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Traffic Ticket Question

Old 08-15-19, 05:46 PM
  #1  
NYC_Biker_1
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Traffic Ticket Question

Hi - I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice. I got stopped by a police officer earlier today at 1st Ave and 20th Street because I was "operating a bicycle with more than 1 earphone" on. I had one earphone (right side) turned on while my left earphone was turned off. It is my bad for not knowing the law that we can't have both earphones in your ears while one is turned on. I explained all of this to the police officer and she told me how is she supposed to believe that one of the earphones was turned off. So I told her to go ahead and try on my earphones and you'll know if I am lying to you or not. She refused to try it on and asked for my ID. I told her that I didn't have it with me and that I accidentally left my wallet with my license in it and that is the reason why i am heading back home. I even told her that if she followed me home, I could run up to my apt and grab my wallet to show her my license. She said she'll just take down my information instead. She then proceeded to ask me my name, DOB and address and eventually issued me the traffic ticket and walked away. When I looked at the ticket, I noticed that my first name was completely spelled incorrectly and she missed part of my street name as well. Would anyone know what happens if I decide not to pay the fine and ignore it since some of the information in the ticket is incorrect? I can't really afford to pay the fine and don't really believe that I should pay such a high fine ($138). I could understand paying less than $50 seems more reasonable...but $138?!? I also can't afford to miss a day of work to go to court to dispute the ticket. Any thoughts? Also, it got me thinking...how can an officer issue a ticket to someone without an ID and believe what that person will tell them? What if someone provided information of an enemy or someone else? Makes no sense. Either way, I must be having one bad and unlucky day because after i was issued the ticket, about 15 blocks later, I got sidelined by a car turning left and not yielding when I had the right away. Thankfully, i didn't fall over and injure myself. Somehow, when I got hit, I managed to land on my left leg to support me from falling to the side or off my bike. After the man in the car saw i was fine, he quickly sped away. I didn't even have time to react and reach for my phone to take a picture of his license. I also looked around and didn't see a single police officer in sight. It's funny but disappointing that I got a ticket today but the driver who hit me didn't and could have easily injured me or someone else. Makes no sense how they are busy issuing tickets to cyclists and not issuing tickets to reckless drivers... Also, can someone tell me why the city needs 3 officers to issue tickets to cyclists at the very same location?

Last edited by NYC_Biker_1; 08-15-19 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 08-15-19, 06:46 PM
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mynewnchome
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So.....this is, in reality, a "cop bash" post? You can try not to pay it but it won't go away. That's why you "have your day to have your say in court"....your choice on going out not, not going is an admission of guilt. You can be identified without your actual ID in hand.
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Old 08-18-19, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mynewnchome View Post
So.....this is, in reality, a "cop bash" post? You can try not to pay it but it won't go away. That's why you "have your day to have your say in court"....your choice on going out not, not going is an admission of guilt. You can be identified without your actual ID in hand.
This is NOT a cop bash post. Watch some news stations that show cops being bashed. Where that came from I'll never know. Asking a cop to listen to gather facts is not bashing. Asking a cop to allow you time to produce your license is not cop bashing. And posting here about his story is not cop bashing. I have a ton of respect for cops. They do their best to keep us safe.

To the OP..... That cop was having a bad day. IMO, that was a power trip on her part. A warning should have been issued. Wait to see what sort of mail comes your way. Act accordingly.
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Old 08-18-19, 09:48 AM
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Expecting that a beat cop in NYC is going to follow you home so you can produce some ID is ludicrous. This isn't bumb frick Iowa, they have nothing better to do ?. Not having some form of ID on you to begin with is just dumb. If you ended up in the hospital in a coma from that car accident, how they going to identify you ?. Riding with both earbuds in is dumb as well, you need to be able to hear what's going on around you. Did you have a bell on the bike ?, that's a NYC law as well and if the cop didn't cite you for it count yourself lucky. They had a notorious crackdown a few weeks ago when a lot of cyclists showed up at the scene where a cyclist had been killed. The cops got a hard on for anybody that didn't have a bell on the bike and impounded a number of bikes. No doubt the beat cops in nYC can be real dicks when the word comes down.

Note as well that if you cannot produce ID they can take you to the precinct and hold you until such time as they can identify you. Sometimes they will take your bike along but they are not obligated to. You have any way to lock it ?.
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Old 08-18-19, 10:10 AM
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Mistakes on the ticket are not going to get you out of it. At best it will inconvenience them in serving a warrant for failure to appear, and you don't want to go that route anyway. You aren't required to have ID, you are required to identify yourself, and you are required to show up in court. Or pay the fine if you have that option.

I suspect that it makes no difference legally whether the one bud was turned on or off - I haven't seen any laws that specify headphone volume levels, which would be dubious for enforcement and for the law's intention in the first place. I wouldn't try to argue it with the judge.
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Old 08-18-19, 10:19 AM
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What's the penalty for ignoring the ticket?
Are they gonna send a summons to the wrong address?
Will it be made out to someone named other than you?

See where we're going here?
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Old 08-18-19, 11:56 AM
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Pay the ticket.

Don't ride with two ear buds in your ears.

Carry ID.

The copper did you a favor by not booking/holding you, which is perfectly legal for them to do if you don't have ID. There is no duty for the officer to allow you time to go somewhere and produce ID. Cash on the barrel head as it were.

The mistakes on the ticket don't invalidate it in any way. Failure to pay said ticket will result in a summons and if ignored can result in arrest when stopped thereafter. I'm not familiar with NY law but it could also be chalked up as a moving violation and result in points against your OL as it would here in Ohio.

That's the only advice I have from 26 years in the biz.
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Old 08-18-19, 12:05 PM
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Sucks... but weigh the costs of either paying the ticket (and going to work), or taking a day off and asking the judge for leniency or time to pay/community service....
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Old 08-18-19, 12:11 PM
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This'd be interesting, if you walk into your local cop shop, and they can't find any ticket according to the name & address you provide - because it doesn't match what they've got...
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Old 08-18-19, 01:41 PM
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If you had wanted to fight a ticket you felt was unjustly delivered, you would have just given false information when they asked for it to write the ticket in the first place. Anything you do now to avoid paying the citation will be illegal, short of hiring a lawyer and using that avenue to spend the money instead of paying the fine. Back in my louder, rowdier youth, I got noise violation tickets for too loud of a stereo and/or exhaust on my car several times. I just paid 'em. Cost of doing business. I don't carry ID on the bike because I don't live in a stop and identify state. That, and the cops here don't give a crap about bicycles, at all, ever. We basically don't exist. NYC cops seem to have a lot of time on their hands.

Oh, there's pretty much no such thing as a $50 ticket anymore. They make us all pay court costs (even if we don't go to court) processing fees, etc, on top of the fine. Public safety is a for-profit industry.
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Old 08-19-19, 09:11 AM
  #11  
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There are no “cheap” tickets in NYC or LI any more. Surcharges etc are ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as asking a cop to put your ear bud into her ear. The cop did you a favor by accepting your info w/o ID. She could have taken you to the local precinct until someone came w/ ID. That would have taken a lot longer. As a safety issue I never wear earbuds when riding even on MUPs
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Old 08-19-19, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mynewnchome View Post
So.....this is, in reality, a "cop bash" post?
Not ONE bad or bashing thing about cops in the OP's post. A little sensitive are we?



I agree with the consensus about never leaving your home without ID, and not just for cycling. Mistakes and forgetfulness happen, but I ALWAYS have ID. I keep my license in my wallet with cash and credit cards, so since I always have to have money in case I need to buy anything, and since I never forget to have money/CCs on me, I never forget my ID either.

There may be grounds to beat the ticket that has false information on it, but it would require either hiring a lawyer or taking a day off to show up in court. I have had several parking tickets dismissed when I appeared before the judge simply because some personal information was not filled out correctly, such as a misspelling of my name, the wrong address, or some vehicle digits entered out of place. lol Of course, this was before the days where our beloved Brownies could simply scan your registration and have the right info automatically filled in. Be aware, though, that while the PVB will dismiss tickets automatically even for something as trivial as swapping a couple of digits in in your personal info or a misspell of your name, I wouldn't guarantee that its the same for cycling tickets.

Did you receive a DMV ticket? I don't know as I have never gotten a ticket on my bicycle. Not that I don't deserve some now and again, lol.

As for the earbud thing, I can understand the cop's position about trying the earbuds. It is a little unsanitary to stick a couple of in-ear monitors into her ear after they have been in yours, and have your sweat and cerumen all over them. For the record, if I were a cop, I wouldn't go sticking some stranger's buds in my ear either. LMAO. Another thing to consider is that technically the cop was right to ticket you for that. The reason is even if you have a mono signal going to just one ear, all ear buds have some noise-cancelling properties even without sound coming out of them. The reason you are only allowed to ride with one bud in isn't just because of the music, but because even an inactive ear bud in your ear will reduce hearing in that ear, even if only by a small amount.

This isn't to say the cop couldn't have given you a break, particularly since you did offer to let her hear the buds. I have found the NYPD to be very accommodating and generous whenever I get stopped, in my car or my bicycle. Then again, I really go out of my way to be very nice, plus I am a little older than most of the cops walking a beat who generally issue tickets, so maybe that buys me a little leeway with getting let off with a warning.
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Old 08-19-19, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by justtrying View Post
There are no “cheap” tickets in NYC or LI any more.

I could be wrong, but I think this its just a $50.00 ticket, and if there is a surcharge, which I'm not sure about, I don't think it would be more than a couple of dollars.
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Old 08-20-19, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by NYC_Biker_1 View Post
I can't really afford to pay the fine and don't really believe that I should pay such a high fine ($138). I could understand paying less than $50 seems more reasonable...but $138?!? I also can't afford to miss a day of work to go to court to dispute the ticket. Any thoughts?
I would go before the judge, explain nicely about the one earpiece being off, then hope for some leniency.
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Old 08-20-19, 06:39 AM
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Sorry, OP, the cops aren't there for when you get hit by a car. They're there to do the easy work and give simple traffic tickets to easy targets who won't cause them any difficulties/much work. The effort/profit ratio is Sooooo much higher in that business model than actually stopping criminals, seeking justice, protecting people, etc, etc. That said, don't ride with headphones in. Personally, I think you deserve this ticket. I don't say that for your sake. If you want to be stupid and endanger yourself, I fully support your freedom to do so. But unfortunately not being able to hear things around you is endangering others. At very least, it's increasing the chances that you'll get yourself hit, and even if it's your fault, there's a decent chance the driver is going to be held at least partially responsible. I don't even like "the system" and I have to give it to them on this one.
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Public safety is a for-profit industry.
Nailed it. ...Only "public safety" should probably be in quotes.
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Old 08-20-19, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If you had wanted to fight a ticket you felt was unjustly delivered, you would have just given false information when they asked for it to write the ticket in the first place.
So compound one violation with one that's worse. As they say, the coverup is usually worse than the crime.

First off.. don't ride listening to music, even in one ears. You doing in in Manhattan is just stupid. If you don't care about your life, think about how the person that hits you will feel.

Not showing up for a ticket will have penalties. They can increase the cost and eventually issues bench warrant. If that happens, the next time you have an interaction with the police, they'll arrest you. That will surely ruin your day. Then you need a lawyer and expect to pay our a lot more than the original fine.

Finally, I have no sympathy for you, I have to deal with selfish people all the time when i ride. If I notice headphone/earbuds on someone i'm approaching, I don't waste my time warning them... since they can't hear me. They're in their own world and if they don't care about their safety, why should I.

My advice, pay the ticket and move on.

I wish the police issued more tickets like this and ticket drivers with tinted front door windows.
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Old 08-20-19, 09:44 AM
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As mentioned. This will come back to haunt you. Not paying it will just get a charge of failure to appear added and a possible warrant.
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Old 08-20-19, 12:38 PM
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don't ignore it, fight it. you might get lucky. mistakes on the ticket absolutely help. just fight it & see what happens
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Old 08-20-19, 12:51 PM
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Just some advice....

I found when getting a moving violation, while driving, I found it best to show up early and talk to the prosecutor. I was also able to negotiate it down to a non moving violation if I plead guilty. Usually just a parking ticket and a lower fine.
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Old 08-20-19, 02:06 PM
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Just my thoughts:

I guess first of all don't wear ear buds at all why cycling, super dangerous and possibly illegal. But that is another thread of no end or resolution.

No LEO is going to go to your home for you to get your ID. That is just not going to happen. Please don't ignore the citation. It will not go away that is for certain. If they have some wrong info then that is a mistake on them but if you contest the citation just on that basis alone, you will not be successful. The judge can amend a citation in court to fix simple errors such as this. If you want to argue the one turned off deal, you got a 50/50 chance. But is it worth the time, effort, etc. to contest this? I would probably just pay it take it a very hard life lesson. I am not taking sides in this but put yourself in the LEO's place. Would you really place somebody earbuds in your ear? Most wouldn't, I wouldn't.

The officer has a boss who has a boss. So that officer was probably just doing what they were told to do. If you don't do what your told at work if your not in charge would you have issues? Of course, the officer was just doing her job.
If you want to contest it call the states attorney or the clerk of courts that info should be on the citation and see what happens. Never cost anything to ask or inquire. Check your attitude before you call, being over nice will do wonders.

Lastly, I do understand getting a citation of any type absolutely SUCKS! However if there was no monetary penalty to violations no matter the severity do you think people would be more diligent about following the law? Money is where it hurts everyone of all walks. Money talks.

Good luck, sorry you had a accident too.


- a long time citation writer myself
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Old 08-21-19, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If you had wanted to fight a ticket you felt was unjustly delivered, you would have just given false information when they asked for it to write the ticket in the first place.
Yeah, and then you get a charge for lying to an officer.

As for the ticket, you can take your chances that the officer so bungled the information that they won't be able to trace it back to you. Hard to assess - I would guess that they won't pursue it if it's really difficult, but if it's only off by a bit then someone will figure it out. And you won't have the defense as for a parking ticket because the retort is you didn't supply proper ID.
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Old 08-22-19, 09:57 AM
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If the officer was wearing a body camera - and presented that evidence at court - it really doesn't matter what name is on the ticket...
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Old 08-22-19, 12:30 PM
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The NYC ordinance says: 375(24a) Equipment - Rider cannot wear more than one earphone attached to radio, tape player, or other audio device while riding.

This is pretty clear - you were wearing more than one earphone. The fact that it has no sound coming from it is irrelevant.

Interesting that the rule presupposes impairment from audio devices, which is not always the case. Since the rule requires the earphones to be connected, it should be legal to wear them if you had no audio device with you. Don't know why you would do that though, unless you wanted to test enforcement.
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