Thursday, February 15, 2007

Columbus City Bike Laws: Part 7

A couple short laws today, unrelated but I figured I'd knock them out together.

2173.11 Impounding for violations.

Whenever any bicycle shall be operated by any person, including minors under the age of twenty-one (21) years, in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, or the provisions of Chapter 571 of the Business Regulation and Licensing Code, such bicycle may be seized by any member of the police department and impounded for not more than thirty (30) days in a pound which shall be established by the chief of police for such purpose. Such bicycle, so impounded, shall be surrendered upon order of the police chief to the parent or guardian of any minor without charge after full explanation to such parent or guardian of the reason for such impounding, and after the expiration of the impounding period. A complete record of each such impounding shall be kept in the office of the chief of police. (Ord. 1579-72.)
Interesting... so basically, if you're caught breaking anything we've been talking about in this chapter of the law, the police can snatch your bike (no matter your age) and hold onto it for up to 30 days. This is basically the equivalent of suspending your driver's license.

Seems a bit draconian, but I suppose that unless the state or city starts issuing "bike-riding licenses" and can actually start things like a points system, then that's all they can do to truly enforce the law.

I actually like the part about a parent or guardian having to be present to get the bike back for a minor, so that they can explain the situation and what the minor did wrong.

2173.12 Right-of-way bike crossings.

(a) If neither vehicular traffic nor bicycle traffic at a “bike crossing” is controlled by a stop or yield sign, or a traffic signal, the operator of a bicycle shall yield the right-of-way at bike crossings to all vehicles on the road or street unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. (Ord. 1050-77; Ord. 2120-03 § 1 (part).)
Okay... if a bike trail or similar route crosses a road, then the vehicles of any type (including other bikes) on the road have the right of way, if there's not already a signal for the crossing. The trail-cyclist has to wait till it's clear (unless directed across by the police themselves). I suppose that's how it is for sidewalks without signals.

Almost done. Tomorrow I'll get the last piece of law and we'll sum up our findings.

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