What cyclists can be fined for

Cycling and the lawThe law and cycling have always had a tough relationship. On one hand cyclists are road users and therefore should follow the rules of the road like everyone else. On the other if a cyclist doesn’t follow the rules the consequences are likely to be less severe simply considering the size of a bike versus that of a car. The rules are there to make using the UK’s roads a more safe and enjoyable experience yet in recent times a lack of clear definitions and revisions to provide for the increase in cycling have left people frustrated.

Just look at the difficulty James Randerson from the Guardian recently had in discovering whether cars in advanced stop boxes were breaking the law. He had to go through 3 different government departments before getting the answer. In the end he discovered it is illegal and carries 3 points on your licence and a £60 fine.

Let’s take a look at the things a cyclist can and cannot be fined for..

£30 fine for jumping a red light

As a cyclist the most likely thing you’ll be fined for is jumping a red light. In London the police occasionally crack down on this behaviour due to the sheer pressure from the public. Been caught for this offence carries a £30 fine. Depending on the council area you are caught in you may be invited to take part in a safety course instead of receiving a fine.

£1000 fine for being drunk or high

Whilst police are not allowed to demand a breathalyser test they can ask you to walk in a straight line. If you really manage to annoy them they may actually fine you. However, in 99% of cases they’ll probably ask you to get off your bike and walk it home.

£30 fine for riding on the pavement

Again when caught riding on the pavement the chances are you’ll just be told to get off your bike. However, repeat offenders or seriously bad behaviour can result in a staggering £500 fine.

£30 fine for doing a bike salmon

Going down a one way street in the wrong direction can carry a fixed penalty notice. Though there has been talk of this changing with a couple of trials to see if it works.

Going over the speed limit?

This generally is not something you’ll be fined for. Unless it was deemed to be “Dangerous cycling” in which case a fine can be issued.

Listening to your iPod or answering a phone call

Again this is not strictly illegal although there is the argument that you were cycling in a dangerous way.

Taking part in an unauthorised race and carrying passengers

Both of these are traffic offenses. Though the likelihood of been caught and then prosecuted are fairly slim.

So if I can break most the rules with relative impunity why not do it all the time?

Whilst cyclists do tend to receive a slightly more relaxed treatment from the police it doesn’t mean you should go around breaking the rules all the time. For one if you were in an accident you would have little defence if you were cycling dangerously. Another reason to avoid bad behaviour is of course safety. The final is that the more people that go around breaking the rules all the time the less support cyclists have from motorists and pedestrians.

Have you ever been fined for breaking one of these rules?

See also:

Image via Banspy

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.


76 Responses to What cyclists can be fined for

  1. Amy 09/08/2010 at 8:35 am #

    Great post Andreas. I once got fined for “dangerous bicycling.” £75!

    How? I was riding between a parked car and a car in the line of traffic (there was no cycle lane) and the car in the line of traffic opened its door to let a passenger out. I went straight into the door and over the top, and my bike messed up the parked car nicely!

    According to the police I should have been riding in the line of traffic not beside it, given there was no cycle lane. Pfff!

    • Andreas 09/08/2010 at 9:40 am #

      A ridiculous example of how the police don’t understand how to deal with cyclists.

      • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 11:47 am #

        Yes, whatever happened to motorists being to look in their mirror before opening a door. This should apply to both sides of the car.

    • Filippo Negroni 09/08/2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Sorry for the mishap but did I read this correctly? You were _undertaking_ the car in the line of traffic instead of overtaking? Then the police were correct in stating you should have been in primary or overtaking.

      • To-jo 11/08/2010 at 5:00 pm #

        Interesting. I was involved in a similar accident but with a very different result. I was riding down Holland Park Avenue. I was told (because I lost my memory of the accident) that I was riding down the road and a passenger opened a car door on me (so I must have been undertaking). Anyway the police tried to prosecute the passenger – I was summoned to court to be a witness but the passenger had gone back to russia so they dropped the case. The driver refused to pay for a new front wheel and my smashed helmet for a very reasonable amount of 80 quid. So I went through my house content insurance with a no-win company. They told me that it could go either way because the law is unclear in this area and cases have gone either way. The driver’s insurance company didn’t contest it and paid up. I got 2K for my injuries and to fix my bike.

      • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 11:49 am #

        If ‘undertaking’ is so wrong why is the cycle lane on the left of the traffic? (Ha-Ha)

    • Ssum 29/08/2010 at 12:19 pm #

      OMG! I have the same case but the other side was rode-work barriers along the pavement.
      The car waiting for the traffic light shouldn’t open the door where no access to the pavement! I had pain on my body for 2 weeks. Luckily (?) I didn’t call the police. Probably I should’ve, there was a cycle lane inside of the barriers.

    • mich 17/07/2016 at 10:58 am #

      Can i ask who was responsible for paying for the damage to the parked car?

  2. adam 09/08/2010 at 8:41 am #

    As far as I’m aware the speed limit only applies to motorised vehicles, but you can be stopped for an old law called something furious and wanton pedalling, which can apply even if you are under the “speed limit” for a road but pedalling furiously in a way that might be thought to cause a danger.

    Interesting blog post on the ethics of RLJing at http://onthelevelblog.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/stop-at-red-the-ethics-and-politics-of-cyclist-red-light-running/

    When lights in cities are set up to give a green wave to cars travelling 30 mph, should cyclists be obliged to stop at every one, as they’re likely to all turn red just before you get to them if you travel around the average cycling speed of 20mph?

    • Andreas 09/08/2010 at 9:42 am #

      Adam good knowledge on the “furious and wanton pedalling” – never heard of that before and I’m gonna look around to find out more.

      Reading the RLJ article you quoted now..

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:01 pm #

      When I was a teenager (I’m now 73 and still cycling) I was stopped but not fined for cycling ‘furiously’ in the small Suffolk town wher I lived.
      There has long been a speed limit of 20mph in Richmond Park and I recently stopped an officer of Park Police to ask if it applied to cyclists as I was frequently overtaken downhill by cyclists when I was driving at 20mph. He told me ‘yes, it did apply’. Also there are now many urban areas with 20mph limits. One I know is in Kingston (back of a park past ‘The Cricketers’. Driving there one day at 20mph I was passed by an angry fist waving white van driver. This one has a ‘smily’ that frowns at over 20. 20+ is not difficult for the average cyclist. (even I can do it but now not for long) I believe these law breakers SHOULD be fined but unfortunately there are just not enough police officers and PCSOs do not have power of arrest.

  3. Miss Bouquet 09/08/2010 at 9:47 am #

    I love the term ‘doing a bike salmon’ how have I not come across that before!!

    • Andreas 09/08/2010 at 10:29 am #

      Think Bike Snob NYC came up with it!

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:05 pm #

      I think Boris was once caught on camera doing it. I often do it myself to avoid a long diversion but always give priority to vehicles going the right way. I look forward to a change in the law.
      Good terminology though!

  4. danny scott 09/08/2010 at 9:48 am #

    there are using unmarked police cars to stop people on popular cycle routes,
    the office said to me “if i’d see runnin a red light and i was off duty, i would of spead up and knocked you off your bike and killed you”
    after stopping me the stoped another cyclist 5min down the road

    i may been in the wrong but with the increase of cyclist and hiure bikes the police are use entrapment tatictics to raise revenue, whilst show how anti cyclist they are

    • Andreas 09/08/2010 at 10:38 am #

      Did the officer honestly say that?

  5. Glyn Jones 09/08/2010 at 10:21 am #

    Why oh why oh why did you publish this. People keep emailing me the link. I’m a serial offender with three tickets to my name – all for jumping red. All in central London where they tend to be tough all the time. Feels a bit unfair as I’ve *never* seen a London cab stopped for anything (never mind jumping lights). I had my revenge by stopping a police car a few weeks ago – it was driving with flashing blue lights (but no siren) and I guessed it was a mistake. So when it stopped at some lights I tapped on the window and asked very nicely. I explained I wouldn’t take it any further on this occasion.

    • Andreas 09/08/2010 at 10:43 am #

      Haha apologies Glyn! Good to hear about your revenge on the police though..

      • Filippo Negroni 09/08/2010 at 2:53 pm #

        I am not: police is not someone to take revenge on.
        Emergency vehicles are given some exemptions and in any way, you should never ever stop or impede an emergency vehicle, whether it has blue lights and siren or not.

        • Glyn Jones 10/08/2010 at 10:39 am #

          You’re getting your pedals in a twist Filippo. The guys in the cop car were grateful to be told that they inadvertently had left the blue flashing lights on.

          Also, the police work for us not the other way around. They’re public servants and, without impeding constables in the course of their duty, I reckon it makes it a better society if occasionally the police are reminded that they too have to obey the law (and the Highway Code, of course).

          BTW Filippo – don’t feel the need to post a reply. I thought of suggesting that you try taking an imodium tablet instead, but that odf course would be silly and irresponsible.

        • Filippo Negroni 10/08/2010 at 10:46 am #

          Glyn, I must have run out of imodium tablets. Can I have some of yours?

  6. Dani Riot 09/08/2010 at 10:40 am #

    I agree with the whole licensing thing. Maybe not so you have to pay for it, but cyclists should get points in the same way any other road user would get. And get fined, and disqualified respectively.

    I am a committed cyclist, and a safe cyclist. And i completely agree with john, that there are individuals out there that are painting a bad image for the rest of us.

    I also don’t see why cyclist have to be so opposing on these subjects. Surely as safe cyclists, we are never going to get points on a licence. And its only the unsafe cyclists who will be affected.

    So, am i to believe that all the opposing views are just people breaking the law who are trying to make enough excuses to not get in trouble for it.

    • christhebull 09/08/2010 at 11:02 am #

      Any other road user you say? Horse drawn vehicles are subject to laws, but I’m fairly sure you can’t be banned from driving a horse buggy. The same would apply to ridden horses and mobility scooters.

    • Jules 09/08/2010 at 12:37 pm #

      i’m a committed cyclist and i’d like to consider myself a safe cyclist. and i know there’s a big can of worms regarding the safeness or otherwise of jumping the lights. i don’t think it’s fair to say all safe cyclists stop at lights – i refuse to believe that people don’t ever slide slowly through a pedestrian when there are no people late at night. i think what we all do is weigh up the risks of each light – some i will always stop at (welcome to the algate) and some it depends on other things like other traffic, phasing of the lights, if there are any pedestrians.

      what makes people angry is when people go through them really fast and aggressively and make other people have to avoid them.

      i too like “doing a bike salmon” – but i never actually do it – i’m the kind of cyclist who’ll stick with the main roads and the direct route rather than the quiet roads where people tend to be more focussed on getting to their own front doors rather than looking out for other road users (isn’t there some frightening statistic about most motorcycle accidents are within a mile within of their homes?)

      i like dani’s licensing idea – how else can you keep track of serial offenders? though i suspect that we are all being a bit guilty of homogenising cyclists as a group – lots of different views on what’s ok and what’s not.

      • Dani Riot 09/08/2010 at 12:55 pm #

        My main reason for liking a licensing idea is due to what most road users view us un paying lycra louts. If we were all policed on the same principals and were all treated the same in regards to red light jumping, speeding, and one way streets it would put us all on the same ground.

        What we all have to realise about traffic lights, if we get a red light, it means someone else has a green light, whether it be a pedestrian crossing the road or a filter lane of traffic. Now picture yourself as you try to ride through a green light and someone crosses the road or a car pulls out. Think of how annoyed you get as you slam your brakes on in order to stop in time. Its about time we start to think of all the people with a green light we have just done that same thing to as you run lights.

        You can use the same principals with pavements, how would you react if a pedestrian just decided to walk down the centre of the road, because it was more convenient. how annoyed would you get at that, and who would be quickest to shout, “get on the pavement where you belong”?

        We need to stop pretending we are special, and learn to follow the rules. This world is full of rules, whether it be on the road, being a smoker indoors, or down to whether there is a male or female sign on a toilet door.

        • Dave 13/08/2010 at 12:44 pm #

          I totally agree with you Dani. I’m a pedastrian (as we all are) as well as a cyclist, and I find it very irritating when some knob pedals past on the pavement or pedals towards me expecting me to get out the way. I think if we show courtesy to road/pavement users we can be blameless in the face of others.

      • Nick 25/10/2010 at 10:33 pm #

        @Jules…Regarding most accidents being within a mile or two of home, ALL journeys include this bit however long or short so it’s statistically most likely to happen there if you think about it 🙂

        Regarding licensing bikes, I think it would be so much red tape for everyone it would be virtually unworkable, not to mention the sheer costs involved, do you fancy having to pay road fund licence on your pushbike to pay for the admin cost of licensing itself? What’s wrong with the current system? If I was caught drunk on a bike and thrown into court more than twice I’m sure the third ruling would be suitably severe.

    • Tom 11/08/2010 at 1:26 pm #

      Licensing for cyclists would just be completely impractical. If there’s no test and no fee, then it would be basically worthless anyway. A car is a serious purchase, but most people on bikes just ride casually.

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:11 pm #

      Three cheers for Dani!!!
      I’ve long been saying that it is these (hooligan) cyclists who give all cyclists a bad name. I hope they are the minority and I hope that any increase due to the hire scheme does not change that.

  7. Biil 09/08/2010 at 11:01 am #

    Two years ago I was pulled over in Bow during the morning rush hour for what the officer called aggressive cycling.

    I sat thru’ a 30 second lecture about cyclists not wearing helmets etc before being allowed to continue my journey, though he never did tell me exactly what he found aggressive about my cycling.

    In a habit learned from going to the football I kept quiet and waited for him to get bored, but I always regretted not asking him to clarify what I had done.

  8. John 09/08/2010 at 11:05 am #

    I have been flashed by speed cameras twice over the last few years during the evening and last week a police officer stood in front of me with a hand held speed camera, no one has ever taken any action and yes I will cycle fast if the road conditions apply, but not the wanton or dangerous style which all of us have seen on pavements and in amongst traffic.
    If we dont have speedometers on bike how can we now if we are exceeding the speed limit?
    PS I always use a mirror on the bike so I know there was not a car behind me they were aiming for.

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:14 pm #

      John, neither do you have a registration number that can be traced. If you had, perhaps it WOULD have been followed up. A good case for registration as long as the charge wer only nominal and not just a way of raising more money.

  9. Reuben 09/08/2010 at 11:24 am #

    I don’t see why listening to music on a bike can be seen as dangerous really, people listen to the radio, have hands free kits in cars and its fine, and cars are really noisy.. So are other bicycles, you can hear ’em fine, and you should be looking around anyways..

    • Chris 09/08/2010 at 1:39 pm #

      You are a fool. Just because people do it in cars doesn’t make it safe. Cycling with music is one of the most stupid acts on two wheels.

      • Filippo Negroni 09/08/2010 at 2:59 pm #

        Not too sure about this but I agree, listening to loud music drowning the surrounding sounds can be dangerous if the cyclist is not paying attention by looking.
        Having said that, deaf people are allowed to cycle and I don’t think they are in any more danger than the average cyclist.
        Electric cars (or hybrid cars running on electric motors) are very silent and I am sure will take some people by surprise initially but if given the correct safety distance and clear indication, they are no more dangerous than any other silent or near-silent vehicle.
        Music can be distracting, though I find it less so when cycling.
        Having said that, I don’t listen to music when cycling.

        • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:26 pm #

          At last Filippo has said something sensible. It’s not the music which is the problem it is the loudness drowning other sounds. I don’t have music when I’m cycling though but I do have it and use it in the car. In the car though it is only ever music (Magic is quite good, ‘more music less talk’, no advertising intended), speech or even ‘classical’ music that needs to be listened to is distracting. I think there is nothing wrong with a bit of ‘Musak’. Recent research though has suggested that even ‘hands free’ phones should be prohibited use in cars as the driver can be distracted by someone who is not seeing the traffic situation, unlike a talking passenger. I have even seen (I’m sure we all have) cyclists using mobile phones when cycling in traffic, now that IS dangerous but as far as I know is not a specifically named offence. If nothing else it reduces the braking capability by 50% and probably upsets the balance somewhat in a heavy braking situation.

      • Simon Mason 09/08/2010 at 4:09 pm #

        Would you cycle if your hearing was severely reduced by strong winds, or would you ban deaf cyclists? I listen to music all the time and can still hear surrounding traffic just fine. In fact, my workmate rides his motorbike with ear plugs in to drown out his engine noise, so the role of hearing in cycling safety is hugely overplayed. I always rely on my vision, not hearing.

        • Filippo Negroni 09/08/2010 at 5:23 pm #

          I must also add to this, that the few times I cycled wearing in-ear headphones, I had to keep the sound level quite high to drown out the noise and I could still hear most of what was around me, so I agree that it is a bit over played.

      • walltoall 13/08/2010 at 1:54 pm #

        Well said Chris

  10. markbikeslondon 09/08/2010 at 12:52 pm #

    I believe that ‘Wanton and furious driving’ is applicable to all forms of transport and dates back from the days of horse drawn carriages when, if you flogged your horses too hard, you’d be done for ‘wanton and furious driving’ of horses. Seems like a good excuse to nab a couple of cyclists to me…

    There was an RLJ trap at the junction with the Barbican tunnel on Friday night (there is one there quite often to be honest) and I’ve been getting a bit peeved off with the offices focussing solely on cyclists there so on Friday I called out to one and said “Officer, look, a cab has driven in to the Advanced Stop Line” He said he’d be along just as soon as he’d finished booking the cyclist he was dealing with, by which time of course the cab had gone. I don’t mind cyclists getting booked for RLJing or any other offence, so long as I thought the law was being metted out equally amongst all road users. It’s worth remembering that 17% of all cyclists killed or seriously injured in London are done so by other vehicles jumping the signals – only 5% by the cyclists jumping the lights themselves. As such I’d really like to see the Plod focus their efforts where it would be most effective, or is that way too much to ask? :o)

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:30 pm #

      Most motorcyclists seem to think the advanced stop line does not apply to them. I have never seen a written clarification of this but the logo painted in the box clearly has pedals.

  11. Iain 09/08/2010 at 3:08 pm #

    The problem with licensing is all the good honest people pay for their license and probably never get stopped and never need to show it to anyone. The bad people don’t bother (how often on Traffic Cops do they nab someone for no license, no insurance etc?) As for RLJ’s wish I had a video camera running on my bike yesterday (56 miles Redhill – London and back) I lost count of the vehicles who thought the lights didn’t apply to them including a very blatant bus coming the other way [glad I wasn’t turning right on the filter!} It really bugs me when I stop for the changing lights, and the following vehicle doesn’t… I saw a Porsche bicycle/pedalcar on Top Gear a couple of week’s back, so presume it can use ASLs, I didn’t know most other motor manufacturers also produce such vehicles, even fitting them with speakers to give fake engine noise so other road users can hear them coming! lol

    I do tend to stick to speed limits (well maxing out at 28 with a tail wind helps) but there’s a 15mph area where I’m always passed by a car (usually either delivering or collecting the children the limit’s there to protect!) Dunno if I got gatso’s yesterday, but I sailed past a camera at the bottom of a dip in a 20 going a little bit faster (well, there’s another hill!)

  12. Access Legal Guy 09/08/2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Hi all,

    There’s an interesting article on Cycling and the law, which covers all sorts of access rights and a better definition of cycling Furiously and pavements here


    Furthermore, I am in the process of contributing to a book on this very subject which expands upon said article, for the Cyclist Defence Fund. Should be published in the near furture.

    Apologies if this sounds like a spamming plug, however I think that it’s important for us as cyclists to know exactly where we stand. The linked article above is not mine.

    Amy, First comment above, that set of events is outrageous and should have been challenged. A clear example of that police officer simply not knowing the legal position in respect of cyclists.

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:34 pm #

      Good stuff ‘Legal Guy’ it’s just what we need. I look forward to the book.

  13. Andrew 10/08/2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Carrying a passenger is illegal on a bike in UK? What about bakfiets?

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:39 pm #

      ‘Bakfiets’ was a new one on me so I googled it. What I saw ( http://bakfiets.nl/eng/ ) said to me that they certainly should be illegal. The picture on their web page looks great for the cyclist, a crushable zone just like the front of all modern cars, but not so good for the passengers.

      • Gentoo 02/09/2010 at 1:38 pm #

        It might be worth you taking a Bakfiets for a spin before dismissing them outright. The box is no further in front of you than the bonnet of a car, and the passengers are more visible to other road users than in a trailer.

  14. To-jo 11/08/2010 at 5:17 pm #

    I gave up breaking the rules. The tipping point was reading this excellent article –


    • Dani Riot 11/08/2010 at 5:45 pm #

      really good article, this is my way of cycling.

  15. Dave Cherling 11/08/2010 at 10:21 pm #

    I think the chances of bad riding being stopped or even controlled by the police are virtually non-existant. The pressure of paperwork and political correctness mean they are otherwise engaged. I they target traffic at all it will be motorists that can be fined far more and so provide a more profitable return.

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:41 pm #

      Yes Dave, a bit defeatist but probably true.

  16. tajasel 13/08/2010 at 1:00 pm #

    “Whilst police are not allowed to demand a breathalyser test…”

    Try telling that to these guys: http://tajasel.dreamwidth.org/22722.html

  17. Heather 13/08/2010 at 1:16 pm #

    I’ve been cycling in London for 10 years now ,never been fined, although have been pulled over on three occasions, once told to ‘dismount you vehicle!’ but a police car full of policemen all just wanting to pass the time/check me out, I suspect. Never been fined, you know why? Because I’m respectful but firm about my rights and intentions. And I smile sweetly whilst doing so – works a dream!

    I do occasionally go through a red IF it’s clear and there’s a frightening hoard of traffic behind me and I wont apologise for this. Ever. I think the (shady) law over cycling up one ways (cycling salmon – clever) is silly and should be dropped a.s.a.p. Either way, i disregard this one, too. I am doing my best to get around this frankly overcrowded city without adding to it’s overloaded transport system. If they want to fine me over petty things, I have two words for them; Bite. Me.

    • Stephen Roberts 06/10/2010 at 9:23 pm #

      Going the wrong way up a one way street isn’t petty – it’s simply dangerous. Lots of pedestrians don’t look the wrong way up a one way street (why would you if you can’t hear traffic coming from that direction?) and a bike is going to make a mess of any pedestrian.

      If we don’t act like a road users, how can we expect to be treated like them? Yes, we get a lot of agressive idiots because we’re squidgier than a 4×4 or a bus, but that doesn’t entitle us to put pedestrians in danger because they’ll lose in a crash!

  18. Emo 13/08/2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Interesting article and comments. Helping me plan for my move to London. Where I currently live it is so expansive that the police don’t even bother regulating cyclists, which results in some real bad apples, but overall it’s very easy to go through red lights because visibility is so high.

    I personally do stop at the reds and then assess whether I can run them, but have no issue with waiting if it doesn’t feel right. I mean, we’re on a bike. No reason to be in a hurry, 30 seconds at a light will have no real impact on one’s arrival. Leave earlier if you’re in a rush.

    Recently riding down a big hill the police were conducting a speed trap (for cars) in a 30mph zone, and one of the officers let me know I was doing 27 and indicated to “keep up the good work” – must have been a cyclist, the best of both worlds.

    With all this said, I find it curious that cycling is so heavily regulated in the UK. I know crime is different in the UK than in the US, but the same question remains whenever I see the police do something I think is superfluous: aren’t there better things they can be doing with their time and resources? I mean London has its share of much more severe crime.

    I don’t know. There will always be stupid cyclists. The best thing we can do is be careful, stay informed, and raise awareness that some of us really do care.

    I have no problem telling stupid cyclists that what they are doing is stupid. Usually I make sure I can out-pedal them in case they want to dance before I say anything at all. But here, the bad cyclists usually are the weirdos on wal-mart full suspension bikes doing salmons, which are no match for the crosscheck.

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:46 pm #

      A lot of good points there Emo, I particularly liked the last paragraph. I’m just so pleased to hear that someonr is actually doing exactly what I so often want to do but I don’t any more as being now 73 means that I probably would not out pedal them.

  19. LTMWB 16/08/2010 at 6:12 pm #

    I have only been cycling for just about a year now, before taking up cycling the biggest thing that would wind me up sitting in my car was people riding bikes and ignoring red traffic signals. Since I have taken up cycling I am still of the same opinion I always obey red traffic lights and it still winds me up, not only is it arrogant but also very dangerous.
    More bike riders should be hit with heavy fines to try and eradicate this problem, we wonder why some car drivers seem to hate cyclist.
    Sorry rant over

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:47 pm #

      For LTMWB__hear, hear !!!

  20. Jacqui 19/08/2010 at 11:38 am #

    Just this morning I saw an older guy slowly peddaling jump the lights and turn right as a great big lorry lumbered towards him missing it my inches After catching him up and telling him he gave cyclists a bad name he expalined ‘I was riunning late’! Well i guess that makes the enar deatth experience alright then!

    • Dani Riot 19/08/2010 at 11:44 am #

      better to run late than run dead. lol

      • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:50 pm #

        Perhaps he was so old and miserable that he had a death wish. I’m only 73 now and I want to live a bit longer so I take care. I just wish a few more out there would do the same !

  21. Phil 19/08/2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Carrying passengers is legal if the bike is, according to the Road Traffic Act 1988 para 24 section 1 “… constructed or adapted for the carriage of more than one person. ” This includes tandems, bakfietsen and cargo bikes.

    • Tom Leeks 21/08/2010 at 12:53 pm #

      Phil, I would be interested to get your opinion on my comment about ‘Bakfiets’ in my reply to Andrew a while back.

  22. Pet 22/08/2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Hi, I’m new to cycling in London and only recently purchased a bike.

    Can someone kindly explain to me what “undertaking” is? Is it when I’m on the far left of the road, cars to my right, and I overtake?? Or does it mean I’m not fast enough to overtake therefore I undertake? Or do I have to ride in front of the cars as opposed to along side them?

    Thanks in advance!

    • tajasel 22/08/2010 at 10:07 pm #

      Undertaking is when you’re on the far left of the road and pass a moving car that’s to your right-hand-side. (It’s okay to pass stationary vehicles, e.g. when trying to get to an advance stop box in a queue at traffic lights though.)

    • Access Legal Guy 03/09/2010 at 4:47 pm #


      A traditional Bakfiet is a transportation vehicle. It certainly does fall into a grey area legally and would depend very much on any modification as to whether carrying human cargo ( a paassenger) would be lawful.

  23. Heather 22/08/2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Hi Newbie! OK, undertaking is when you pass on the left hand side of a car/traffic, as opposed to the usual (and legal) right. You will see cyclists squeezing through the traffic. Although this is OK when cars are not moving and you wish to get out in front, it can be v. dangerous (and deadly) when passing large vehicles.

  24. Pet 22/08/2010 at 10:50 pm #

    Ah ok! Got it. Thanks to you both!

  25. Andy 21/02/2011 at 10:01 am #

    I commute 25 miles a day in London and could often be accused of jumping lights, however I commute the same route every working day of the year regardless of the weather, therefore I know the Trafic Light sequencing on my route very well. By jumping a light I mean checking the road is clear and watching the other lights on the junction in the 2-3 seconds between the other lights changing to red and my lights changing to green I go. When I’m through the narrow part of the junction cars then catch me up and have room to pass, I don’t consider this to be negative or reckless behaviour, at the end of the day the only person that may get hurt is me, and I’m very careful to check I’m gonna be safe before I do it.

    I have a question though regarding Cycle lanes that are part of the carriage way, where as a cyclist do we stand, cars seems to consider they have the right to drive in the cycle lanes, park in the cycle lanes, cut cyclists up who are on the cycle lanes, buses pull accross them into and out of bus stops with total disregard for cyclists. So do cyclists have a right of way when they are on a cycle lane?

  26. ART5Y 19/10/2011 at 3:44 pm #

    I commute too and from Farnham and ride in excess of 30 on a racing bike through the town when it’s empty and have been flashed a couple times, will they still fine me? :/

  27. Julian 30/01/2012 at 5:09 am #

    I live on a one way street, and look to my right as I turn left out of my drive in my car to go in the permitted direction. The guy over the road has a large van parked opposite my drive and there is always a car parked to the left of my drive on my side of the road as I emerge. Consequently there is only just enough room for me to swing left around the back of the car, whilst narrowly avoiding the side of the van, in order to drive down the road. Sometimes I’ve even had to make a 3 point turn to acheive this. The road is a popular one for cyclists as it’s the first available one connecting two main roads as you come away from the town centre. Several times I’ve had to make sudden stops as cyclists do the salmon thing. One day a cyclist will be paying too little attention and will insert himself between the side of the van and the front of my car even if I’ve stopped as soon as I see him/her. Salmoning is inherently dangerous, 30 more yards along the main road they could go in their required direction on a one-way street that goes the right way!

  28. jão 27/12/2013 at 5:21 pm #

    but that is not the law, its a statute. theres a difference.

  29. chris has 26/02/2015 at 4:43 pm #

    I agree to crack down on agressive cycling and aggressive driving, however there are specific ways of doing this and im not quite sure that this governement gets it ?

  30. chris has 26/02/2015 at 4:46 pm #

    everyone has there own personel stories which is fair enough, but and equal plan needs to be settled which allows all road users to be deemed safe when using the roads together. I’m not quite sure if enough has been done, where you have cars vans trucks with engines and speed your putting cylists in themix aswell there has to be a barrier somwhere something has to give way.

  31. Brad 02/09/2015 at 9:24 pm #

    So this evening I left my house and as soon as I come out the garage there was a police car on the opposite side of the road stopped at a red light, I join the road in the same direction as him but I’m In front of him as I used the crossing, now riding in the road come up to another set of lights they turn red so I hop up the pavement to use the crossing to be a bit faster, I no wasn’t the right thing to do but carry on reading I want to no what you think I should do on what happened next, so Iv joined the road again police catch me up further down the road I stop as I’m asked although he did bloke me in, jumps out his car and wants to give me a ticket for jumping a red light which I didn’t do I went on the path and used the crossing anyway his given me this ticket. Above it says the fine is £30 for some reason my fine is £50 someone help!

  32. Kant 14/07/2017 at 5:02 pm #

    Nice article, thank you for collating. There is one additional type of fine mentioned on TFL site, that is “Night lights. Use lights after dark – white at the front and red at the rear. You may be fined £50 if you don’t have them”. may be you can add that too in the list.

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