Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

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Thoglette
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Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby Thoglette » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:37 pm

'Dangerous' cyclist killed pedestrian then blamed crash on her, court told

From the it's-so-rare-it's-newsworthy files

The Guardian wrote:A “dangerous” cyclist knocked down and killed a pedestrian on a busy London street and then blamed his victim, saying people have “zero respect”, a court heard.
...
Alliston told police he had been riding a fixed-gear bike since 2014, having removed the front brake from a previous model.

In 2015, he tweeted: “The time when you first take your brakes off and feeling like you’re in a lucasbrunelle movie,” in apparent reference to an American bike stunt film-maker.

Penny told jurors: “The crown suggests that what the defendant was doing – riding a fixed-wheel bicycle without a front brake through a busy area of central London at nearly 20mph at lunchtime when hazards, such as pedestrians stepping out into the road, might well be expected to occur in front of him requiring him to react – was dangerous.


He has been charged with "under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act of causing bodily harm to Briggs by wanton or furious driving".
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human909
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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby human909 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:10 pm

So what exactly did the cyclist do wrong here apart from riding a fixie without a front brake?

Had the pedestrian stepped out in front of a heavy vehicle with poor braking ability would the situation be the same? What about if simply the driver took 2s reaction time rather than 0.5s of an alert driver.... It would seem that had the vehicle been a car things might have been treated differently...

(I'm operating on the assumption that the cyclist was going under the speed limit and had so called "right of way". Otherwise I'd expect it would be mentioned.)

(Riding on the road without a front brake is a bit silly IMO. But a skilled fixie rider could still probably stop faster than the average unskilled riding on a poorly maintained city bike.)

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby P!N20 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:38 pm

human909 wrote:So what exactly did the cyclist do wrong here apart from riding a fixie without a front brake?


Ran into a pedestrian who died as a result of her injuries.

He allegedly shouted at Briggs to “get out of the way” twice before their heads smashed together.


Doesn't sound like the pedestrian stepped out in front of him.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:06 pm

Dangerous driving using an unroadworthy vehicle resulted in death.
Track bikes are for tracks. Respect is a two way street.
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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby NASHIE » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:12 pm

RobertFrith wrote:Dangerous driving using an unroadworthy vehicle resulted in death.
Track bikes are for tracks. Respect is a two way street.


Yep, its takes a good distance (no matter how skilled you are) to react and pull up a fixie/track bike from 32kph, very poor form

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby g-boaf » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:30 pm

It's pretty poor riding without actual brakes on the road. Leave riding with no brakes for the track. I've ridden fixed gear bike before (I have one), so I know how to slow one down quickly. They should be left for the track, not on the road.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby human909 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:44 pm

P!N20 wrote:Ran into a pedestrian who died as a result of her injuries.

Who, it appears stepped onto the road in front of him.

P!N20 wrote:
He allegedly shouted at Briggs to “get out of the way” twice before their heads smashed together.


Doesn't sound like the pedestrian stepped out in front of him.

How do you come to that conclusion? From the prosecutor's own words.

"The crown suggests that what the defendant was doing – riding a fixed-wheel bicycle without a front brake through a busy area of central London at nearly 20mph at lunchtime when hazards, such as pedestrians stepping out into the road, might well be expected to occur in front of him requiring him to react"


Like I've said before had this been a car or a truck would there be a case to answer?

RobertFrith wrote:Dangerous driving using an unroadworthy vehicle resulted in death.


Where was the dangerous driving? Unroadworthy vehicle!? Hah! So if a bicycle doesn't have a bell does that qualify? :mrgreen:

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby biker jk » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:00 pm

This thread should get to at least 10 pages as someone defends the indefensible.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby NASHIE » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:39 pm

human909 wrote:Like I've said before had this been a car or a truck would there be a case to answer?



Im sure had it been a car or truck, they would of been inspected and if found to have no brakes because the owner decided they were not required then I'm sure they would be in the same position as the bike rider.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby CKinnard » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:02 pm

The ambiguity in this case is seen by asking, if all of the events had unfolded the same, except that the cyclist had fitted a front brake, do the same charges apply?

Under what circumstances does a pedestrian have to take responsbility for their actions.
Many people jaywalk onto busy roads (and train tracks) these days texting and ipodding, and no one blinks when they get cleaned up

i.e.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/pedes ... m9n41.html

"Authorities are urging Victorians to pay attention around roads and avoid getting distracted by their phones.

Transport Accident Commission chief executive Joe Calafiore said 196 pedestrians had been killed on Victoria's roads over the past five years, with distraction emerging as a major factor.

"That number is far too high and we have to do something about it," he said.

"Victorians are starting to get the message when it comes to the dangers of driving while on the phone but unfortunately too many people seem unaware of how dangerous distraction can be when you're on foot.""

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby antigee » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:27 pm

reduce the speed limit and cyclists can easily ride further out without being intimidated - more time to react to pedestrians stepping into road = tough call politically but better than saying pedestrian behaviour is the problem

- as to this case all very sad, need to remember that in many cities dominated by vehicles (I'm a sort of pom) the profile of those cycling will include some who are more aggressive than they should be though it could be this guy is just getting a bad press

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:52 pm

I am not certain about some of the details... and have exactly the same thoughts if the pedestrian in this case walked onto a road into the path of a car or truck, what would have been the result for the driver?

The reports suggest that the bike rider was a loony... and that common sense should have kicked in and influenced the speed or manner of riding.

I have many years experience cycling in Europe and even when there are marked bike lanes I have had to avoid so many people absent-mindedly cross, in one case a mother with a pram and little child who simply didn't look. I was riding a fixie (but with front and rear brakes) and was easily able to stop ... but I have had close calls when pedestrians make last minute or unexpected decisions to move into the path.

Back to this one, it is a tragedy for many involved but there a lot of uncertainties which make it hard to understand the exact circumstance of the collision and to form an opinion whether the charge is suitable.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby eeksll » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:56 pm

I too wonder what would happen if it were a car.

I personally think the cyclist has a case to answer for if he did in fact yell out a warning. He should have slowed down if he felt he needed to yell a warning. I don't know if this is the law, just my personal thoughts.

Not having brakes thing seems more like a technicality issue. It sounds like the cyclist would have done the same thing with brakes.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:00 am

AUbicycles wrote:I am not certain about some of the details...

Nor am I. Which is why I am asking the questions. And not condemning the man.

AUbicycles wrote:The reports suggest that the bike rider was a loony... and that common sense should have kicked in and influenced the speed or manner of riding.

That is the prosecutor's words. It is his job to make the rider sound like he was loony and dangerous.

From what I can tell the only FACTS are:
-he was riding a fixie without a front brake
-a pedestrian stepped out in front of him

eeksll wrote:I personally think the cyclist has a case to answer for if he did in fact yell out a warning. He should have slowed down if he felt he needed to yell a warning. I don't know if this is the law, just my personal thoughts.

I've been in several situations where shouting out a warning has prevented an accident. It happens all the time on Swanston street copenhagen lanes, this would all normally be at the same time as braking but sometimes there a warning is necesssary. That said you have a valid point. I've also been in cars with drivers whose first reaction to a car is horn and their second reaction is brake when another vehicle cuts into their path. :shock: :?

CKinnard wrote:The ambiguity in this case is seen by asking, if all of the events had unfolded the same, except that the cyclist had fitted a front brake, do the same charges apply?

Exactly. And let's not forget that many many poorly maintained bikes out there have atrocious braking, not to mention the many less skilled riders who are hesitant to use the front brake out of fear.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby fat and old » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:03 am

human909 wrote: And not condemning the man.


I guess it's a good thing that the Dutch presumed liability laws don't apply here, aye? Perfect example of the hypocrisy of some (and I'm not limiting that comment to human).

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby jules21 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:27 am

I think blame is shared here.

1. blame isn't a 10kg barbell that gets shifted to one party or another, it's more like a box of matches and you doll out the matches (blame) in proportion to parties. rarely is someone 100% to blame for a collision. (note - this principle largely escapes police officers)

2. the decision to remove his front brake means the rider will likely be allocated a fair amount of blame, as the law tends to judge risks arising from a deliberate decision (removing front brake) more severely than momentary negligence (stepping out on road without looking).

3. the pedestrian's decision to step out on the road without looking (speculation, but that sounds likely here) means they share some blame - a fair bit even.

4. 20 mph (~30 km/h) isn't very fast. I have a pet hate of people assessing the recklessness of speed relative to the power of the engine propelling a given vehicle ("30km/h is fast for a bicycle though!" <- that's irrelevant).

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby Scott_C » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:07 am

Further details from the BBC.

Mr Callan said the crash caused the cyclist to fly "through the air" while the pedestrian "fell at the point of impact".

"The cyclist clattered to the ground further down the road but quickly sprang to their feet and shouted something at the pedestrian... who lay on the ground," the court was told.

Mark Wyeth QC, defending, suggested his client had the right of way as the lights on the stretch of Old Street were green.

He added that Mrs Briggs could have avoided danger by using a pedestrian crossing less than 10 metres away.


So it appears that while the bike was not roadworthy under the UK Highway Code (but might have been roadworthy in Australia?) the pedestrian also countermanded the Highway Code by not using a nearby crossing (Rule 7).

Edit: removed some speculation in the last paragraph as it doesn't add anything concrete to the discussion.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby P!N20 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:46 am

human909 wrote:How do you come to that conclusion?


Pretty simple, really. If he had time to yell 'get out of the way' twice before colliding with the pedestrian, then he had time to stop. Brakes or no brakes.

If you can't stop or avoid hitting a pedestrian stepping out onto the road, then you're going too fast.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby P!N20 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:48 am

Scott_C wrote: (but might have been roadworthy in Australia?)


I believe the requirement in Australia is to have one working brake.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:49 am

fat and old wrote:
human909 wrote: And not condemning the man.

I guess it's a good thing that the Dutch presumed liability laws don't apply here, aye?

I'm not sure how Dutch presumed liability laws are relevant in manslaughter charges.

jules21 wrote:I think blame is shared here.

1. blame isn't a 10kg barbell that gets shifted to one party or another, it's more like a box of matches and you doll out the matches (blame) in proportion to parties. rarely is someone 100% to blame for a collision. (note - this principle largely escapes police officers)

2. the decision to remove his front brake means the rider will likely be allocated a fair amount of blame, as the law tends to judge risks arising from a deliberate decision (removing front brake) more severely than momentary negligence (stepping out on road without looking).

3. the pedestrian's decision to step out on the road without looking (speculation, but that sounds likely here) means they share some blame - a fair bit even.

4. 20 mph (~30 km/h) isn't very fast. I have a pet hate of people assessing the recklessness of speed relative to the power of the engine propelling a given vehicle ("30km/h is fast for a bicycle though!" <- that's irrelevant).

Completely agree.

I do find it interesting that people are so keen to buy the tabloid reporting on this incident overseas but then react in the opposite way to tabloid reporting here. Most of the reporting has been extremely emotive and biased regardless of the cyclists guilt.
-How is it relevant that the victim was on her lunch break?
-How is unrelated footage of a drunken cyclist relevant (as was the footage in one online report I read)

Lets not forgot a similar pedestrian death happened earlier this year. Fast cyclist, pedestrian who didn't look. The only difference is the brake issue. The cyclist wasn't charged.


P!N20 wrote:Pretty simple, really. If he had time to yell 'get out of the way' twice before colliding with the pedestrian, then he had time to stop. Brakes or no brakes.

This isn't the case in my experience.

P!N20 wrote:If you can't stop or avoid hitting a pedestrian stepping out onto the road, then you're going too fast.

Ha! I'd have to be trundling at 5kph the whole time if this was the case. In Melbourne the separated Copenhagen lanes are a known trap for this. Plenty of times I've been going ~25kph when a pedestrian decides to step out. I yell and go for my brakes.

You can't swerve with concrete either side of you. Other places it might be a semi trailer.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby Thoglette » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:29 pm

human909 wrote:Lets not forgot a similar pedestrian death happened earlier this year. Fast cyclist, pedestrian who didn't look. The only difference is the brake issue. The cyclist wasn't charged.


Got a reference for that? Was this the St Kilda 19th April 2017?
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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:53 pm

Thoglette wrote:Got a reference for that? Was this the St Kilda 19th April 2017?

Yep that is the one.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby Scott_C » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:56 pm

Thoglette wrote:
human909 wrote:Lets not forgot a similar pedestrian death happened earlier this year. Fast cyclist, pedestrian who didn't look. The only difference is the brake issue. The cyclist wasn't charged.


Got a reference for that? Was this the St Kilda 19th April 2017?


I assume Human was referring to the St Kilda case, this article documents the decision to not press charges (as well as waffling through a bunch of unrelated stuff because someone mentioned the word bicycle).

I think a lot of people lose sight of how fragile people can be, the ABS Causes of Death stats show that on average more than twice as many people die in Australia from 2 people on foot colliding (3.7/year) than die from collisions between bicycles and pedestrians (1.5/year) and that isn't counting the 400 people a year who die from tripping over on flat ground without a collision. Even when the weight and additional speed of a bicycle isn't involved people who suffer an unfortunate impact during a fall die on quite a regular basis.

There is no such thing as a 100% safe speed in a collision. Any collision or fall has the potential to be fatal in the wrong circumstances.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:23 pm

Exactly. Nobody here has suggested the cyclist is without blame. Cycling with reduced braking ability seems a little silly IMO. But suggesting manslaughter is a whole differ deal. Given that fixie riders without brakes haven't been dying like flies on our roads it would seem that they can achieve sufficient braking under regular circumstances. Their emergency braking though is obviously limited.

Also it should be noted that riding without a front brake in Australia is legal (in all states to my knowledge). Yet if you lack a front brake you significantly reduce your braking ability. Just food for thought.

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Re: Fixie rider in court following pedestrian fatality (London, UK, 2015)

Postby P!N20 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:29 pm

human909 wrote:Ha! I'd have to be trundling at 5kph the whole time if this was the case.


Well, y'know, beats killing people.

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