One Hand on the Handlebar?
Jonathan asked: I was recently stopped and pulled over on my bicycle. I always ride it without hands and have been harassed by the same cop before. He claimed he stopped me because of a bicycle violation for riding without hands and then proceeded to ask more questions. After questioning him about why he stopped me for that he explained it was against the law.
He then said he smelt marijuana on me, I hadn’t smoked that day but I was wearing my hat that did have a tiny roach left of marijuana. He claimed he had probable cause to search me, ending in finding the roach behind my hat brim.
The question is, was that search legal? Was he legally able to stop me for that reason or should I take it to court? After everything he sent me off with a court date and a citation to pay a fine with a ticket that even says (riding bike with no hands) as the violation. I’ve been doing a little research but It seems everything leads to that being a no longer active violation. Can I use that to my advantage?
We can’t comment on the legality of a search or the other aspects of your case since it is not within the scope of this site. We can comment on the laws related to bicycling.
There is no Florida statute that requires keeping one or both hands on the handlebar of a bicycle. There was such a statute until 2012, when it was repealed. The officer should have indicated the specific statute that was violated on the citation, and if so, probably used old information. If that was the only violation for which you were cited, you might either go to traffic court and use this information or file a motion to dismiss prior to the court date.
I recommend also writing to the police chief and asking that the officers be informed of this change in the laws.