Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Geriatrix
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby Geriatrix » 21 Jan 2013, 12:26pm

Ayesha wrote: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.

My commute is carefully timed. I negotiated with my employer to offset my day so that I arrive and leave the office earlier. There are reason why I do this:
- There are only 2 early morning trains I can catch which allow bikes.
- If I don't catch the afternoon train I aim for, I cycle the rest of the way home (an extra 10 miles to an already 15 mile ride) because the following train is too crowded (even though I am allowed to take a bike from that station).
- A third but less important reason is that the road are emptier and I don't want to leave later.

Now the extra 10 miles is doable but I don't like doing that on a regular basis because (a) I have paid for my rail journey (b) it compromises my weekend cycling because my legs are fatigued.

That I won't do because of a rule that is already ambiguous and takes the letter of the law to a degree of pedantry for no useful purpose.

My son, these maxims make a rule
An lump them aye thegither
The rigid righteous is a fool,
The rigid wise anither


Scotland's bard knew a thing or two...
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby EnquiringMind » 21 Jan 2013, 1:45pm

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.


I'm not sure the two are really comparable, since vehicle A going faster than vehicle B is clearly different in some self-evident ways.

On the other hand, consider the example of two people walking along with bikes. The pavement isn't wide enough for them both (perhaps at a sign) so one steps onto the road. If the situation is right (or wrong!) it seems he may now be committing an offence (propelling a vehicle past a traffic light) where his companion is not - even if both have returned to the pavement.

Alternatively, consider the students I often see walking around campus, one or two of whom in a group of ten may have bikes along (but aren't riding). It seems laughable to say that if one of them sawed their frame in half, they could wheel the scrap metal over the road no problem, but the one who didn't is in some way like a speeding driver (or drunk driver, or suicide car bomber maybe?)

What about cross-overs like prams which you can ride (I saw one of these online - the front wheel unfolds to the rear to make it a bit like a novelty ice-cream or coffee venture upright trike). Would you be like a speeding driver if you pushed it across the road in "bike mode" but like a non-speeding driver if you push it across in pram mode?

Or does the fact that it's presumably legally a type of bike mean that while the other parents crossing the road are good upstanding citizens, you are morally repugnant if you don't break off your conversation and wait for the motorists to get a green light, then dash across in front of them (or similar).

Naturally this all seems a bit absurd. While it's true that ignorance of the law is no excuse, is there not at least a partial mitigation that comes from following the Highway Code? As we've seen up-topic, the HC suggests in more than one place that wheeling a bike might be the preferred option, and at no point discusses the niceties of how you should interact with red lights and other infrastructure in the role of pedestrian pushing bike.

I can think of at least one local junction where, it seems, to make the right turn on foot advised by the HC one would need to dismount, run across the left-filter lane traffic (which has a green light) and then back across all the traffic lanes to stay legal. Seems a bit more sensible just to get off and walk across directly? :shock:

Ayesha wrote:I chose to relax and catch the next train, reducing anxiety.

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


That seems to be more of a justification for walking over than waiting!

Holding up the main road with my right arm stuck out - I do this routinely since most of the time traffic lights don't turn red as I arrive (although on some days I wonder!). It's fine, but when I can save several minutes by pushing my bike and 20-30 drivers are thereby avoided an extra delay while we all wait for a stream of oncoming traffic... certainly seems to alleviate a lot of anxiety :lol:

Some junctions, obviously, are wide enough for traffic to pass right-turning traffic on the inside, and others don't have a huge stream of oncoming traffic to create extra delay, but YMMV.

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

Postby Ayesha » 21 Jan 2013, 9:13pm

There are so many scenarios of a cyclist at a junction, it doesn't bear thinking about.
What the cyclists does is 1/ stay within the law. 2/ observe the other traffic. 3/ signals to other road users his/her intentions. 4/ place him/herself in a position he/she considers to be safest.

There are books on this very subject, eg Cyclecraft.

If dismounting and pushing is the cyclist's choice of 'safest', I see no reason why the cyclist cannot do it.

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

Postby veloevol » 21 Jan 2013, 11:08pm

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..



Like this plonker ?
http://youtu.be/6zgQ3gtSZ_g

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

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Jan 2013, 7:25am

veloevol wrote:Like this plonker ?
http://youtu.be/6zgQ3gtSZ_g

I don't think his actions qualify in the Crank v. Brooks context. He neither started nor ended his crossing from the pavement.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby veloevol » 22 Jan 2013, 8:00am

Geriatrix wrote:I don't think his actions qualify in the Crank v. Brooks context. He neither started nor ended his crossing from the pavement.


No but he still looks like a plonker with his cheeky light jumping trot. On the road surely it's bad form to pick and choose when you're suddenly 'not a vehicle'.

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

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Jan 2013, 8:10am

veloevol wrote:
Geriatrix wrote:I don't think his actions qualify in the Crank v. Brooks context. He neither started nor ended his crossing from the pavement.


No but he still looks like a plonker with his cheeky light jumping trot.


Agree on that

veloevol wrote:On the road surely it's bad form to pick and choose when you're suddenly 'not a vehicle'.

It depends on the context. One of the advantages of the bicycle is that you can filter congested roads. In some gridlock scenario's there is no space for filtering. If I believed that the blockage wasn't going to move for a while I wouldn't hesitate to jump off my bike and walk around it.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Jan 2013, 10:21am

Geriatrix wrote: ... in the Crank v. Brooks context. He neither started nor ended his crossing from the pavement.


I think it's important to recognise what C v B was dealing with. The judgment determined that a cyclist walking and pushing a pedal cycle was a foot passenger AKA pedestrian. It was decided in the context of pedestrian crossings and whether a driver must give precedence to a pedestrian wheeling a bike. My reading of the judgment was that from the facts of the case, the cyclist had be walking all the time ie they hadn't done anything which might confuse the situation such as scooting along or riding and jumping off at the approach of a car. This was a criminal case and the defendant might not be liable to conviction if the situation had been unclear. The pedestrian had been a pedestrian during the entire time they were on the crossing. Crystal clear.

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

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Jan 2013, 10:45am

thirdcrank wrote:I think it's important to recognise what C v B was dealing with. The judgment determined that a cyclist walking and pushing a pedal cycle was a foot passenger AKA pedestrian. It was decided in the context of pedestrian crossings and whether a driver must give precedence to a pedestrian wheeling a bike. My reading of the judgment was that from the facts of the case, the cyclist had be walking all the time ie they hadn't done anything which might confuse the situation such as scooting along or riding and jumping off at the approach of a car. This was a criminal case and the defendant might not be liable to conviction if the situation had been unclear. The pedestrian had been a pedestrian during the entire time they were on the crossing. Crystal clear.

This doesn't make it entirely clear in my mind and that's perhaps because I frequently use train/bike combination for commute and recreational purpose. I frequently find myself in unfamiliar towns where I may spend as much time wheeling a bike along the pavement as I do cycling on the roads if I don't exactly know where I'm going. When I wheel the bike I don't behave any different to a pedestrian and will cross at traffic lights in the same way, red or green, providing its safe to do so.

In a pure logical sense it is irrational that you can cross an intersection as a pedestrian wheeling a bike but switching from rider to pedestrian to cross the light is different (unless someone has changed the rules of logic in the meantime). Either way you are doing exactly the same thing. Wheeling the bike across the intersection. To me its not only irrational but absurd as well. The difference is purely a mental state rather than in the physical action.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby kwackers » 22 Jan 2013, 10:46am

Before this thread I was of the mind that pushing my bike makes me a pedestrian, however after reading it I now think that pushing my bike makes me a pedestrian. :wink: :lol:

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

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Jan 2013, 10:55am

kwackers wrote:Before this thread I was of the mind that pushing my bike makes me a pedestrian, however after reading it I now think that pushing my bike makes me a pedestrian. :wink: :lol:

+1
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Jan 2013, 12:07pm

kwackers wrote:Before this thread I was of the mind that pushing my bike makes me a pedestrian, however after reading it I now think that pushing my bike makes me a pedestrian. :wink: :lol:


And you must surely be pleased that when asked to rule on the same point, the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court followed your reasoning, although tried to make it look as silly as possible by referring to foot passengers.

I've linked to this pic before but here's HM the Queen checking up on the big wigs who make up her Bench Division.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby [XAP]Bob » 22 Jan 2013, 12:17pm

And he scooted past the stop line (which is explicitly mentioned in CvB) and from a point well before the opposite side of the jn.

As I said if you want to be covered by CvB then you need to dismount, get onto the pavement, cross properly, then get off the pavement and remount.
That guy turned up late in the light cycle, so would probably have been quicker to wait...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Geriatrix
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Re: Red Lights - Pushing a Cycle and the Law

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Jan 2013, 12:38pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:As I said if you want to be covered by CvB then you need to dismount, get onto the pavement, cross properly, then get off the pavement and remount.
That guy turned up late in the light cycle, so would probably have been quicker to wait...

Almost always...
It's a relevant debate though because to my mind one of the best things about about a bicycle is its versatility. If there's an obstacle to progress simply get of the bike & walk around the obstacle, be it a tree felled in the road or a badly timed temporary traffic light creating a mile long tailback. To say you can't do the latter is absurd.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby kwackers » 22 Jan 2013, 1:03pm

Geriatrix wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:As I said if you want to be covered by CvB then you need to dismount, get onto the pavement, cross properly, then get off the pavement and remount.
That guy turned up late in the light cycle, so would probably have been quicker to wait...

Almost always...
It's a relevant debate though because to my mind one of the best things about about a bicycle is its versatility. If there's an obstacle to progress simply get of the bike & walk around the obstacle, be it a tree felled in the road or a badly timed temporary traffic light creating a mile long tailback. To say you can't do the latter is absurd.

In the past (when I had less respect for my bike) I've thrown it over fences. I must confess it never occurred to me that it might then became an aeroplane. :oops: