Like most states, Texas forbids motor vehicles from using the shoulder. Cyclists are permitted to do so, but they are not legally obligated to ride on the shoulder. Rather than charge Bates with violating a non-existent law (a practice that's not unusual) the police charged him with impeding traffic....on a four lane road.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but when there are two lanes in the same direction, isn't one of them often called the 'slow lane' and the other the 'passing lane'? Motorists pass slower traffic all the time, yet when it's a bicyclist in that slow lane, somehow a crime just had to be in the making.
Bates was tried and convicted by a jury of his peers - not a cyclist in the bunch, obviously - and his case is now on appeal. That is, his case will be appealed if we can raise enough money to contest this unfair treatment. Please, please, please, visit this website and make a donation however small and do something to stand up for a cyclist's right to use the public roadways.
And where are LAB and the Texas Bicycle Coalition in all this? That sound you hear is crickets chirping.
Labels: bicycling advocacy