Author Topic: What changes would you make to cycling law?  (Read 4391 times)

What changes would you make to cycling law?
« 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

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #1 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.

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #2 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.

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #3 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)

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #4 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.

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #5 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.


Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #6 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.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #7 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?
Pen Pusher

Karla

  • car(e) free
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #8 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.
Latest tour journal: Bucharest to Berlin

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #9 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.

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #10 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. 
Sic transit and all that..

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #11 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?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #12 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.

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #13 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!]
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #14 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.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #15 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>
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #16 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.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2017, 01:05:18 pm »
What I would like to see:
  • Mandatory for nearside wheels to cross centre line/lane markings when overtaking
  • Presumed liability/Strict liability
  • Mandatory for cyclists to ride two abreast unless riding alone

What I expect to see proposed:
  • Causing injury/death by Dangerous cycling
  • Annual inspections and certification
  • Insurance
  • Compulsory hi-viz and h****ts
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #18 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.

tedshred

  • limping on
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #19 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 ?
The pleasure of pain endured
To purify our misfit ways

Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #20 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.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #21 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.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Ben T

  • Viable.
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #22 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.
I'm definitely right over this.


Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: What changes would you make to cycling law?
« Reply #24 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.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery