Dogs off lead on shared use path

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rob_wales
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Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby rob_wales » 14 Jul 2019, 6:03pm

Cycling this morning near my house. An off-road purpose built shared use path of tarmac and grit. Approaching a visitor centre I slowed down as I know there are often distracted people about. Went to make a left turn at about 8mph to leave the path and skirt around the centre when I saw a group of four dogs off-lead with the owner behind with a further dog on a lead. The dogs were excited and frisky but stayed together. So I slowed even more, applying the brakes. As I did so one of the dogs darted across my path and I had to do an emergency stop. I was almost at a stop when I made contact with the still moving dog. Caught it on the rear quarter and it gave out a great yelp and ran off. I started to fall having lost my balance and nearly came off.

The owner immediately started screaming at me and these are some of the things she said

"Didn't you see my dog, what if it had been a child?"

"you shouldn't be wearing sunglasses"

"This is not a cycle path" (It is and there are lots of signs for bikes and pedestrians)

The woman just ranted and ranted then marched off.

Had I killed the dog, who would have been to blame in law?

Had I been injured, as I nearly was, what redress would I have had?

It was impossible to talk to her as she just ranted, so I kept quiet. As far as I know there are no by-laws that require a lead on the path, but there might be. Assume there isn't.

I am always extremely careful when kids and dogs, and horses are on a path/road, and I am very safety conscious. I'm 66 years old.

mattsccm
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby mattsccm » 14 Jul 2019, 7:16pm

I get the same on a daily basis on my commute. I treat shared use paths as a place to move slowly, often walking pace near walkers. Seems reasonable to me. Dogs don't tend to be a problem until the owners call them to heel where upon the dog stops mooching in the bushes and stands confused in the middle of the track. I prefer dogs off the lead in most cases.
Like you, I suspect, I find that away from the honey pots the walkers thin out.
In the same way that cyclists like some concessions from faster movers on the roads I feel that walkers like that on shared use paths. As in any place, the faster over slows and gives way.
Should you maim a hound I suspect it would be a civil legal case in which case it would be your insurance company/legal advisers against theirs.

skyhawk
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby skyhawk » 14 Jul 2019, 7:25pm

I started a topic on THIS last month did you read my post.

My complaint is about morons with dogs on those long leads, which suddenly extend to 30'

I LOVE dogs but I am VERY cautious, sometimes scared (Autism), I have had a rescue dog, we now have three rescue cats and I prefer animals to humans, it is the moron human to blame not the dogs

What really annoys me is the attitude they have, you have to love their dog, tolerate it jumping up at you, and running round you, I do say go on, to dogs and often get a mouthful from the owner

I remember all three of my autistic sons and I went on a cycle path in a dedicated cycling woods when they were 10 and 11, run by the national trust, NO DOGS were allowed on the routes and yet a cyclist on a mountain bike had his dog running with him getting in other peoples way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my son almost came off

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brynpoeth
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby brynpoeth » 14 Jul 2019, 7:33pm

Cycling with a dog on or off a lead is not to be recommended under any circumstances
I much prefer dogs to cats although I have never kept either
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rob_wales
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby rob_wales » 14 Jul 2019, 8:06pm

skyhawk wrote:... and I prefer animals to humans, it is the moron human to blame not the dogs

I am with you there 100%. Humans are destroying the planet, and have been for a very long time.

yes, I did read your post from last month earlier. The stickybottle thing is interesting case.

Stradageek
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby Stradageek » 14 Jul 2019, 9:26pm

Please don't get upset by fractious dog owners, there are nutters among dog owners as there are within the whole population.

I am careful to avoid confrontations but some seem unavoidable.

1) I complained to a dog owner whose dog kept leaping up at me and was told that "if I didn't like dogs I shouldn't walk on beaches", ironically on a beach that bans dogs for most of the year

2) On a fast dual use cycle path (a one-in-six hill section) I was confronted by a man who made sure that he and his dogs were completely blocking the path at the bottom of the hill (i.e. he was standing in the middle of the path and moving to block me with legs akimbo, arms folded) yelling "slow down SLOW DOWN, you're too fast" despite the fact I was down to walking pace.

Most dog owners are much more chatty, helpful and friendly - though I still think that dogs are generally a complete waste of space.

I'd welcome others knowledge, but I believe that controlling a dogs is the owners legal responsibility. If it runs in front of you and you hit it, it is the owners fault, not yours. However, as we've seen with the latest 'woman on phone hit by cyclist' incident, I'm sure an expensive enough lawyer could overturn this precedent on a technicality.

In the pseudo-american litigious society we seem to be morphing into, such risks will always exist whatever activity you are engaging in. Best just continue to act reasonably and forget about them, life is too short and sunny cycling days too scarce. :D

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rob_wales
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby rob_wales » 14 Jul 2019, 9:38pm

Stradageek wrote:Please don't get upset by fractious dog owners, there are nutters among dog owners as there are within the whole population.

I am careful to avoid confrontations but some seem unavoidable.

1) I complained to a dog owner whose dog kept leaping up at me and was told that "if I didn't like dogs I shouldn't walk on beaches", ironically on a beach that bans dogs for most of the year

2) On a fast dual use cycle path (a one-in-six hill section) I was confronted by a man who made sure that he and his dogs were completely blocking the path at the bottom of the hill (i.e. he was standing in the middle of the path and moving to block me with legs akimbo, arms folded) yelling "slow down SLOW DOWN, you're too fast" despite the fact I was down to walking pace.

Most dog owners are much more chatty, helpful and friendly - though I still think that dogs are generally a complete waste of space.

I'd welcome others knowledge, but I believe that controlling a dogs is the owners legal responsibility. If it runs in front of you and you hit it, it is the owners fault, not yours. However, as we've seen with the latest 'woman on phone hit by cyclist' incident, I'm sure an expensive enough lawyer could overturn this precedent on a technicality.

In the pseudo-american litigious society we seem to be morphing into, such risks will always exist whatever activity you are engaging in. Best just continue to act reasonably and forget about them, life is too short and sunny cycling days too scarce. :D


There is good advice there, and I agree with most of it. Most dog owners, as you say, are very good, because they know that their dog could cause an accident, and obviously they don't want their dog hurt.

Some of these mixed use paths are getting very busy, especially at weekends. My main point is that I think it completely unreasonable for a dog-owner to have four dogs, all off-lead on a busy mixed-use path where there are cyclists, mobility scooters, young children, and distracted adults. Is there anyone here who thinks that would be a reasonable action? Is there any way that it could be explained and even justified? I'm willing to listen. Any dog-owners like to make a comment?

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gaz
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby gaz » 14 Jul 2019, 9:51pm

Highway Code
56
Dogs. Do not let a dog out on the road on its own. Keep it on a short lead when walking on the pavement, road or path shared with cyclists or horse riders.

Advisory. Mankind has had a close relationship with dogs much longer than it has with bicycles, which may explain why mentioning the HC advice is unhelpful in situations such as the OP faced.

Any court judgement or out of court insurance settlement will be determined by the facts of the individual case.
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 Jul 2019, 10:00pm

Hi,
I would say that impossible to control more than two dogs off lead, even two well behaved is a task.
I would Not say that Most dog owners are OK, any more than road power driven drivers act in general to any other road user.
Certainly as a dog owner I have seen these most dog owners, not mostly clean up their dogs mess, I would say 85 % do not clean up, judging by the very few I see actually carrying bags of poo to the bin and deposits on the ground.
As soon as you arrive the dog does its business, you then walk back to the bin at entrance to area or carry the bags, me and partner would carry several bags from our two dogs often the whole length of walk / beach to arrive at bin, I never hardly ever saw other dog walkers doing this, it just what the media say, like most car drivers are good..................just count the number who indicate at roundabouts in your group of cars when you are out / on bike?

I bite my tongue a lot.....................some time its less stressful.......................but any irresponsible behaviour to others always changes there mood, more often in a damaging way, that is not on.
Not always easy to let it waft over you, irresponsible people can more easily do that, how can you change that.
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rob_wales
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby rob_wales » 14 Jul 2019, 10:01pm

gaz wrote:Any court judgement or out of court insurance settlement will be determined by the facts of the individual case.

I agree, but the only facts that I could see were that she had four dogs off the lead, and there were witnesses to that effect. She might have claimed I was going too fast, but I wasn't and she could not have proved that I was if she claimed that.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 15 Jul 2019, 12:37am

Hi,
rob_wales wrote:
gaz wrote:Any court judgement or out of court insurance settlement will be determined by the facts of the individual case.

I agree, but the only facts that I could see were that she had four dogs off the lead, and there were witnesses to that effect. She might have claimed I was going too fast, but I wasn't and she could not have proved that I was if she claimed that.


Too fast........that's what they all say, but prove that without evidence.
So cyclist ride too fast.
But peds don't see you coming :? and just stand in the way, why, because they can without being guilty of anything that they could be convicted of.
Maybe blocking a public right of way?
Maybe dogs not under control in a public place?

Just say if you can't control your dog put it on a lead, all hell breaks out :roll:

Did you whip out your video camera?
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Cugel
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby Cugel » 15 Jul 2019, 8:50am

But cycling infrastructure, including shared paths, will save us all from certain car-bite! Or so I have been told. Such paths cannot possibly engender problems for the now completely safe cyclists and pedestrians.

On the other hand, perhaps there is a Pedestrianing UK website where pedestrians go on and on about the dangers of cyclists and the need to have a pedestrian (and dog) infrastructure where no bad things are allowed to happen, especially if they involve anything on two wheels.

Then there will be separate infrastructure for dogs; and pushchairs; and children (they can so easily trip up an innocent adult); and runners; and for the slow as opposed to the fastwalkers; and ......

Cugel, exploring logical implications.

PS Have you shared-path riders tried the roads? They seem so much safer. :-)

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rob_wales
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby rob_wales » 15 Jul 2019, 9:21am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Did you whip out your video camera?


No. But I should have done, and posted it on Youtube.

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rob_wales
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby rob_wales » 15 Jul 2019, 9:30am

Cugel wrote:Have you shared-path riders tried the roads? They seem so much safer. :-)

Not sure if that was irony, but I think you might be right. The roads around where I am are fairly safe with low-level traffic. I've noticed that a lot of road-bike people deliberately ignore cycle-paths when they run alongside a road.

I think that a large part of the problem with the shared-use paths is they are treated as general shared spaces, beyond the purpose of exercise and travel. Some people go there (often driving in their cars) and they just mingle and mooch about and chat to other people. They do so actually on the path, blocking it, taking photos etc. As far as I'm concerned the path is for movement and if you want to do other activities there is usually plenty of space nearby where you can do those activities. All it comes down to is some people being inconsiderate and not having a reasonable sense of health and safety.

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Pastychomper
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Re: Dogs off lead on shared use path

Postby Pastychomper » 15 Jul 2019, 10:56am

Stradageek wrote:I'd welcome others knowledge, but I believe that controlling a dogs is the owners legal responsibility. If it runs in front of you and you hit it, it is the owners fault, not yours. However, as we've seen with the latest 'woman on phone hit by cyclist' incident, I'm sure an expensive enough lawyer could overturn this precedent on a technicality.


That's my understanding and suspicion as well.

I have occasionally been accused of endangering children and/or livestock while travelling on foot, even when I carefully avoided the creatures in question. I don't think there's any way to avoid all such incidents other than becoming a hermit.

A certain level of paranoia is a good thing when out and about, but sometimes people seem to take their paranoia too far and end up shouting at innocent passers-by - and (going only by the OP) I consider rob_wales an innocent passer-by in this case.
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