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 » 18 Jan 2013, 8:54am

As Brucie sais near the start, we'll only know if a higher court makes a definitive ruling. Corkery v Carpenter went there through things escalating and in the current hunting season I can see a scenario: Cambridge, with that heady mix of Town v Gown, bicycles and the PCC and CC agreeing that "something must be done," might be the location. Out comes the ticket, "You can't do this to me" is the opening gambit, and after an official impersonation of the U boat skipper in dad's Army, the general arrest condition is invoked and in no time at all, the situation is being considered by the custody officer.

It seems to me that the eventual decision might be based on one of two approaches.

The first would be a strict interpretation of the legislation. The Highways Act has two ways an offence may be committed (1) riding (2) driving and the driving includes driving a carriage. When the legislators eventually turned the attention to the then new-fangled bicycle, rather than extend riding to include riding a bicycle, they extended the definition of a carriage to include the bicycle. (All the references and links are wwith my original post making this point.) Afaik, every decided case since then has gone along with the bicycle as a carriage rule. As I've also posted before, afaik, the standard recommended wording of traffic regulation orders includes and exemption for pedal cycles pushed by hand. That's only background material, of course, but it does show the way the official legal mind works.

The other approach might be to look at what's reasonable in the 21C. Staying with roads and footways, a succession of decided cases about the con and use offence of "causing an unnecessary obstruction" has rendered it almost useless against bad parking, even on a footway. Although this is quite modern legislation when compared with the Highways Act, 1835, in at least one of the cases I have in mind, the publshed report of the case referred to the need to interpret the legilation in the light of modern conditions. (Basically, if there are no yellow lines, a driver is entitled to assume that parking is OK.)

If everybody knew how the courts would decide cases, we wouldn't need them. Would a judge who looked at parking from a driver's POV, be able to wear a cyclist's hat (plastic or otherwise) over bikes on the pavement. Who knows? I'd prefer to discuss it from the safety of my keyboard - even subject to the menaces of my wife - rather than up before the beak.

ianr1950
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby ianr1950 » 18 Jan 2013, 10:05am

Did I say anything about not obeying speed limits, No I don't think so. I said that as a pedestrian but pushing my bike does not mean that I cannot pass the red light.

I did read your OP so are you saying that people pushing pushchairs, shopping trolleys, wheelbarrows have to stop.

[color=#00BFFF][color=#00FFFF][color=#00FFFF]To me, if I am driving my car in a 30mph zone, why should I feel the need to obey the speed limit? Simple answer is because if I don't and I get caught, I will be punished. I wish to avoid that scenario, so I try to obaey the prevailing regulations.

.

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

Postby gaz » 18 Jan 2013, 11:13am

snibgo wrote:And, to put thread to needle (if I may borrow or even steal the phrase), my contention on page two was that the 1954 HC authors regarded wheelers of bikes as propellers but not drivers, and hence they considered that we are not prohibited from wheeling our bikes on pavements.


I think that so far as wheeling a bike on the pavement that is as close to definitive as we may get, good find snibgo.

Looking in my later Highway Code I find subtle differences in the wording used for cycle riders and horse riders so far as the use of the footway is concerned.

To pedal cyclists
You must not
- wilfully ride on a footpath by the side of any road made or set apart for the use of foot passengers;


To horse riders
You must not
- wilfully ride, lead or drive your horse on a footpath by the side of any road made or set apart for the use of foot passengers.


The quoted supporting legislation is the same in both instances, Highways Act 1835 section 72, Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Act 1878 Schedule C and Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1892 Section 381, clause (10) for cycles, clause (13) for horses.

Conclusion: Leading your cycle on a footway is not prohibited under the quoted legislation*. This may further confuse the situation for the OP.

snibgo wrote:For practical purposes, the outcome of this discussion wouldn't change my behaviour even if someone proved conclusively that wheeling on pavements was prohibited, or that when doing so we must obey traffic lights. True, I do try to follow laws, but if nobody cares even about the existence of a law, I don't bother about it.

Amen.

*Other legislation may apply, particularly Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1892 Section 381, clause (13) which clearly prohibits both drawing and driving of carriages on Scottish footways as well as leading Tesco burger ingredients. May contain nuts. Your bike is at risk if you do not keep up repayments under your employer's push your bike to work on the footway scheme.
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kwackers
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby kwackers » 18 Jan 2013, 11:41am

So if there's a bicycles prohibited sign then presumably you could be prosecuted for pushing a bike? (Say in a town centre)
What about if they provide bicycle stands inside that area? Do you have to carry your bicycle to them? (Or are they just for ornamentation)

I think this thread just shows what a mess the law is in. I'd like to think it's just bicycles but I suspect this level of disarray applies to pretty much everything...

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661-Pete
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby 661-Pete » 18 Jan 2013, 1:06pm

I haven't read all the posts here :shock: - but there does seem to be some assumption that Law and 'commonsense' are uneasy bedfellows...
I hope that is not the case.
My guess is, pushing your bike in some prohibited areas may be technically illegal, but it's hardly likely to be enforced unless someone reports you. And that would only happen if - say - you behaved anti-socially in some other way e.g. being drunk and disorderly, or wilfully harassing another road user or pedestrian.
Anyway, I shall continue to wheel my bike past the NO CYCLING signs - e.g. to get to the Sheffield stands in the shopping precinct - without worrying too much about falling foul of the Law. Been doing it for over 30 years and no-one's complained yet...
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thirdcrank
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Jan 2013, 2:33pm

On the specific point of no cycling signs, afaik, the the only places you will find them are either on some sort of alleyway or ginnel where only a two wheeler could go. In those circumstances, the legislation will be under a local byelaw and what's prohibited should be clear from that. Afaik, if there's going to be a prosecution under a byelaw there has to be a copy available in court - although you might hope it would have been resolved before then. The other would be where a TRO had been made prohibiting cycling on a main road. In those circumstances, IME there's some sort of farcility available so anybody wanting to push rather than ride, might as well be on there anyway, but the wording of the TRO will be decisive. Although I've said above that the standard form of TRO's exempts pedal cyclists pushed by hand, it's hard to imagine that if they wanted no bikes being ridden there for some sort of safety / congestion reason, that they's feel any different about cycles being pushed, so I suspect that exemption would not be included in the TRO. Checking the wording is the only way to find out.

Back to the OP, let's break it down into separate bits.

A Can a cyclist lawfully pass a red light wheeling a bike? No - they are propelling it.

B Can drivers lawfully pass a red light by avoiding crossing the stop line, eg by using the footway? Doubtful.

C can we say A + B = somebody wheeling a bike on the pavement might be prosecuted for passing the red light? We are probably going into the realms of fantasy. I'd suggest that if situation B was in issue, either following a collision or complaints that it was happening frequently, the prosecution would be looking at the bad driving offences, eg due care, or driving without consideration if pedestrains had had to get out of the way. Nobody would add the complication of proving that the lights were at red, or any of the rest of the rigmarole for a traffic light prosecution. Looking at the equivalen bad cycling offences, they specifically refer to riding. So, while a mounted cyclist having pedestrians jumping out of the way would be liable to prosecution, somebody wheeling it wouldn't - or not under that legislation.

It seems to me that the Highways Act, driving carriages thing is a red herring for a reply to the OP, but that doesn't mean the offence won't be dealt with in other circumstances. I suspect that many people who complain to the police about pavement cycling get the nothing we can do about it / CPS are rubbish / the courts never support us line, or a variation. If the complaints get persistant, there may be some action. I suspect something like the SOAS episode was caused by some local policing team supervisor deciding that something had to be done. The planning was poor so that was an away win for the cyclists. It seems from a couple of links which have been posted on here, that some PCC's are on the case, recommending that chief constables should do something about it. We won't be the only people who have read about the SOAS case, and in any case, reviewing the relevant legislation is pretty basic when it comes to planning an enforcement operation and briefing the personnel. At that stage, it makes no difference what the QBD may make of it later. Although grump old gits like me, brought up under the no-wheeling-on-the-pavement school of thought, are a dying breed (I'm 68 and I retired in 1997) when numbers count rather than the gravity of the offence, it's the numbers that are counted. Under that scenario, the choices are pay up, write and complain - ultimately to the person who is keen to retain their job (two rows of oak leaves around the neb;) or go to court. If it gets as far as the QBD, your name will be enshrined for ever more in the name of a case. While I'd have had that honour if any of the cases I prosecuted as the "informant" had gone that way, I'd not want to have my name on thirdcrank v the CPS. Even if you get the right result in the end, it's a stressful road getting there.

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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby snibgo » 18 Jan 2013, 6:37pm

Talking of Cambridge: it was thronging with cyclists yesterday, despite the cold. It's the best way of getting about. I counted four RLJing cycists. Two blatently went through the lights at roadworks on Magdalene St, and the other two merely crossed a stop line, then stopped. I saw no pavement cycling.

However, at the junction of Hills Rd and Station Rd, I had stopped pedalling in preparation for the red light. I heard a revving sound behind me and a car roared past, straight through the red light. I think it was a taxi. He had plenty of time to stop, but chose not to.


kwackers wrote:So if there's a bicycles prohibited sign then presumably you could be prosecuted for pushing a bike?

What sign is that? Sign 951, black bike on white background in red circle, is "Riding of pedal cycles prohibited". (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002 ... ule/5/made)

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

Postby kwackers » 18 Jan 2013, 6:43pm

snibgo wrote:
kwackers wrote:So if there's a bicycles prohibited sign then presumably you could be prosecuted for pushing a bike?

What sign is that? Sign 951, black bike on white background in red circle, is "Riding of pedal cycles prohibited". (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002 ... ule/5/made)

That's the one I was thinking of, but looking on street view it seems the sign they've actually used is a plain red circle subtitled 'no vehicles allowed'.
I'm guessing the same point is true though...

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

Postby gaz » 18 Jan 2013, 7:04pm

Sign to diagram 617*.
Image
The plate says "no vehicles." The Highway Code gives it's meaning as "no vehicles except bicycles being pushed", which is wrong, any pedal cycle can be pushed regardless of number of wheels. :wink:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... ter-03.pdf

5.5 The sign to diagram 617 prohibits all vehicles including ridden pedal cycles and horse-drawn vehicles. Normally it is used either for play streets (where vehicles are admitted only for access) or for shopping streets closed to vehicles and where even ridden pedal cycles would be a hazard to pedestrians. The sign must always be used in combination with a supplementary plate to either diagram 618 or 618.1. The signs are used where the prohibition applies to the whole of the road in both directions; they should not be used to indicate one-way or tidal-flow traffic systems. The majority of vehicle-free shopping streets are likely to be pedestrian zones, where a sign to diagram 618.2, 618.3 or 618.3A should be used in place of diagram 617 (see section 11).


Edit: *Crown Copyright
Last edited by gaz on 20 Nov 2018, 6:54pm, edited 2 times in total.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Jan 2013, 7:05pm

It's occurred to me that the OP might easily have formed the basis of a question in the old-style police promotion examinations. You are on duty in uniform when you witness a ..... Ther followed a contrived scenario, intended to test some often obscure section of the law. Three papers, each of 2½ hours duration. Crime then traffic in the morning, general police duties in the afternoon. "You may look at your papers..." was often followed by a groan, and after the compulsory wait (20 minutes?) some were already leaving. The inevitable post mortems after each paper led to more groans and the attendance in the afternoon was substantially smaller than at the start of the day. General police duties = betting, gaming and lotteries; liquor licensing; crashed aircraft; epizootic lypmphangitis, glanders and farcy etc; poaching; street collections; house to house collections; stray animals and anything else that wasn't crime or traffic.

I used to have a good memory in those days, so this type of thing was no problem for me, although a pass proved little more than having a good memory and being able to spot what the question was getting at - not always easy. The opposite perspective - that all you need is common sense - tended to be popular among those who struggled with this type of thing. The strange thing is that there were some - according to the published analysis of answers after the event - who thought that a "common sense" answer would get marks in exams which were so obviously written so that somebody with a marking chart could tick off the points.

The real answer, of course, is that you need a good working knowledge of the law AND common sense to be effective.

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Mick F
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby Mick F » 19 Jan 2013, 9:40am

Screen shot 2013-01-19 at 09.36.18.png
If the LH sign means that you must not ride a cycle but you can push it, what about the RH sign?
Can you PUSH the bus? :D




(Busses come in smaller sizes, and it is possible to push one)
Mick F. Cornwall

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

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Jan 2013, 9:57am

As I keep saying, the exact meaning of these signs is goverened by the relevant TRO or byelaw.

I had a bit of a fruitless search on the internet last night to see if I could find any actual "no cycling" byelaws. I was reminded, however, that under the most recent legislation, the newly resurgent parish councils can make byelaws and enforce them with fixed penalties. Plenty of scope for fun.

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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby sammy-the-sam » 19 Jan 2013, 11:12pm

throwing my tu`pen`orth into the ring:
There are a number of clips on Silly Cyclist which shows bikers pushing thier machines through red lights, with the comment that if they walk from red-light to red-light they havent broken the law, this may apply to cyclists too.

sorry cant find a specific clip..please please dont make me go through them all..

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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby [XAP]Bob » 19 Jan 2013, 11:50pm

sammy-the-sam wrote:throwing my tu`pen`orth into the ring:
There are a number of clips on Silly Cyclist which shows bikers pushing thier machines through red lights, with the comment that if they walk from red-light to red-light they havent broken the law, this may apply to cyclists too.

sorry cant find a specific clip..please please dont make me go through them all..


You must watch all of youtube to find it ;)

IIRC they get more than a years worth of video added each day, so it might take a while...
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snibgo
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby snibgo » 20 Jan 2013, 12:47am

Mick F wrote:Can you PUSH the bus?

Similar questions come up on motoring forums, and the opinion is usually that a pushed motor vehicle is still being driven, by the person doing the steering. So the person steering the bus would commit an offence when the bus passes the "buses prohibited" sign.

However, a car towed on a trailer with front wheels up isn't being driven. So you might get a load of people to pull a trailer that holds the front wheels up. Nobody is driving anything, so you can pull it past all the "buses prohibited" signs you like.

I need hardly add that second-hand opinion gathered from anonymous forums is worth what you pay for it.