Sun. Dec 10th, 2023
Michele Martinez and her bike
Is Council Member Michele Martinez’ bike registered?

Igmar Rodas, an outspoken activist on homeless and police issues, was cited by Santa Ana Police Officer S. Lopez on May 20 for riding an unlicensed bicycle and cycling on a sidewalk in the city’s Civic Center, according to the Voice of OC.

Rodas runs the SAPD – Stop Abusing People’s Derechos Facebook page.  He is going to go to court this week on Wednesday to fight the bike ticket he received from the SAPD.

The city of Long Beach, which many biking advocates consider a regional leader on bike-friendliness, eliminated its bike license requirement in 2011. Los Angeles suspended its licensing program in 2009.

The decision by the City of Long Beach to scrap its little-known bike licensing law and registration program was a victory for cyclists upset over being hit with pricey tickets for an infraction that seemed out of keeping with Long Beach’s pledge to become “the most bicycle-friendly city in America.” Bike registration will become voluntary, with city officials directing cyclists to list their bikes online with the National Bike Registry., according to the L.A. Times.

Why the City of Santa Ana even has a bike registration program is a very good question.  It is clearly a mechanism to punish the poorest people in our community and this is not what you would expect from a city that is pretending to be bike friendly.

According to the City of Santa Ana, the goal of their bike registration program is to reduce traffic accidents involving school age children.  Great.  So make it a voluntary registration and offer a way to sign up online.  Currently you have to go to the SAPD to get a bike registration.  What a waste of time – and the parking is not free! And for the record the city’s bike registration page is not offered in Spanish.  They provide a translating tool but unless someone knows how to use that, good luck.

Santa Ana City Council, Marijuana

Why have an All Latino City Council, a Latino City Manager and a Latino Police Chief if they are going to be punishing our people for riding bikes?

For the record no one in my family has ever registered any of our bikes.  We never heard of this city ordinance until now.  And none of us have ever been cited.  But we live in a well to do neighborhood in North Santa Ana.  I wonder if the SAPD is profiling bike riders in the poorer parts of our city?

Rodas thinks so – and he has video evidence to back up this theory:

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

18 thoughts on “Why is the SAPD ticketing bicycle riders?”
  1. I remember riding my bike to the old Santa Ana City Hall on Main St. to get my bike registered. I think you even got a bike license plate.

    1. If so this policy dates back awhile. Surely by now they should have a way to do this online. In fact riding your bike to the police station, while unregistered, would open you to a huge ticket!

      1. A cop once stopped me doing 40 mph on Grand Ave. on my 10 speed. He said that I wasn’t over the speed limit, but that it was not safe.

  2. “According to the City of Santa Ana, the goal of their bike registration program is to reduce traffic accidents involving school age children.”

    How exactly does licensing a bicycle reduce traffic accidents? The only purpose I see to bike registration/licensing would be to get your bike back if the police recovered it as stolen – which probably doesn’t happen often & would not even work unless the bikes are permanently engraved/stamped with an identifying number.

    This instance sounds like pure harassment to me.

    1. Indeed. That is exactly what this program is. And our all Latino Council, City Manager and Chief of Police all seem to be OK with that.

  3. Many to find out if it a stollen bike our not there are so many bike thefts and stollen bike brought toSanta Ana to be sold on yard sale day.

    1. No one registers or licenses bikes – this is pure harassment. The licensing part of this guys ticket will get tossed out of court.

      Not sure about riding on the sidewalk – I don’t think that I would ride a bike on the busy streets of Santa Ana.

  4. If I spent hard earned money on a bike I treasured I’d be thank full to the s.a.p.d. for for checking but that’s just my opinion and I’m sticking to it. 😉

  5. I live in Tustin..I was riding my bike(on the sidewalk) at night when I was pulled over. The officer wanted to meet me because I was new in the neighborhood. And he warned me to ride on the sidewalk because it was safer. An I’m an Afro -American in a white neighborhood. How’s that for being treated fair? Is SAPD profiling the poor in that area because their poor an homeless? Sounds like it to me. I got a kick out of 2 cars an a motorcycle cop investigating that kart getting rear ended. I have much respect for your work an reporting. You guys really do a good job. We were on opposite ends regarding Ann Coulter but I can’t expect you guys to get it right all the time..

    Much Love,

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