£50 fine for cyclists - ASL enforcement

Just wanted to warn cylists that as part of the Advance Stop Line enforcement police are fining cylists if you stop past the second white line. I was given a £50 fixed penalty this morning - I should explain that a car had already occupied the "cycle box" and the nature of the junction is such that beyond the second white line was the only safe place to stop. The policeman acknowledged the point but said I had to go to court to contest it...

They were stopping motorists too, but I have to say they seemed to be stopping more cyclists than anyone else so watch out.

I was "caught" just before 9am this morning going North over Putney Bridge and turning right at the lights to go down New Kings Road. Apparently this sort of enforcement will be moving to junctions around London as part of ASL enforcement.

Replies

I knew they were fining for going through red lights and I suppose this sort of makes sense, but as you say, sometimes it is the only safe option. 

Did they fine the driver of the car occupying the 'cycle box'?!

  • By mickeyg at 4:33pm 19 August 2013

As a cyclist, I have no problem with them doing this but only if they fine the driver who entred the box too. Be careful though as I understand that the rule is that if a car is in the box when the light turns to red then that is fine. It is only if a car corsses the ASL after the light turns red that they get fined.

So simply cycling round a car who happens to be in a box and then crossing the stop line does not always stack up as a defense.

Crossing the 2nd white line is very rarely the 'only option'. Why not position yourself behind the car? Or a bit further back in the line of traffic if there's a suitable gap? Otherwise you can always dismount, walk around the line on the pavement and remount back on the road, before waiting for the lights to change.

Did the car get fined??

Absolute waste of time and money enforcing this. The police have some level of discretion (for example, they're not prosecuting everyone doing over 70 on the motorways..). This is an offence where there's no danger, and no victim, and should be ignored in favour of offences whee enforcement has some benefit to someone. 

The purpose of enforcement of road laws is to show that everyone is subject to these laws. Too often you hear drivers say 'red lights don't apply to cyclists' - this shows that they do, and ASLs will be enforced too.

There is almost no reason to ever go through red lights, no matter what your mode of transport.

marco - 

not true. it's safer to wait in front of waiting traffic - and far enough in front that hgvs etc can see you. it's also often safer to anticipate the green by a couple of seconds, again for visibility - and to be up to the speed of moving vehicles by the time they come close..

 

and, hopefully, the purpose of enforcement should be to increase safety for everyone, not demonstrate anything.

Marco is right!

If the lights are on red and have been for sometime, unless you can safely get to the front of the queue, wait in the fraffic queue adopting the primary riding position.

Secondly, Marco also raises the point that you should dismount if you opt to use the pavement. It is illegal to ride on the pavement [I think you are allowed if you are under 10 years old, but I could be wrong]

Baron Samedi: "not true. it's safer to wait in front of waiting traffic - and far enough in front that hgvs etc can see you. it's also often safer to anticipate the green by a couple of seconds, again for visibility - and to be up to the speed of moving vehicles by the time they come close.."

What are you basing this on? How many cyclists are killed in primary position in a queue of traffic, compared to those alongside/in front of large vehicles at lights/junctions? If a large vehicle is waiting at the lights when you arrive, just wait behind it. NEVER go down the side of it - that's where people die. You *might* save yourself 3 seconds of your journey, but if you get it wrong might not get to see your family ever again. Is that 3 seconds really worth that risk? 

 I often see people waiting at junctions in the way you suggest. They move across the white line and stop in front of the lights so they have no idea when the traffic behind them is going to move By the time they set off the traffic is moving faster than they are, and already along side.

When I'm in traffic I prefer to see the danger in front of me - that way it CANNOT hit me. If I hold someone up for 5 seconds because of it, I'll get over it. So will they. If their journey's that important they'll put the lights and sirens on. 

By making up rules for yourself when riding on the roads you not only break the law but reduce other cyclists' safety by reinforcing the stereotype some drivers have about us.

 

@panettone

who said anything about going up the inside of hgvs?

ever heard of repeater lights?

'by making up rules for yourself you... reduce other cyclists safety by reinforcing the stereotype some drivers have about us'

enough victim-blaming, mr panettone. drivers are responsible for their own safe driving, irrespective of what stereotypes they choose to hold. i will continue to do what's safe, which means staying visible where necessary. 

where the law asks for less safe behaviour, it should be changed, and we should campaign for that.

If a large vehicle is stopped at lights before you arrive, how do you get to the front? I didn't say 'inside'. How certain are you of that vehicle's next movement? Of the lights' sequences? Of what's in front of that vehicle? Pushing to the front (not knowing what's there, or how long you have) can be incredibly dangerous. It is certainly not always safer, as you suggest. Repeater lights encourage this behaviour - but do not make it safe or legal. Not every junction has them anyway. There are many situations where it would be safe for drivers to pull through red lights for a better view at junctions - should that be encouraged too?

It's perfectly possible to wait behind vehicles in a queue of traffic and remain visible to those behind you. Whatever is in front cannot hurt you, and you can see what it's doing.

I'm not 'victim-blaming' as you suggest. I'm blaming people who use the road illegally. As a road user YOU are responsible for the safe, legal use of that road. The more people that use it safely AND legally the better.

I agree that we should campaign for safer junctions, and safer traffic lights, but currently using the "well the law should be...." is the same as drivers saying "well you don't pay road tax so have less/no right to be on the road".

  • By SimonS at 7:37pm 27 August 2013
I did the 'exchanging places' at RideLondon where you get to sit in an HGV cab. Even if a lorry is behind the first stop line they very often will still not be able to see you in the ASL box. If I approach a junction with a lorry at the front, I hold back. If a lorry comes up behind me after I enter the ASL, then tough, I will pull forwards as I would rather be alive than £30/£50 poorer. There is no way you can expect cyclists to move onto the pavement every time a lorry approaches them after they enter an ASL and that manoeuvre could be very dangerous in itself. Stay safe people.

Until such time as cars that deliberately infringe the ASL get regularly punished I think it is ridiculous to fine a cyclist who is only putting himself at risk. The police should get their priorities straight - why don't they actually ride bikes around and fine people for using mobile phones which is dangerous. As cyclists we get a good view of this day in day out. Also police enforcement of motorized vehicle red light jumping and back street speeding is pathetic. Both of these cause accidents. I ride in London 10 miles a day and am also a car driver.

Oh good - the "2 wrongs make a right" argument... It's the same one that gets used by bad drivers: "when cyclists stop jumping red lights I'll start giving them enough space in the car"?

 

I'm ceratinly not saying there shouldn't be ASL enforcement - there should be - but there should be proper enforcement of all road laws for all users.

  • By leftback at 1:50pm 1 September 2013

Marco, yes all laws should be enforced but in the absence of infinite police resources it makes sense to prioritize enforcement to infringements that actually matter. Crossing the front white line for me is very low priority. However I agree with most of your above comments and I always think its daft when cyclists cross lines and then cannot see the lights.

Simon S. If a lorry pulls up behind you in an ASL then surely the driver has seen you already and there is no need to move forward. The main danger is over/undertaking a stopped lorry and moving into the ASL in front of it.

 

As far as cars/lorries encroaching the asl then just position yourself in fornt of them. If it means going past the second stop line then stop parallel to it.

  • By leftback at 6:55pm 1 September 2013

No way should you stop parallel to second stop line!

  • By ou812 at 10:34pm 2 September 2013

Remember that it was campaigning by people like the LCC which gets the police out enforcing the strict letter of the law on red light jumping. This is just a case of getting what we wished for. Ther is never a need to cross the stop line - just wait in the queue.

  • By SimonS at 11:14am 24 September 2013
Raymondox: good point, but at busy junctions and when so many drivers are distracted by mobile phones, eating, etc, I don't make assumptions. If I can't make eye contact, I just do what I think is safest. Rules are generally best followed, but my point is that you have to use your judgement too and in a choice between a fine and being hurt, I'll choose the fine.

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