London - on the spot fine

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Pastychomper
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby Pastychomper » 20 Nov 2018, 4:33pm

PH wrote:In a discussion with a local plod, he thought pushing a bike along the pavement would class me as a pedestrian, pushing it in a vehicle lane would class me as cycling. I have no idea if he was right, but it seems a reasonable explanation and the situation was that I'd got off and pushed because I believed the lights to be faulty.


That fits what I found when I looked up a similar question in a college library in the mid-nineties. The book I found (which was not directly quoting the law, so could have been wrong) said that whether a person with a bicycle counts as a "road user"* or pedestrian depends on where they both are, not whether the person is sitting on the bike. Someone walking along a road with a bike was a road user, subject to traffic lights and other rules as if they were riding it. The same person with the same bike walking on a pavement or crossing a road via a zebra crossing was a pedestrian, not subject to traffic lights. Presumably, someone using a crossing with a bicycle could instantly lose (or gain) pedestrian status by simply turning a right angle.

It didn't cover the case of a person riding a bike on the pavement, but I took that to be prohibited under some other law.


*I'm sure of my recollection of the general principal, but less sure of the wording it used.

Edit: Tyop.
Last edited by Pastychomper on 21 Nov 2018, 9:08am, edited 1 time in total.
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mjr
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby mjr » 20 Nov 2018, 6:24pm

PH wrote:
Phil Fouracre wrote:Now I am confused! I would take primary in the right hand lane, so, why can’t I stop in the ‘bike box’ ?? Am I missing something?

The theory is you'd have committed an offence by crossing a solid white line and that the only access to the box is via the cycle lane where there is no stop line to cross.

The stop line before the cycle symbol doesn't exist for cycles, since https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/201 ... ph/30/made if not before, so you can cross it anywhere, lead-in lane or not, as you like. Sorry PH, you're not currently correct.
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gaz
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby gaz » 20 Nov 2018, 6:43pm

mjr wrote:Sorry PH, you're not currently correct.

The mistake was mine, I didn't know that bit of nonsense had been sorted out. Thank you for the link.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby The utility cyclist » 20 Nov 2018, 7:23pm

So what we've deduced is ...
The police need to prioritise their manpower more effectively.
Acts of parliament/legalise are utterly out of date, inconsistent and unclear not to mention plain illogical/daft with respect to you pushing/pulling, carrying/levitating/adorning as jewellery, a cycle.
There was no victim
The penalty is out of proportion for the alleged breach of being a pedestrian holding a bike by your side.
Did I mention the police need to prioritise their manpower/focus?

Yup, only in the UK do you get this cluster @@@@ :twisted:

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horizon
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby horizon » 20 Nov 2018, 8:02pm

Redrhino wrote:I learnt a lesson. I should just be more respectful of the rules and take a few seconds to better comply.


I would have thought that that is the least obvious lesson to learn from this. If you really believe that, I suggest you wake up as life is going to throw you some hardballs.
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drossall
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby drossall » 20 Nov 2018, 9:50pm

thirdcrank wrote:A pedestrian may disobey traffic lights because doing so isn't prohibited. The driver of a vehicle or somebody propelling it cannot. I don't see any inconsistency there.

Neither do I. The inconsistency I see is if the law regards the same person as both a pedestrian and a driver at the same moment. This opens possibilities of walking a bike across some crossings, and committing an offence and no offence at the same time.

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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby brynpoeth » 20 Nov 2018, 9:53pm

drossall wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:A pedestrian may disobey traffic lights because doing so isn't prohibited. The driver of a vehicle or somebody propelling it cannot. I don't see any inconsistency there.

Neither do I. The inconsistency I see is if the law regards the same person as both a pedestrian and a driver at the same moment. This opens possibilities of walking a bike across some crossings, and committing an offence and no offence at the same time.

Both are true?
I do wish people would use 'can' and 'may' correctly
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby drossall » 20 Nov 2018, 10:03pm

Pastychomper wrote:
PH wrote:In a discussion with a local plod, he thought pushing a bike along the pavement would class me as a pedestrian, pushing it in a vehicle lane would class me as cycling. I have no idea if he was right, but it seems a reasonable explanation and the situation was that I'd got off and pushed because I believed the lights to be faulty.


That fits what I found when I looked up a similar question in a college library in the mid-nineties. The book I found (which was not directly quoting the law, so could have been wrong) said that whether a person with a bicycle counts as a "road user"* or pedestrian depends on whether they both are, not whether the person is sitting on the bike. Someone walking along a road with a bike was a road user, subject to traffic lights and other rules as if they were riding it. The same person with the same bike walking on a pavement or crossing a road via a zebra crossing was a pedestrian, not subject to traffic lights. Presumably, someone using a crossing with a bicycle could instantly lose (or gain) pedestrian status by simply turning a right angle.

It didn't cover the case of a person riding a bike on the pavement, but I took that to be prohibited under some other law.


*I'm sure of my recollection of the general principal, but less sure of the wording it used.

This makes sense, and relates somewhat to snibgo's link to an earlier discussion. I reckon it would be pretty unreasonable to get off and walk through a light (in the road), whether or not a policeman were there. However, if you're getting onto the pavement and, effectively, walking past the light, I can't really see how you can be wrong, even though, in practice, it's not something I care to do (unless the light entirely fails to notice me, and leaves me stuck there with no other traffic for minutes at a time).

That said, I think there's a hint in snibgo's link that the HC was a bit confused about the law in 1954. It's not unknown for the HC to get the law wrong. For example, printed editions have, for many years, said (just below the speed-limit table) that the 30mph limit (normally) applies to all traffic. This has never been true, because it doesn't apply to bikes. I notice that it's been corrected in this online edition, but not in what I believe to be the official online version. Multiple versions - confusing or what?
Last edited by drossall on 20 Nov 2018, 11:24pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby drossall » 20 Nov 2018, 10:22pm

The utility cyclist wrote:So what we've deduced is ...
The police need to prioritise their manpower more effectively.
Acts of parliament/legalise are utterly out of date, inconsistent and unclear not to mention plain illogical/daft with respect to you pushing/pulling, carrying/levitating/adorning as jewellery, a cycle.
There was no victim
The penalty is out of proportion for the alleged breach of being a pedestrian holding a bike by your side.
Did I mention the police need to prioritise their manpower/focus?

Yup, only in the UK do you get this cluster @@@@ :twisted:

I'm not sure that's fair. I don't think we can ask the police to ignore cycling offences entirely, just because it's cyclists. The debate here is over whether there was an offence in the first place.

And there will always be points of law that are unclear. Part of the role of the courts is to try to interpret the intentions of Parliament, or the delegated authority that made a regulation, in a particular case. I'm not sure we'd like a world in which laws were so detailed as to cover every instance. For one thing, it would be easier just to say, "A bike's a bike, ridden or pushed", than to try to define when it was and was not covered by traffic law.

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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Nov 2018, 10:35pm

drossall wrote: ... Neither do I. The inconsistency I see is if the law regards the same person as both a pedestrian and a driver at the same moment. This opens possibilities of walking a bike across some crossings, and committing an offence and no offence at the same time.


I'm not clear what you are saying. Unless something has changed, if a cyclist rides across a standard zebra crossing, they are not a pedestrian so they don't have the protection they would have as a pedestrian if they were walking. Either way, they are not committing an offence: it would be the approaching driver who failed to give way if the cyclist were to be walking. (I said standard zebra crossing because there are now some with an accompanying cycle lane. eg Bedford turbo roundabout.) If they don't conform with a traffic light, then that's likely to be an offence.

The point I am failing to make is that in itself, being a pedestrian isn't a magic formula; it's just that there are very few "traffic" offences directed at pedestrians. A road user may have more than one status, and the most restricted status in any circumstances is the one that applies. So a cyclist wheeling a bike's most restricted status is as the driver of a vehicle, even though they are a pedestrian. Somebody wheeling a motorbike is even more restricted as the driver of a mechanically propelled vehicle. If you don't believe me read the Road Traffic Act 1988. Count the number of offences which may be committed by pedestrians, cyclists, drivers of vehicles and drivers (and users) of mechanically propelled vehicles. Quite rightly, by far the greatest number of restrictions involve mechanically propelled vehicles.

The criminal law defines criminal offences and if somebody acts in a way which meets all the elements then on the face of it they commit the offence. This is such a fundamental feature of the criminal law, even though I'm using my own layman's lingo, I cannot think of a way to make it clearer.
PS AFAIK, the law in many European countries is codified in the way you seem to suggest. We don't have that and with Brexit, no likelihood of getting it.

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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby drossall » 20 Nov 2018, 11:15pm

thirdcrank wrote:I'm not clear what you are saying. Unless something has changed, if a cyclist rides across a standard zebra crossing, they are not a pedestrian so they don't have the protection they would have as a pedestrian if they were walking.

To be fair, rule 79 does not say "You MUST not...", so it's probably not an actual offence, but it's certainly a breach of the HC. So, if you're simultaneously a pedestrian and a cyclist when pushing a bike, you're at least simultaneously breaking the HC and not doing so.

The point I am failing to make is that in itself, being a pedestrian isn't a magic formula; it's just that there are very few "traffic" offences directed at pedestrians. A road user may have more than one status, and the most restricted status in any circumstances is the one that applies. So a cyclist wheeling a bike's most restricted status is as the driver of a vehicle, even though they are a pedestrian...

That's a clear explanation, and I think I'm closer to seeing where you're coming from. However, I don't really see the thing about having more than one status (at a given moment). Can you give some examples of that actually happening in practice and how it works out in law? If the most restrictive applies, which makes perfect sense, then in effect there is only one status, but a cyclist pushing a bike is a cyclist, and cannot walk along the pavement, which no-one here is seriously maintaining (even though they might have done before the middle of the last century). On the other hand, if multiple statuses actually apply, it seems to me (and, I think others here) that that has absurd consequences - the zebra above being a case in point.

So, because of all the stuff about leading or propelling animals and vehicles, much of which pre-dates bikes and so was not written with them in mind, a walking cyclist potentially has the status of either a cyclist or a pedestrian in law. Until more than 50 years ago, there was a general assumption that such a person was still a cyclist, and still subject to traffic law. Since then, it's been clarified a bit, and such a person is a pedestrian (see also Crank v Brooks).

Given that, it cannot be an offence to get off and push a bike along the pavement past a red traffic light. To push it in the road would, I think, be risky, foolish, and unduly provocative, and could attract the ire of a police officer irrespective of the law. It might even be the cause of your being a test case that might modify Crank v Brooks. But it does not seem to me that it would be a clear offence.

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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby mjr » 20 Nov 2018, 11:18pm

thirdcrank wrote:Unless something has changed, if a cyclist rides across a standard zebra crossing, they are not a pedestrian so they don't have the protection they would have as a pedestrian if they were walking.

Maybe not quite as protected, but does a cyclist on the carriageway not normally get precedence over whoever is trying to drive into they space they're occupying anyway?

Somebody wheeling a motorbike is even more restricted as the driver of a mechanically propelled vehicle.

Hang on! Is a pushed motorcycle mechanically propelled or driver propelled there?
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gaz
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby gaz » 20 Nov 2018, 11:21pm

drossall wrote:... a walking cyclist potentially has the status of either a cyclist or a pedestrian in law. ...

Schrödinger's cyclist/pedestrian, their status undetermined until observed by a police officer and brought before the courts for cross examination :wink: .

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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby drossall » 20 Nov 2018, 11:30pm

mjr wrote:Hang on! Is a pushed motorcycle mechanically propelled or driver propelled there?

Neither, if you look at the last section of Cyclecraft's page on this type of issue. A pushed motorcycle is not a vehicle either, at least by implication.

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horizon
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Re: London - on the spot fine

Postby horizon » 20 Nov 2018, 11:50pm

Before commenting further, I'm wondering if anyone could tell me what was achieved by this penalty notice.
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