a rider who got ticketed by CHP for violating CVC 21202(a), the infamous “FTR” or “far to the right” law, not to be confused with Dave Jaeger’s French Toast Ride. At all.
The rider, Dan Funk, emailed me a copy of the citation and asked my professional opinion, and after the cursing finished I told him that it was a bogus ticket and that he should fight it. The problem is that he got the ticket riding on Angeles Crest and although he lives in West LA, the ticket was assigned to West Covina. This is like living in Manhattan and having to go to court in South Carolina, only the drive from Manhattan is faster and there’s less traffic.
The place where he was ticketed was absurd; there’s no shoulder and the only place you can ride is in the travel lane. In Dan’s case, he was actually trying to hug the fog line, and even then the cop pulled him over and ticketed him. “What’s this ticket for?” asked Dan.
“We’ve been ticketing motorists so we have to ticket some cyclists to balance it out,” advised the CHP cop.
You know, it’s the policy of equal enforcement, and I kind of like it, and wish they would apply it in other areas. “For every black person we arrest, we’re going to arrest a white person.”
“For every poor person we execute, we’re going to execute a rich one.”
It would bring some much needed change to our criminal justice system, and it’s a concept we could apply to other areas as well. “We’ve been giving out lots of tax breaks to big corporations, so we have to give tax breaks to ordinary people, too.”
Or what about this? “We’ve been letting abortion activists burn down clinics and shoot doctors, so we’re going to burn down some churches and shoot a few fundie pastors.”
There’s a lot to be said for equality.
Dan and I took the day off and met at West Covina. The courtroom filled with CHP cops. “This looks like a court where they show up,” I said. “Recognize any of these guys?”
“Nope. Mine was a motorcycle cop.” They were all in patrol car costumes.
Finally a very badass moto cop strutted in. “That him?” I asked.
Our case got called and dismissed, and we celebrated by getting to drive through eighteen more hours of traffic to get home.
Next time, under the principle of equality, I’m going to ask the judge if he’ll make a random CHP cop have to drive home in the back seat with me.
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