So, yesterday, I was riding my bike home and ran a stop sign on The Wiggle. A cop on a motorcycle was sitting right there picking people off left and right – he pointed me out and yelled ‘You, COME HERE!’ I pulled up next time him knowing I had no defense (other than the fact that I am ignorant about bike laws).
He says to me ‘What, you don’t like stopping at stop signs?’
I just shrugged my shoulders.
‘Let me see some ID.’
I pulled out my wallet and he kept talking about safety and how bikers should be safer, how he was going to give me a $150 ticket, blah blah blah. I was pretty bummed. I honestly didn’t know the law (I see people every day running stop signs and red lights on bikes). I said to him ‘Man, I’m new to biking, I’m new to the city, can’t you please just let me off with a warning?’ He looks at me and says…’well, I see you have on your helmet and your reflective vest and you have a tail light, so you obviously GET it. I think we can work something out.’
I sat there for a few minutes while he inputed my information into his handheld machine…glad I may get a reduced ticket. I asked him if he know of a place I could read about bike laws and he said ‘probably online, somewhere.’ He hands me the machine and says ‘I’m going to let you off with a warning but you’re still getting a strike against your ID.’ I was pretty stoked.
I think the fact that I remained calm and wasn’t displaying annoyance at anything but myself is what saved me. Not all cops are bad. This one happened to be black. I told Toni and she said ‘if he were white you would have gotten a ticket for sure.’ Maybe so, dear. Maybe so.