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  1. #1
    GCSerafine is offline Junior Member
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    Bicycle Infraction

    Cupertino, California: My grandson recieved a ticket for violation of California Vehicle Code 21650.1. The code section states that bicycles driven on a roadway shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway.

    My grandson was actually on the sidewalk, not on the street. I talked to the sargent at the sheriff's office, and he said that the sidewalk is part of the roadway, and it is legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, but it must be going in the same direction as vehicular traffic on that side of the road.

    I checked definitions, and a roadway is that portion of a street or highway that is designated for vehicular traffic. It doesn't seem to me that a sidewalk is part of the roadway.

    Does anyone here have any experience in this area? Is a sidewalk part of the roadway? Do I have a good argument to take this to court?

    Thank You**************.
  2. #2
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with you. The VC makes clear difference between the highway and shoulder and a sidewalk (for instance, just read the previous section 21650 (g)).
  3. #3
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCSerafine View Post
    I checked definitions, and a roadway is that portion of a street or highway that is designated for vehicular traffic. It doesn't seem to me that a sidewalk is part of the roadway.
    Agreed...
    CVC 530. A "roadway" is that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel.

    and...
    CVC 590. "Street" is a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Street includes highway.

    and...
    CVC 555. "Sidewalk" is that portion of a highway, other than the roadway, set apart by curbs, barriers, markings or other delineation for pedestrian travel.


    So the question that remains is this: was he on a "sidewalk" or was he on the "shoulder"?

    Quote Originally Posted by GCSerafine View Post
    Do I have a good argument to take this to court?
    How old is your grandson?

    Reason I ask, is if he is under 18, his parent/legal guardian can make the argument on his behalf. If he is over 18, then ONLY he or a licensed attorney can make such an argument.

    Point is, unless you are your grandson's legal guardian, YOU are not going to be allowed to make any arguments with regards to this citation.
  4. #4
    GCSerafine is offline Junior Member
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    Thank You

    Thank you for your assistance. My grandson is 18. He lives in my house, but I am not his legal guardian. He was on the sidewalk which is separated from the street by a curb. He was not on a shoulder. Based on the definitions, I think he will have a good argument.

    I have had good luck in the past pleading not guilty by written declaration and my grandson is going to do the same. California allows this type of pleading and if the finding is not in his favor, he can still appear before the judge and plead his case in person. Thank you so much for providing the vehicle code definitions that he will need for his letter.
  5. #5
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCSerafine View Post
    Thank you for your assistance. My grandson is 18. He lives in my house, but I am not his legal guardian.
    Well, he's arguing his own case then.
    Quote Originally Posted by GCSerafine View Post
    Thank you so much for providing the vehicle code definitions that he will need for his letter.
    You're welcome.

    He may even want to consider including a picture or two (showing the street-name sign(s)) of where the violation occurred, and showing the "sidewalk/curb" as part of his supporting evidence that will submit as part of his declaration.

    Good luck to him and let us know how it works out.

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