League of Michigan Bicyclists

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Do You Ride A Fixed Gear Bike? You May Be Breaking The Law

  • Created on Thursday, 01 October 2009 17:35
In a recent court decision in Portland, Oregon, a cyclist was given a $242.00 citation for riding a bicycle that was not equipped with a “hand brake.” The cyclist was riding a fixed gear bike and the officer ticketed the cyclist, because the bicycle did not comply with Oregon law that requires bicycles to be “equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.” The cyclist attempted to fight the ticket in court, arguing that her legs, chain and cog were an adequate braking device, but the court disagreed and upheld the ticket.

Defective Traffic Signals: No Governmental Accountability

  • Created on Thursday, 01 October 2009 17:33

Since 2000, Michigan courts have granted immunity from liability to all Michigan governmental units responsible for traffic-control signals (cities, townships, counties and the state) — even in situations where the governmental unit is aware or has been placed on notice that the traffic-control signal is malfunctioning or missing.

Michigan law states, “local authorities…shall place and maintain such traffic control devices upon highways under their jurisdiction as they may deem necessary to…regulate, warn or guide traffic.” The Michigan Supreme Court held that, because local authorities “are required” to do what they deem necessary to control traffic, they cannot be subject to liability because the statute does not specifically impose tort liability. Nawrocki v Macomb County Road Commission, 463 Mich. 143 (2000).

Quiz – Test Your Knowledge Of Bicycle Factoids

  • Created on Thursday, 01 October 2009 17:22

Fall is here and we have all been doing a lot of cycling. We hope that you have been following the rules of the road and wearing the appropriate safety gear, including a helmet. Even though Michigan law does not require adults to wear a helmet, we still advocate wearing a helmet when cycling. Recently, we did some research and came across some very interesting statistics that relate to cyclists, helmet usage, and other bicycle related safety issues. We thought it would be fun to create a short quiz incorporating some of those statistics.

1. How many states do NOT have a statewide bicycle helmet
(a) 8
(b) 14
(c) 29


The Pitfalls of Representing Yourself

  • Created on Thursday, 01 October 2009 16:55


Recently, a cyclist that had been hit by a car contacted us. It appeared that the automobile driver had been at fault and that the cyclist had sustained some serious injuries. We agreed to help the cyclist pursue his claim against the driver, but, instead of retaining our firm, the cyclist attempted to represent himself. In his attempt to represent himself, he made many mistakes and reduced the value of his claim to practically nothing. A situation like this seems to come across our desks at least a few times a year, and it’s unfortunate because it doesn’t need to happen. We can only speculate why the cyclist chose to represent himself, but we have a sneaking suspicion that it was to save the cost of our fee. While it may seem self-serving that we recommend hiring an attorney when you are involved in an accident, in actuality it serves you by preventing you from saying or doing anything that might potentially torpedo your case and by maximizing the amount of your recovery. Read more...


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