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 » 20 Jan 2013, 8:35am

In the context of traffic lights, pushing anything on wheels would be propelling it so I can't see a bus would change things.

If anybody is looking for a way of disobeying traffic lights, perhaps the way to do it would be find a set on a hill, then release a vehicle eg a stagecoach whose horses have gone to be burgers, and allow it to coast through, timing the release to ensure the lights were at red at the critical moment. Nobody would be driving or propelling it, and the con and use regs only apply to motor vehicles.

I don't remember any promotion exam traffic paper questions beginning "You are on duty in uniform when some idiot with a stagecoach...." but you never know.

On reflection, I think it's more the sort of thing that might come up in the crime paper if they wanted an answer based on the meaning of "reckless." :mrgreen:

PS It might even have been slotted into general police duties to test powers to detain somebody under mental health legislation.

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

Postby gaz » 20 Jan 2013, 4:12pm

thirdcrank wrote:...I had a bit of a fruitless search on the internet last night to see if I could find any actual "no cycling" byelaws...


Search no more :wink: .London Borough of Bromley, bye-laws for pleasure grounds, no cycling is covered under 7(ii).
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thirdcrank
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Jan 2013, 5:28pm

gaz

Thanks for taking the trouble to read what I said then doing the googling. I see that Leeds isn't the only place where they are worried somebody will let their herds graze in the park.

What I'd been trying to find was a byelaw banning cycling in a ginnel or similar, withou having to trail down to the Civic Hall. I homed in on what has become a rather nymby sort of village which became part of Leeds in the local govt reorganisation where I knew - or thought I knew there was the sign. No byelaw on the Leeds City Council site (which only seems to have the main ones eg the parks and recreations grounds) but I did find the minutes of the relevant parsih council where the clerk had told them they were now empowered to create byelaws enforced by fixed penalties. I've just looked at streetview and the sign has gone, along with the ginnel where it used to be. I see a building development has gone through in spite of local / or nimby opposition depending on POV, so the place isn't quite as exclusve as it used to be.

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

Postby EnquiringMind » 21 Jan 2013, 12:22am

I skimmed this whole topic just now, as I regularly walk across signalled junctions on my commute (sometimes two or three times on a single journey) against red lights.

It's never caused me any loss of sleep, as it's hard to see who is disadvantaged (and often there is a big advantage for all concerned, in that thirty or so straight-ahead vehicles at my back won't be held up when the lights change and solitary me is sitting in the middle of the lane with my right arm out - I just hop off and walk to the right instead).

It seems clear that, for instance, the 'effect' of a red light extends across the whole highway and can't be avoided just by going around the white line (which is fair enough, esp. if you think of cars doing so). However it gets pretty bizarre when you think it through.

For instance, cyclists are officially advised that they might like to dismount to effect a right turn, that they can ride across a pelican crossing alongside pedestrians and even that (via Crank v. Brooks) they 'count as' a pedestrian providing they start on one pavement and end on the other. However, a cyclist who wants to turn right onto a cycle facility at a pelican crossing would be breaking the law if they take advantage of the crossing being red to dismount and walk across; they'd have to dismount in front of traffic and wait for the light to go green, or dismount, walk to the left pavement (potentially from the right hand side of the lane, if they moved over in preparation for the turn), jump onto it, and immediately hop off and cross to the desired side.

It also seems childishly easy to deconstruct to absurdities. The operative bit of law seems to be in the word 'propel' (which includes carrying, since the definition of carry includes "To give impetus to; propel") so, for instance, while nobody could argue that carrying a solitary wheel was to propel a bike, a folded Brompton in a carry bag certainly is a bicycle, so technically it's an offence to pass red lights with your folded bike (or an ordinary bike in a travel case or bag).

I'm hardly going to change my behaviour (especially as some of the laws behind this predate both motor cars and bicycles) but wouldn't it be wonderfully simple if the government just defined anyone who was not actually being carried along by / riding a bike as a straightforward pedestrian?

They did that thing about extraneous laws quite recently too :roll:

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

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Jan 2013, 6:38am

FWIW I wouldn't think of propelling in this context as including carrying, but if a case goes to appeal they won't come asking me. :mrgreen: OTOH, I could see how throwing a bike past a red light could be seen as propelling. Two further areas of debate for anybody who is that way inclined.

Since none of the relevant legislation refers to pedestrians, I'm not sure that defining dismounted cyclists as pedestrians - which they obviously are anyway - makes any difference.

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

Postby drossall » 21 Jan 2013, 7:41am

EnquiringMind wrote:It's never caused me any loss of sleep, as it's hard to see who is disadvantaged...

The only problem with that approach is that it's also used to justify ignoring speeding laws.

Whilst the law is unclear in this case, cyclists are generally better off if everyone is obeying the law, as opposed to doing what seems best in his own judgement.

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

Postby Ayesha » 21 Jan 2013, 8:33am

As a FWIW, My son and I cycled to our local shopping centre, which is a pedestrian precinct. When we arrived, a PCSO reminded us it was 'No cycling', so you should push your bikes.
We dismounted and pushed our bikes, which was acceptable.
Now logic says, a person pushing a bicycle along a pedestrian precinct is acceptable to a law enforcement officer, therefore the person is a pedestrian pushing a bicycle.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby [XAP]Bob » 21 Jan 2013, 8:41am

But the pcso wasn't wearing a wig and dress...
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Geriatrix
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby Geriatrix » 21 Jan 2013, 8:45am

EnquiringMind wrote:I skimmed this whole topic just now, as I regularly walk across signalled junctions on my commute (sometimes two or three times on a single journey) against red lights.

I resorted to doing this a few months ago at a set of temporary lights which had changed the junction from a 2 phase intersection to a 3 phase. The new timing could add up to 5 minute onto the journey and with a bike/train commute made the difference between a just in time train and a 30 minute wait (leaving earlier wasn't an option & leaving later meant more traffic).
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby Geriatrix » 21 Jan 2013, 8:58am

drossall wrote:
EnquiringMind wrote:It's never caused me any loss of sleep, as it's hard to see who is disadvantaged...

The only problem with that approach is that it's also used to justify ignoring speeding laws.

Whilst the law is unclear in this case, cyclists are generally better off if everyone is obeying the law, as opposed to doing what seems best in his own judgement.

In principal yes. I have 2 objections to RLJ'ing:
1. It puts pedestrians at risk.
2. It gives all cyclists a bad name.

I may be wrong but I don't think that pushing your bike across a red intersection is viewed by the public in the same light as cycling across a red light. It also doesn't put pedestrians at risk and lets face it, this is all about safety and perception.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby Ayesha » 21 Jan 2013, 10:26am

Why not just wait?

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

Postby Geriatrix » 21 Jan 2013, 10:29am

Ayesha wrote:Why not just wait?

Read my response to EnquiringMind.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby Ayesha » 21 Jan 2013, 11:36am

Geriatrix wrote:
Ayesha wrote:Why not just wait?

Read my response to EnquiringMind.


Yes.

I had a morning train trip once and the council installed some temporary traffic lights around a road workings. This effectively could increase my journey time by 3 minutes if I got an unfortunate change in traffic signal colour.
My solution to this was,,,, leave home 3 minutes earier.

If I met the traffic lights on green and cycled through, I would be earier at the railway station with reduced anxiety over maybe missing my train.

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

Postby Geriatrix » 21 Jan 2013, 11:46am

Ayesha wrote:Yes.

I had a morning train trip once and the council installed some temporary traffic lights around a road workings. This effectively could increase my journey time by 3 minutes if I got an unfortunate change in traffic signal colour.
My solution to this was,,,, leave home 3 minutes earier.

If I met the traffic lights on green and cycled through, I would be earier at the railway station with reduced anxiety over maybe missing my train.

That's an option if you can leave earlier. As I said in my post, leaving earlier wasn't an option. This was an afternoon commute and my leaving time is constrained by office rules.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby Ayesha » 21 Jan 2013, 12:04pm

Geriatrix wrote:
Ayesha wrote:Yes.

I had a morning train trip once and the council installed some temporary traffic lights around a road workings. This effectively could increase my journey time by 3 minutes if I got an unfortunate change in traffic signal colour.
My solution to this was,,,, leave home 3 minutes earier.

If I met the traffic lights on green and cycled through, I would be earier at the railway station with reduced anxiety over maybe missing my train.

That's an option if you can leave earlier. As I said in my post, leaving earlier wasn't an option. This was an afternoon commute and my leaving time is constrained by office rules.


Yes.

My return commute was to Coventry Stn in afternoon traffic. I could take the opportunity to use the time as a sprint training session, or relax and catch the next train. I chose to relax and catch the next train, reducing anxiety.

After all, cycle commuting is supposed to alieviate anxiety caused by traffic.