Other States’ Cases
Herman asked: How does Selz v Trotwood affect cyclists in Florida?
Good on them. My understanding is that other states’ case law cannot be used as a precedent in Florida, but it can be introduced as evidence. Is there an attorney out there that would like to comment?
There was another article that I’d read on the Selz v Trotwood case where the officer involved had said in court and after having had the law explained to her that if she saw another cyclist behaving in the same or similar fashion to Mr. Selz that she’d ticket them as well.
Which also brings up the question of why are police officers allowed to for want of a better term “make up laws” on the side of the road or to play “father/mother knows best” and decide because something in their opinion is “unsafe” that it must also be “illegal” and stop and cite a person for their opinion/made up law? And why do the courts uphold these opinions/made up laws?
Aren’t they doing not only the citizens of their city/county/state a disservice but aren’t they also doing their law enforcement community a disservice as well? By in essence saying that the police are “allowed” to substitute their opinion for what is actually in the law.
I mean take the two cases where I had St. Pete police officers pull me over and get on their P.A. system to instruct me to move either further to the right i.e. in the gutter pan close to the curb or to get on the sidewalk. As you confirmed neither officer was correct in their actions. And presumably they thought that they were as was Officer Vance in Selz v Trotwood acting in my best interests.
We as experienced cyclists know that we can ride on roads, and in situations that an inexperienced cyclist should avoid until they have more experience. But that doesn’t mean that a police officer who has little to no practical experience riding bicycles is in a position to tell us where it is or isn’t safe for us as cyclists to ride.
I also find it interesting that in the Selz v Trotwood case that had Mr. Selz been cited under FRAP that they wouldn’t have had a chance of winning on appeal. And that because Officer Vance had instead cited him under the impeding traffic statute that they were able to win on appeal.
How is that for irony?
The regulation that was on point in Trotwood v. Selz was a municipal ordinance that stated:
“No person shall stop or operate a vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when stopping or reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or to comply with law.”
The Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law includes a similar provision in s. 316.183, but it applies only to the operator of a motor vehicle:
“No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.”
Please how many laws do we need in a free country any way its a bike for heavens sake.
somebody some where told me this is a free country but i cant ride a motorised bike any where. PLEASE
See the posts about motorized bicycles.
As long as your in Florida and your motorized bike is electric and has 3 or less wheels and is only capable of speeds of up to 20mph, then you can ride it anywhere you ride a bicycle (and if that’s on a sidewalk, only pedaling.. Then you’ll be fine!