Alex has now submitted his request for a hearing in the Magistrates court to contest the FPN he received for allegedly jumping a red light . He had positioned himself ahead of a cyclist’s box blocked by a motorist at the junction of Fulham High Street and New King’s Road.
27 year old Alex from Putney originally contacted the Cyclist’s Defence Fund for advice. CDF is a charity set up by CTC to fund precedent setting cases involving cycling and the law.
Thanks to a fundraising call on social media to support Alex , he is now able to challenge what he and CTC believe to be an unfairly issued FPN and said “My resolve probably would have faltered taking this to court had there not been such overwhelming support from fellow cyclists to back my case.”
CDF's fundraising appeal to raise the £2,000 that the case is estimated to cost, exceeded the target in just 4 days .
Alex had intended to position himself in the cyclists’ box in order to turn right, but found that the box had been illegally occupied by a motorist. With concern for his own safety were he to stay in the inside lane and then have to cross three lanes of moving traffic in order to turn right, he decided to position himself ahead of the traffic and ahead of the Advanced Stop Line (ASL).
A police officer witnessed the alleged offence and radioed a colleague, who stopped Alex along the road he had turned into and gave him the FPN. Having not seen the incident, the officer that issued the FPN could not assess the greater risk Alex would have been in had he positioned himself behind the white line. Alex was unaware whether the car driver had also been given a FPN.
Unlike many cyclists who begrudgingly pay FPNs, Alex decided to contest it in court after receiving advice from the Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF)
ASLs are popular cycle safety measures in the UK, but they are in no way perfect. For instance, the law states that cyclists can only legally enter cycle boxes via a feeder lane. This is problematic for two reasons, 1) cyclists cannot enter ASLs legally where the boxes have been designed without a dashed road marking or feeder lane (this kind of ASL does exist); 2) where there is a central feeder lane between two lanes of traffic, left-turning cyclists are required to use that lane even if there is space for them to filter past traffic in the nearside lane, with obvious dangers if the lights change before they get there.
Rhia Weston CTC’s Road Justice Campaigner said “The Department for Transport plans to make amendments to the regulation governing ASLs to overcome the problems of accessing ASLs. The fact that such changes are in the pipeline gives hope that the DfT will also clarify the law governing what a cyclist should do if an ASL is illegally occupied by a vehicle.”
CDF agreed to support his legal challenge on the basis that it could set a legal precedent around the enforcement of ASLs.”
Notes to Editors
Advanced Stop Lines / Cyclist’s Boxes
The purpose of ASLs, or cycle boxes, is to give cyclists priority at junctions, where around 70% of cyclists’ collisions occur. ASLs help cyclists control their own safety as they prepare to manoeuvre through a junction by enabling them to position themselves where they are clearly visible to the drivers behind them and allowing them to move off in front of other traffic without being cut up by turning vehicles.
The Government should clarify and amend the legislation covering cyclists’ access to and use of ASLs, Including amending the Highway Code
The Cyclists’ Defence Fund
CDF is an independent charity set up in 2001 by CTC to fight significant legal cases involving cycling and cyclists. Since its inception, its remit has expanded to cover all aspects of cycling and the law.
CDF’s aims are: to advance the education of the public in the relationship between cycling and the law; to further the sound development, administration and knowledge of the law; and to preserve and protect the health and safety of the public by encouraging and facilitating safe cycling.
CDF achieves these aims by: commissioning and publicising research into the law; providing guidance on the law and links to relevant legal resources on its website; and providing support in legal cases which could clarify the law., especially cases which have the potential to set legal precedents.
Notes to editors
CTC is the UK’s largest cycling charity with 69,000 members. Established in 1878 CTC is also the oldest cycling membership body in the UK and continues to inspire and help people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. Visit www.ctc.org.uk
Senior Media and Communications Officer Laura Raymond 01483 238315 or 07960 349405