Unicyclist charged with misdemeanor

This is ridiculous!!! :astonished: :astonished: :astonished: :astonished:

Please be careful when riding your uni on the sidewalks….:frowning:

I’m currently involved in a legal battle that already started in oktober 2009. I got a penalty for riding on the pavement which is what the law demands me to do. I refused to pay, so it went up to E204.50 and ended with someone who wanted to take all my porperties. Public Affairs neglected my request for the paperwork. So as they don’t have their shit together… my E 204.50 euro fine I got, might turn into a E 1,260 penalty payable to me :slight_smile:

It is quite normal for Police to issue charges without any laws being broken, but it is not normal for those charges to be upheld in court, unless the person pleads guilty and allows the charge to stick. Because of the nature of law enforcement the officers tend not to listen to the person they are telling off when you know more about the laws they are dealing with than them. In court you should get a much fairer hearing, if it makes it that far- first complain about the officers misbehavior to his seniors.
I have had many similar experiences and it is extremely frustrating to have laws unfairly bent on you by law enforcement officers, but if you can remain patient there is usually a good outcome. This thread has some of the encounters I’ve experienced with wayward police. They will always try to justify their actions with “good faith” even if there are no supporting laws. Try to remain polite but don’t forget to stand up for yourself because nobody else will!
Once I was riding a giraffe unicycle on the footpath town and a Police officer demanded that I get off it. I said I wasn’t doing anything wrong and he kept demanding I get off, so I did. I think he didn’t like having to look up to talk to me. I told him I had a copy of the laws and met him at the station soon afterwards to show him. We both had angry words and he still wouldn’t admit he was wrong even though I proved him wrong. He threatened me with all sorts of things saying he could arrest me for anything- like the litter act, or disorderly conduct since he had no leg to stand on, but they were fairly empty threats.

I’ve had the Police harass me another time on the footpath, and I was so sick of their ignorant bullying discriminatory nonsense that I told them to “F*** off” after they wouldn’t listen to me telling them I had the right to ride there. They arrested me for disorderly conduct, took me to a holding cell, made me remove my belt and shoelaces so I wouldn’t hang myself, made me empty my pockets and took my height and mugshot and fingerprints, and kept me there for a couple of hours, before releasing me without charging me (because in court the disorderly conduct would not have stuck since they were the ones being disorderly). My friends at the skatepark wondered where the hell I was since I had just gone to get a cold drink for them from the Petrol station. I ended up coming back hours later with another annoyed story about the Police.

If the Police would just stick with laws that are written they will be much more successful in keeping the peace than if they make them up as they go along.

Good luck Kyle Petersen, like you said you have violated no laws! You will be not guilty in the criminal court!

Good luck Leo, sounds like an interesting case. Hope you get something out of it! There is a case from NZ that has set a precedent for unicycles in the high court, which may be of some use to you. Sugra Vs the Police.

His Police vs Unicycle is an entertaining read for someone being harassed by Police too.

rowan : plz just get off the footpath, find somewhere away from people, and enjoy your unicycle where it isn’t going to cause trouble.

The footpath is the appropriate place to ride, it is not up to you to decide Nub! You should really be put in an old folks home where responsible people can keep you away from the internet, to prevent any of your troublesome comments upsetting others.

you come-across sounding like an entitled teenager. grow up. you decided the footpath was where you were entitled to be. the police told you no.

the police… told you no.

so get off the footpath. a gun is safe with the safety on, until it’s not. unless you can somehow levitate then riding on the footpath is not appropriate as you will someday hurt someone as you collide with them or your uni ejects from under you and strikes them. in close-quarters a uni is entirely dangerous to others. now don’t even start about if there are or are not people around on the footpath. just because people may not be around at a certain time does not then open the gates to anyone doing what they like. you don’t see cars or motorbikes (legally) driving on the footpath at any point just because no one is around at that time, do you? no.

with the attitude you have it’s no wonder the police are on your back all the time. think about others instead of yourself.

edit : oh, and i hope you enjoyed trolling through my posts to find SOMETHING to add to your non-argument towards me. good work. you are a champ! enjoy fighting society and its rules for the rest of your life buddy.

The police can be wrong. The law is clear about it. And some wise man confirmed.

Fighting rules or fighting for justice?
Citizens are ought to know the law. So the police should know better.
There is a difference between law enforcement and law making.
Like unicyclists should know their place on the pavement, police should know their place in society.

1 Like

There are lots of injustices around. There are also lots of people who pursue pointless pissing contests, pursuing petty grievances in the name of “principle”. I don’t know Leo and I have no extra detail of Leo’s case. Hell, for all I know Leo is a self righteous twit who needs to get a life. But I do not know that.

I’m with Leo, and good luck to him. In most cities and situations off the road a unicycle ridden competently is appropriate and of little trouble to others.

If I was banned from paths without a clear legislative reason I could certainly be challenging it. It would be that or I would pretty much have to give up the unicycle. And without substantial reason to do so, that would be an unfair and unreasonable request. I think that if authority decided to ban joggers from running on footpaths there would be much objection. Same here.

Couch it as pleasantly as you like Nubcake. But, unless you know something unusual and not in the post, your suggestion is not at all reasonable and I can understand Rowan’s response.

Authorities do not always seek to make our life difficult, sometimes they are simply wrong. I have had police on a few occasions tick me off for not wearing a helmet. But I am old and grey with a look of respectability and so they accept my word when I explain that they are wrong (legislatively) and, as they have no issue with my competence and general safety and stuff we bid each farewell and go our merry ways. Ditto on public transport. However, if I was younger I may not be so lucky and I’d be walking home or copping a ticket.

1 Like

I basically treat the 36er as a bike and it’s illegal to ride a bike on the pavement in UK unless safety is compromised on the road. I remember riding on the pavement one morning because of an awkward situation at the traffic lights. As I rode along to find a safe point to get back onto the road I was told by a pedestrian that I shouldn’t be riding on the sidewalk. I simply told him that I had to do it for the reasons above.

From a practical point of view I avoid riding on the pavement with my 36er. It’s simply too awkward to ride slowly and paving stones are often uneven and then there are pedestrians and animals to contend with

I ride on the pavement with my 20" to make short journeys, however, as I’m not going very fast and it’s easier to come off if need be. I don’t see it as a danger.


I’m assuming “pavement” == “sidewalk”… whereas in North America “pavement” generally refers to the road surface.

Sorry you got cited for that, it sucks. I see two problems first riding a bicycle on NYC sidewalks is illegal for anyone over 12. Second problem is the unicycle rider as quoted "I informed him (him being the police officer) that I had previously been summoned for unicycle on the sidewalk, and it had been tossed out because the statute as written does not apply to unicycles, only bicycles and tricycles. He then cited me for disorderly conduct, saying it was for “obstructing pedestrian traffic”.

In my opinion, as unfavorable as it might be, the rider should have kept his mouth shut taken the summons and had it thrown out again, the cop obviously wanted to get him for something as most cops do so had to be creative as many tend to do.

The unfavorable part is I think as unicyclist we have to share the same responsibilities as bicyclist because if we want respect we can’t twist laws to suit ourselves because we have one wheel instead of two only when it suits us.

You’re right 4umfreak, we generally call the sidewalk pavement in UK, referring to paving stones.

Well, to make it more ridiculous… On exact the same place I once was paid generously by Amsterdam to flyer leaflets on a unicycle. Meaning that Amsterdam gave Amsterdam a permit to have an event, and have me unicycling there …in morning rushhour!
Years later their penalty was given (by a department of Amsterdam) at 23:25.

There is also a law that sais laws can only be used where they are intended for. As there was noone there I could possible be a danger to, the law was just applied for being a cash cow.
I don’t allow ambiguity being created, in favor of criminal cashflow, while the law is clear about it. Why? Because that also would mean kids at learning stage would have to practise between driving cars. I found that unacceptable. Same like that I don’t like to do my city-commuting on my 20" between cars that drive much faster.
Also mind, the law also clearly instructs you may not be obstructive to other pedestrians. So besides rights you have to respect your duties to.

A 3th thing (in Dutch law) tells that pedestrians are entiteled to use any road (besides the highway) as long as they don’t obstruct any other traffic. That would allow 36"ers to ride where they think they fit best. So, there should be no theorectically problem. Just like there is no real problem: shall we call a random insurance company on statistics on traffic victoms caused by unicyclists?
So I’m actually with Rowan AND with nubcake: get off the sidewalk if you really bother others, but stay on the pavement if the risk to get crushed is too high.

Another thing:
I’m 100% sure I once was reading a real law from the UK, from 1800whatever, that littery had the word “unicycle” in it, telling cycles with a wheel larger than 20" should go on the roadside, and smaller that that they should be on the pavement. I can’t find that rule anymore. Anyone else knows about this?

Here I found more about Kyle his case:

Did someone say we had to keep our mouth shut to police?
Fine, but then I’ll go one level up; and that’s us!

I was surprised to discover that in Seattle it is absolutely legal to ride on the sidewalk while drunk and not wearing a helmet. It can’t get better than that :slight_smile:

Preach it, brother. I’m in heaven.

Just to be clear, it was correct to use an “and” in the sentence above?

So you could be ticketed for riding drunk with a helmet or for riding sober without a helmet?

It sounds like a demanding standard, but the law is the law–our place is not to question it. Perhaps you should organize a bare-headed Pub Crawl for unicyclist in Seattle. :smiley:

Now that sounds like fun.:slight_smile:


Thanks for the link Leo. Interesting and, if as stated then I can understand Kyle’s persistence.

In general terms I would not like to see a 36" uni mixing it with peds as they are not easily maneuvereable and quite capable of taking out a pedestrian with a UPD. However I note that Kyle, as a circus performer, probably has some extra ability beyond mine.

Due to circumstance my unicycle is a primary part of my commuting.

In Western Australia traffic regs define bikes as two or three wheeled. Unicycles are not left to vagaries of judgement, they fall into a separate class, “wheeled recreational devices”. And the regs then go on to allow WRD’s to ride on what I’ll call “local roads” but no other. (50kph or less and no marked lanes). Skateboarders are also included as WRD’s. On a daily basis I ride thru the busy city pedestrian malls with moving shoppers, bus lines and kids hanging outside McDonalds without negative comment or challenges. I share the occasional joke with our cycle patrol cops. (“Did you hear about the budget cuts? You guys are gonna get these!”)

For public transport policy unicycles are again separated from bikes - specifically I am allowed on buses (bikes are not) and I can ride the train even during peak hours (bikes are not).

How friendly is that?

i can see that for the most-part my view is not shared. so be it.

let me leave you for now with this thought. there are rules about some things, and there are not yet rules for other things. for all of those things that does not yet have any rule applied to it does this mean it’s ok? unicycling is niche. it’s not unexpected that they fall into a questionable grey area as to what rules should and should not apply to them.

if you agree that they fall into a grey area then it follows that there is always going to be differing judgments made about it from different people regarding different situations.

i think anyone who decides to exploit something that sits in a grey area is a tool. how many times do you see punks with skateboards (stereotypes ftw) being somewhere that is creating a nuisance, and as soon as someone steps-up and says something to them they get all ‘tough’ and ‘stand-up for their right to be a dipshit’.

yes, cops can make mistakes… but so can you and i. maybe some day unicycles won’t be so niche and will have clear-cut rulings made on them. then you can follow the rules or not. in the meantime, common-sense should prevail.