If you enjoy cycling and there aren't many decent cycling routes around where you live, you'll likely invest in a bicycle rack for your car and travel to different areas that are suitable for riding. These outings can be memorable for many reasons, but you don't want to remember one of them because of the traffic ticket that you received. Unfortunately, if you aren't careful with your trunk-mounted bicycle rack, you could end up pulled over and handed a ticket. Here are some ways that this bicycle-carrying apparatus could lead to a traffic ticket.
Obstructing Your License Plate
There are a number of trunk-mounted bicycle racks on the market and how they fit on your vehicle depends in large part on the type of vehicle that you're driving. There are some bicycle racks that fully or partially cover your rear license plate. The plate needs to be fully visible to any police officer who drives behind you on the road, which means that if you're using a bike rack that is a poor fit with your car, you may get stopped. While there are some officers who will issue a warning for such an offense, others will promptly write you a ticket. This is especially likely if you were warned about this issue in the past but didn't deal with it.
Losing The Bike
If you fail to secure your bicycle properly to its carrying rack, it could fall off the rack while you're driving, land on the road, and cause problems for other motorists. If a motorist were to crash into your errant bicycle, they would almost certainly blame you for this incident — and the responding police officer would be apt to agree. In this unfortunate situation, you'd likely end up with a ticket for failing to secure a load that you were carrying. The exact wording for such an offense can vary from state to state, but what doesn't change is that letting a bike fall of your trunk-mounted rack is a traffic violation.
Having A Loose Rack
Mounting a bicycle rack on your vehicle can sometimes be challenging, but it's important that you stick with it to ensure that you've completed this task correctly. If you're driving with or without your bike on the rack and the rack appears to be loose — perhaps sliding back and forth when you turn — a police officer may pull you over. This is another scenario in which a friendly officer might issue you a warning, but it's also possible to get a ticket for having the bike rack not mounted safely.
In each of these situations, you may wish to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to help you fight the charge.