If you're jogging backwards in Florida, you're weird but not unlawful. A Florida judge has dismissed a backward jogger's traffic ticket, ruling the man is free to roam in reverse as long as he stays in bike lanes.
The reverse runner was slapped with a ticket for obstructing traffic in Miami Beach in April. But this week, the case against him hit the skids.
Obstruction of Traffic
In Florida, it's against the law for a person to willfully obstruct a public street, highway, or road by standing or approaching cars or pedestrians too closely.
If you're endangering drivers or pedestrians by getting in their way, you can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Alex Mesa was handed a $77.50 ticket by Miami Beach police for obstructing traffic while jogging backward and traveling against traffic, reports South Florida's WTVJ-TV.
Part of the problem was that he was jogging between cars. The officers swapped a warning for a citation when the reverse runner went rogue and vowed to never stop running backwards in the street.
'Cause that's how he rolls -- in reverse.
Fighting Traffic Tickets
As Mesa's case shows, the key to success in traffic court is to know when to fight a traffic ticket, and to never cave when you have a strong case.
Generally, you can't fend off a ticket by arguing that no one was hurt. The no-harm-no-foul rule doesn't apply in court. The only exception is when safety is part of the law itself, and you can argue that you clearly acted safely because no one was hurt.
That's how the judge viewed the traffic obstruction ticket. Running in the street between cars may not be safe, but running backwards in the bike lane should be alright -- so the judge tossed the ticket, reports United Press International.
Mesa said he has been periodically jogging backwards in Miami for six years without incident, according to WTVJ. That's a pretty sterling record, and the judge likely took that into account when making his decision.
Mesa, who is HIV-positive and suffers from cirrhosis of the liver, said he jogs backwards because it puts less strain on his body. So if you have aching knees, you may want to try to (moon)walk it off -- but only in the bike lane.
- Ticket dismissed against Miami Beach's backwards runner (Miami Herald)
- Traffic Tickets (FindLaw)
- Man Pays Traffic Ticket with 137 Origami Pigs in Dunkin Donuts Boxes (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- 'Robin Hood' Parking Meter-Feeders Sued for Harassment (FindLaw's Legally Weird)