Call Us Today 760.545.5563
Itunes Subscribe to Richard Duquette’s Podcast
34 Years of Proven Advocacy Get an Award-Winning Defender on Your Side Today

The People v. Andrew Woolley

Andrew Wooley, a San Diego bicyclist, had a run-in with a motorcycle cop on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego last march. He split a traffic lane with his bicycle to pass slower cars and was pulled over by motorcycle David Root for violating CVC 21202(a), the Far To The Right rule.

When Woolley tried to correct Root on the wording of CVC 21202(a) he was awarded with a ticket from Root. Wooley argued the ticket in court, but the Judge upheld the ticket. You can peruse the respondants brief below, wherein they agreed with Wooley on appeal – which should result in a reversal of the conviction.

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, APPELLATE DIVISION
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
Plaintiff/Respondent,
v.
ANDREW WOOLLEY,
Defendant/Appellant.
Appellate Division No. CA221322
Superior Court No. Y769289
City Attorney No.
RESPONDENT’S BRIEF
Appeal from the Judgment of the Superior Court
San Diego Judicial District
The Honorable Andrew J. Liska, Judge Pro Tem of the Superior Court

JAN I. GOLDSMITH, City Attorney

ANDREW JONES, Assistant City Attorney

STEVEN K. HANSEN, Deputy City Attorney

California State Bar No. 134774

Office of the City Attorney

Appellate Unit

1200 Third Avenue, Suite 700

San Diego, California 92101-4103

Telephone: (619) 533-5500

Attorneys for Plaintiff/Respondent

TOPICAL INDEX

ii. TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

1. INTRODUCTION

1. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

1. STATEMENT OF FACTS

2. ARGUMENT

2. I THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH APPELLANT’S GUILT

3. CONCLUSION Page

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

Statutes

Vehicle Code Section 21202 page 2

Vehicle Code Section 21202(a) page 1,2

Vehicle Code Section 22350 page 2

INTRODUCTION

Appellant was observed riding a bicycle to the left of slow-moving traffic, rather than along the right edge of the roadway. A police officer cited Appellant for a violation of Vehicle Code section 2l202(a), which requires a person operating a bicycle “at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time” to ride along the right edge of the roadway. Appellant was convicted of the violation. Appellant now argues there was insufficient evidence of his guilt for several reasons. Respondent agrees with the contention of Appellant that because he was not operating his bicycle “at a speed less than … the traffic at that time” the statute does not apply to him. Accordingly, Respondent concedes the conviction should be reversed.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

On March 6, 2009, Appellant was cited for violating Vehicle Code section 21202(a), failure to ride along the right edge of the road. Appellant was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. Trial was set for August 6, 2009. The trial was held and Appellant was found guilty of violating Vehicle Code section 2l202(a) and filled $165. Appellant now appeals his conviction.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Respondent adopts and incorporates herein by reference the Statement of the Case as set forth in the Clerk’s Transcript [CT] and the Transcript of Proceedings [TP]. The following relevant facts are extracted from the CT and TP.

Trial:


Testimony of Officer Green:

Officer Root has been a San Diego Police Officer for approximately 22 years. On March 6, 2009, the officer was on duty on a police motorcycle in the 4300 block of El Cajon Boulevard. (TP at 2.) The officer was in the number one lane. Traffic was very heavy and was creeping in little stages. As the officer was creeping along, Appellant pedaled by on a bicycle, riding between the number one and two lanes. The officer saw one car either change lanes or veer over, and Appellant had to brake sharply. (TP at 3.) The posted speed limit in that section of the road is 35 miles per hour. (TP at 7.) The officer pursued Appellant and cited him for failing to ride along the right edge of the road pursuant to Vehicle Code section 21202.

Testimony of Appellant:

Appellant testified he was riding his bicycle in the number two lane; to the left of cars that were backed up. (TP at 7.) At one point near the intersection Appellant moved to the middle of the lane and had to brake hard when a car stopped suddenly. (TP at 10.)

Appellant made several arguments regarding the application of the statute to his bicycle riding. (TP at 7-14.)

Ruling:

Appellant was found guilty and filled $165.

ARGUMENT
I
THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO
ESTABLISH APPELLANT’S GUILT

The evidence at trial established that at the time of the citation traffic was moving very slowly, creeping along, and that Appellant was riding to the left ofthe traffic in the number two lane, passing the slow-moving cars. The officer cited Appellant for failing to ride along the right edge of the roadway in violation of Vehicle Code section 21202(a). However, that section applies only to a person operating a bicycle “at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time” (emphasis added). At the time of the citation, traffic was creeping along and Appellant was riding at a speed greater than the speed of traffic at that time.

Appellant may have violated other statutes (e.g., Vehicle Code section 22350), but does not appear to have violated Section 21202(a). Accordingly, Respondent concedes the conviction should be reversed.

CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, the judgment below should be reversed.

Dated: 12-9, 2009

JAN l. GOLDSMITH, City Attorney

Steven K. Hansen

Deputy City Attornev

Attorneys for Plaintiff/Respondent