An Historic Citation

This is an update to an earlier story involving cyclist Randy Mason and the driver of a Flagstaff city transit bus.

In Bicyclist 2 Bus Driver 0 Daily Sun article, the city attorney is recommending BOTH citations (speeding and §28-735) be issued. This is official recognition of the law is a huge win for cyclist safety.

Though the city attorney went on to completely flip-flop on the citations, requesting and receiving a dismissal, I wanted to highlight some of the significant developments


1) We finally have strong, sensible, direct quote from a Flagstaff City official regarding 28-735 and bike lanes, Lisa Stankovich, a deputy city attorney (emphasis added) :

“Since the bicyclist in this case was in a bike lane at the time of the alleged violation, and it is our opinion that a violation occurred, it is thus clear that we think the 3-foot rule applies in all situations when a vehicle overtakes a bicycle traveling in the same direction, whether in a bike lane or not,”  — Mar 18, 2010 Daily Sun article, Bicyclist 2, bus driver 0

2) (assuming the police issue the citation) we have what might be the first ever known citation for 28-735 where a collision is not involved. Although 28-735 has been on the books for about 10 years now, it is notoriously rarely enforced, for a variety of reasons.

3) The incident brought to light a lack of knowledge of cycling laws on the part of Flagstaff PD: this precipitated the department to issue a “training bulletin” to the entire department.

4) In response to the incident NAIPTA says it is  providing specific training to all their drivers on bus-bike interaction. NAIPTA has taken my referral of the Chicago Public transit video, to train drivers on how to act properly around bicyclists on the roadway.


1) That the cyclist was initially charged with disorderly conduct remains disturbing. The charges were later dropped; but I still don’t get it.

2) NAIPTA’s official position is that they are in denial over the specific violations. (see NAIPTA speaks here)

The story continues to get, generally positive, coverage. On March 19 there was a Daily Sun editorial Who knew: 3-foot rule applies to bike lanes “…if city police were unclear about the 3-foot law, it’s a good bet most Flagstaff drivers were, too”.

Citations Issued

Initially, there was some question as to whether or not the citations would actually be issued; according to this Flagstaff PD document, citations for 28-735A and 28-701A were issued on 3/17/2010.

The current case is now online: M-0341-TR-2010002436, in Flagstaff Municipal court (thanks to for pointing this out).

Curiously, the same defendant had a traffic case in Verde Valley Justice court  just a few months before: TR-200904190

Cases can be looked up online.

The final final? Chapter

Strangely, on 5/11/2010 the charges were “ORDR DISMSSL/CHRGE-W/O PREJDCE”; which i assume means dismissed without prejudice.

So, for some reason, the city attorney after deciding to recommend the citations be filed, has now decided to drop them; without prejudice means that (at least theoretically) they can be re-filed.

Here is the entire court record; so now we know that the city attorney requested it “for the reason that dismissal is in the interests of justice and judicial economy”. There, now, that explains it. In short, we will probably never know the whole story.

There is some chatter in this comment about perhaps the citiation was not filed within the statute of limitations for an aledged civil violation.

In the Presence

I mention here in passing that these alleged violations did not occur in the presence of any law enforcement officers.

[So, this one didn’t pan out, apparently. However, is reporting a Scottsdale incident, that may end up being the first citation…]

5 thoughts on “An Historic Citation”

  1. By the way, the above citation notwithstanding;
    a public records request revealed that only one 28-735 citation, was written for the entire TWO YEAR period Jan 1, 2010 through Dec 31, 2011 — it was issued on 9/4/2011 and since it has an associated caseid, P1116037, it presumably was issued pursuant to a collision.

  2. News item about NCTD (North County Transit District; San Diego area) bus driver who rear-ended 3 bicyclists, killing one, on a deserted two-lane road in a 2013 collision. Lots of video; interesting note about how they won’t release video of what the driver was doing. (What WAS the driver doing?):

    NBC 7 obtained still pictures made from those recordings that were filed along with a claim for damages against the transit district and driver Gamal Mohamed Hamouda.
    The photos are time stamped. They indicate four seconds before impact the cyclists are off to the right and single file with no oncoming traffic. At 12:49:41 the bus approaches the riders with still no other traffic. Then at 12:49:42 the bus collides with the riders.
    The North County Transit District (NCTD) denied our request for a copy of the video tape to show what Hamouda was doing at the time of the crash.

    According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, who says he saw the video of the driver, the driver was holding an object up to his ear.
    Prior bad driving:

    Traffic records indicate twice Hamouda was caught speeding in his personal car. He pleaded guilty to driving 70 mph in a 45 mph zone and 78 in a 65 mph zone, as well as a rear-end traffic accident. Hamouda was placed on administrative leave after the August accident.

    So, what did the police investigation reveal? Was Gamal Mohamed Hamouda charged with anything?

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