First time I've ever been ticketed while running in Chicago (Read 1479 times)

    I couldn't believe it!!!!!!!   This morning while running parallel with the train tracks at more than a comfortable distance, I heard a the quick chirp of a siren behind me (I don't listen to music while running) Thus I stopped immediately and turned around to see a Ford Crown Victoria cruiser, with a Metra Cop (Chicagoland's railroad cops) behind the wheel.  I had no clue what the problem was.  He told me that I was running next to the tracks.  (You can see my path which was traced by my GPS watch in the link below.  He pulled me over right before mile 4)  I thought he'd just cut me some slack after that and warn me, since I had no clue I was violating Metra rules.  But to my surprise he asked for my drivers license and handed me a citation.  I just sat there with a stunned look on my face.  Yes I was running parallel with the tracks but still I was 10 to 15 feet away from them too.  And never did I feel in danger of a train possibly hitting me.  . Now I'm actually stuck with going to court because of this revenue collector Angry at the end of the month.  If any Chicagoland lawyers would like to volunteer and get me the justice I deserve, please contact me here as soon as possible.

    http://www.runningahead.com/logs/838ad724d2044a5a87f9ac2f80143fb3/workouts/f2af62c988174573b9b627faddd58b12/map

      Sounds like an upsetting thing to happen, but if I were you I would just pay the ticket. They definitely should post warnings if you aren't supposed to be running there, but sadly, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

      MariosLeasholder


        I agree with just paying the ticket. I hate to be a jerk but if you were that close, you were on the railroad right of way.  They've probably had recent problems with people ON the tracks so he was being overly strict. This a something I'm guilty of at least once a week. My property (rural) joins up to the railroad right of way and there is a large chunk of woods on the other side. I trespass all the time just by walking directly across those tracks since it's not a legal road crossing. Just don't go near the tracks. When you go to court, just tell the judge you're sorry and ask him to reduce the fine.

          Sounds like you were in their right-of-way, which is probably 50ft, possibly on each side. Not sure if it's considered private property or not.

           

          I don't think they're worried the effect on you of a training hitting you (although they probably are), but the effect on the train - just general safety and security.

          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

             Just don't go near the tracks. When you go to court, just tell the judge you're sorry and ask him to reduce the fine.

             

            After dealing with the unforgiving revenue collecting swine, you won't catch me near those tracks again. Angry I asked the cop how much is this going to cost me?  And he said,  "that's up to judge." 

              ---How much do you estimate the fine would be???

               

              On a similar note, I bought a few fireworks in SC after I had returned from Afghanistan in 2010.  I bought maybe 20.00 worth, not many.  One of the things I wanted to do when I returned was shoot off some d@mn fireworks off!. (It is the southerner in me...)  Big grin.  Well, I brought them back to VA (fireworks illegal, but folks always do it anyway) and I got caught on the first thing I shot off!  Bad timing.

              Anyway, I show up in uniform, the judge joked about it, no big deal, and did a tiny fine of $25 bucks.     --  When I went to the cashier to pay the ticket, "Court Costs" (which used to be about 20-25.00, are now bumped up to 89.00!  So the "25.00 fine" ended up costing me over 110.00!

               

              Ah well, life in America...

              The Plan (big parts)→  /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (PR 80 Miles) ///  Nov:  New York Marathon  ///  Dec:  Seashore State Park 50K  ///  ∞


              No Talent Drips

                You run with your driver's license?

                 

                 

                  ---How much is the fine???

                   

                  The cop said "that's up to the judge's discretion."  I did find this online though. http://triblocal.com/tinley-park/2010/09/30/pedestrians-train-tracks/

                    You run with your driver's license?

                     

                    Heh, this was my first thought. My second thought was to wonder what was on the opposite side of the tracks, since the cop car probably can't conveniently cross and hey, you're already running...

                    I changed this, and you noticed. Hurray for us!

                      You run with your driver's license?

                       

                      Yes, I was really wondering if I would have been better off not carrying it with me today?  Given the circumstances that is.


                      Muddling through

                        You're stuck with going to court? Isn't there an option to just pay the fine and have it over and done?

                        2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                           

                          Heh, this was my first thought. My second thought was to wonder what was on the opposite side of the tracks, since the cop car probably can't conveniently cross and hey, you're already running...

                           

                          The cop pulled me over right where mile 4 is.  As you can see that is a small island where buses stop.  And a good distance from the tracks too.

                            You're stuck with going to court? Isn't there an option to just pay the fine and have it over and done?

                             

                            The cop didn't mention one.  He just handed me the ticket, and told me to go to court on the assigned date.  I wish there was another option.  All I know is I need to pay $120 to get my drivers license back.


                            Muddling through

                               

                              The cop didn't mention one.  He just handed me the ticket, and told me to go to court on the assigned date.  I wish there was another option.  All I know is I need to pay $120 to get my drivers license back.

                              He kept your drivers license? That doesn't sound right. How does he expect you to drive to court without a license in your possession?

                              2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                                He kept your drivers license? That doesn't sound right. How does he expect you to drive to court without a license in your possession?

                                 

                                I asked him about that, not that I'd drive to court even if I had my license.  You see parking in downtown Chicago is anything but cheap Cry

                                 

                                The cop told me if I get pulled over to use my citation as proof of drivers license.  I really have my doubts about that working.  But than again I haven't been pulled over in close to 10 years.