Monday, August 25, 2008

Mid-South man pulled over riding his bike

Reported by Lori Brown
Mid-South man pulled over riding his bike

Updated: Aug 25, 2008 03:26 PM

David Williams rides his bicycle 5 1/2 miles to work and 5 1/2 miles back practically every day.

He started biking to work four years ago to lower his cholesterol and he knows the rules of the road.

It is why he was shocked to hear a siren and see police lights behind him on his ride to work Thursday.

The car was unmarked, and the man inside in street clothes.

"When he got out put on his lanyard and I saw that it was a sheriff's badge, I realized then that he was an officer," Williams said.

Williams did not get the officers name or badge number, so the Sheriff's Department can not determine if he is one of their officers or not.

The man claiming to be an officer went on to threaten Williams.

"If he caught me again he would give me a citation and if caught me a second time he would throw me into jail," Williams said.

According to the Tennessee Driver handbook, bicyclists have the same rights as drivers do.

Bicyclists are required to ride to right side of the road, except to avoid unsafe conditions. They are also allowed to get in place for left turns.

"What frustrates me the most is that here an official was indicating that I was violating the law," Williams said. "It's so unfortunate that people don't understand bicycles are vehicles."

The Sheriff's Department's spokesperson said all of its deputies are familiar with traffic laws when it comes to cyclists.

He did follow up with Williams, but there cannot be any investigation since the officer was in an unmarked car and Williams didn't get his name or badge number.

(Video Coming Soon)

1 comment:

Jessica said...

My husband was pulled over on his bike here in Memphis not too long ago as well. He was riding on Poplar near Mendenhall about a month ago when a police officer pulled him over and told him he had to ride on the sidewalk. My hubby told me he then proceeded to talk with the officer about cycling/motorist laws in Tennessee and eventually he was able to continue his ride without a ticket or citation. I think cyclists need to ride with some kind of copy of the laws that apply to cyclists. I told my husband I would be much more comfortable if he would print out the applicable laws and keep those in his bike bag. It is really a shame that law enforcement (who should be helping to protect cyclists) can often be such a hassle for riders.