Before I was stopped, I had barely any knowledge of state laws on bicycling, and even less about laws of confidentiality described in episode 2.  John Shay and the Daily News should have been well versed on the aspects of the Whistleblower Laws and privacy from the Byers’ lawsuit that had just been settled for a quarter of a million.  But I had sent both a copy on 10-13-2008 of a letter directed to LPD Chief Barnett.  It contained the following:

I was on the LFD until I resigned last Monday.  When I arrived on the department, before I learned to operate as a fire fighter, I was instructed about confidentiality and a person’s expectation of privacy.  At incident scenes, we may learn things of a personal nature about someone, perhaps potentially embarrassing or some sensitive info that they would not want to be made public.  It was our duty to respect that person’s privacy, and being a person who highly regards my own privacy, I understood this and followed this rule.”
“…Officer Krause was trivial, non-empathetic, and dismissive, but at this stage of developments, I would say there was not any non-ethical behavior on his part.  I read most all of the Michigan Vehicle Code to develop a defense.  I found several ways to defend myself, and so denied responsibility of the charge on my ticket.  I later requested a formal hearing and waited to find out my court date.  As per my personal decision, I only told my family and a couple of close friends about my ordeal, no one on the LFD.
On September 24, … I was called into an officer’s meeting.  I was confronted by Chief Jerry Funk about this incident.  During this tribunal, held before I had even received my court hearing date, I heard that I had been ‘barely missed’ and/or ‘nearly hit’ by Krause, and that I had acted inappropriately at the scene.  I was dumbfounded and floored.  I awkwardly defended myself primarily by remaining mute, against the exaggerations.  I felt even then that at some level my privacy had been violated, but agreed to abide by any discipline.  I even felt like resigning, because I was sickened by the fact that Krause or someone he confided in, had released confidential information to my bosses prior to our going to court to establish facts.”
“After deliberation, I was told I would get a written reprimand…After a week of soul-searching, I resigned from the department I love and respect so very much, so that I could alleviate them of having to further discipline me for fighting for my just cause against the city and the LPD.”
“…I looked at some police dept. code of ethics on the web and the standard way they said was this:  “Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.””
“I do not see how the unconfirmed information that was passed between the LPD and LFD was necessary in the performance of the LPD’s duty.  In fact, the prejudiced and jaundiced report transmitted was likely meant to intimidate, embarrass, threaten, and/or dishearten me.  It is not only classified as private information, but sensitive confidential information, since it got me disciplined, and made me resign from, an employer (the city of Ludington) who allowed a hostile environment to unnecessarily form within it.


I am sorry if this seems like a rehash of episode 2 up to this point without the enumerated laws, but these were serious charges I levied against the LPD.  I got no response from Chief Barnett, I got no response from the City Manager’s office, and I got no response from the Ludington Daily News. 



Around this time, I closely inspected my hearing notice and noticed a couple of things.  Even though I had broken a state law according to my citation, the city of Ludington was the plaintiff, and the city’s attorney was prosecuting.  Even though it was a District Court hearing, I did not have a DC Judge, as every law I read said I should.  Instead I had Probate Judge Mark Raven, who is rumored to be very friendly with city leaders. 
A previous experience with Judge Raven, when I testified for a friend on a guardianship issue against a guardian who had acted very unethically (but was a friend of his) made me doubly wary I would get a fair shake from him.  DC Judge Wadel was the person who should have ruled over this new  hearing—by law, as I eventually found out.
As far as my offense, my court document said “STOP SIGN”, nothing else.  Nothing about a bicycle, nothing about an actual law that was broken. (see attach 1).  October 22 was my scheduled date, but the court postponed it on the 21st , because Officer Krause was on vacation the 22nd.  The new date was Nov. 7. 

On Wednesday November 5th at around 11:00 AM, I was riding my bicycle over 20 mph ( I have a bicycle computer) on Sixth Street heading east past Taylor St.  Several cars were parked alongside the street on both sides, and so I had to ride a couple feet from the ‘car line’.  The double yellow line that signifies a no-passing zone was well defined in the middle of the street. 
A vehicle passed me from behind, going fully into the other lane, returning after the Lincoln Street intersection.  It had covered two blocks as I had covered one at over 20 mph., so it was going 40 mph on the left side of the road in this residential no-passing zone marked for 25 mph.  If anyone had popped out of or in between one of the parked cars, or if someone turned right from Lincoln St (concealed behind the parked cars) there could have been an unnecessary disaster caused by this unlawful driver.  Kids frequent this area, and it technically falls within a school zone, since it is less than 1000 ft. from PM School.  It was a school day and it was during school hours.
The vehicle that endangered everyone in that area: an LPD Tahoe in non-emergency mode, going to Metalworks for parking lot duty.  (end of pt 3)


Questions for discussion:

1) As public bodies, answerable to the public, why did the LPD and the City Manager’s office fail to respond in any way to my complaint, which was verifiably true?
2) As a newspaper, why did the Ludington Daily News (which I recontacted again with no response) totally ignore the potential story?  Bonus points if you mention, First Ward Councilman/former LDN mogul Paul S. Peterson, and/or LDN Print manager (at the time) Jerry Funk.
3) Which is the most serious or most dangerous violation of the law:  a bicyclist crossing a stop intersection after having determined no traffic was present w/o stopping or a motorist travelling 15 mph over the speed limit on the left side of the road in a no-passing zone contained in a school zone during school hours and through an intersection with serious visibility issues.  Explain.



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I have always thought (in theory) that you were supposed to stop and look both ways before crossing the road(like your taught as a kid) whether walking, biking, driving or whatever.

But, I do agree that when on a bike it is much easier to check for traffic while rolling and then stop if necessary. It is more difficult to get going again once stopped.

I forget from prior threads what the vehicle code says about it though. Did it say that a cyclist doesn't have to stop or it didn't address it? ie the ticket under MCL whatever doesn't apply?
Most states equate a bicycle with a vehicle, so the bicycle must stop-- however, the rules there are usually vague as to what is a bicycle stop. Thus, bicyclists can get ticketed for not putting both feet down, performing a standing stop, or crossing an empty intersection safely before traffic. Idaho law equates stop signs as yield signs for bicycles, has since 1984, and it has been successful, safer, and well-received by all.

Michigan law says a bicycle is not a vehicle but has the same rights and duties of one (with many exceptions noted), but never states a vehicle's duties include obeying stop signs, which is a law for vehicles. The MVC of MI index has an entry for 'duty to stop', and this directs you to the law telling you to stop at the signal of a police officer. Nothing else. So since there is no duty for a bicycle to stop at a clear intersection the bicyclist can go through, as there is no law to the contrary for cyclists. That's one of my takes-- it does make cycling a lot safer and easier too. A look at the Federal Manual of Universal Traffic Control Devices will also show that stop signs are not placed on the road for bicycle or pedestrian traffic.
You say bicycles have the same rights and duties as vehicles.MVC 257.611 covers obeying stop signs.So if you disobeyed a stop sign,your guilty of a civil infraction.It seems pretty clear.
To be precise, the law states the rider of a bicycle has the same rights and duties of a driver of a vehicle with a vague reference to exceptions. To obey a traffic control device (MVC 257.611) is not typically a duty for a driver, per se, but the law. The only time it is a duty (and the law, of course) for a driver is when it deprives some other road-user of their rights. A bicyclist has a duty to obey right of way rules, and has to obey many other clearly defined laws which don't fall into the category of duties. It seems pretty clear.

Barry, speeding over 15 mph over the limit and passing in a no-passing zone are two serious civil infractions, particularly when performed by a police officer in a school zone with line-of-sight issues. I think we can both heartily agree on that.
So your saying nobody has to stop for a stop sign unless it deprives others rights?Sorry but your wrong.It is the duty of all drivers to obey the law.Just because a police officer breaks the law doesn't make it right for everyone else to.And you never have said what happened with the ticket.
Nope, Barry, that's not what I am saying. Everyone who drives a vehicle is compelled by 257.611 to obey stop signs. So if I am a driver of a vehicle I am legally mandated to stop at a stop sign, I then have a duty to observe right-of-way rules, and then proceed. As a bicycle rider, I am not legally mandated to stop, but do have a duty to observe right-of-way rules. I have a vested interest in not proceeding when I shouldn't, as that would work out bad for me, healthwise.

If you can find any local or Michigan law that legally requires a bicycle (which is not a vehicle, as defined by Michigan law) to stop at a stop sign then show it. Sections 611, 657, and 649 of the MVC do not.

What happened in regard to the ticket, and the officer who proceeded through a residential school, no-passing zone at 40 mph on the left side of the roadway will be explored in Episode 4.
Barry, you remind me of a dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks lady named DaisyMae I talked with over at LT, who couldn't piece together a sentence without throwing in the wrong word. Yet she claimed she was a professor out at WSCC, much as you will claim you are a former policeman/woman in time, I'm sure.

You're welcome here, of course, but try not to do others' speaking for them as you do back at your own den. Thank you.
I'm sorry Edie,but I don't believe I was talking to you.Your comment doesn't make me feel welcome at all.I guess when certain people post things, they're never wrong.You seem to have a hard time getting along with people who ask questions.And whats this thing about my den?
Our motto here isn't "Everyone is welcome here". Seems like another failed site had that motto that it never adhered to. That's the 'den' reference, capiche?

I'm trying to find a logical basis for the other observations in your last post, but am coming up empty. You must be very profound.
I don't think it's necessary to insult Barry. He was trying to understand XLFDs arguement about the ticket. Jumping on him won't add to this discussion. It will only encourage him to leave this forum. I would like to see this forum expand.
I am trying to be kinder and gentler... but I have been dealing with a lot of people over at LT that seem to believe that they can put words in other people's mouths, and report falsely on news events and not get challenged. I may have jumped on Behry Barry prematurely or in error, and so if I have, I'm sorry sir.
I do understand XLFD's argument a bit better now, and agree with it until someone shows me a law contrary to it. All too often, people say something is illegal, but it isn't-- I think this is the case here.
Barry, remember you are currently in an open forum, so that anyone can join in the discussion at any time. I try to research anything I place out here, and will admit I am wrong if I have made an error. I recall Edie also has admitted her 'mistake' when she thought the PSP was an energy generator rather than a 'battery'.

It is a myth that Michigan law says anywhere that a bicycle shall 'stop' at stop signs, Just as it's a fact that Idaho law plainly says a bicycle can yield at stop signs. Since no other state defines how a bicycle obeys a stop sign, why not use Idaho's definition? It makes a lot more sense to accomplished bicyclists.


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