Charlottesville City Police Ticketing Bicyclists

Police officers in the City of Charlottesville have doubled in the past two years the number of tickets they have issued to bicyclists, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports.

First thoughts:

– Good. As a bicycle advocate and rider, seeing cyclists cutting in and out of traffic, on and off sidewalks, blowing through red lights, etc. makes it harder for the law-abiding cyclists.

– Really? The number of times I’ve watched a car badly blow through a red light while a police officer sits there watching the offense is itself almost criminal.

– Bad. Points on a driver’s license because of these infractions? Don’t you have to have a license in order to get points on said license?

– Good. Maybe this will serve as a discussion point for educating the police, cyclists and drivers.

– Is there something in the Code of Virginia for distracted pedestrians? Maybe they could target UVA students on the Corner; they’re dangerous, too.

Maybe the City can add this discussion point to their newest $50k study on creating and integrating “complete streets.” (it would be awfully nice to have this discussion include how to traverse City/County lines rather than myopically looking solely at each locality’s needs.)

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  1. Aileen Bartels February 17, 2014 at 06:36

    Like you, I have mixed feelings about this. We’re all safer if people behave in a predictable way, meaning they follow the known laws, but how many motorists are even aware of all the laws? I gave up cycling in Charlottesville two years ago because I felt so unsafe and had many scary encounters with motorists. We need a prominent media campaign to educate drivers on the rights of cyclists and pedestrians.

    1. Jim Duncan February 18, 2014 at 12:34

      I think it has to be a campaign to educate drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. And ideally consistent infrastructure that allows cyclists to have their own lanes. But I dream.

  2. Mark February 20, 2014 at 11:42

    As a part time cyclist and full time motorist, I am glad bad cyclists are getting tickets. I wish they’d issue them to pedestrians around UVa, aka students. Sooner or later a UVA student is going to get hit, probably by another UVA student in a car, because both pedestrian and driver will be looking at their phone while walking/driving through an intersection.


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