Ever wonder what the laws of the Venice bicycle path are? Most Venice residents are somewhat aware of VC Section 21211, the “Obstruction of Bikeways or Bicycle Paths or Trails” law. Now meet VC Section 22350: “Basic Speed Law”.
VC Section 22350 is apparently what an LAPD officer (or at least this one) can write you up for if you cycle by them on a beach cruiser while they themselves are allegedly obstructing the bicycle path.
The video is somewhat painful to watch, especially when Officer Gracey says he is issuing the ticket because the cyclist is arguing with him. Personally, it makes me want to pat Officer Gracey on the back and let him know the earth will not spin off axis if he takes a step back and admits he is being a bit silly while he seems to change up his story as to what happened. It never hurts to be human, even if you wear a badge! (That said, there are a lot of great officers at LAPD Pacific that truly understand being part of this community and community policing!)
As seen in the video, Venice resident Chris J. ended up getting a ticket from LAPD officer Gracey for going 5mph in a 10mph zone. The spirit of the law versus the letter of the law will be examined when Chris has his first court appearance this Friday. We will keep you updated on what the judge has to say!
From cyclist Chris J:
It was Thanksgiving weekend around 2pm and a beautiful day. Riding north with a friend on the Venice Beach bike path when an officer, Gracey, was sitting on his motorcycle blocking the entire south bound lane and blocking up traffic. When we were approaching he was just looking down at his cell phone, no other activity was going on.
On the other side, directly across from him was a young girl on a tricycle rental partially blocking the north bound lane. As traffic was backing up I said “officer your motorcycle is blocking the bike path” to which he responded, “I can give you a ticket for that”. No foul language was used and that was all that was said.
He then started to turn his motorcycle around, on the bike path blocking people from riding even further, and in a minute or less I had flashing lights behind me and we pull over.
I started my camera and informed him that I would be recording the conversation, he replied he was recording as well and pointed to the camera on his helmet. He then asked for my ID to which I responded that I didn’t have and didn’t have to give him my ID. The video picks up from there and you can see the rest.
I asked him why he pulled me over on the bike path, he responded “because your arguing with me sir” there was never an argument, simply what I listed before.
He accused me of riding down the bike path the wrong way which is impossible as he was blocking the entire opposite side. Since his bike was parked there, literally everyone who passed him HAD to ride on the “wrong side” and as he took his time with the ticket everyone had to ride on the “wrong side”.
He changed the ticket to unsafe speed after he realized I was not in the wrong and he had nothing … “This is what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna get you for unsafe speed” He wrote on the ticket that I was going 5mph in a 10 zone so there is no speeding issue there. He also said I can’t be looking around. What? I can’t be looking behind me to check for traffic on a bicycle or look around at the beautiful day at the beach and girls in bikinis? What kind of country is this?
22350: Basic Speed Law. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
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