On October 26th the City of Pacific Municipal Court Judge L. Stephen Rochon was surprised to find out that there was a law that prohibits "Too many people on a bicycle"
Riding on bicycles.
(1) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
(2) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
[1965 ex.s. c 155 § 81.]
Rules of court: Monetary penalty schedule -- IRLJ 6.2.
This law punishes cyclists with a hefty $103 fine !
It took Judge L. Stephen Rochon literally a few minutes just to imagine how many people on a bicycle would be "too many". I bet he was thinking of circus or some Red Bull bike stunt. But even that didn't spark he imagination, so he asked the "counselor/prosecutor" who was even dumber ( as it turned out later ) and had absolutely no idea about bike laws or anything that had to do with bike safety.
After reading the police report ( written by another bike hating/racist police officer Roger Gale ) both of them went into discussing "the safety concern" of my child bike seat.
According to Gales' report "the bike seat was taped to the frame". This REALLY escalated their concern, as my bike seat was "modified". The prosecutor "objected" saying that : " ...if I "modify" safety features on my BMW..." at which point I thought: " God, you're a fucking moron".
I was getting REALLY pissed off. Trying to stay calm, I stated that :
THERE IS NO SPECIFIC SAFETY STANDARD GOVERNING CHILD SEATS AS A LEGAL REQUIREMENT OF SALE IN USA (!).
Just because it's sold at Wall Mart or Amazon doesn't make it a standard.
I couldn't believe they kept debating about something they had absolutely no fucking idea.
But the worse is yet to come !
"I'm giving you a break this time..." Really ? Me? A break ? FUCK YOU !
"BUT I CAN'T GUARANTEE THAT THE NEXT TIME WE'LL HAVE THE SAME DISPOSITION"
So, if I commit a murder, can you give me a break the first time, and then just play by the ear ?
The fine itself wasn't a concern for me at all. The reason I showed up at court wasn't to reduce/dismiss the ticket.
I WANTED THE ANSWERS !
Can I and my son continue enjoying farther/son time riding OUR bike or not.
If not, then why ?
Will local police continue harassing bicyclists for "minor infractions" ?
How do we deal with it ? ( when I mentioned officer's aggressiveness, the judge said: " They are city's employees, we have nothing to do with them". )
But the main question remains:
WHAT THE FUCK IS RCW 46.61.760 (2) ???
P.S: After the "incident" it took me a lot of effort to talk my son into going biking with me again. We learned our lesson: we walk our bike to Interurban Trail, I wear a helmet, he dismounts the bike before crossing a street ( to make sure there are no police cars around )....He's only 4 y.o but already knows "not to fuck with Mother Law"