Legality of using phone while cycling

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nirakaro
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Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby nirakaro » 4 Jan 2020, 12:44pm

A German friend tells me that in Germany you can lose your driving licence for using your phone while driving. Obviously this is a Good Thing. But apparently you can also lose your driving licence for using your phone while cycling – which is inconvenient if you want to use it for navigation. Is this a Good Thing – sauce for the goose/gander? Or is it a Bad Thing, because we cyclists are all inherently virtuous, and anyway much less likely than motorists to kill someone through momentary inattention?

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Mick F
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby Mick F » 4 Jan 2020, 12:58pm

How can they take your driving licence away for contravening a cycling offence?
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Paulatic
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby Paulatic » 4 Jan 2020, 1:19pm

Use of cell phones: It is verboten to use a cell phone while riding a bicycle except when using a hands-free capability. Hefty fines are assessed when arrested.

http://bicyclegermany.com/german_bicycle_laws.html
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PT1029
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby PT1029 » 4 Jan 2020, 1:27pm

I suppose the Germans can take your driving license off you for using your phone when cycling if that is the way the law is worded (common sense etc is a different issue, the law is (or is not) an ass and all that).

However, what is "using" your mobile phone? I am open top correction on this, but I think the law is out of date and refers to using hand held communication devices (phones to you and I) when driving, so if texting/talking on the phone, you are communicating, so it is illegal. If you are scrolling through your music tracks or route navigating, you are not "communicating", so all legal (but they might do you for lack of care and attention etc). I recently read of people saying the UK law needed to be updated in this regard.

So if cycling in Germany, using you phone to navigate while cycling may or may not be legal, depending on the wording of the law.

Sometimes at work (at a university) I over hear post tutorial graduate/tutor conversations by the bike parking. Some conversations were long winded, over a period of a few week and obviously related to the previous week's conversation, I pondered if they were philosophical or theological discussions. In fact they were after law turorials, about whether the law applied to certain things, and it was deemed good training for the students to cope with arguements in court on what law did/didn't apply when the matter in question had evolved over time since the law was drawn up (eg, broadening use of mobile phones....).

As a digression... An example they gave, a rich man in Singapore (where the student came from) purchased a protectrd nature reserve, so he owns it (title deems, contract etc). However, he is not allowed to do anything with the land as the use of it is determined by the government (as it is a protected nature reserve), thus he does not have control over it. If he has no control over it, does he "own" it?
So you see, a good lawer may well run rings round someone when it come to "what constitutes using a mobile phone?"(!)

Oldjohnw
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby Oldjohnw » 4 Jan 2020, 1:32pm

Mick F wrote:How can they take your driving licence away for contravening a cycling offence?



Easy. If that's what the law states.
John

PT1029
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby PT1029 » 4 Jan 2020, 1:34pm

Paulatic's quoate from the german law may well be right, but what is "using".
If you are navigating, and the map scrolls across the screen as you go, it is in effect hands free, even if you don't have a hands free kit for talking on the phone.
A discussion better had through your lawyer, rather than directly with a police officer I suggest.....!

mercalia
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby mercalia » 4 Jan 2020, 3:12pm

Oldjohnw wrote:
Mick F wrote:How can they take your driving licence away for contravening a cycling offence?



Easy. If that's what the law states.



well there was a case in north UK where a teenager was riding too fast on an ebike I think it was was done by the cops and lost his licence or had points put on it ( cant remember which) he didnt have yet. so if he ever got a motor licence he would already be for the chop. Was a very strange story.

james01
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby james01 » 4 Jan 2020, 3:41pm

mercalia wrote:[


well there was a case in north UK where a teenager was riding too fast on an ebike I think it was was done by the cops and lost his licence or had points put on it ( cant remember which) he didnt have yet. so if he ever got a motor licence he would already be for the chop. Was a very strange story.


This makes sense if the rider was on a "tweaked" electric bike which failed to conform to EU restrictions. The bike would then be regarded as a motor vehicle requiring licence, insurance, reg plate etc.

brynpoeth
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby brynpoeth » 4 Jan 2020, 3:44pm

Losing a licence one does not have :?
Something similar happens in football, clubs are punished with minus points and have to win a few games to get up to zero
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Oldjohnw
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby Oldjohnw » 4 Jan 2020, 4:07pm

mercalia wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:
Mick F wrote:How can they take your driving licence away for contravening a cycling offence?



Easy. If that's what the law states.



well there was a case in north UK where a teenager was riding too fast on an ebike I think it was was done by the cops and lost his licence or had points put on it ( cant remember which) he didnt have yet. so if he ever got a motor licence he would already be for the chop. Was a very strange story.


I have a cousin who was nicked driving his older brother's motorbike at age 15. This was over 50 years ago. He got his as yet unobtained licence suspended.
John

st599_uk
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby st599_uk » 4 Jan 2020, 4:09pm

You don't get points on a licence in Germany, you get assigned points to the Person. So UK drivers/riders will get Flensburg System Points, but not UK licence points.

Anyone with too many points is ineligible to hold a licence.
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rmurphy195
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby rmurphy195 » 4 Jan 2020, 6:18pm

nirakaro wrote:A German friend tells me that in Germany you can lose your driving licence for using your phone while driving. Obviously this is a Good Thing. But apparently you can also lose your driving licence for using your phone while cycling – which is inconvenient if you want to use it for navigation. Is this a Good Thing – sauce for the goose/gander? Or is it a Bad Thing, because we cyclists are all inherently virtuous, and anyway much less likely than motorists to kill someone through momentary inattention?


Its one thing if its clipped to the handlebars to use as a GPS, quite another where (and I see an awful lot of this) the "cyclist" is wandering along oblivious to surroundings while texting/dialling a number,talking on the phone - all one-handed, and often on shared-used paths and cycleways, as if it were somehow safer that way (it isn't for other cyclists or pedestrians)

If you want to use the phone, pull over, stop, and use it. In a safe place, not sitting across the junction on a country lane!

Making things illegal is often (as in the case of mobile usage while driving) a result of people being too stupid to think for themselves.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby Cunobelin » 4 Jan 2020, 6:47pm

In some ways, I do not feel that the force of law is necessary

I treat the satnav, phone etc as if I was in a car.

I do not make calls or text whilst doing either, in both cases I have an alert for the call, and if I need to take it will pull over and so so or ring back

nirakaro
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby nirakaro » 4 Jan 2020, 7:13pm

Cunobelin wrote:In some ways, I do not feel that the force of law is necessary

rmurphy195 wrote:Making things illegal is often ... a result of people being too stupid to think for themselves.

QED

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Mick F
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Re: Legality of using phone while cycling

Postby Mick F » 4 Jan 2020, 8:05pm

st599_uk wrote:You don't get points on a licence in Germany, you get assigned points to the Person. So UK drivers/riders will get Flensburg System Points, but not UK licence points.

Anyone with too many points is ineligible to hold a licence.
That makes sense.
"Points to the Person".
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