Laws on ASLs clarified

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661-Pete
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby 661-Pete » 1 Mar 2013, 5:04pm

In other words, nothing has changed as of now. So this does not answer my earlier question: is this statement true?
They're going to change the regs so you can cross the first line wherever you like.

and if so, is there a link to any on-line information supporting this claim?

Sorry to be persistent on this point, but it is extremely important. ASLs as currently defined and laid out, according to existing legislation and that letter, encourage cyclists to filter, even up the nearside of a bus or lorry, which as we all know is incredibly dangerous.
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Geriatrix
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Geriatrix » 1 Mar 2013, 5:19pm

JohnCKirk wrote:
Geriatrix wrote:Here is a link to a CycleChat thread following the same topic. The OP posted the text of the original letter from the MET.


One interesting point to note - the original letter has a couple of broken links, presumably because they're internal URLs. You can see them in the CycleChat version, but I replaced them with real links on my blog. I was meaning to email Ms Harrison about that anyway, so I can mention the fact that diagram 1001.2 isn't listed at the same time.

Diagram 1001.2 can be found in this document. It shows the layout of a typical ASL's and isn't included in reg 10. The pdf I linked is contradicts what I wrote re regulation 10 because in paragraph 16.21
An advisory or mandatory cycle lane, preferably 1.5 m wide, must be
provided to enable cyclists to enter the reservoir lawfully, i.e. without crossing the first stop line
which implies that a cyclist crossing this line would be doing so illegally. So which is right. Regulation 10, Diagram 1001.2, or John Franklin?
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

Geriatrix
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Geriatrix » 1 Mar 2013, 5:38pm

I wanted to use Google streeview to show an example of a ASZ with no feeder lane but the view is blocked by a car in the ASZ. Now there's a surprise.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

Geriatrix
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Geriatrix » 1 Mar 2013, 5:52pm

So, I tried to find another example of a ASZ with no feeder lane and found a car jumping a red light (use streetview to track back a bit and you will see the light is red before the car reaches the stop line).
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

kwackers
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby kwackers » 1 Mar 2013, 5:56pm

Geriatrix wrote:So, I tried to find another example of a ASZ with no feeder lane and found a car jumping a red light (use streetview to track back a bit and you will see the light is red before the car reaches the stop line).



Here's another (feeder, not rlj).
http://goo.gl/maps/NF55U

snibgo
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby snibgo » 1 Mar 2013, 7:01pm

As far as I recall, cycling over the first line on red was proposed as part of the government's "red tape challenge" nearly two years ago. I can't find it on their websites. Even if it were, a defence that "the government says it intends to change this law" isn't a defence.

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gaz
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby gaz » 1 Mar 2013, 9:14pm

My favourite ASL viewed today. :wink:
HPIM1512.JPG
ASL?


And viewed in drier conditions last May.
ASL.jpg
ASL??


Finally streetview where if you zoom in you may just work out the one and only solid white line disecting the remnants of the ASL's cycle zone logo. :lol:

This used to be a no through road, leading to the station, a few houses and some light industrial units. At that time the ASL was marked with the appropriate two white lines. Almost a year ago a bus/taxi/cycle only route was connected to the end of the no through road joining it to a much larger industrial estate. It's quite possible that the ASL was formally disappeared as part of that scheme. :wink:

In fairness this one never really needed an ASL. The footway is shared use allowing you to bypass the traffic lights anyway, particularly useful if turning left.
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Pete Owens
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Pete Owens » 1 Mar 2013, 9:35pm

OK - to respond to the first post.
I think it is an entirely positive development that the police do understand the law on ASLs (even if that law is badly written).
In order to prosecute they need evidence that the law has been infringed and that requires proof that a car proceeded across the line while the light was at red. The good news is that it is implicit in the letter that they would accept video evidence that actually recorded the act of crossing the line at red - rather than simply arriving and discovering the box occupied.

We really shouldn't get hung up about the exact wording of the law about how cycles are supposed to get in the box. Everyone knows the purpose of ASLs and no police officer is going to open himself up to ridicule by prosecuting a cyclist for entering the box from the safe but technically illegal position rather than filtering legally along the death lane. I think it is an entirely positive step that authorities are now able to install ASLs without filter lanes and just a nominal gate.

We most certainly should not request that ASLs without filter lanes are painted out (these are the best and safest ones). If anything we should be asking them to paint out existing kerbside filter lanes to make more space for cyclists to approach from safer directions. Also making an ostentatious protest by stopping at the first line is counter productive. The last thing we want is for the general motoring population to become backstreet lawyers on the exact letter of the law (ie. that both stop lines apply equally to cars & cycles) - we want them to obey the spirit and intention of the law which is that the first stop line is for them and the advanced one for us.

thirdcrank
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Mar 2013, 9:53pm

Here's my take on the law about ASL's. They were only invented after I retired so this is based largely on looking it up, rather than any practical experience. It's worth remembering that for a prosecution to succeed, there are points to prove. This is about the the offence called failing to comply with traffic signs.

The CPS Guide is usually a pretty good place to look for anything like this but it refers readers to Wilkinson (the traffic law bible.)

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/road ... l#P84_4838

Were I still working, I should have access to this through the WY Police Driving School but I don't have access now. It's a snip at £550 so I won't be buying a copy any time soon.

http://www.sweetandmaxwell.co.uk/wilkinson/

There's a straightforward explanation of ASL's in the Traffic Signs Manual - the official guide for the people installing them

Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 5

16.21 Vehicles other than cycles must stop at the first line when signalled to do so. An advisory or mandatory cycle lane, preferably 1.5 m wide, must be provided to enable cyclists to enter the reservoir lawfully, i.e. without crossing the first stop line. ....


https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... ter-05.pdf

The offence of failing to comply with a traffic sign is prescribed by s 36 of the Road Traffic Act, 1988. It only covers traffic signs specified by regulation. (NB failing to comply with other mandatory traffic signs would be an offence under the relevant traffic regulation order. The s 36 signs are not covered by traffic regulation orders.)

Incidentally, s 36 also says that signs are assumed to be kosher (my word) unless the contrary is proved - a bit of legislative loophole plugging.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/36

The signs to which s 36 RTA 1988 applies are listed in Regulation 10 of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (2002) (TSRGD for short.)

Traffic lights are listed here

(g )the red light signal when displayed by the light signals prescribed by regulation 33 ..
.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002 ... on/10/made

Regulation 33 quoted in reg 10 describes traffic lights in legal terms

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002 ... on/33/made

Regulation 36 explains what the different phases of traffic lights mean, the relevant one here being

the red signal shall convey the prohibition that vehicular traffic shall not proceed beyond the stop line ...


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002 ... on/36/made

"Stop line" is defined in regulation 43, with a supplementary definition for when there is an ASL in reg 43(2) That refers to diagram 1001.2

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002 ... on/43/made

Schedule 6 has the diagrams and diagram 1001.2 is of an ASL with feeder lane (nearside and central variations are shown)

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002 ... ule/6/made

So, an ASL without a feeder doesn't comply. If a sign (which includes a road marking) doesn't comply, it can't be an offence to disobey it. At a superficial level, it might be argued that the absence of the feeder lane rendered the entire signal unlawful but it would only mean, IMO, that it had no diagram 1001.2 ie the ASL legally didn't exist.

I think that's a thread to needle explanation of what the Met's message said about the law. I've avoided any comment about enforcement policy

Pete Owens
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Pete Owens » 1 Mar 2013, 11:22pm

As far as UK law is concerned an ASL is simply a normal stop line like any other (or rather 2 - both stop lines apply to all vehicles). It is an offence to cross it on red, whatever vehicle you may be driving so the presence or absence of a feeder has no significance whatsoever to motorists. This is why the law is such nonsense when interpreted literally - the cycle gap has to be provided to enable cyclists to enter the box so long as they do so from the dangerous side - and motorists are required to stop at the cycle stop line if the lights change while they are waiting to turn right.

If it lacks an feeder lane then it does fail to comply with the regulations for ASLs then this means that there is no exception for cycles and it really is a bog standard stop line.

thirdcrank
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Mar 2013, 7:54am

When the first ASL's were installed they had two sets of lights - one at each STOP line. The first set to be reached had a green cycle filter which was permanently at green to allow cyclists to enter the ASL area where they reached the second set of lights. That arrangement left no doubt about when all vehicles except cyclists had to stop at the first line. As it needed twice as many signals it was around twice as expensive to install and maintain. I think it also takes longer for a complete cycle of the lights. The current arrangement was introduced experimentally (in Bristol?) and soon caught on at a time (late 1990's) when highway authorities were under the pressure of the Notional Cycling Strategy. The current TSRGD were introduced in 2002 and afaik, before that there were no statutory provisions for the "one-signal-two-lines" ASL design. A little bird told me that the legislators agonised over a form of words which would be suitable for the new arrangement. I presume that many ASL's without feeders will originate from that time. That slightly lawless period coincided with my time as an active campaigner. There are certainly various ASL's without feeders around here, many will be down to my campaigning (not a solo effort BTW.) One of my main tactics was to have any cycle logos they wanted to paint to be on the carriageway rather than the pavement.

On the relatively complicated Melbourne roundabout on the A64 York Road in Leeds (outside the new police station) there are ASL's in addition to the shared-use pavement the highwaymen originally wanted.

I don't suppose many people if any have ploughed through all the legislation I've linked above, but that's just an example; it;s no wonder it's such a good source of loopholes. And it can't be cheap to get people to write the stuff.

It seems to me that this thread is really about the attitude of the Metropolitan Police (and ultimately all police forces) to video evidence submitted by cyclists. It's a subject of increasing importance for cyclists and it's crying out for a published policy or two. The CPS should publish guidelines dealing with how such evidence should be handled and in what circumstances they would use it. ACPO should clarify their policy too. This issue was raised during police evidence to the current inquiry conducted by the All Party Cycling Group but it seems to have slithered past completely unnoticed by all but cycling cameraman Martin Porter.

Geriatrix
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Geriatrix » 2 Mar 2013, 8:07am

thirdcrank wrote:It seems to me that this thread is really about the attitude of the Metropolitan Police (and ultimately all police forces) to video evidence submitted by cyclists. It's a subject of increasing importance for cyclists and it's crying out for a published policy or two. The CPS should publish guidelines dealing with how such evidence should be handled and in what circumstances they would use it. ACPO should clarify their policy too. This issue was raised during police evidence to the current inquiry conducted by the All Party Cycling Group but it seems to have slithered past completely unnoticed by all but cycling cameraman Martin Porter.

That sums it up.

The question that should be directed to the MET in response to their letter is whether their attitude to the enforcement of the stop lines supports the purpose for which the the ASZ was created.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby gentlegreen » 2 Mar 2013, 9:11am

If cyclists were to stop at the first line, this is likely to cause the sort of rear shunts some use as an excuse to jump lights as careless drivers behind would not be expecting cyclists to stop there.

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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby Geriatrix » 2 Mar 2013, 9:36am

gentlegreen wrote:If cyclists were to stop at the first line, this is likely to cause the sort of rear shunts some use as an excuse to jump lights as careless drivers behind would not be expecting cyclists to stop there.

The MET's letter would make it impossible to for cyclists follow John Franklin's advice under certain circumstances. Franklin advises that primary position should adopted when approaching an intersection. If there was queued traffic at an intersection then I would use the left filter lane to reach the ASZ if I was turning left or going straight on (and this is in line with cyclecraft advice) . If however I was first at the intersection I would enter the ASZ from primary position as advised by cyclecraft. Likewise, if I were turning right, I would not use the left filter lane to reach the ASZ in queued traffic. I'm not going to stop doing that, and I don't think that the MET is ever going to book me for doing it, even if they review my video footage and find evidence of me doing it.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

TonyR
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Re: Laws on ASLs clarified

Postby TonyR » 2 Mar 2013, 9:44am

If they're not enforceable and not usable, why have they bothered with installing them in the first place. They might as well have painted a dotted white line behind the solid one and suggested motor vehicles stay behind it for all the good they do and that would have been a lot cheaper too.