Ran a Red Light > I'll be hearing from the courts!

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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CJV
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Post by CJV »

I have read these posts with interest having nearly found myself in a similar position on the way to work this morning. I turned right off a main road to enter a park which has a cycle lane running through it. A policeman was standing there and took me to task for "cycling on the pavement". Admittedly, between the road and the entrance to the park where the cycle path starts, one has to cross a pavement. But that entrance is used by park keepers' vehicles, tractors etc that have business in the park so I'm not even sure it really is a case of crossing the pavement. This copper said he'd been there since 6.00 am "trying to stop cyclists from knocking over children." I thought he was being over the top and said I thought he was wrong in this case but backed off when he said he could give me a ticket and we could see who is right in court. My feeling was that the police are feeling inclined to pander to the public clamour against "lycra louts" and I risked being made an example of. (I don't wear lycra).
dan_b
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Post by dan_b »

A bit of googlage comes up with "It is against the law for a vehicle to cross a footway other than via a properly constructed crossing", so I suppose it would turn on whether there was a dropped kerb.

If there are parks vehicles &c crossing in the same place it sounds like there was.
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Mick F
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Post by Mick F »

Apart from the rights and wrongs of your situation, CJV, I applaud the effort of your policeman.

Why, when it is completely illegal, can people cycle on pavements, over zebra crossings, and through pedestrian precincts right under the very noses of the general public AND policemen, NOBODY bats an eyelid!!! And it's not just kids!

The sooner this is clamped down on, the better for all concerned. More cyclists on the roads will make it more safe for cyclists generally.
Mick F. Cornwall
kwackers
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Post by kwackers »

Mick F wrote:Apart from the rights and wrongs of your situation, CJV, I applaud the effort of your policeman.

Why, when it is completely illegal, can people cycle on pavements, over zebra crossings, and through pedestrian precincts right under the very noses of the general public AND policemen, NOBODY bats an eyelid!!! And it's not just kids!

The sooner this is clamped down on, the better for all concerned. More cyclists on the roads will make it more safe for cyclists generally.


At what point should someone be clamped down on in your opinion?

A 12 year old, 15, 18? Elderly, infirm, partially sighted? People cycling with dogs on leads(!) ?

What about a 40 year old trying out cycling for the first time since they were a kid? Should they be forced to wobble along at less than walking pace on the road?

It's easy to be confident on the roads when you've been on them most of your life, are male and comparatively young...

Whilst I (as a rule) don't think cyclists should be on pavements I think you've got to be careful where this goes.
Cyclists have used pavements forever with virtually no ill effects, having had grief from J.Public on a shared use path it seems to me that the current witch hunt is the thing that's doing us no favours. However I also think the very same witch hunt is a backlash as we become more mainstream so it's not all bad.
ianr1950
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Post by ianr1950 »

He must have been really busy if he had been there since 6.00 am trying to stop cyclists from knocking over children.

I mean,how many children do you get in that park at 6.00 am. :roll:

yet again, it seems to me that it was the easy option for him and it would justify him being there at that time.

Before anybody suggests otherwise, I am not in agreement with cycling on the pavement but in this case it just seems an over the top action by the PC.
CJV
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Post by CJV »

I'm not in agreement with cycling on the pavement either, or abusing drivers goodwill by using zebra crossings, or running red lights etc. etc...

This was a case of cycling on the pavement in the same sense that parking your car in your front drive would constitute driving on the pavement - ie. you have to cross the pavement to get from the road to the driveway. There is a dropped curb there so I don't even think the PC was right about the law in the first place. But, as I said, I didn't have the inclination to have it out with the police in court over it. Life's too short. If he's there again tomorrow I'll ask about the dropped curb
fatboy
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Post by fatboy »

I think that this points to how silly some of these cycle lanes are. There is one like this in my town and the entrance is as you describe. There probably is a grey area but I usually treat it with caution but if there was an unsymapathetic PC there I'd enter into discussion with him no doubt.

If he is there tomorrow make sure you dismount. Why don't you ask him how you are supposed to approach it?
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly
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Mick F
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Post by Mick F »

kwackers wrote:
Mick F wrote:Apart from the rights and wrongs of your situation, CJV, I applaud the effort of your policeman.

Why, when it is completely illegal, can people cycle on pavements, over zebra crossings, and through pedestrian precincts right under the very noses of the general public AND policemen, NOBODY bats an eyelid!!! And it's not just kids!

The sooner this is clamped down on, the better for all concerned. More cyclists on the roads will make it more safe for cyclists generally.


At what point should someone be clamped down on in your opinion?

A 12 year old, 15, 18? Elderly, infirm, partially sighted? People cycling with dogs on leads(!) ?

What about a 40 year old trying out cycling for the first time since they were a kid? Should they be forced to wobble along at less than walking pace on the road?

It's easy to be confident on the roads when you've been on them most of your life, are male and comparatively young...


I feel chastised!
I think that all cycling should be done off the pavements. Use the roads, that's what they're there for.

My opinion, for what it's worth.

Infirm, elderly, inexperienced? Find somewhere legal to ride.

I use to ride on the pavement as a kid on a three-wheeler - so called pavement bikes. I'm not against little kids on pavements. But bigger bikes should be on the road, or a cycle-way dedicated to cycles.

Anyway, this is off topic.

I was making the point that there was a policeman trying to uphold the law. I applaud him for doing so. Whether the situation of the above post was handled correctly by the copper, I don't know, but at least he was stopping pavement riders. That's tons more than most police I've seen.
Mick F. Cornwall
thirdcrank
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Post by thirdcrank »

It has long ago been decided by case law (and I cannot now remember the name of the case) that s 59 of the Highways Act 1835 (and my memory may even be failing on that) which prohibits driving a carriage on a footway, prohibits only driving along i.e. using the footway as an alternative to the carriageway.

Driving across the footway or onto it to park etc are not prohibited. If anybody were to be prosecuted for driving or cycling on the footway it would have to be under some other legislation.

I've explained on here before, this is one of the reasons why footway parking is so difficult to deal with.

It is inevitable, from the way that so-called community policing is developing, that local groups are going to raise issues like this and some police officers, perhaps more likely police community support officers who receive a lot less training in the law, are going to oblige. Nobody ever knows any better until somebody who knows their rights pipes up 'Try and make me.'

Incidentally, the HIghways Act prohibition only applies to footways - i.e. the bit at the side of the carriageway reserved for pedestrians, and not to footpaths, which are rights of way on foot only, across land.
CJV
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Post by CJV »

Just to update - I had hoped this morning to be able to share my thoughts on whether crossing the pavement at a dropped kerb is against the law with the PC guarding the entrance to the park . Unfortunately he wasn't there so it must have been a one day clampdown.

Anyway, as he wasn't there I crossed the pavement into the park without dismounting again in a split second of crazy, anti establishment abandon. In doing so I may or may not have broken the law depending on interpretation of the Highways Act 1835. Thats right folks, I live my life pretty damn fast!
sesme
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Post by sesme »

Hi guys. Nothing has arrived in the post yet, but I have reaslied that I have no idea of what I've been charged with. Does the policeman have to state exactly what i'm charged with at the time of the incident, or does he just take some evidence, and then the CPS decide? He mentioned £1000 maximum fine, but didn't mention the charge of careless cycling. Is he supposed to give me some kind of paper ticket? I recevied nothing. I remember asking him what law I had broken and he mentioned something like 'moving vehicle traffic offence', which is why I asked about getting points on my driving licence (to which he replied "that's up to the courts to decide"). I looked this up on the net but it seems it only applies to motor vehicles. I'm pretty confused now, this doesn't really add up. Maybe he is just trying to scare me? How can I find out what he actually charged me with? Ring the police station?
thirdcrank
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Post by thirdcrank »

sesme

If we assume that everything has gone normally, you have been reported for summons. This means that the police officer will prepare a written report which will largely consist of his statement of evidence: what he saw and what you said to him when interviewed.

This will go though the normal supervisory checking process to ensure that the report is acceptable. The actual flow chart varies from force to force. Once upon a time the final say so was with the local commander, usually a superintendent who would mark the report summons/ caution /NFA or whatever. The eventual decision whether or not to issue a summons now lies with the CPS. They have published criteria on which they base their decision, basically there must be a reasonable likelihood of conviction (not apparently in doubt here) and a prosecution must be in the public interest. That's open to wide interpretation but if it does get as far as the CPS I don't think they will have much soul searching here.

So, in answer to your questions, there is nothing you can do except wait. It's always possible in a big organisation for a report to fall through a crack in the floorboards but it's extremely rare. More likely that things are just grinding slow and fine.

I think the big issue is, as others have pointed out, why a ticket was not issued. Once upon a time, a summons instead of a ticket mainly happened if somebody got a parking ticket on a car and ignored it. When fixed penalties were extended to speeding, it was summons above a certain speed, ticket below it, but the alleged offender always had the right to insist on a court hearing.

I've no experience of the extension of fixed penalties to things like this but I'll assume there must be guidelines. One may well be 'refused to accept a fixed penalty' and I could imagine 'flagrant breach' being another.

As I said before, if you do get anything through the post read it carefully and if you are unsure, get advice: solicitor, Citizens Advice, or come back on here. If it gets as far as a summons, the way you word any mitigation over the decision to prosecute needs to be done with some care.
sesme
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Post by sesme »

Ok guys, 11 weeks have passed, and I haven't heard anything yet. Maybe I'll get away with this?

The sad thing is, this whole event really put me off cycling to work and I've pretty much used my motorbike everyday since instead :(
Kirst
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Post by Kirst »

Being charged for breaking the law has put you off riding your bike? Are you breaking the law on your motorbike? What will you do if they catch you jumping red lights on your motorbike?

I have read these posts with interest having nearly found myself in a similar position on the way to work this morning. I turned right off a main road to enter a park which has a cycle lane running through it.


My commute involves leaving a road to get to a shared use off-road cycle path and footpath. I could pull in to the side of the road, dismount, walk 10 yards to the start of the shared path, remount and carry on, but generally I tend to nip up onto the pavement and cycle to the shared path. If there are pedestrians around, I'll either go very slowly or dismount if they're spread right across the pavement. I know I probably shouldn't, but I think it's not unreasonable. I've never had any hassle from pedestrians about it apart from last week when one called me a fecking rsole. Or words to that effect.
I can handle bars and cycle paths but I can't handle cars and psychopaths

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glueman
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Post by glueman »

sesme wrote:Ok guys, 11 weeks have passed, and I haven't heard anything yet. Maybe I'll get away with this?

The sad thing is, this whole event really put me off cycling to work and I've pretty much used my motorbike everyday since instead :(

The law does indeed move in mysterious ways. Some years ago I was witness to an RTA, a double fatality as it happens and phoned the police immediately as I had a bird's eye (and traumatic) view of proceedings as they unfolded.
After a few weeks two coppers turned up at the house, I made a statement in as objective terms as I could muster, asked the policeman if I'd be called to court, he said almost certainly and I spent the following months in a state of some anxiety at having to put my two'pennoth before a jury, be cross-examined at what I saw and contribute to sending someone down for a very long time.

One day I picked up a paper and saw the whole case was over, the driver got his comeupance as he should, my evidence was just a contributing statement among many and maintaining some rather vivid flashbacks so I could recall them unalloyed in court completely unwarranted. Nobody had bothered to tell me meantimes.
Doing 'the right thing' comes at a price too.
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