a question that has perplexed us here at citycycling
for some time - can a cyclist be prosecuted for speeding?
Obviously cyclists have to abide by the highway code,
but we had tell by some that cyclists could get penalty
points on their driving licence for cycling offences
and that speeding on a bike carreid the same sanction
as breaking the law in a car. We decided to get a
legal opinion, and Lothian & Borders police gave
us a most succinct and complete response.
response to your enquiry, I have checked the road traffic
legislation in relation to speeding and pedal cyclists.
Speeding is dealt with under the Road Traffic Regulation
Act 1984; section 81, which refers to exceeding 30mph
on a restricted road. This specifies, “drive a
motor vehicle” and the act goes on to define ‘motor
vehicle’ as a mechanically propelled vehicle.
Mechanically propelled means with an engine therefore
pedal cycles do not come into this category. Therefore,
there is no specific offence of speeding in relation
to pedal cycles. It is not therefore possible for a
cyclist to be given penalty points for an offence he
being a retired Traffic Police Officer I would expect
any cyclist riding in such a manner to be considered
for the offence of dangerous cycling or the lesser
charge of careless cycling under the Road Traffic
Act 1988. Neither of these offences carries penalty
points and the dangerous cycling offence carries the
possibility of a fine up to £2500 maximum while
the lesser charge of careless cycling carries a maximum
fine of £1000.
are correct in saying that cyclists should comply
with red lights and not use pavements to cycle on.
Although motorists would qualify for three penalty
points for failing to comply with a red light, pedal
cyclists would not. They would be given a non-endorsable
fixed penalty ticket for £30. There are no offences
that carry penalty points for cyclists.
between £1000 and £2500! I think I'd prefer
the speeding ticket!
there you have it - cycling offences cannot carry
penalty points, and are certainly not linked to motoring
offences. Rather we are subject to our own offences.
So remember, Be Careful Out There.