Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

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thirdcrank
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Dec 2018, 10:06am

Joenz wrote:
meic wrote:My money is on the ruling given in the famous Zebra crossing case which established that a pedestrian pushing a bike is a pedestrian not a cyclist.

Sorry I know this is a very old post but I'm desperately trying to find the ruling information on the zebra crossing case you wrote about. Could someone provide a link for me? Thank you


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SA_SA_SA
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby SA_SA_SA » 17 Dec 2018, 12:33pm

kwackers wrote:.....The current definitions potentially don't even allow you to dismount and push a bike in a pedestrianised area or anywhere there are 'no cycling' signs.

Doesn't the actual law for no cycling signs contain a phrase a bit like 'except for a pedal cyclist pushing their machine'? ( I can;t find it yet....)

Ah the no vehicles at all sign (empty red circle) is described (in 'know your traffic signs') as 'No vehicles except pedal cycles being pushed by hand'whereas no cycling sign is described as 'riding of pedal cycles prohibited' (ie wheeling them is OK).
------------You may not use this post in Cycle or other magazine ------ 8)

drossall
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby drossall » 17 Dec 2018, 7:49pm

gaz wrote:We know that a bicycle is a vehicle, it has been defined as such in case law... The above pic is a highway sign.


A highway sign is not case law. And anyway, we said on one of the early pages that assumptions have changed since the 1950s. (Note: assumptions, not case law, because there isn't that much case law.)

thirdcrank
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Dec 2018, 8:38pm

drossall wrote: ... A highway sign is not case law. And anyway, we said on one of the early pages that assumptions have changed since the 1950s. (Note: assumptions, not case law, because there isn't that much case law.)


I think I understand your point about changes in assumptions - and if I have, parking on the footway is an example - but the rest is unintellible to me. I understand what is meant by both case law and traffic signs but not in this context.

drossall
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby drossall » 17 Dec 2018, 9:06pm

I don't think parking on the footway is an example, no. People do it even though it's not allowed (or, as I understand it, more strictly driving onto the footway in order to park is not allowed)*.

What I meant was that, until the 50s/60s, it was assumed that a cycle being pushed was a vehicle - hence we were taught to walk on the footway and push it in the gutter. I'm not sure that there was any case law, and I'm pretty sure that there wasn't much else either. Now, however, the general assumption, reflected in everyone's behaviour, is that this is not the case - hardly anyone objects to a cycle being pushed through a pedestrian area, unless it's exceptionally crowded or something, and then only because the bike is an obstruction and not because it's actually illegal for it to be there.

Not everyone agrees with this interpretation, which is one of the reasons that we are on page 11. However, as I see it, there are issues such as this for which there is no right answer. The law doesn't really consider the case of a cycle being pushed, and assumption is all that we have until someone ends up in court and creates case law. All the existing case law has been discussed to death in this thread.

* However, parking on the road is apparently an example of changed assumptions. Roads are, fundamentally, places for the free passage to and forth of the public and their goods, or words to that effect. Vehicles are secondary things that the public, under certain conditions, may use to achieve that passage. Parking a vehicle is not "free passage". So, in the days of horses and carts, I am given to understand, you jolly well didn't leave your cart (or your horse) obstructing everyone else's free passage. If you were "rich" enough to have a cart, you'd also be "rich" enough to have a yard or other off-road place to keep it. Only as motor cars proliferated did people start to obstruct the highway by leaving them there when they were not being used. After a few failed attempts to prosecute people for this, assumptions changed to the extent that we now have yellow lines to mark the minority of places where the old interpretation is actually enforced (or not, as the case may be). Pavement parking has not (quite) yet reached that stage.

thirdcrank
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Dec 2018, 10:29pm

One problem with this is that individual decided cases can be difficult to trace without the right information to start ie either the citation of the case - which implies you know anyway and are just looking for fine detail - or a comprehensive textbook such as Wilkinson's. The vast majority of cases never reach a wider audience. With parking, I can point - from memory - to a series of cases which changed things forever, but in retirement I don't have access to the sources to give it authenticity.

The floodgates on footway parking were opened with the case of the billposter who parked two wheels on the pavement so he didn't have to hump all his stuff from a place where he could park on the carriageway without obstructing it. In another case, it was decided that if there were no yellow lines, it was reasonable for a driver to assume that the authorities felt parking there was ok - otherwise they would have painted yellow lines. It always used to be assumed that the person "in charge" of a vehicle on the highway retained responsibility for it, pretty much as they would for a tethered horse. It was held that this was unrealistic. That meant that if a problem was caused eg by vehicles parked on opposite sides of the road, only the second to arrive could be prosecuted if the first was otherwise OK. It's unfortunately the case that the the typical brief summaries - usually like mine but in posher language - open quite specific decisions to a much wider interpretation, which is why I said "floodgates."

At the same time that this was happening, there was a collapse of enforcement anyway, which reinforced the change of attitudes. I cannot speak for other parts of the country but round here, just about everybody including the police thinks that footway parking is OK.

Of course, I've suggested more than once that the narrow point decided by LJ Waller - that somebody walking across a pedestrian crossing pushing a bike is a passenger of foot AKA a pedestrian - has also been the subject of suggestions that it goes wider. The fact that AFAIK, none of this has been tested on appeal means little. It's my impression that whenever there's been the possibility of a test case for any cycling-related matter mentioned on here, the CPS has dropped the case for whatever reason. It's hard to see that changing.

Civil cases are quite a different matter. Sooner or later, there may be a megabucks compo case involving a cyclist and traffic signs, although I hope I'm wrong.

MikeF
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby MikeF » 18 Dec 2018, 11:13pm

thirdcrank wrote: I cannot speak for other parts of the country but round here, just about everybody including the police thinks that footway parking is OK.
It's the same here, but not in London unless specifically allowed (two wheels only). Often then pedestrians have to then squeeze past.

However some of those who think the double yellow lines apply only to the carriageway ie if they park completely on the footway, have been "advised" otherwise. :wink:
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

andrew_s
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby andrew_s » 19 Dec 2018, 5:54pm

meic wrote:I have seen roads where there is a solid white line about two feet from the kerb which is NOT a cycle lane but many are driven to cycle into it.
There is one traffic light junction with a road joining from the right only, the white line for that traffic light does not go into that two foot "not a lane" on the left. I have often wondered if cyclists in that have a legal defence in ignoring the traffic light.

I think those white lines are "edge of carriageway" markings, and their main purpose is to try to keep HGVs away from the edge where they damage the road surface which is unsupported on the verge side.

drossall
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby drossall » 19 Dec 2018, 6:06pm

I've seen it said that, because that white line marks the edge of the carriageway, you're not (theoretically) allowed to drive/ride to the left of it. So, no, you can't use the "not a lane" to bypass a white line at a junction, because you're not allowed to be in the "not a lane" in the first place.

You can see why there's not that much case law on some of this stuff. The courts have better things to do...

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gaz
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby gaz » 19 Dec 2018, 7:30pm

meic wrote:I have seen roads where there is a solid white line about two feet from the kerb which is NOT a cycle lane but many are driven to cycle into it.
There is one traffic light junction with a road joining from the right only, the white line for that traffic light does not go into that two foot "not a lane" on the left. I have often wondered if cyclists in that have a legal defence in ignoring the traffic light.

Cycle lane traffic light bypass? :wink: (Since revised.)

thirdcrank
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Dec 2018, 7:41pm

One of the problems with white lines is that they can mean several different things: I'm not sure that any indicate a prohibition on cycling to the left of one. IIRC, One of the few advances in the last rewrite of the TSRGD was to make a mandatory cycle lane a mandatory traffic sign ie no longer needing a TRO.

FWIW, the absence of case law on a particular topic is no big deal: it means nothing more than nobody has ever taken a case to appeal with regard to the law and which was sufficiently significant for somebody to report it in the law books. That may mean that bits of the law are written without waggle room.

peetee
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby peetee » 21 Dec 2018, 10:20am

drossall wrote:I've seen it said that, because that white line marks the edge of the carriageway, you're not (theoretically) allowed to drive/ride to the left of it. So, no, you can't use the "not a lane" to bypass a white line at a junction, because you're not allowed to be in the "not a lane" in the first place.


The white line is, as you point out, the edge of the carriageway and is primarily used in locations where the edge of the road surface is unsupported by a kerb or other reinforced structure such as a bridge superstructure. IIRC, It should be positioned at a point where a 45 degree line dropped outwards through the road surface should remain within the constructed road material to its full depth. That ensures any traffic load is taken by the road material alone.
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MikeF
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby MikeF » 21 Dec 2018, 10:17pm

gaz wrote:
meic wrote:I have seen roads where there is a solid white line about two feet from the kerb which is NOT a cycle lane but many are driven to cycle into it.
There is one traffic light junction with a road joining from the right only, the white line for that traffic light does not go into that two foot "not a lane" on the left. I have often wondered if cyclists in that have a legal defence in ignoring the traffic light.

Cycle lane traffic light bypass? :wink: (Since revised.)
Bizarrely this now seems to have changed for the worse
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

thirdcrank
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Dec 2018, 10:29am

Re the white line marking the edge of the carriageway, I don't believe that is a mandatory traffic sign. On the contrary, I believe it's merely a warning that driving beyond it is a bad idea.

AFAIK, the main prohibition of driving off roads onto adjacent land is in s 34 Road Traffic Act 1988, which in broad terms allows parking on land within fifteen yards beyond the edge of the road.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/34

peetee
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby peetee » 22 Dec 2018, 11:32am

thirdcrank wrote:Re the white line marking the edge of the carriageway, I don't believe that is a mandatory traffic sign. On the contrary, I believe it's merely a warning that driving beyond it is a bad idea.


You reminded me that in my previous comment I meant to include that it is also there as a safety aid as many primary rural routes have variables width and in poor visibility the edge of the road surface can be indistinct.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.