Tuesday, August 17

Conduct Lawful and Admirable

Old Ellis County Courthouse
In considering the case of Ellis County charges of Reckless Driving against ChipSeal for riding his bike down Texas Highway 287, the judge noted that in many ways, Chip's conduct was admirable and legal, but he was still found guilty. The jail sentence/fine was very reasonable (IMHO) for a Reckless Driving conviction and community service was mentioned. I think Chip and his lawyer will confer before firming up what to do next. Details will follow when I have an opportunity to boil my notes down and make them coherent.
The Trial was in the Beautiful NEW Court Building


danc said...

Thank you for the quick note. Crap!

Anonymous said...

If he had actually slowed down a redneck and actually impeded traffic it would have been death by lethal injection...but...since he didn't break any laws he's just a convict. You just have to love Ennis Texas.

Another Anonymous

Khal said...

Steve, can you supply some notes or references on what the basis of the Reckless charge was? Here is our statute.

Sec. 38-296. Reckless driving.
(a) Any person who drives any vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others and without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property is guilty of reckless driving.

As applied to a cyclist who is not able to keep up with traffic but who is otherwise obeying the AFRAP laws and other onerous details, this potentially sets a precedent for criminalizing bicycling. What were the facts of the case?

KD5NRH said...

Has everyone written to their state legislators to get the TC changed to prevent this happening again?

John said...

Texas statute is here, confirmed by PM Summer (friend of Chipseal's and was present at the trial).

"A person commits an offense if the person drives a vehicle in wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property."

PM Summer said...

"A person commits an offense if the person drives a vehicle in wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property."


Prosecutor: "Did you intentionally ride your bicycle in the middle of the lane?"

Reed bates: "Yes. Most certainly."

Wanton disregard for safety.

prosecutor: "We are going to keep you off that road for your own safety!... There are vehicles going 65 mph and even faster there!"

BTW: The posted speed limit (maximum speed) is 65. No attempts were being made to enforce that as the maximum speed.

I look forward to Steve's excellent notes.

Quoted from memory and notes.

Eli Damon said...

The judge said that his behavior was legal but convicted him anyway?! Excuse me while I clean my exploded head off the walls and ceiling.

Steve A said...

I have written up notes and will publish them before I go to bed tonight. Before that, however, I plan to email a draft to PM and Waco to give them a chance to note any major factual errors (unlikely) or omissions (much more likely). If something turns up later, I'll update. I'll cc Reed for his future reference.

Right now, I'm going to finish my coffee and ride home in this, our first sub 100 day this month.

Chuck Davis said...

I may or knot have asked Steve privately re the first hearing at the muni level but I hope the hell that somejuan had the presence of mind to ensure that a court reporter wuz present at this proceeding/circus

Steve A said...

I'm pretty sure there was a proper court reporter present at this trial, though she was not introduced to us formally. She was the one who dug up the records confirming that Reed spent 18 days in jail. The prosecutor did not know anything about the jail time.

Khal said...

Is it a court of record?

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