Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => On The Road => Topic started by: Ham on September 21, 2017, 09:16:36 am

Title: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on September 21, 2017, 09:16:36 am
Well, it looks like there will be changes of some sort of the other, and there's a clear danger that any committee charged with doing something will follow a Daily Mail agenda. There's little doubt in my mind that this could be a turning point, and that it is a time for all cycling advocates to step up to the plate. It would be great if there could be a unified message, but that's unlikely to happen.

So, in lieu of anything that makes a real difference, what would you change if you could? There are those that will say "Don't change anything, any change is just the thin end of the wedge" Personally, I think that's misguided and fails to recognise the increasing significance of cycling in the transport mix.

I would be happy to see:
 - A law for causing death by dangerous cycling. Seems inevitable and, relatively harmless on its own, it is what it will drag along with it that could be problematic
- Speed limits for cycle superhighways
- Enforcement of existing traffic law, including removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras, allowing for example red light enforcement by CCTV for all road users
- Universal 20 mph speed limit in towns, or at least major urban areas

I have also just sent this mail to    jesse.norman.mp@parliament.uk

Quote
Dear Mr Norman

I read the announcement that there is to be a review of cycling law and safety on the roads.

As an interested observer, may I please request that the committee appoint Chris Boardman to the panel or as as a special advisor. This is because he has broad experience and understanding of cycling along with a long standing interest in road safety. His inclusion would, in my view and I believe in the view of the wider cycling community, substantially enhance the quality the committee's output.

Yours faithfully,

Ham
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on September 21, 2017, 09:27:31 am
Given that Allison was sent down for a multiple of what most killer drivers get (in the case of many, an infinite multiple), I don't agree that a 'death by' statute is needed; given the upcoming demands on parliamentary time, I also don't agree that it's inevitable. Are speed limits on vehicles without speedometers enforceable? I know there was that Richmond Park prosecution, but most of the legal commentary I saw suggested it shouldn't have been brought.

Totally agree on the Boardman point, though - letter stolen and modified for my MP.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: numbnuts on September 21, 2017, 09:41:55 am
If speed limits were imposed you would need a change in the law, and then some sort of MOT check to make sure said speedometer was correct – it ain't gonna happen, but I can see in the not too distant future everybody will have to have some sort of third party insurance.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on September 21, 2017, 09:58:51 am
If speed limits were imposed you would need a change in the law, and then some sort of MOT check to make sure said speedometer was correct – it ain't gonna happen, but I can see in the not too distant future everybody will have to have some sort of third party insurance.

I'd envisage some alternative to criminal speeding, with the onus on the rider not to ride like a fuckwit. If you want to see the speeding behaviour that really needs to be stopped, just take an able along any of the cycle superhighways any day of the week. People on bikes are really just as fuckwitted as people in cars. If cycling is to become as mainstream as we hope it will then, to coin a dreadful phrase, Something Must Be Done. That's even without considering what's happening and going to happen with the advent of electric bikes.

The world is changing, we need to as well, or suffer the fate of the dinosaurs (yeah, I know, they only survived for the odd million years or so)
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on September 21, 2017, 10:20:56 am
Although presumably suitably dickish behaviour is covered under the 'wanton and furious' law? Making new law without​adding some method of enforcement is pointless though, and if we're going to add new enforcement resources they need to be directed where they're going to do most good, viz. at motor vehicles.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: mustgettaller on September 21, 2017, 10:27:53 am
I'm probably going to get flack for this...

Discussion needs to be focussed on our responsibility as cyclists to cycle safely and responsibly, rather than reverting to the "but cars are more dangerous, what about them..." response.

A law to allow irresponsible cyclists to be prosecuted is, I think, a good idea.

Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Greenbank on September 21, 2017, 10:37:13 am
If speed limits were imposed you would need a change in the law, and then some sort of MOT check to make sure said speedometer was correct – it ain't gonna happen, but I can see in the not too distant future everybody will have to have some sort of third party insurance.

Is it a requirement that every driver (or car) carries a calibrated breathalyser to ensure you aren't over the limit whilst driving?

If not, how can drivers be expected to keep to within the drink drive limits when they have no way of checking?

See where this is going?

(I'm aware that in France it is a requirement to carry a breathalyser, although it's rarely enforced.)
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Woofage on September 21, 2017, 10:51:15 am
Is it a requirement that every driver (or car) carries a calibrated breathalyser to ensure you aren't over the limit whilst driving?

That's an easy one: 100% abstention.

If speed limits were imposed you would need a change in the law, and then some sort of MOT check to make sure said speedometer was correct – it ain't gonna happen, but I can see in the not too distant future everybody will have to have some sort of third party insurance.

Whilst a calibrated speed measuring device is technically feasible for new bikes - and probably quite cheap - such a law would require all existing bikes to be retro-fitted. It would be even more effective than a compulsory helmet law in killing cycling in the UK.

Insurance is an "interesting" one. Separate insurance would probably be expensive for the rider because of the admin required, not the risk presented. Would children also need their own cover?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Karla on September 21, 2017, 10:56:24 am
I think the process of making new laws to restrict cycling is itself harmful, as it's propagating the narrative that cyclists are a menace, death by cyclist is a problem in this country and something must be done about it, which they aren't, it isn't and we don't.  The whole act of making new laws for cyclists would be trying to solve the problem of road danger by picking on the weakest and least dangerous non-pedestrian road users and persecuting them for their minor sins, so we as a nation can take the focus off how their bigger brothers are beating the shit out of someone just round the corner. 

"Cyclists are dangerous and we need to regulate them" is a false scapoegoating maneouvre which mustn't be allowed to gain traction.  Collaborating with it because you yourself are responsible is short sighted and harmful. 

I for one welcome our new insect overlords.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on September 21, 2017, 11:10:03 am
I don't think anyone here would dispute the need for cyclists to cycle safely and responsibly, but as soon as you're talking about changing the legal and enforcement environment cars do need to be part of the discussion; there are finite resources both for lawmaking and for road engineering and enforcement, so unless your aim is to enforce some kind of purity test for cyclists you need to consider the whole road environment. The fact remains that it's car drivers that kill and maim thousands every year; spending effort to combat the negligible numbers caused by cyclists is in that context a total and utter waste of effort.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: asterix on September 21, 2017, 11:42:02 am
 

..

(I'm aware that in France it is a requirement to carry a breathalyser, although it's rarely enforced.)

I don't believe that requirement still holds.  I have been stopped by the rozzers 3 times in France and breathalysed once - they never asked if I had such kit.  I don't drink at all if I might drive anyway.

For the record, these were random checks and not due to any infractions!  The French police (and Douane) are far more likely to stop drivers at random than in the UK.  The breath check was on a road en route to a large wedding so it is understandable if they thought some drivers might be caught.   

As for cycling I just wish they'd get rid of the stupid cycling 'facilities' that are foisted on us.  See this:

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/15543410.Female_cyclist_airlifted_to_hospital_with_broken_legs_after_crash_with_wagon_in_York/?ref=mr&lp=13#comments-anchor

Comments quite civilised so far. and they are right about the road layout. 
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: mattc on September 21, 2017, 12:19:52 pm
I'm probably going to get flack for this...

Discussion needs to be focussed on our responsibility as cyclists to cycle safely and responsibly, rather than reverting to the "but cars are more dangerous, what about them..." response.

A law to allow irresponsible cyclists to be prosecuted is, I think, a good idea.

The cyclist we've all been talking about has been imprisoned; why does the law need changing?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: haydenw on September 21, 2017, 12:21:50 pm
Modified your email Ham and sent to my MP - Lilian Greenwood - Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: mattc on September 21, 2017, 12:23:24 pm
only 1 colleague has raised this subject today - he'd like to see a clampdown on dangerously bright  ill-aimed lights on bikes.

[and I wouldn't argue with this!]
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Kim on September 21, 2017, 12:31:26 pm
A re-vamp of motoring offences is badly needed.  I see no problem in principle with covering pedal cycles (and horseists and whatever) under the same laws, so speed limits would apply to bicycles and cyclists could be charged with drink driving or dangerous driving.  Then everyone knows where they stand, and cyclists can carry on as normal.

The lighting regulations for cycles need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the century of the fruitbat.  I'd be in favour of something like the German or Dutch regs - let's mandate static dynamo/e-bike battery powered lighting with sensible beams at point of sale, unless the bike is designed for racing or off-road riding.  Make pedal reflectors optional, while we're at it.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Greenbank on September 21, 2017, 12:37:21 pm
I'm probably going to get flack for this...

Discussion needs to be focussed on our responsibility as cyclists to cycle safely and responsibly, rather than reverting to the "but cars are more dangerous, what about them..." response.

A law to allow irresponsible cyclists to be prosecuted is, I think, a good idea.

The cyclist we've all been talking about has been imprisoned; why does the law need changing?

To bring it in-line with the equivalent driving laws so that the cyclist in question could have been acquitted?

</sarcasm>
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Pickled Onion on September 21, 2017, 12:49:40 pm
If speed limits were imposed you would need a change in the law, and then some sort of MOT check to make sure said speedometer was correct – it ain't gonna happen, but I can see in the not too distant future everybody will have to have some sort of third party insurance.

Why? Motor vehicles don't have to have their speedos checked, MOT or otherwise. If you drive a vehicle where the speedo reads the wrong speed, or doesn't have one at all, the onus is on the driver to keep within the speed limit. The limits apply to mechanically propelled vehicles, not vehicles with a speedometer.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Pickled Onion on September 21, 2017, 01:05:18 pm
What I would like to see:

What I expect to see proposed:
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on September 21, 2017, 01:19:22 pm
I think we can all agree that laws to govern cycling shouldn't restrict cycling, we are all likely concerned that any laws will end up restricting cycling, which was my motivation starting this thread - what regulations could work? (anyone who wants there are multiple threads to moan about Charlie Alliston and other dickheads etc over there -->)

There can be no question (!!!) that cyclists can be no more trusted to police themselves than drivers can and, without the history and background of a cycling culture, widespread dickish behaviour is a result. OK, this might be a predominantly London thing, but that's where an awful lot of cycling happens, and a lot of awful cycling, to boot.

A set of expectations/laws for cycling would be no bad thing, for example why shouldn't it be an offense to use a mobile on a bike? As for enforcement, that might be similar to speeding is in cars. As in, not normally enforced, but can be. Speed limit on superhighway could be set at 12mph, and prosecuted over 20. No speedo needed, if you can't tell the difference that's your problem.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: tedshred on September 21, 2017, 01:49:32 pm
On one of my rare journeys from the City to the West End of London this morning, the cyclist next to me failed to stop at a red light.

Within 100 yards he had been pulled over by two Met officers who were writing out a ticket when I passed him.

Is this level of enforcement on the increase or is it just that I haven't noticed it before ?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on September 21, 2017, 01:53:18 pm
It happens in fits and starts, and is in no small measure responsible for the hugely increased compliance with lights etc over recent years. A good example of how existing legislation can be used to improve safety, especially when it is extended to motorised, which is also done these days.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Redlight on September 21, 2017, 02:21:40 pm
A law to allow irresponsible cyclists to be prosecuted is, I think, a good idea.

While agreeing in principle, I suspect the difficulty (or threat) is going to be in defining what constitutes dangerous/reckless/irresponsible cycling.

The judge in the Alliston case described him as travelling "at speed", although the court heard that he was riding at a maximum of 18mph (in a 30 mph zone) and subsequently reduced his speed before the collision. I'm sure many of us here would not consider 18mph to be an excessive speed. I know that I regularly exceed it when cycling in London.  Yesterday, I read elsewhere of a cyclist being pulled over for failing to stop at a zebra crossing, even though he had slowed almost to halt and the pedestrian had already reached the other side of the road.  I've been harangued by the non-driving policeman in a patrol car for taking the lane at a set of traffic lights.  Another place force last week was rightly pilloried for announcing a crackdown on cyclists not wearing helmets or having reflectors on their spokes. 

I fear that, unless any new law includes a robust and unambiguous definition, we will see a procession of ridiculous cases being brought to court and the same levels of inconsistent prosecution and sentencing that we already have for motoring offences.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 21, 2017, 02:42:50 pm
I would actually mandate insurance and number plates. No, hang on, hear me out. It would have the civil liberties brigade up in arms but if you think about the cost-benefit ratio, once you've accepted that you've got to do it, it's very very easy, trivial in fact, for the average cyclist to implement - but you get a massive win in terms of the perceived right to be on the road from everyone else including the daily mail brigade, which unfortunately a very sizeable proportion of the population belong to.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Veloman on September 21, 2017, 02:50:03 pm
^^^^^ There you go:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=8cLDWdLuL4HawAKe0Jq4DQ&q=mandatory+cycle+plates+deputy+police+commissioner&oq=mandatory+cycle+plates+deputy+police+comm&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.1.0.33i21k1j33i160k1.26030.30140.0.31597.12.12.0.0.0.0.140.1218.5j7.12.0....0...1.1.64.mobile-gws-serp..0.9.937....0.sGs_rXrL-cE (https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=8cLDWdLuL4HawAKe0Jq4DQ&q=mandatory+cycle+plates+deputy+police+commissioner&oq=mandatory+cycle+plates+deputy+police+comm&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.1.0.33i21k1j33i160k1.26030.30140.0.31597.12.12.0.0.0.0.140.1218.5j7.12.0....0...1.1.64.mobile-gws-serp..0.9.937....0.sGs_rXrL-cE)

Caused much comment it 2010 and article by Walker in Guardian well worth a read.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Redlight on September 21, 2017, 02:53:49 pm
it's very very easy, trivial in fact, for the average cyclist to implement

Hmm.  Front and rear plates?  What size - they would need to be readable by ANPR equipment, especially if linked to the insurance database, and by normally sighted humans from 70 yards (or whatever is required in the driving test).  Would they be reflective, like car plates?  Different colours front and back?  Could you transfer plates between bikes or have to have a separate set for each bike.  Would each bike then need to have a registered keeper - that  way you could always claim it was someone else riding when the PC knocks on your door to ask about that red light you jumped. What about kids' bikes - at what age do they need plates?. Where would you mount them? 

Not so trivial, I think.

I'd certainly recommend third party insurance, but it's difficult to see how that could be enforced except retrospectively in its absence after a collision.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on September 21, 2017, 02:57:33 pm
only 1 colleague has raised this subject today - he'd like to see a clampdown on dangerously bright  ill-aimed lights on bikes.

[and I wouldn't argue with this!]

Same here. Rules on car lighting are well defined with regards to the height and shape of the beam for this reason, and with bike lights becoming ever more powerful, tighter controls are becoming necessary. Something along German lines would be a good model to follow.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on September 21, 2017, 03:06:26 pm
Agreed on the lighting.

When I was still regularly cycle commuting, encountering fellow commuters on the path with badly-adjusted ultra bright lights was a regular problem (as in, more than once every trip home). Usually I'd have to come to a complete halt until they had passed.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: tatanab on September 21, 2017, 03:09:51 pm
^^^ rear lights too please.  If I can see nothing but your hyper power super blinky then perhaps your light is new generation for use on  bright summer's day, not really appropriate for pitch black lanes on a winter's night.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on September 21, 2017, 03:16:00 pm
- Enforcement of existing traffic law, including removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras, allowing for example red light enforcement by CCTV for all road users

I agree with more enforcement of existing law, but I don't agree with removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras. The point of cameras is not to catch drivers out, more to remind them of their responsibilities, and removing warnings of cameras would only give the 'stealth tax' moaners ammunition.

The recent changes in fines for speeding are a good thing in my book, and the increasing prevalence of digital cameras means they will be 'always on', making enforcement easier. But the guidelines on enforcement should also be clarified so that police forces across the country are consistent in how they are applied - currently some will do you if you go only 1mph over limit, while others will allow 10% or whatever. I'd be in favour of making speed limits much stricter with no allowances - as much for environmental reasons as safety. Also much wider application (and enforcement) of 20 zones.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 21, 2017, 03:21:39 pm
There can be no question (!!!) that cyclists can be no more trusted to police themselves than drivers can and, without the history and background of a cycling culture, widespread dickish behaviour is a result. OK, this might be a predominantly London thing, but that's where an awful lot of cycling happens, and a lot of awful cycling, to boot.
More to the point, it's where the media happens.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on September 21, 2017, 03:28:47 pm
- Enforcement of existing traffic law, including removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras, allowing for example red light enforcement by CCTV for all road users

I agree with more enforcement of existing law, but I don't agree with removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras. The point of cameras is not to catch drivers out, more to remind them of their responsibilities, and removing warnings of cameras would only give the 'stealth tax' moaners ammunition.

Sorry, I disagree. The key improvement to behaviour for cyclists and motorists is the threat of financial penalty for behaviour infringement. Nothing else will get them to change. I have no great hopes to achieve that, we've just heard the idea that speed bumps should be removed because of the pollution they cause slowing down and speeding up. Going at a steady speed doesn't seem to enter their tiny little heads.

Widespread use of average speed cameras is the only way to go. Plus, a picture of someone coming from the other way when the lights are green should be enough, you should not need dedicated red light cameras. OK, wouldn't catch the amber gamblers, but around here traffic lights are often treated as optional advice.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on September 21, 2017, 03:29:23 pm
More to the point, it's where the media happens.

That's not so true as it once was. A lot of the media happens in Manchester now. And other places.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on September 21, 2017, 03:40:07 pm
- Enforcement of existing traffic law, including removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras, allowing for example red light enforcement by CCTV for all road users

I agree with more enforcement of existing law, but I don't agree with removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras. The point of cameras is not to catch drivers out, more to remind them of their responsibilities, and removing warnings of cameras would only give the 'stealth tax' moaners ammunition.
Australia doesn't tell drivers about camera locations.

Indeed, the police are permitted to use 'hidden' (ie, bumper-height, near invisible) mobile speed cameras *anywhere*, and they do. So people are damn careful about the speed limits.

It works.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 21, 2017, 04:05:37 pm
- Enforcement of existing traffic law, including removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras, allowing for example red light enforcement by CCTV for all road users

I agree with more enforcement of existing law, but I don't agree with removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras. The point of cameras is not to catch drivers out, more to remind them of their responsibilities, and removing warnings of cameras would only give the 'stealth tax' moaners ammunition.

Sorry, I disagree. The key improvement to behaviour for cyclists and motorists is the threat of financial penalty for behaviour infringement. Nothing else will get them to change. I have no great hopes to achieve that, we've just heard the idea that speed bumps should be removed because of the pollution they cause slowing down and speeding up. Going at a steady speed doesn't seem to enter their tiny little heads.

Widespread use of average speed cameras is the only way to go. Plus, a picture of someone coming from the other way when the lights are green should be enough, you should not need dedicated red light cameras. OK, wouldn't catch the amber gamblers, but around here traffic lights are often treated as optional advice.
I agree with you about the financial penalty, though I think the likelihood of getting is perhaps more important as a deterrent than the size of the fine. But the bit I've bolded; unless we restrict driving licences to people who pass some sort of intelligence/common sense/attitude test (which might be a very good idea but almost impossible to implement), traffic systems are going to have to be such that "tiny little heads" can deal with them. That's perhaps an even bigger challenge than restricting driving licences to people with "good attitude"!

Anyway, I see we're using a thread on changes to cycling law to discuss motoring law. Plus ca change.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on September 21, 2017, 04:09:54 pm
Yeah I considered "Road User" as the alternative but I was hoping that this thread didn't go the way of the others on associated threads.

Oooo look! squirrel rabbit hole!
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 21, 2017, 04:20:36 pm

Hmm.  Front and rear plates? 

Possibly, or maybe just one somewhere on the top tube/down tube.

What size -

Fairly small, smaller than car ones obviously - 4" by 1" maybe.


they would need to be readable by ANPR equipment, especially if linked to the insurance database,
Only ones that could be upgraded to use RFID, (or maybe ones that could theoretically use RFID, following a similar principle as TV detector vans).


and by normally sighted humans from 70 yards (or whatever is required in the driving test).
Would they be reflective, like car plates?  Different colours front and back?

No, that probably wouldn't be necessary to achieve the benefit I'm proposing, which is largely a political benefit remember.


 Could you transfer plates between bikes or have to have a separate set for each bike. 
Separate set for each bike, like you have to for each car.


Would each bike then need to have a registered keeper - that  way you could always claim it was someone else riding when the PC knocks on your door to ask about that red light you jumped.
Again, same for cars, and same rules for keeper liability would apply.


What about kids' bikes - at what age do they need plates?. Where would you mount them? 
Whenever they want to ride on the road.

Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Tom B on September 21, 2017, 05:40:25 pm
bicycle licensing for dummies (http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/bicycle-licensing-for-dummies/019971)

Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: spesh on September 21, 2017, 05:56:04 pm
bicycle licensing for dummies (http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/bicycle-licensing-for-dummies/019971)

ITYM "bicycle licencing is for dummies".  ;)
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Whitedown Man on September 21, 2017, 05:57:45 pm
bicycle licensing for dummies (http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/bicycle-licensing-for-dummies/019971)

ITYM "bicycle licencing is for dummies".  ;)
No. It's "licensing".  :facepalm:
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: ian on September 21, 2017, 06:07:48 pm
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go. All you need a cheap bike and a basic level of fitness enough to turn the pedals.

And again, we don't enforce the currently motoring laws so it's all a bit pointless.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Pingu on September 21, 2017, 06:20:58 pm
https://beyondthekerb.org.uk/the-law-must-be-fixed-mustnt-it/
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: asterix on September 21, 2017, 06:22:33 pm
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. On of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go. All you need a cheap bike and a basic level of fitness enough to turn the pedals.

And again, we don't enforce the currently motoring laws so it's all a bit pointless.

Plenty of York cyclists.  I think York cycling is very different to London cycling having done both.  (I have also cycled in Ipswich, Manchester and Southampton on a daily basis i.e. as a commuter.  In Southampton I was regarded as a freak of nature by my colleagues and far worse when actually on the road. )

 
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: asterix on September 21, 2017, 06:39:42 pm
https://beyondthekerb.org.uk/the-law-must-be-fixed-mustnt-it/

Quote
Lord Diplock noted the following:

“It is for the jury to decide whether the risk created by the manner in which the vehicle was being driven was both obvious and serious and, in deciding this, they may apply the standard of the ordinary prudent motorist as represented by themselves.

When it comes to the notion of “equal legislation” (or any synonymous term) there is one thing which makes it a transparent sham, at least in the context of existing statute.

And that is, of course, the ruling in the appeal of R v Lawrence, in which Lord Diplock’s remarks were pivotal.

To randomly find a jury of drivers is a facile task: the overlap between those who drive and those who are eligible for jury service is large. To randomly find a jury of pedal cyclists is not: only around 15% of adults cycle even monthly, meaning that even two regular cyclists on a jury of twelve would be a little above average.

How, then, could a jury “apply the standard of the ordinary prudent [cyclist] as represented by themselves”?

The answer is simple and indisputable: It could not..

.. the RTA 1988, cognisant as it is of Lord Diplock’s comments, enshrines in law not just inequality but a tyranny of the masses. Those who drive contribute to the decline in the standards to which driving defendants are held; those who do not cycle are open to influence in raising the standards to which cycling defendants are held.

Unfortunately there is a kind of anti-cycling tendency in the UK and Charlie Alliston played right into their hands.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: ian on September 21, 2017, 07:46:03 pm
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. On of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go. All you need a cheap bike and a basic level of fitness enough to turn the pedals.

And again, we don't enforce the currently motoring laws so it's all a bit pointless.

Plenty of York cyclists.  I think York cycling is very different to London cycling having done both.  (I have also cycled in Ipswich, Manchester and Southampton on a daily basis i.e. as a commuter.  In Southampton I was regarded as a freak of nature by my colleagues and far worse when actually on the road. )

The average number of journeys undertaken by bicycle for the entire UK hovers around 2%, the median around 1% (leastways, so says my Google-fu). Yes, there are pockets of high cycling density (Cambridge, for instance), but reality is that very few people cycle. On my edge of outer London, I'm shocked to ever see any cyclists who aren't me or aren't lycra'd up and passing through on there way up the Downs.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 21, 2017, 07:54:39 pm
https://beyondthekerb.org.uk/the-law-must-be-fixed-mustnt-it/

Quote
Lord Diplock noted the following:

“It is for the jury to decide whether the risk created by the manner in which the vehicle was being driven was both obvious and serious and, in deciding this, they may apply the standard of the ordinary prudent motorist as represented by themselves.

When it comes to the notion of “equal legislation” (or any synonymous term) there is one thing which makes it a transparent sham, at least in the context of existing statute.

And that is, of course, the ruling in the appeal of R v Lawrence, in which Lord Diplock’s remarks were pivotal.

To randomly find a jury of drivers is a facile task: the overlap between those who drive and those who are eligible for jury service is large. To randomly find a jury of pedal cyclists is not: only around 15% of adults cycle even monthly, meaning that even two regular cyclists on a jury of twelve would be a little above average.

How, then, could a jury “apply the standard of the ordinary prudent [cyclist] as represented by themselves”?

The answer is simple and indisputable: It could not..

.. the RTA 1988, cognisant as it is of Lord Diplock’s comments, enshrines in law not just inequality but a tyranny of the masses. Those who drive contribute to the decline in the standards to which driving defendants are held; those who do not cycle are open to influence in raising the standards to which cycling defendants are held.

Unfortunately there is a kind of anti-cycling tendency in the UK and Charlie Alliston played right into their hands.
Isn't this a general weakness of the jury system? That it relies on average people to judge things other people have done by their own standard. A system using a panel of judges means a more dispassionate and expert view can be taken, but has other weaknesses.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Pickled Onion on September 21, 2017, 08:19:51 pm
Someone told me today (so I've no idea if it's true) that in Switzerland, when you buy a bike you buy a licence in the form of a sticker. It is not just a tax, it gives you 3rd party insurance. It sounds quite sensible, given the cost of 3rd party insurance for a bike would be pretty small if applied universally.

It wouldn't work here, we are not like the Swiss. In the same way that turn left on red would never work here like it does in other countries - too many people have the wrong attitude.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 21, 2017, 08:35:20 pm
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go.

What is being proposed that mean you won't be able to just get on and go?

You just won't be able to plough into somebody.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: tatanab on September 21, 2017, 08:44:25 pm
Someone told me today (so I've no idea if it's true) that in Switzerland, when you buy a bike you buy a licence in the form of a sticker. It is not just a tax, it gives you 3rd party insurance. It sounds quite sensible, given the cost of 3rd party insurance for a bike would be pretty small if applied universally.

It wouldn't work here, we are not like the Swiss. In the same way that turn left on red would never work here like it does in other countries - too many people have the wrong attitude.
The Swiss abandoned that about 10 years ago, primarily because it was simply to expensive to run.  One of the Channel islands had such a scheme, as did some US states; all abandoned because they are too expensive to administer.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Pickled Onion on September 21, 2017, 09:37:40 pm
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go.

What is being proposed that mean you won't be able to just get on and go?

You just won't be able to plough into somebody.

We have no idea what's being proposed yet as the consultation hasn't been published. We're told it will be in the interests of cyclist safety. I'm still convinced it will include the two H-words.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Redlight on September 21, 2017, 10:27:14 pm
We have no idea what's being proposed yet as the consultation hasn't been published. We're told it will be in the interests of cyclist safety. I'm still convinced it will include the two H-words.

As I understand it, it's a review rather than a consultation, which means it will make recommendations that the government may or may not act upon. Phase 1 is being advised by legal experts, so that suggests it's going to focus on whether/how a law proscribing "dangerous" cycling could be introduced, rather than whether such a law would be beneficial to road safety. Another words, 'what can we do to keep the Daily Mail off our backs?'.

The substance of the second phase is vague. I suspect that once phase 1 has achieved its objective, in recommending a law that we don't need to address a problem that is rarely encountered, phase 2 will be quietly dropped, as it would require some serious thinking.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: drossall on September 21, 2017, 11:07:39 pm
If speed limits were imposed you would need a change in the law, and then some sort of MOT check to make sure said speedometer was correct – it ain't gonna happen, but I can see in the not too distant future everybody will have to have some sort of third party insurance.
The limits apply to mechanically propelled vehicles, not vehicles with a speedometer.
Quite. To reinforce that, the reason bikes don't have to obey speed limits is because the law says that motor vehicles (mechanically propelled vehicles) may not exceed designated speed limits. Bikes aren't motor vehicles. Of course, a good speedometer is useful in obeying such laws, but whether you have one isn't the point.
I agree with more enforcement of existing law, but I don't agree with removing the need to warn drivers of enforcement cameras.
The problems with warnings are that they are an implied acceptance of the view that speeding fines are a tax, and not something levied for law breaking, and that, by implication, they indicated where cameras are not located, and therefore where it is safe to break the law, to the detriment of others.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 21, 2017, 11:09:19 pm
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go.

What is being proposed that mean you won't be able to just get on and go?

You just won't be able to plough into somebody.

We have no idea what's being proposed yet as the consultation hasn't been published. We're told it will be in the interests of cyclist safety. I'm still convinced it will include the two H-words.

Sigh.  ::-) Sooner it's over and done with the sooner we can stop bloody fretting and flapping about it then ::-)
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: ian on September 22, 2017, 09:32:57 am
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go.

What is being proposed that mean you won't be able to just get on and go?

You just won't be able to plough into somebody.

You can't 'plough into' anyone.

I've no idea what is being proposed. At best our current crop of politicians are incoherent. I suspect most of them still need help finding the loo.

Anyway, I doubt anything they 'think' up will make cycling a more attractive transport option. It might please a reactionary bunch of DM readers but then they hate everything including, I suspect, themselves.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: SA_SA_SA_SA on September 22, 2017, 01:11:01 pm
....The lighting regulations for cycles need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the century of the fruitbat.  I'd be in favour of something like the German or Dutch regs - let's mandate static dynamo/e-bike battery powered lighting with sensible beams at point of sale, unless the bike is designed for racing or off-road riding.  Make pedal reflectors optional, while we're at it.
That was one of things Chris Juden worked on (lastly on the red tape challenge):
http://westsurreyctc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PPR711-Cycle-regulations-review-final-report.pdf (http://westsurreyctc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PPR711-Cycle-regulations-review-final-report.pdf)
So, already ready and waiting some legislating..... Abandoning the requirement for pedal reflectors an option in the final report options.
I don't think the UK will want to create its own complicated rules like German or Dutch  so until there is revamped ISO standard (currently being Germanified), I think the best will be minumum intensities written direct into law: Buying a Stvzo front lamp thencovers the front and a Stzvo rear lamp with (dutch voluntary standards) RKF 3 stars (or just a rear lamp with RKF 3 stars) covers the rear 4cd minimum.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 22, 2017, 02:57:02 pm
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go.

What is being proposed that mean you won't be able to just get on and go?

You just won't be able to plough into somebody.

You can't 'plough into' anyone.

I've no idea what is being proposed. At best our current crop of politicians are incoherent. I suspect most of them still need help finding the loo.

Anyway, I doubt anything they 'think' up will make cycling a more attractive transport option. It might please a reactionary bunch of DM readers but then they hate everything including, I suspect, themselves.

Yeah but what's the point behind the comment "One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go" - it seems to suggest you are concerned that ability in jeopardy.
Are you concerned that they will make you fill in a government form every time you want to go for a bike ride?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on September 22, 2017, 03:38:26 pm
Are you concerned that they will make you fill in a government form every time you want to go for a bike ride?

No, but they might make you wear special clothes, which many of us would regard as a pointless infringement of civil liberties with no genuine benefit to society and based on the experience of other countries may in fact be detrimental to public health.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: asterix on September 22, 2017, 04:29:00 pm
..or carry bells, like lepers :o
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: DuncanM on September 22, 2017, 04:31:59 pm
Yeah but what's the point behind the comment "One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go" - it seems to suggest you are concerned that ability in jeopardy.
Are you concerned that they will make you fill in a government form every time you want to go for a bike ride?
The usual commentariat are suggesting all sorts of "sensible" ideas from helmets and hiviz to cycling tests, insurance, bike registration, trackers for cyclists, and others.
I'd say ignore them, except they are the same people who have successfully indoctrinated the public into believing that there is currently a "war on the motorist" and into voting to make themselves significantly poorer. They and their ilk have been happily priming the electorate that cyclists are evil selfish menaces that want to take over all the roads and plough into pedestrians - what do you think is going to happen in the "consultation"?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Veloman on September 22, 2017, 04:39:55 pm
Are you concerned that they will make you fill in a government form every time you want to go for a bike ride?

No, but they might make you wear special clothes, which many of us would regard as a pointless infringement of civil liberties with no genuine benefit to society and based on the experience of other countries may in fact be detrimental to public health.

I would support the views of citoyen regarding compulsory wearing of clothes.  I choose to wear certain items of 'clothing' when cycling but totally oppose such items being mandated.  Effects on health are debatable and have been discussed elsewhere so no point in raising that again.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: mattc on September 22, 2017, 07:15:52 pm
Without the aberrance that is central London, approximately no one cycles in the UK because, tbh, unless you're passionate about cycling it's a bit shit, somewhere between DIY dentistry and juggling your own poo. Sure, slap some ill-formed laws on cycling, and it'll be less than no one. One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go.

What is being proposed that mean you won't be able to just get on and go?

You just won't be able to plough into somebody.

You can't 'plough into' anyone.


You can't plough in New Jersey
http://theridgewoodblog.net/new-jersey-and-you-cop-tells-nj-teens-to-stop-seeking-snow-shoveling-jobs/
(http://theridgewoodblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/unnamed-111.jpg)
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on September 23, 2017, 02:17:13 pm
Here’s Janet Street fucking Porter:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/cyclist-london-cycling-charlie-alliston-kim-briggs-helmets-vehicles-pedestrians-a7961551.html

I admit that there is one sensible paragraph in there, the one about new legislation not being required (did someone else write that bit?), but the rest of it is just complete nonsense.

Apparently we are uncivil, rude, and - if on a Boris bike - likely to be pissed or on drugs. The pavements are now as dangerous as the roads, she says.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jaded on September 23, 2017, 02:31:58 pm
Are you concerned that they will make you fill in a government form every time you want to go for a bike ride?

No, but they might make you wear special clothes, which many of us would regard as a pointless infringement of civil liberties with no genuine benefit to society and based on the experience of other countries may in fact be detrimental to public health.

I would support the views of citoyen regarding compulsory wearing of clothes.  I choose to wear certain items of 'clothing' when cycling but totally oppose such items being mandated.  Effects on health are debatable and have been discussed elsewhere so no point in raising that again.

 ::-) ::-) who says???
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 23, 2017, 07:45:16 pm
Are you concerned that they will make you fill in a government form every time you want to go for a bike ride?

No, but they might make you wear special clothes, which many of us would regard as a pointless infringement of civil liberties with no genuine benefit to society and based on the experience of other countries may in fact be detrimental to public health.

That isn't really related to the incident that's prompted it though, so can't really be a response to it. If this guy was wearing "safety" items it still would have happened, so I would therefore go so far as to say airing concern about those potential laws in this thread is therefore off topic. This is "what changes would you make to cycling law", we all know exactly  (and are fairly sick of you droning on about) what changes you don't want to be made to cycling law.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Veloman on September 23, 2017, 07:55:26 pm
Are you concerned that they will make you fill in a government form every time you want to go for a bike ride?

No, but they might make you wear special clothes, which many of us would regard as a pointless infringement of civil liberties with no genuine benefit to society and based on the experience of other countries may in fact be detrimental to public health.

I would support the views of citoyen regarding compulsory wearing of clothes.  I choose to wear certain items of 'clothing' when cycling but totally oppose such items being mandated.  Effects on health are debatable and have been discussed elsewhere so no point in raising that again.

 ::-) ::-) who says???

Anyone interested in not derailing the thread into something that has been discussed extensively elsewhere on this thread.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on September 23, 2017, 07:56:44 pm
Indeed, BenT, I'm finding it fascinating that so few ideas are surfacing. Must be perfect as it is, well able to cope with the challenges of modern infrastructure and habits. Electric bikes? Well there not really bikes are they?

Whether it is this time or the next, there will be changes to bike legislation, we can't even imagine what we want, let alone agree on it.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Greenbank on September 23, 2017, 09:09:35 pm
NI already has compulsory bells on bikes (not just at point of sale), can imagine they'll want to "harmonise the law across the entire UK".
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on September 23, 2017, 09:38:18 pm
Honestly I can't think of any improvements that would make a difference to day-to-day cycling, other than pipe dreams - mandating Dutch-level quality standards for infra? Presumed liability?

Brutally, given the context in which this review is being conducted, the role of cycling advocates is going to be damage limitation.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on September 23, 2017, 10:11:49 pm
That isn't really related to the incident that's prompted it though, so can't really be a response to it. If this guy was wearing "safety" items it still would have happened, so I would therefore go so far as to say airing concern about those potential laws in this thread is therefore off topic.

Re your comment:
Quote
Yeah but what's the point behind the comment "One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go" - it seems to suggest you are concerned that ability in jeopardy.

That ability would be put in jeopardy by mandatory special clothing laws. And if you think a review of the law relating to cycling would restrict itself to matters pertinent to the Charlie Alliston case, you're living in cloud cuckoo land.

You asked the question, that's the answer. I'm not trying to derail the thread and have no interest in discussing that matter any further.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: DuncanM on September 23, 2017, 10:26:54 pm
To answer the question, I'm not sure that the current law regarding the responsibilities that cyclists have is all that problematic.
Maybe the law regarding shared use paths needs to be clarified. Maybe they could be more clear on legality of lights and reflectors? I'm not sure speed limits are a relevance for bicycles. I'd prefer it if the limit for electrical assist was higher than 15mph, because it could make e-bikes much more useful as a daily mode of transport for more people, but if it resulted in mandatory insurance, helmets or plates, it's not worth it
The majority of the changes to road safety law that are needed apply to motor vehicles, not bicycles IMO.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: asterix on September 24, 2017, 06:47:58 am
On my York shared use track the signs make it very clear that the onus is on cyclists to avoid pedestrians. It seems to work and I take it that is the general rule - without doing any research.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: fd3 on September 24, 2017, 08:02:00 am
A re-vamp of motoring offences is badly needed.  I see no problem in principle with covering pedal cycles (and horseists and whatever) under the same laws, so speed limits would apply to bicycles and cyclists could be charged with drink driving or dangerous driving.  Then everyone knows where they stand, and cyclists can carry on as normal.

The lighting regulations for cycles need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the century of the fruitbat.  I'd be in favour of something like the German or Dutch regs - let's mandate static dynamo/e-bike battery powered lighting with sensible beams at point of sale, unless the bike is designed for racing or off-road riding.  Make pedal reflectors optional, while we're at it.
On the face of it It makes sense but:
Issue of rider knowing their speed.
Issue of what proper stopping distance is at that speed on a horse/bike (not the same as a car so speed limit should be different)
Travelling at different speeds would mean that drinking limits could be different (also the horse can bring you home when you're too drunk to navigate).
Mandatory lights/dynamos mean that either all bikes get much more expensive (a serious issue for anyone, especially with kids) or the Dynamo/lights are not that great, which is as much of an issue as not having them (my experience of bikes in Germany was very poor Dynamo lighting).

Which is why it needs quite a bit of considered thought.

It also seems to me that possibly what we need is local, not national laws.  In London we have a large mass of new cyclists riding dangerously; but in the Midlands we still have very few cyclists.  Why regulate nationally for a local problem (even if it is in London)?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Pickled Onion on September 24, 2017, 09:14:13 am
On my York shared use track the signs make it very clear that the onus is on cyclists to avoid pedestrians. It seems to work and I take it that is the general rule - without doing any research.

That is the big issue - pedestrians have the right to be anywhere on the highway. A cyclist should not shimmy around a pedestrian in their way, just as a driver should not blast their horn expecting pedestrians to leap out of the road. Unfortunately the principle that you should take care not step out immediately in front of a vehicle where they might not have seen you or not have enough time to stop, has been warped into the idea that you have to keep the hell out of the way of anyone in a vehicle and vehicles should never have to slow down except for other vehicles.

A recent chat on the cycle channel at work revealed that most people there believed that jaywalking is illegal, crossing against the red man or away from the crossing is illegal, and pedestrians who do those things should expect to get run over.

As I said above, I think our culture is to blame. Other countries, even where they do have laws about keeping off the road, have a culture where people don't feel the entitlement to plough through just because they happen to be in a vehicle and will give way out of politeness, just as you do when not in a vehicle.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on September 24, 2017, 09:57:58 am
Issue of rider knowing their speed.

I don't think this is the issue with speed limits for bikes so much as how to enforce them. If there were a speed limit, it would be the cyclist's responsibility to observe it one way or another.

Speed limits for cars are generally enforced by camera, with offenders identified by their car's registration. Unless you want to divert already limited police resources into having coppers patrolling cycle lanes with speed guns, you'd need to introduce registration for bikes to make the law enforceable in any practical way. (Same goes for CCTV enforcement of red lights for cyclists.)

Secondly, there would need to be some genuine evidence that speeding cyclists are a problem before such a law could justifiably be introduced - something a bit more substantial than an anecdotal observation that some people behave like dicks on cycle superhighways - eg a high number of KSIs caused by speeding cyclists. No doubt if such evidence exists it will be uncovered by the promised judicial review.

There's nothing wrong with the idea of updating archaic laws in principle but is it really the best use of our legislators' time? Yes, there are plenty of idiots on bikes out there, but the idea that cyclists on the whole are a menace to society is just nonsense.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Greenbank on September 24, 2017, 10:06:51 am
Issue of rider knowing their speed.

I don't think this is the issue with speed limits for bikes so much as how to enforce them. If there were a speed limit, it would be the cyclist's responsibility to observe it one way or another.

Indeed, just as it is a driver's responsibility to be within the drink drive limits despite having no way to measure their current breath/blood alcohol levels.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jaded on September 24, 2017, 10:26:23 am
Are you concerned that they will make you fill in a government form every time you want to go for a bike ride?

No, but they might make you wear special clothes, which many of us would regard as a pointless infringement of civil liberties with no genuine benefit to society and based on the experience of other countries may in fact be detrimental to public health.

I would support the views of citoyen regarding compulsory wearing of clothes.  I choose to wear certain items of 'clothing' when cycling but totally oppose such items being mandated.  Effects on health are debatable and have been discussed elsewhere so no point in raising that again.

 ::-) ::-) who says???

Anyone interested in not derailing the thread into something that has been discussed extensively elsewhere on this thread.

Effects on health are of paramount importance. If the effects on health are not considered then any new laws will most likely be bad laws.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 24, 2017, 12:37:34 pm
On my York shared use track the signs make it very clear that the onus is on cyclists to avoid pedestrians. It seems to work and I take it that is the general rule - without doing any research.

That is the big issue - pedestrians have the right to be anywhere on the highway. A cyclist should not shimmy around a pedestrian in their way, just as a driver should not blast their horn expecting pedestrians to leap out of the road. Unfortunately the principle that you should take care not step out immediately in front of a vehicle where they might not have seen you or not have enough time to stop, has been warped into the idea that you have to keep the hell out of the way of anyone in a vehicle and vehicles should never have to slow down except for other vehicles.

A recent chat on the cycle channel at work revealed that most people there believed that jaywalking is illegal, crossing against the red man or away from the crossing is illegal, and pedestrians who do those things should expect to get run over.

As I said above, I think our culture is to blame. Other countries, even where they do have laws about keeping off the road, have a culture where people don't feel the entitlement to plough through just because they happen to be in a vehicle and will give way out of politeness, just as you do when not in a vehicle.
Some other countries. Many if not most, worldwide, have more vehicle-is-power=right attitude than UK. Their laws might not say so but their practice does.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Pickled Onion on September 24, 2017, 06:01:09 pm
Yes, thanks, that's exactly what I meant.

It's quite strange that in the UK, where people will hold doors open for you, never dream of pushing in front of a queue, and apologise if someone else bumps into them, throw all that out of the window as soon as they get behind the wheel or handlebars.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: asterix on September 27, 2017, 05:07:26 pm
Yes, thanks, that's exactly what I meant.

It's quite strange that in the UK, where people will hold doors open for you, never dream of pushing in front of a queue, and apologise if someone else bumps into them, throw all that out of the window as soon as they get behind the wheel or handlebars.

It doesn't apply to everyone in the UK.  I would say that York has a fairly large proportion of people who are polite when driving or cycling.  Don't take the anti-cycling comments beneath York news as typical altho there are a few bad apples.

Driving in Hull (another city I know well) is another matter, I am sorry to say.  Two of the worst things that could happen to York is the upgrading of its road links to Hull or Leeds despite the clamours for this to be done.   
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 27, 2017, 06:29:31 pm
That isn't really related to the incident that's prompted it though, so can't really be a response to it. If this guy was wearing "safety" items it still would have happened, so I would therefore go so far as to say airing concern about those potential laws in this thread is therefore off topic.

Re your comment:
Quote
Yeah but what's the point behind the comment "One of the main attractions of cycling is that you can just get on an go" - it seems to suggest you are concerned that ability in jeopardy.

That ability would be put in jeopardy by mandatory special clothing laws. And if you think a review of the law relating to cycling would restrict itself to matters pertinent to the Charlie Alliston case, you're living in cloud cuckoo land.

You asked the question, that's the answer. I'm not trying to derail the thread and have no interest in discussing that matter any further.

Ok , I don't personally think throwing on a few items of safety gear is arduous enough to not count as "just getting on and going".
Methinks some members of the community want civil liberties purely for the sake of it, rather than for any practical difference in convenience.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on September 27, 2017, 06:47:00 pm
You may not personally, but all the empirical evidence from places that have enacted such requirements suggests that they materially depress cycling rates, and as such are a bad idea for public health overall.

Also, the point about civil liberties is that they are rights, and I get to exercise them however the fuck I like without needing the approval of others.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: mattc on September 27, 2017, 07:02:37 pm
You may not personally, but all the empirical evidence from places that have enacted such requirements suggests that they materially depress cycling rates, and as such are a bad idea for public health overall.

Also, the point about civil liberties is that they are rights, and I get to exercise them however the fuck I like without needing the approval of others.
Bootifully put.

(Also - isn't it funny how new rules and infringements of liberties are casually dismissed by those who aren't affected by them? )
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: rower40 on September 28, 2017, 03:39:27 pm
Helmets: Compulsory for ALL road users.  Pedestrians, tram passengers, space-hopperers, yogic flyers, the lot.

The head-injury stats suggest that those who would benefit most are those who hit their heads on the inside surface of their tin box in a collision - since the closing speed of head-to-windscreen (when wearing a seatbelt) becomes well within the capability of the current crop of magic hats.

Or did I make that up?  Anyway, it's not going to happen, so I might as well muddy the waters a bit...
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 28, 2017, 07:49:42 pm
You may not personally, but all the empirical evidence from places that have enacted such requirements suggests that they materially depress cycling rates, and as such are a bad idea for public health overall.

Also, the point about civil liberties is that they are rights, and I get to exercise them however the fuck I like without needing the approval of others.

....until they cease to be rights.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on September 28, 2017, 08:13:55 pm
Hang on, aren't you normally arguing from the libertarian perspective? Yes, of course in practice rights are exercised only insofar as the state permits them to be; nonetheless, in the UK tradition freedoms are generally only limited insofar as the common good requires it. And, to belabour the point, the massive preponderance of evidence is that measures such as compulsory registration and dress codes have little or no safety benefit to the individual and have a large negative effect on public health.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on September 28, 2017, 09:54:21 pm
Hang on, aren't you normally arguing from the libertarian perspective? Yes, of course in practice rights are exercised only insofar as the state permits them to be; nonetheless, in the UK tradition freedoms are generally only limited insofar as the common good requires it. And, to belabour the point, the massive preponderance of evidence is that measures such as compulsory registration and dress codes have little or no safety benefit to the individual and have a large negative effect on public health.
Oh, right - well if you're introducing the "only limited insofar as the common good requires it" clause, then it becomes entirely subjective.
The driver speeding down an empty road at 90 might well think that his freedom needn't be limited because the common good doesn't require it, because there's nobody around.
"Only limited insofar as the common good requires it" is basically a fancy way of saying "I'm only abiding by laws I agree with".
Quite simple - if it's not law, enjoy the freedom, if it's law, then the majority of (elected representatives of) the population obviously disagree with you about the need to do it.
The whole point of laws is they're society-wide, people don't pick and choose which ones they want to abide by.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on September 28, 2017, 11:37:21 pm

"Only limited insofar as the common good requires it" is basically a fancy way of saying "I'm only abiding by laws I agree with".

No, you wilfully misconstrue my point; I'm talking about legislation rather than individual behaviour. Laws should ideally only be created if there is a common good to compensate for the restriction on freedom. The point that I and others on this thread are making is that most of the knee-jerk measures being suggested would be bad laws from this perspective.

Or do you wish to engage with my claim that (eg) mandatory 'safety equipment' laws for cyclists depress cycling rates without a corresponding improvement in cyclist injury rates?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jaded on September 28, 2017, 11:48:57 pm
You've been Bonj'd.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 06, 2017, 11:26:16 pm

"Only limited insofar as the common good requires it" is basically a fancy way of saying "I'm only abiding by laws I agree with".

No, you wilfully misconstrue my point; I'm talking about legislation rather than individual behaviour. Laws should ideally only be created if there is a common good to compensate for the restriction on freedom. The point that I and others on this thread are making is that most of the knee-jerk measures being suggested would be bad laws from this perspective.

Or do you wish to engage with my claim that (eg) mandatory 'safety equipment' laws for cyclists depress cycling rates without a corresponding improvement in cyclist injury rates?

You seem take the attitude that the set of things you have a "right" to do is greater than that what the law allows you to do? That the two are separate things...?

"in practice rights are exercised only insofar as the state permits them to be"

No, rights ARE what the state permits - by definition! - no more and no less.

The terms are synonymous - they don't just usually happen to align, but sometimes not , as and when you feel you know better than the government.

"Laws should ideally only be created if there is a common good to compensate for the restriction on freedom"

Agree, but if the law gets created anyway, you don't have the right to flout it on the grounds that it is a "bad law" . That would then be something you used to have the right to do. There's lots of bad laws if you think about it , just don't dwell on it and move on.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on October 07, 2017, 05:18:16 am

No, rights ARE what the state permits - by definition! - no more and no less.

The terms are synonymous - they don't just usually happen to align, but sometimes not , as and when you feel you know better than the government.


You are in this matter, entirely mistaken, check any dictionary or online source such as https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=define++rights

Rights are derived from basic moral code, ascribed to by society, adopted by legal frameworks in the body politic, also curiously embedded in the UK legal system, given we have no written constitution as such.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 08, 2017, 03:24:42 pm
I think we can all agree that laws to govern cycling shouldn't restrict cycling, we are all likely concerned that any laws will end up restricting cycling, which was my motivation starting this thread - what regulations could work? (anyone who wants there are multiple threads to moan about Charlie Alliston and other dickheads etc over there -->)

What regulations work? Well let's take our usual favourite example. The Dutch.

So what are the laws here?

Well, you have to have a front and rear reflector, front and rear lights, a safe bike with at least 1 brake, pedal reflectors, and side reflectors (wheel or tyre side wall).

So what do I actually see when cycling around Amsterdam. Well most bikes have exactly none of the above. Where the brakes are installed, the chances of them allowing an effective rapid deceleration are next to zero. Lights are regarded as optional. Reflectors usually fell off, and as for safe bike. I'm still trying to convince people that a bike wheel should only rotate on one axis, and that the grinding noise their bikes makes is not actually normal. So in a city where bikes out number people, and most of them are basically unsafe junk. The law is basically useless...

And as such, nearly everyone cycles, noone wears a helmet, and the KSI numbers are very low. 

Quote

There can be no question (!!!) that cyclists can be no more trusted to police themselves than drivers can and, without the history and background of a cycling culture, widespread dickish behaviour is a result. OK, this might be a predominantly London thing, but that's where an awful lot of cycling happens, and a lot of awful cycling, to boot.


Yes, but the potential for my 12kg bike travelling at 20kph to do harm to others, relative to someone in a 2 ton lump of metal doing 70kph is not even in the same order of magnitude...

If you think London cyclists are bad, come join me on my 7.5km commute in Amsterdam. I've done hide park corner on a brompton in the rain and dark. I've cycled in Brussels, I'm pretty good at dealing with moron motorists. But yegods, my commute here, I stopped counting when the near misses went to double figures in the first week...[1]

Quote

A set of expectations/laws for cycling would be no bad thing, for example why shouldn't it be an offense to use a mobile on a bike? As for enforcement, that might be similar to speeding is in cars. As in, not normally enforced, but can be. Speed limit on superhighway could be set at 12mph, and prosecuted over 20. No speedo needed, if you can't tell the difference that's your problem.

They are talking of bringing in a law here to ban the use of mobile phones when cycling. The popular opinion is one of "hahaha like that'll work".

As for the speed limit on the cycle superhighways. That's a bloody stupid idea, all it will do is make people cycle less. Which is pointless.

If you want to revise the laws on cycling in the UK there are three basic things to do:


J

[1]The epiphany was to treat Dutch cyclists as if I'm basically surrounded by London Black Cabs. Once you work on that basis, it becomes a lot simpler to handle them.[2]
[2]The first week of term the students at the uni round the corner from work started cycling to college. Ye gods. At first I described them as demented lemmings. This is unfair. Lemmings demonstrate more will to live and basic survival instincts...
[3]Dutch law says that you can have the bike lights attached to the rider rather than the bike. This is a popular choice as it means you don't have to remember to take your lights off the bike when you dump it in Leidseplien in the vane hope it's still there when you come back later. They did however request that people turn the lights off when off the bike. Beyond that the law needs to make sure that a light that produces enough light to safely descend a hill at speed, is legal. Whilst also handling the safe aspect of morons with 1200 lumen portable suns. Oh and while we're at it, can we do something about drivers who don't understand the correct use of main beam, or the tilting on their car lights?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jaded on October 08, 2017, 04:06:53 pm
Having the fog light symbol say "FOG" rather than have an indistinct wavy line would help.

Hopefully this will be one of the two benefits of Brexit.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 08, 2017, 05:46:43 pm

No, rights ARE what the state permits - by definition! - no more and no less.

The terms are synonymous - they don't just usually happen to align, but sometimes not , as and when you feel you know better than the government.


You are in this matter, entirely mistaken, check any dictionary or online source such as https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=define++rights

Rights are derived from basic moral code, ascribed to by society, adopted by legal frameworks in the body politic, also curiously embedded in the UK legal system, given we have no written constitution as such.

The issue I still have is whilst what is a legal right can be defined as a matter of fact, what is a moral right (for the meaning you are trying to make it fit - see below) is entirely subjective.
You feel you have a right to go out without wearing hi viz, someone else may feel they have a right to do 75 on an empty dual carriageway - it is their opinion that they have a moral right to do that.
What someone has a "moral right" to do cannot be defined as a matter of fact. If you feel differently, I would be very keen to see the evidence for how something is factually, objectively, a 'moral' right.

So in that sense, the term 'moral right' doesn't really make sense in this context. And we find that using your own method of definition, https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=define+moral+right, a "moral right" is actually something rather specific - "the right of an author or other creative artist to protect the integrity and ownership of their work". So it doesn't really apply to a law about what you can and can't wear on your bike, and you can't really claim it is your 'moral right' just because you don't like the fact that it isn't a legal right, becasue a 'moral right' is actually nothing to do with laws you feel are wrong, but specifically about intellectual property and plagiarism.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on October 08, 2017, 06:29:24 pm

No, rights ARE what the state permits - by definition! - no more and no less.

The terms are synonymous - they don't just usually happen to align, but sometimes not , as and when you feel you know better than the government.


You are in this matter, entirely mistaken, check any dictionary or online source such as https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=define++rights

Rights are derived from basic moral code, ascribed to by society, adopted by legal frameworks in the body politic, also curiously embedded in the UK legal system, given we have no written constitution as such.

The issue I still have is whilst what is a legal right can be defined as a matter of fact, what is a moral right (for the meaning you are trying to make it fit - see below) is entirely subjective.
You feel you have a right to go out without wearing hi viz, someone else may feel they have a right to do 75 on an empty dual carriageway - it is their opinion that they have a moral right to do that.
What someone has a "moral right" to do cannot be defined as a matter of fact. If you feel differently, I would be very keen to see the evidence for how something is factually, objectively, a 'moral' right.

So in that sense, the term 'moral right' doesn't really make sense in this context. And we find that using your own method of definition, https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=define+moral+right, a "moral right" is actually something rather specific - "the right of an author or other creative artist to protect the integrity and ownership of their work". So it doesn't really apply to a law about what you can and can't wear on your bike, and you can't really claim it is your 'moral right' just because you don't like the fact that it isn't a legal right, becasue a 'moral right' is actually nothing to do with laws you feel are wrong, but specifically about intellectual property and plagiarism.

Ah, for want of anything better to do why don't I have a go. After all, you have just disagreed with yourself in the first post. What you are saying in the first paragraph (we'll ignore the bit about copyright) is exactly, 100% spot on. And, exactly what Jakob W said. That is......

(1) Rights exist based around common morality. While an individual can think it is their right to do/say/have anything, unless that view is shared by others it is meaningless. Think of the class system if you want to see how things can change. Droit de seigneur has disappeared for a long while, thankfully, for example; yes, that "first night" thing might be fiction, but Lords of the Manor having it away when they fancied wasn't. So, rights can and do exist without a legal framework, but only as long as everyone involved agrees or is in other ways complicit.

(2) When it comes down to it, rights mean jack shit if there aren't laws to enforce them.

That seems to be what you are saying. It is what I am saying, and I'm pretty certain Jakob W was saying. Can we agree to agree?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 09, 2017, 01:39:03 pm
Ah, for want of anything better to do why don't I have a go. After all, you have just disagreed with yourself in the first post. What you are saying in the first paragraph (we'll ignore the bit about copyright) is exactly, 100% spot on. And, exactly what Jakob W said. That is......

(1) Rights exist based around common morality. While an individual can think it is their right to do/say/have anything, unless that view is shared by others it is meaningless. Think of the class system if you want to see how things can change. Droit de seigneur has disappeared for a long while, thankfully, for example; yes, that "first night" thing might be fiction, but Lords of the Manor having it away when they fancied wasn't. So, rights can and do exist without a legal framework, but only as long as everyone involved agrees or is in other ways complicit.

OK well by that token then I have the 'right' to do 90 on the motorway as everyone involved either agrees or is in other ways complicit (they're doing it as well).
The view of having the right to speed is definitely shared by others - it's still regarded as a lot more socially acceptable than say drink driving.
You would not have to go far to find people who would agree that you have the 'right' to do up to 90 on a motorway (even if they're imho wrong), but you would to find someone who would agree that you have the right to drink drive.

That seems to be what you are saying. It is what I am saying, and I'm pretty certain Jakob W was saying. Can we agree to agree?
Apart from the fact that I'm not sure how I've contradicted myself...?
I originally said 'right' is analagous to 'law' - you said that it isn't because it's actually a 'legal or moral' right, and I'm now saying that whilst I agree with that*, the term 'moral right' is meaningless either because of its definition as something to do with copyright, or because of an lack of definition over how many people have to agree with you that you have the right to do it - so given the meaninglessness of the term 'moral right' (in this context), then the term 'legal or moral right' essentially boils down to 'legal right', which means my original point about 'rights' and 'the law' being synonymous sort of still stands.
At what point in that reasoning does it not make sense to you?

* I'm only agreeing with it because it was a definition provided by google, but you seem to think it's appropriate to conveniently bat aside a definition provided by google with 'we'll ignore that'?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on October 09, 2017, 02:39:45 pm
You are getting confused between a right, a noun - a thing - and a moral right, which is also a noun. A thing. A different thing. The word "right" appears in both, but that's english for you.

It is more confusing because a right is related to morality, and the word "moral" appears in both. You'll have to live with it.

Your example of speeding is quite a good one, tbh, as the overwhelming majority of people believe that speeding is a right, which is infringed by speed cameras; there is constant tension between the general populace and law enforcement, much as there was with drink driving for years. However, I'd go as far as to say that there is nobody in the UK now who would claim it was their right to drink & drive, although they might behave as if it is.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 09, 2017, 03:10:34 pm
You are getting confused between a right, a noun - a thing - and a moral right, which is also a noun. A thing. A different thing. The word "right" appears in both, but that's english for you.

It is more confusing because a right is related to morality, and the word "moral" appears in both. You'll have to live with it.

Your example of speeding is quite a good one, tbh, as the overwhelming majority of people believe that speeding is a right, which is infringed by speed cameras; there is constant tension between the general populace and law enforcement, much as there was with drink driving for years. However, I'd go as far as to say that there is nobody in the UK now who would claim it was their right to drink & drive, although they might behave as if it is.

OK. Fine. Let's say for a minute that I accept that there is a definition of 'moral right' meaning what you are saying it means. BUT - that simply proves that google's definition isn't always perfect - which unfortunately also blows a hole in your argument about the term 'right' including a 'moral right' in the first place.
If you want 'right' to include 'moral right', just because google says it means that, then it follows that you have to accept 'moral right' meaning something to do with copyright (and yes I understand what a noun is).

However, let's say for the sake of argument that I do accept that 'right' includes 'moral right' and that it means what you want it to mean: given that, what I struggle with accepting, that you seem to accept perfectly well, is a fairly less than unanimous majority of the population. In other words, I would have thought for something to be a 'moral right', it's got to have near on (say) 99% of the population agreeing with it - 60% is, for me, nowhere near enough.
Therefore whilst I gave the example of speeding because a lot of people find it acceptable, I don't think anywhere near enough do for it to class as a 'moral right'. My thinking is that not wearing hi viz is the same.
Where we probably differ is that you obviously feel that the proportion of the population feeling that, say, not wearing safety gear on a bike is a right is enough to class it as a 'commonly accepted moral right', either because you think it is the overwhelming majority/99%, or you feel that whatever it is - 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% - whatever, is enough.

It still doesn't make sense to me though really - I understand 'a right' to mean something I am entitled to do, and I'm not entitled to do something that is illegal. Are we going by google's definition, or not? You can't have it one way but not the ohter.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on October 09, 2017, 07:44:34 pm
There are a lot of concepts jostling for space in there. Let's take it apart and start from the beginning, leave aside laws for the second, we'll come back to them.

A right - as a noun - in the context of this discussion is something that you are morally allowed to do, have or say. It isn't "a moral right" - the thing - it is just a right. When you start using the term "moral right" you start confusing the issue. And yes, it is  confusing because you can't split it from morality.

This is what I said in my first sentence upthread "Rights are derived from basic moral code" So, you, I and most people in the Western World think that we have a right to life, we have a right to freedom of thought, we have a right to privacy and a right to protection by the law.

To come back to your question, can you decide that it is a right to speed? Well, yes, if sufficient others follow you, within that community it will be "a right"

Lets move onto the law. There is obviously such a thing as a right in law, but is that then "moral" or good? Not as a matter of course. It is quite possible to have a right that is not just amoral, but close to evil as far as society is concerned. The most famous example is Shylock, who has a right to a pound of flesh under (the fictional) Venetian law (but there are plenty of real examples).

So now we have morally right rights and morally wrong rights. Which tells us, if we needed telling, that there are a spectrum of rights across the panoply of human existence. And, it's that variety that is the second cause of your confusion.

I said the example of speeding is a good one, because at the heart of it, it is perfectly clear, you do not have the legal right to speed. That is entirely contrary, however, to the actual experience and the attitude of (likely) the majority of drivers: that they have an absolute right to speed, at least where they cannot be caught, and the police have a duty to warn them where they might be caught.

You want rights to be black and white - they rarely if ever are.

So, coming back to where this started, you can easily have a right but unless there is a law (along with the willingness to enforce) it counts for jack.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 10, 2017, 09:15:30 pm
Coming back to where this started was the statement "the point about civil liberties is that they are rights, and I get to exercise them however the fuck I like without needing the approval of others".
I took 'others' to mean 'the government' (I have an argument as to why this is a reasonable inference but will not go into it unless you are bothered as that point is essentially largely a tangent)
in other words what is being said is I have a right to cycle without wearing safety gear even if it is made mandatory under law because I have a "right" to. I am simply saying I don't see how it is a right, how is this mystical "right" actually defined if not by the law?
I know it wasn't your quote, but it comes over as a fairly anarchistic statement, in other words, the law is an ass because it is made by corrupt stupid white men and it is there to be disagreed with if one knows better.

I still don't grasp how you actually define a 'right' if not by the law.
Where do you draw the line?
So for example, there is an unknown random bike in the way of the club house door, do I have the right to move it ouf of the way?
Do I have the right to borrow it to nip to the shops on?
Do I have the right to borrow it to do an audax on?
Do I have the right to drive?

As far as I can gather, there are some things that are law but not rights - such as Shylock extracting his pound of flesh, and some things that are rights but (potentially) not law - such as cycling without safety gear in this particular hypothetical future scenario in which such a law is passed.
So it's a Venn diagram, effectively?
Where is the definition of this secret 'moral rights' law that sits alongside, and partially overlapping, the actual law?


Also are we not splitting hairs between
"you can easily have a right but unless there is a law (along with the willingness to enforce) it counts for jack"
and
"you can easily feel you have a right but unless there is a law (along with the willingness to enforce) then ... you don't have the right"
are they not two ways of saying the same thing?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on October 10, 2017, 10:46:05 pm
Nah, your inference was wrong (surprise!). I was responding to your use of the term 'civil liberties' - if helmets and hi-viz are non-compulsory, then, however much finger-wagging wowsers may want to tell me otherwise, the choice to wear them or not is mine and mine alone, because *that is how liberties work*.

FTR, if a compulsory helmet law were enacted, I'd probably comply, but would most definitely be campaigning for its repeal; the position that you should just suck it up because it's the law sets terribly low standards for both lawmakers and an engaged citizenry.

As for the distinction between rights in law and 'moral'/fundamental/human rights, consider the case of Rosa Parks; should she have sucked it up and given up her seat on the bus?
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 10, 2017, 11:20:34 pm
Nah, your inference was wrong (surprise!). I was responding to your use of the term 'civil liberties' - if helmets and hi-viz are non-compulsory, then, however much finger-wagging wowsers may want to tell me otherwise, the choice to wear them or not is mine and mine alone, because *that is how liberties work*.
Ok. Isn't it obvious that you have the right to ignore mere "finger-wagging wowsers"?  So what's the point in asserting that?
Why do you care what Joe public tells you about how you "should" be cycling? They don't make the law. Ignore them.

FTR, if a compulsory helmet law were enacted, I'd probably comply, but would most definitely be campaigning for its repeal; the position that you should just suck it up because it's the law sets terribly low standards for both lawmakers and an engaged citizenry.

As for the distinction between rights in law and 'moral'/fundamental/human rights, consider the case of Rosa Parks; should she have sucked it up and given up her seat on the bus?
No, there are no "moral'/fundamental/human rights" outside of those defined by law. (Not withstanding the fact that some 'human rights' are defined by law).
Rosa parks fought for the right to a seat on the bus. The fact that she fought for something implies that it's something she didn't have previously, which agrees with what I'm saying.

I'm not saying that the law is always morally correct in my opinion, but it's my subjective opinion, so I cannot say I "have the right" to do something that isn't law because that would be an (incorrect) attempt at aa statement of fact, and I simply don't.
I can say I feel I should have the right. Rosa parks felt she should have the right to a seat, but she didn't at that time ("lost out in the end though didn't she"  ;) )

I don't think I disagree with you on anything morally, and I don't have anything against campaigning for change to the law , or feel you should "suck it up" - it essentially is an argument about language and definitions -  I just think your terminology is wrong , but to the point of making you come across, to me at least, like you think you're above the law.
I know exactly what you mean by "I have the right", it's exactly the same as what I mean when I say I " feel I should have the right".
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on October 11, 2017, 05:46:27 pm
No, there are no "moral'/fundamental/human rights" outside of those defined by law.

The thing about laws is that they tend to be restrictive rather than permissive. This is why there is often an outcry every time the government tries to introduce new laws that are perceived to be eroding personal freedoms, such as the freedom to ride a bike without being required to wear so-called safety equipment. There is currently no law stating what you may or may not wear when riding a bike, ergo you have the right to wear whatever you like.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: drossall on October 11, 2017, 09:45:19 pm
I find it difficult to talk about rights apart from responsibilities. I'm not sure it works to have a whole population espousing their rights, because those rights will almost certainly be incompatible somewhere.

So, whilst I arguably have the right to wear what I like on a bike, and I certainly have the right not to wear safety equipment, I have a responsibility to make sensible choices* (because others will be affected if I get injured, and indeed may have to rescue me and fund my care). Equally, I have the right to dress as I please on a bike, but I have a responsibility not to be needlessly offensive. If I'm not balancing those things in my mind, I am probably not going to reach a good decision, and I'm almost certainly not going to get on with my neighbours.

* Making sensible choices does not mean wearing all available safety equipment. It just means taking others into account.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on October 11, 2017, 10:11:10 pm
I'm not sure it works to have a whole population espousing their rights, because those rights will almost certainly be incompatible somewhere.

That’s part of the reason we have laws: to provide a framework for arbitration between conflicting rights.

You talk about the responsibility for making sensible choices; the legislative body has a duty to make informed choices. It’s what prevents them from taking away our freedoms (ie by enacting new laws) without sound reasons. Of course, the current government would rather do away with all expert insight and make up legislation based purely on ideology.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: drossall on October 12, 2017, 12:24:45 am
In many ways this is just about language, but I think language can be helpful or unhelpful. I would suggest that, where the law arbitrates and decides to limit what I can do, I do not in fact have a right.

The idea of a moral right only stands if you can appeal to some external authority to determine what is moral. Otherwise, you have to appeal to your own judgment (which is a recipe for conflict) or to the collective view of the population (which is normally expressed in law anyway, and so not different from a legal right).

Your last sentence demonstrates the problems with appealing to your own judgment. Given that the government was voted in, there is likely to be a substantial proportion of the population who do not share your view. In any case, since our laws have in fact been made by governments of various colours over many years, all of which have, I suspect, avoided listening to advice that they found uncomfortable, it's not clear why our current body of law would be any worse as a representation of our rights than it has been at any time in the recent past.

Again, it's helpful to think of responsibilities alongside rights. I have the qualified right to a free education, the NHS and the roads, and in return I undertake my responsibilities to pay taxes to fund those things. I say qualified right because I'm not sure that these things could be held to be basic rights in any sense; they are excellent things that I value, and that our society collectively chooses to provide to its citizens and, whilst I hope they won't, society could legitimately decide to take them away at any time.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Pedaldog on October 12, 2017, 02:16:45 am
Aren't "Rights" ability to do/say/be things that are not allowed to be changed or repealed by gubbinsments? Such as the Magna Carta?
Any other right can be withdrawn by legislation so is rather more a state of "License to ......."
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: drossall on October 12, 2017, 07:58:43 am
No. For a start the rights in the Magna Carta were, I believe, very limited in extent and in to whom they applied. Most other rights must therefore derive from legislation, or social assumptions, since. And I'm not aware of any reason why the government could not repeal the Magna Carta anyway; Parliament is sovereign. It's just not clear why any likely UK government would want to.

I think it's easier to think about moral rights when they limit your legal rights. For example:
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 12, 2017, 09:33:13 pm
No, there are no "moral'/fundamental/human rights" outside of those defined by law.

The thing about laws is that they tend to be restrictive rather than permissive

Yes that's true,I was thinking of legal rights as being anything that isn't against the law.... But as soon as a law is passed restricting something, it ceases to be a legal right.

This is why there is often an outcry every time the government tries to introduce new laws that are perceived to be eroding personal freedoms, such as the freedom to ride a bike without being required to wear so-called safety equipment. There is currently no law stating what you may or may not wear when riding a bike, ergo you have the right to wear whatever you like.

Exactly. The right to do something is implied by, and predicated on, there being no law against it.
If there was ever a law passed forbidding it, then it would cease to be a right. Right?


Aren't "Rights" ability to do/say/be things that are not allowed to be changed or repealed by gubbinsments? Such as the Magna Carta?
Any other right can be withdrawn by legislation so is rather more a state of "License to ......."

Not in the UK maybe, in the US they seem fairly keen on their right to have a gun not being repealed by the gubbingment.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 12, 2017, 09:37:45 pm
No. For a start the rights in the Magna Carta were, I believe, very limited in extent and in to whom they applied. Most other rights must therefore derive from legislation, or social assumptions, since. And I'm not aware of any reason why the government could not repeal the Magna Carta anyway; Parliament is sovereign. It's just not clear why any likely UK government would want to.

I think it's easier to think about moral rights when they limit your legal rights. For example:
  • I'm in the queue for a real bargain next to someone whom I know to be a single parent on a very limited income, who needs it for the family. I clearly have the legal right to buy the last item on offer, but do I have the moral right?
  • My accountant shows me how to arrange my affairs rather artificially, in order to reduce my tax liabilities. I'd clearly and indisputably be within my legal rights, but would I be within my moral rights?

I don't think moral right makes sense as a noun, to me it makes more sense as an adjective e.g. "is it morally right" rather than "do I have a moral right". But whichever, it's entirely subjective and a matter of opinion.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on October 12, 2017, 09:59:52 pm
‘Moral right’ usually refers to intellectual property, as in ‘the author asserts his moral right etc’
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: tonycollinet on October 13, 2017, 11:25:41 pm
A: It is mandatory to cycle everywhere - for everyone.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ham on October 15, 2017, 08:26:03 am
An interesting parallel story. Of course, the operative word here is "may", but even so https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/oct/14/drivers-who-kill-may-now-face-life-sentence
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: mattc on October 15, 2017, 05:56:04 pm
No, there are no "moral'/fundamental/human rights" outside of those defined by law. (Not withstanding the fact that some 'human rights' are defined by law).
Rosa parks fought for the right to a seat on the bus. The fact that she fought for something implies that it's something she didn't have previously, which agrees with what I'm saying.

I'm not saying that the law is always morally correct in my opinion, but it's my subjective opinion, so I cannot say I "have the right" to do something that isn't law because that would be an (incorrect) attempt at aa statement of fact, and I simply don't.
I can say I feel I should have the right. Rosa parks felt she should have the right to a seat, but she didn't at that time ("lost out in the end though didn't she"  ;) )

Surely the Rosa Parks example shows just how fucking important those "moral'/fundamental/human rights" outside of those defined by law are?

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: drossall on October 15, 2017, 06:56:07 pm
I think you could make a case that there are human rights recognised by international law, even if they are not recognised in a particular country. There are also campaigns for liberation. I'm still not sure that you can talk about rights unless those rights derive from some external authority. I'm no expert, but at the time that Rosa Parks took her action, international human rights law was in its infancy at best. It looks to me as though she was highlighting her lack of rights.

As the case went to court, this was presumably to argue whether or not she actually should have had rights under the law, but she plainly did not in practice, or she would never have had to take the action that she did.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 15, 2017, 08:02:45 pm
No, there are no "moral'/fundamental/human rights" outside of those defined by law. (Not withstanding the fact that some 'human rights' are defined by law).
Rosa parks fought for the right to a seat on the bus. The fact that she fought for something implies that it's something she didn't have previously, which agrees with what I'm saying.

I'm not saying that the law is always morally correct in my opinion, but it's my subjective opinion, so I cannot say I "have the right" to do something that isn't law because that would be an (incorrect) attempt at aa statement of fact, and I simply don't.
I can say I feel I should have the right. Rosa parks felt she should have the right to a seat, but she didn't at that time ("lost out in the end though didn't she"  ;) )

Surely the Rosa Parks example shows just how fucking important those "moral'/fundamental/human rights" outside of those defined by law are?

(click to show/hide)

It doesn't show that they already exist. What it does show is that people can successfully campaign for new rights that they didn't previously have. That's a good thing that they do, but before the success of the campaign/introduction of the law, they weren't rights.
You can't have rights without there being a definition of what those rights are. It just doesn't make sense because who's to say what's a right and what's not?  If there's no definition, then it's just something you want to do. If they're not defined, then they're not (yet) rights, but things that you want to be rights.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 15, 2017, 08:11:06 pm
I think you could make a case that there are human rights recognised by international law, even if they are not recognised in a particular country. There are also campaigns for liberation. I'm still not sure that you can talk about rights unless those rights derive from some external authority. I'm no expert, but at the time that Rosa Parks took her action, international human rights law was in its infancy at best. It looks to me as though she was highlighting her lack of rights.

As the case went to court, this was presumably to argue whether or not she actually should have had rights under the law, but she plainly did not in practice, or she would never have had to take the action that she did.

That's a good point, but I don't think they include the right to cycle without wearing safety items. If they do, wahey, nothing to worry about then is there.
She was highlighting her lack of rights : exactly so.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on October 15, 2017, 08:13:46 pm
Well, the UN declaration on human rights was made in 1948, but the modern concept traces back to at least the Enlightenment; the UK bill of rights is enshrined in law post-1688, and universalist claims are at the heart of the American and French Revolutions. Now obviously there is an argument to be made (and I take this to be Ben T's point) that any claim about rights is socially constructed; nonetheless, as I said way back upthread, the UK common law tradition assumes that people's freedoms should not be limited without good reason. I'd have thought this was pretty  uncontroversial - there's over three centuries of precedent for this position - and I didn't intend this to turn into a discussion of political philosophy. Before we got sucked into that, my point was far more instrumentalist: given the public health benefits of cycling and the vanishingly small number of road KSIs that cyclists are responsible for, from a cost-benefit perspective, changing cycling law comes below just about every other aspect of the transport system.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on October 15, 2017, 08:22:55 pm
given the public health benefits of cycling and the vanishingly small number of road KSIs that cyclists are responsible for, from a cost-benefit perspective, changing cycling law comes below just about every other aspect of the transport system.

Quite. This is all that really matters.

I'm sure all the discussion on the concept of 'rights' is very interesting, but reading this thread is starting to feel a bit like wading through treacle and very little of it is relevant to the law as it relates to cycling.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: drossall on October 15, 2017, 08:28:14 pm
I rather agree. Rights language has not been helpful in this discussion. Rights for anything connected with cycling are, on the scale of human rights, not that important, and just another way of saying, "I am legally entitled to...".
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Jakob W on October 15, 2017, 08:31:21 pm
That's a good point, but I don't think they include the right to cycle without wearing safety items. If they do, wahey, nothing to worry about then is there.

The term 'safety items' is doing a heck of a lot of rhetorical work there. Unless you want to provide evidence for the efficacy of the equipment you're so sanguine about seeing compulsory, there doesn't seem to be much point in continuing - we're just going to go round in circles.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 15, 2017, 09:51:11 pm
Well, the UN declaration on human rights was made in 1948, but the modern concept traces back to at least the Enlightenment; the UK bill of rights is enshrined in law post-1688, and universalist claims are at the heart of the American and French Revolutions. Now obviously there is an argument to be made (and I take this to be Ben T's point) that any claim about rights is socially constructed; nonetheless, as I said way back upthread, the UK common law tradition assumes that people's freedoms should not be limited without good reason. I'd have thought this was pretty  uncontroversial - there's over three centuries of precedent for this position - and I didn't intend this to turn into a discussion of political philosophy. Before we got sucked into that, my point was far more instrumentalist: given the public health benefits of cycling and the vanishingly small number of road KSIs that cyclists are responsible for, from a cost-benefit perspective, changing cycling law comes below just about every other aspect of the transport system.

Ok, I mean it probably should come as no surprise to you that if any change to cycling law were made that limited your freedoms, it would be largely due to policy makers* not sharing your view that it is "without good reason".

*and by implication of democracy, "most of society".
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: citoyen on October 15, 2017, 09:54:36 pm
It is possible to objectively disagree with policy makers, especially when they admit to being ideologically motivated.

The "will of the people" argument is pish.
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: Ben T on October 15, 2017, 10:00:33 pm
It is possible to objectively disagree with policy makers, especially when they admit to being ideologically motivated.

The "will of the people" argument is pish.

Yes but you can't validly state that you have a right to go against the law because unfortunately whilst the law may not be perfect in your opinion, that is the only available definition of what you can and can't do.
Your argument actually counts for me - you can't state that you have the right to do something that isn't law because you have the will of the people behind you, because...
Title: Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
Post by: frankly frankie on October 16, 2017, 08:52:50 am
Laws do sometimes change to align themselves with custom & practice, where that c&p is actually illegal.  Flashing lights on cycles being a good example.