Riding a bicycle is not against the law, except in Ennis TX

I have been avoiding this one because I really didn’t want to believe it. I like to think that LEO are educated, and mostly free from bias, because we entrust them with matters of life and death. Also my son-in-law is a LEO, and I think he is a sane and balanced individual. But there have been some goings-on down south in Ennis that have bothered me.

To wit, an aquaintance and fellow cyclist, who uses the handle ChipSeal to comment and blog, and who invented the acronym SWSS for the “he swerved outta nowhere” fatalities, has been arrested and jailed for riding his bicycle on the streets of Ennis. Let Him Ride! has all the pertinent information and pictures of the “dangerous” places where Chip aka Reed Bates was arrested for “not riding in the bike lane” and “impeding traffic”. First and foremost, it is against federal law to put someone in jail for an offense that does not have a jail term as part of the possible sentence if convicted. Reed has been jailed at least twice and at least one time overnight. Second, for at least 2 of the tickets there was no actual traffic to be impeded. Now I don’t know about you but I don’t think the law allows someone to be put in jail for hypothetical offenses. You have to commit an actual crime to be put in jail, not be in some place where you might be committing a crime if someone else shows up.

We need to know the next trial date to ride en masse to the courthouse.

PSA, Opus

6 responses to “Riding a bicycle is not against the law, except in Ennis TX

  1. Thanks for posting this. This is shameful and reflects poorly not only on Ennis, TX – But really all of Texas. I gave to the fund via Paypal.


  2. Thanks for linking to Reed’s story.

    At this point, a mass ride would not help Reed’s case. That would be somewhat analogous to motorcycle gangs terrorizing a town.

    Believe me, though, I am ready to ride when it doesn’t hurt Reed’s situation!


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  5. Actually, he’s now been arrested THREE times, and stopped once more since the last arrest. It’s getting clear this is NOT a rogue cop, but a departmental policy that will only end when the targeted cyclist either wins a clearcut legal victory or departs from the jurisdiction, never to return. The rest of us will either live with the results or celebrate them.


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