Cyclists upset over fines issued in Waller County

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Kaitlin McCulley live in Waller County

The battle between some Waller County residents and cyclists is heating up.

"They oughta respect that the car's bigger than them," Waller county resident Mike Hagans said, "They gonna get run over."

Waller County Sheriff's Office deputies said they are responding to this kind of sentiment in the community by enforcing traffic laws, even during organized bike rides.

Belen Valdovinos was riding in the Bluebonnet Express through Waller County Sunday and received a $175 dollar traffic ticket for running a stop sign.

"I thought they were there supporting the ride," Valdovinos said, "I didn't think they were there specifically giving citations to cyclists."

The confusion stemmed from the fact that some Waller County deputies were hired by ride officials to direct traffic, but not all intersections were staffed with officers. Further down in the course, other deputies working regular patrol gave out between 25-30 traffic tickets to cyclists.

"How was I supposed to know," Valdovinos asked, "All cops look the same to me."

Another charity ride is scheduled this weekend in Waller County, and the massive BP MS 150 ride takes place in April.

Chief Deputy Brian Cantrell said Waller County deputies will be issuing tickets during the ride if they see traffic violations.

Valdovinos said she will ride in the BP MS 150, but she does not plan on riding in any other organized events through Waller County.

"The idea they're sending out is, 'We don't like cyclists," Valdovinos said.

Kelli Dreiling, Vice President of Development for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said BP MS 150 organizers had a positive and productive meeting with Waller County Judge Duhon and Sheriff Glenn Smith Thursday afternoon.

"We all agree that safety is a top priority for everyone involved -- motorists and cyclists alike -- and the BP MS 150 will continue as usual through Waller County," Dreiling said in a statement.

Dreiling urges both cyclists and motorists to know and obey Texas cycling laws.
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