Road Traffic Law and the Cyclist
With the day to day rises in running a car, more and more people are looking at a cheaper, more environmentally friendly option - the bike. But did you know however that you could fall foul of the law for the following offences?
Death by Dangerous Cycling
Although not currently in force, the government is looking at introducing a new offence of causing death by dangerous cycling, following concerns that there is no suitable legislation to deal with riders who are involved in incidents such as hitting pedestrians on pavements. Proposed sentences are likely to mirror current legislation regarding drivers, meaning maximum penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment.
It is an offence to ride a bike in a manner that would be considered dangerous by a competent and careful cyclist; The test is namely whether the standard fell far below that of a competent and careful rider, and whether it would be obvious to such a rider that driving in that manner would be dangerous. The punishment for dangerous cycling is a fine of up to £2,500.
It is an offence to ride a bike without due care and attention and consideration for others. The punishment for careless cycling is a fine of up to £1,000.
Cycling Whilst Under the Influence of Drink (or Drugs)
It is an offence to ride a bike whilst unfit to do so through drink or drugs. The maximum penalty is the same as for Dangerous Cyclin, with a fine of up to £2,500.
Cycling on the Pavement
It is an offence to ride a bike on any pavement pedestrians have a right of way on, if the manner of cycling endangers others. This is normally dealt with by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice of £30, but could increase to £500 if contested at Court.
Disobeying a Red Traffic Light
This offence carries a £30 Fixed Penalty Notice.
It is not a legal requirement to wear a helmet whilst riding a bike, albeit common sense suggests people should do so.