Pretrial Motion to Dismiss
asked: I had a 32 year Veteran policeman pull me over for blinking
lights on my bicycle. This is perfectly legal.
He would not look up the statute after I asked him three times. I told him to give me a ticket because I know It’s legal.
So now I have to take it to court which is fine. Or do you have people that can contact this officer and let him know that he is incorrect and get the ticket withdrawn?
You are correct as long as the lights meet the other requirements of the statute. See the end of this post about flashing lights.
You can go to the police department and file a complaint. I recommend writing a letter to the police chief as well. You can quote the statute in this post.
Another option is to go to traffic court with this information and ask the magistrate to dismiss the citation.
You can retain counsel and file a motion to dismiss with the court before the court date.
The latter option is recommended. An attorney is not required to file such a motion but it is recommended.
Traffic courts are hurried and chaotic, and you cannot be assured of a full hearing and opportunity to fully explain the laws and circumstances. Decisions are inconsistent in different jurisdictions. See this post:
If the facts and statutes are laid out in advance in an office setting instead, there is ample time to receive a full review. You also have the written evidence to use in an appeal if the decision is not favorable.
Below is a partial motion to dismiss that was successful. You would need to change the statutory references and make it applicable to your case.
…… moves to dismiss the citation herein, and as cause therefor respectfully represents as follows:
1. The citation is premised on an alleged violation of Fl. Statutes 316.2065(5)(a), for riding a bicycle and occupying the entire lane.
2. The citation was given while Defendant was travelling in the 3600 block of Nova Road.
3. The cited section contains an exception to any requirement of riding towards the right of a lane, as follows:
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including … a … substandard-width lane, that makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
4. The law requires that “a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle must pass the bicycle or other unmotorized vehicle at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet between any vehicle and the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle.” Fl. Statutes 316.083(1).5. The Florida Bicycle Association recommends keeping at least 2 feet from the curb or edge of the roadway. See Florida Bicycle Association web page attached, p. 1, second column, third paragraph.
6. The Florida Department of Transportation establishes a minimum lane width as 11 feet. Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and Maintenance for Streets and Highways, State of Florida, Department of Transportation, commonly known as “Florida Greenbook,” May 2007; Table 3-7, copy attached.
7. The Florida Department of Transportation states, “Fourteen feet is the recommended lane width for shared use in a wide curb lane, and is the minimum width that will allow passenger cars to safely pass bicyclists within a single lane.” Florida Greenbook at p. 9-3 (attached).
8. The lane where the citation occurred is 11 feet 8 inches wide.
9. There was therefore inadequate width in the lane in question for overtaking of Defendant’s bicycle to occur safely. Because of this fact, the exception provided in Fl. Statues 316.2065(5)(a)(3) applied, and Defendant was therefore not required to stay to the right of the lane.
10. Defendant was not in violation of Section 316.2065(5)(a) when he was cited in the within citation.
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