Officer Discretion

So on my morning bike commute March 10, 2022, I was rolling west on 11th Street approaching Normandie, when I saw in my rear mirror an LAPD patrol car about a half-block behind me. At Mariposa Street, the next intersection, I slowed, cleared it of cross traffic and kept going, after which the officer driving also rolls the intersection,

For the record, this is how I ride, whether or not a police officer is present: Upon approaching an intersection be it a four-way stop or two-way, I slow, clear it from both directions, and if safe keep going. If there are any vehicles either approaching or stopped at the intersection, I will yield the right of way to them. Is it a violation? Yep. The law is clear in that just like any multi-ton motor vehicle I am obligated to come to a full and complete stop at every stop sign before proceeding. Have I been cited for it before? Yep. Is there a chance I’ll be cited for it in the future? Sure. In fact, I was expecting to get cited for it this morning — or at least pulled over and chastised.

Because as you’ll see in the above video from my rear-facing helmet cam, after the aforementioned LAPD cruiser executed the same violation I had done, the officer appears to speed up. Perhaps it was in an attempt to pull along side me and just warn me what a bad bicyclist I was. But stopped vehicles lined up from the red light ahead at Normandie prevented him from coming up next to me as I continued to the limit line, so instead he pulled in directly to a stop behind me while we waited and waited for the green light.

Badge Of Honor

I was quite surprised he didn’t light me up. Maybe it was the cameras on my helmet. Maybe it was the old “Los Angeles Bike Battalion” badge I have pinned to my backpack replete with a black band representing all those cyclists who’ve lost their lives on these streets. Maybe the officer had better things to do than detain and write up some old guy on a bike for executing a completely safe slow-roll through a residential area stop sign. I don’t know why, but he exercised his discretion — as he should have. The light turned green, I continued west on 11th. He turned right on Normandie.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."