Saturday, March 13

A Way Out for Ennis

There's been a lot of discussion about the manner in which Reed Bates was convicted of "impeding traffic," meaning illegally slowing others down excessively. Amongst all the hoopla about Texas 545.363, however, pretty much everyone in Ennis that doesn't like Reed Bates riding on Highway 287 has neglected to consider there's a very simple and unambiguous way they can BAN bikes from the roadway on the high speed portion of Highway 287. Namely FOLLOW THE LAW. Specifically:

(b) When the Texas Transportation Commission, the Texas Turnpike Authority, the commissioners court of a county, or the governing body of a municipality, within the jurisdiction of each, as applicable, as specified in Sections 545.353 to 545.357, determines from the results of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on a part of a highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the commission, authority, county commissioners court, or governing body may determine and declare a minimum speed limit on the highway.

(c) If appropriate signs are erected giving notice of a minimum speed limit adopted under this section, an operator may not drive a vehicle more slowly than that limit except as necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

When at the trial, I did NOT hear the Bates defense team inquire if Ennis or Ellis County complied with items b or c before prosecuting him. Unless they have, it seems his impedance is perfectly legal to me unless he was lollygagging along, which he did not appear to be doing in the traffic videos. I do not see in the applicable statute the authority to determine minimum speeds delegated to the police.

If I were Reed, I would inquire about the engineering and traffic studies that were conducted to determine that such slow speeds constitute a danger. Just thinking out loud...


Doohickie said...

That's hardly a way out for them, since you know there is no signage, no study, etc. They will continue to insist that Reed's behavior is legally impeding traffic, period. It will take a higher court to make them back down now.

Bob said...

What effect might a barrage of letters to the editor of the Ennis Daily News have on the local constabulary?

Just thinking aloud (in type).

Steve A said...

In theory, it ought to have no effect at all. OTOH, they already seem to be targeting the guy so I have trouble seeing it do much harm.

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