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

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

Postby eeksll » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:23 pm

human909 wrote:
BJL wrote:In what way was he riding dangerously?


Exactly. This really hasn't been demonstrated with the available information. Yes his bike didn't have the legally required front brake (which isn't even legally required on ALL bicycles), but that in of itself does not create dangerous driving.


I would say it does. Knowingly riding without a front brake and thus having impeded stopping power. I don't think "dangerous" in this context is limited to an actually act the rider is actually doing.

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

Postby fat and old » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:47 pm

BJL wrote:
eeksll wrote:
Charlie Alliston is going to jail for "wanton or furious driving" which to me is dangerous cycling. Now from my POV I can agree that he was cycling dangerously.




In what way was he riding dangerously? Because of the missing front brake? If so, can we agree that ANY road user driving or riding ANY unroadworthy vehicle should be charged with dangerous driving? If your car blows a headlight and you drive at night, you should be pulled over and charged with dangerous driving in addition to 'driving an unroadworthy vehicle'?


I's agree with the examples you've given. Not sure about a blanket unroadworthy being dangerous, but yep. Those examples given are dangerous, imo.

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

Postby find_bruce » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:42 pm

uart wrote:
find_bruce wrote:Impressive - if he can make a fixed gear coast, what else can Terrence achieve.

He was no doubt referring to a "flip hub" type fixie - they are quite popular. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip-flop_hub

I presume he was riding it in coaster hub mode at the time. From a legal standpoint however, he was in the same situation as Alliston, no front brake.

A flip flop hub would be even worse than riding fixed - the other side is just a freewheel & in freewheel mode you can backpedal as much as you like, but it ain't going to slow you down.

A coaster brake however operates on a quite different set up - it needs a specific hub and instead of a gear on the other side it has a reaction arm - ie it is completely incompatible with a fixed gear.

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

Postby uart » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:26 pm

find_bruce wrote:A flip flop hub would be even worse than riding fixed - the other side is just a freewheel


Ok you're correct. I've never used a flip flop, but from his description of "my fixie with coaster brake" I assumed that there must be such a thing (as fixed gear/reversible coaster). Now I'm guessing that it probably wasn't a "fixie" at all, just a bike with a coaster brake and no front brake. Perhaps it was a fixie on which he had swapped out the rear wheel for a coaster hub type.

Anyway, I agree that it was a confusing and ambiguous description of exactly what he was riding :), but the comparisons to the Alliston case are still interesting.

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

Postby human909 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:02 pm

eeksll wrote:I would say it does. Knowingly riding without a front brake and thus having impeded stopping power. I don't think "dangerous" in this context is limited to an actually act the rider is actually doing.


Where does knowingly riding without a front brake on a bike with a saddle lower than 635mm fit into things? (THAT IS LEGAL)
Where does riding a penny farthing without ANY brake fit into things? (THAT IS LEGAL)
So where does knowingly riding with steel rims in the wet fit in? (THAT IS LEGAL)

How exactly are you concluding that riding without a front brake MUST be dangerous? Because it seems entirely arbitrary.

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

Postby eeksll » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:56 pm

human909 wrote:
eeksll wrote:I would say it does. Knowingly riding without a front brake and thus having impeded stopping power. I don't think "dangerous" in this context is limited to an actually act the rider is actually doing.


Where does knowingly riding without a front brake on a bike with a saddle lower than 635mm fit into things? (THAT IS LEGAL)
Where does riding a penny farthing without ANY brake fit into things? (THAT IS LEGAL)
So where does knowingly riding with steel rims in the wet fit in? (THAT IS LEGAL)

How exactly are you concluding that riding without a front brake MUST be dangerous? Because it seems entirely arbitrary.


Having brakes gives the ability to stop quicker and increase the chances of avoiding accidents.

I see where you are getting with the above (THAT IS LEGAL) points. Yes, Someone can do many things (not legally required) in order to increase the chances of avoiding an accident, where that line is drawn, IS entirely arbitrary and determined by someones POV/opinions. However, in this case that line is drawn with what is written in the law and also what a prosecuting lawyer can argue for.

THis reminds me of a conversation I had with my mates ages ago. I am a person who needs fairly decent glasses. Due to a few mates suddenly needing glasses to drive, it was brought up what would happen if I drove without glasses. My reply was, if everyone around me follows the road rules I could "safely" drive especially in the dark (easier to see cars coming with lights). Even better if I can crawl along at 40kmph. I would consider this dangerous driving even though I am not driving in a dangerous manner. Parallels with the brake/no brake issue? or is me driving without glasses not dangerous?

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

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:13 am

eeksll wrote:However, in this case that line is drawn with what is written in the law and also what a prosecuting lawyer can argue for.

Yep. The line is drawn. Nobody is disputing that he breached the road rule regarding a front brake. But that wasn't what he was charged with. Which is entirely the point.

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

Postby fat and old » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:07 am

human909 wrote:
eeksll wrote:However, in this case that line is drawn with what is written in the law and also what a prosecuting lawyer can argue for.

Yep. The line is drawn. Nobody is disputing that he breached the road rule regarding a front brake. But that wasn't what he was charged with. Which is entirely the point.


Then "the point" may be mistaken. Wanton or Furious Driving:

"Whosoever, having the charge of any carriage or vehicle, shall by wanton or furious driving or racing, or other wilful misconduct, or by wilful neglect, do or cause to be done any bodily harm to any person whatsoever, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years ..."

I'd assume that knowingly riding a bike without any brakes (lets not forget that....no brakes) would constitute "wilful neglect"? No doubt the jury of his peers thought so.

Funny enough this is the second time in 8 years a cyclist has gone down for this; killing a ped and being convicted of this offense. The idea raised hereabouts by some that this case creates precedent is false.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 197430.stm

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

Postby eeksll » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:49 pm

human909 wrote:
eeksll wrote:However, in this case that line is drawn with what is written in the law and also what a prosecuting lawyer can argue for.

Yep. The line is drawn. Nobody is disputing that he breached the road rule regarding a front brake. But that wasn't what he was charged with. Which is entirely the point.


human909 wrote:How exactly are you concluding that riding without a front brake MUST be dangerous? Because it seems entirely arbitrary.


That is what I was answering not what he was charged with.

I don't agree with pulling out some hardly used law to get this guy put in jail, for the specific reason that drivers of motor vehicles do not seem to be held to the same account (majority do not even get charged) and also this guy was riding on a road.

If he where doing this on a walk path or motor vehicle drivers are similarly charged/held to account then my opinions would differ.

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

Postby uart » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:51 pm

I agree that what Charlie did was dangerous (riding without sufficient brakes) and I agree that the outcome was indeed tragic. However the outcome was also somewhat unlikely (death for ped bicycle collision under 30 km/hr), and the pedestrian definitely played a significant part in stepping onto the road without looking and by not using the nearby crossing. So I do agree that some punishment under the law was justified, I just think it went too far - particularly with the manslaughter charges.

fat and old wrote:Funny enough this is the second time in 8 years a cyclist has gone down for this; killing a ped and being convicted of this offense. The idea raised hereabouts by some that this case creates precedent is false. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 197430.stm


Thanks for pointing that one out. Note however, in that case the cyclist was riding at high speed downhill on the footpath! The poor 84 yo pedestrian remained entirely on the footpath, never even ventured out onto the road at all, yet he was killed anyway.

Personally I am much more comfortable with the punishment the rider received in that case! And please note, it's well less than one half of what Charlie got (and about 1/20 of what the prosecution might have gone for had the manslaughter charge stuck).

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

Postby fat and old » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:56 pm

uart wrote:I agree that what Charlie did was dangerous (riding without sufficient brakes)


Sufficient brakes? Did he have a rear or not? I'm not sure now.

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

Postby uart » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:27 pm

fat and old wrote:
uart wrote:I agree that what Charlie did was dangerous (riding without sufficient brakes)


Sufficient brakes? Did he have a rear or not? I'm not sure now.


Surprisingly the UK regulations do actually count the fixed wheel mechanism as a valid rear brake. So technically he did, but obviously not a real good one. The police report estimated his required stopping distance to be about 9 metres for the bike as ridden.

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

Postby NASHIE » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:44 pm

uart wrote:
fat and old wrote:
uart wrote:I agree that what Charlie did was dangerous (riding without sufficient brakes)


Sufficient brakes? Did he have a rear or not? I'm not sure now.


Surprisingly the UK regulations do actually count the fixed wheel mechanism as a valid rear brake. So technically he did, but obviously not a real good one. The police report estimated his required stopping distance to be about 9 metres for the bike as ridden.


Surely only if fitted with a mechanical front brake, could a fixed rear be classed as a 'helper in slowing down' as its very best function. Without the front theres just no way it could be regulated as a valid rear brake.
Reckon alot of people are confusing fixed rears and coaster brakes.

The sad thing about this case is you could try and replicate the accident 100s of times over and the result would probably not be a fatal head injury, but poor young Charles made a poor call riding the bike and reading between the lines did not help himself at all in his attitude after, which i do agree somewhat should not go against him in the court of law, but thats life.

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

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:57 pm

fat and old wrote:I'd assume that knowingly riding a bike without any brakes (lets not forget that....no brakes) would constitute "wilful neglect"? No doubt the jury of his peers thought so.

Being a fixie, he had a rear brake as far as UK law is concerned.

NASHIE wrote:Surely only if fitted with a mechanical front brake, could a fixed rear be classed as a 'helper in slowing down' as its very best function. Without the front theres just no way it could be regulated as a valid rear brake.
Reckon alot of people are confusing fixed rears and coaster brakes.

No that is not how the law (in the UK) or reality works.

A fixie, aka no freewheel, can feasibly stop just as quickly as a bike with only a rear brake. Be it a hub, caliper, disc or whatever. As far as regulation goes a fixie rider has BETTER brake feedback than a mechanical brake. A fixie rider can instantly feel when loss of traction occurs. The tactile feedback doesn't exist with mechanical brakes (instead sound and loss of control are the feedback mechanisms).

Though I'll reiterate my personal opinion that a front brake is a very important safety addition to a rear brake.

Even with the most advanced cycling brakes available there is NO evidence that the outcome would have been any different.

uart wrote:I agree that what Charlie did was dangerous (riding without sufficient brakes) and I agree that the outcome was indeed tragic. However the outcome was also somewhat unlikely (death for ped bicycle collision under 30 km/hr), and the pedestrian definitely played a significant part in stepping onto the road without looking and by not using the nearby crossing. So I do agree that some punishment under the law was justified, I just think it went too far - particularly with the manslaughter charges.

Thanks for pointing that one out. Note however, in that case the cyclist was riding at high speed downhill on the footpath! The poor 84 yo pedestrian remained entirely on the footpath, never even ventured out onto the road at all, yet he was killed anyway.

Personally I am much more comfortable with the punishment the rider received in that case! And please note, it's well less than one half of what Charlie got (and about 1/20 of what the prosecution might have gone for had the manslaughter charge stuck).


Thanks again for continuing to bring sense to this.

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

Postby NASHIE » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:49 pm

human909 wrote:
A fixie, aka no freewheel, can feasibly stop just as quickly as a bike with only a rear brake. Be it a hub, caliper, disc or whatever. As far as regulation goes a fixie rider has BETTER brake feedback than a mechanical brake. A fixie rider can instantly feel when loss of traction occurs. The tactile feedback doesn't exist with mechanical brakes (instead sound and loss of control are the feedback mechanisms).


Have you ever riden a track bike or tried to stop one in an emergancy ?

Please show the UK law where a fixed rear brake (no rear mechanical brake) WITHOUT a front mechanical brake is regulated lawful bike

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

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:12 pm

NASHIE wrote:Please show the UK law where a fixed rear brake (no rear mechanical brake) WITHOUT a front mechanical brake is regulated lawful bike

Several types of bikes fit into that category. I'll do you the favour but please learn to use google in the future.
https://ukcyclerules.wordpress.com/2011 ... ke-brakes/

But I'm really not sure the relevance here to the ACTUAL offence he was changed and convicted of.

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

Postby NASHIE » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:30 pm

human909 wrote:
NASHIE wrote:Please show the UK law where a fixed rear brake (no rear mechanical brake) WITHOUT a front mechanical brake is regulated lawful bike

Several types of bikes fit into that category. I'll do you the favour but please learn to use google in the future.
https://ukcyclerules.wordpress.com/2011 ... ke-brakes/

But I'm really not sure the relevance here to the ACTUAL offence he was changed and convicted of.


I can google mate and all you have pulled up clearly shows a fixie to be lawful has to have a front brake end of story. So 'technically' he had no brakes. So no good harping on about him having a rear brake. The relevance is if he had the front brake fitted there would be no story to comment on.

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

Postby uart » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:31 pm

NASHIE wrote:Surely only if fitted with a mechanical front brake, could a fixed rear be classed as a 'helper in slowing down' as its very best function. Without the front theres just no way it could be regulated as a valid rear brake.

No they are two independent things. The regulations are that a regular adult bicycle needs two independent braking systems, one of which must be on the front wheel. On fixed wheel bikes the fixed wheel is allowed to count as one of those two systems.

So yes the front brake is also needed to make the bike roadworthy, but the fixed wheel counts as one of the two required independent braking systems.

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

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:34 pm

Thanks again...

You can lead a forumite to the answer he requested but you cannot make them comprehend.

NASHIE wrote:The relevance is if he had the front brake fitted there would be no story to comment on.

That is entirely unclear. The outcome could well have been the same and the charge did not hinge on the legality of his bicycle.

Brakes are not always the best course of action in an emergency. (Though granted they normally are one of the most useful tools.)

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

Postby NASHIE » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:40 pm

human909 wrote:Thanks again...

You can lead a forumite to the answer he requested but you cannot make them comprehend.


Fully comprehend, but fully disagree, with the law if thats helps you, that a fixie rear could be classed as an independent brake. With a front i guess they give it the status of a brake....without its nothing in an emergency stop.

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

Postby NASHIE » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:43 pm

human909 wrote:That is entirely unclear. The outcome could well have been the same and the charge did not hinge on the legality of his bicycle.



Just going around in circles and agree to disagree. IMO front brake = no story

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

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:46 pm

NASHIE wrote:Fully comprehend, but fully disagree, with the law if thats helps you, that a fixie rear could be classed as an independent brake. With a front i guess they give it the status of a brake....without its nothing in an emergency stop.

So first you want the law. Then you disagree with the law.... That is an interesting angle.

But on this one I agree with you. A rear brake be it mechanical or fixie is nothing in a good emergency stop with a front brake. But now we are talking physics not the law.

NASHIE wrote: IMO front brake = no story

I didn't realise that it was an opinionated matter. Neither you nor I could possibly know.

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

Postby fat and old » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:20 am

human909 wrote:
fat and old wrote:I'd assume that knowingly riding a bike without any brakes (lets not forget that....no brakes) would constitute "wilful neglect"? No doubt the jury of his peers thought so.

Being a fixie, he had a rear brake as far as UK law is concerned.



Yes, as uart has explained the UK regs state that a fixie has a brake. I'm interested in this idea....a brake by dint of holding your pedals. If it's ok, I'm going to defer to your experience as a Mech. Engineer (sorry mate, us Civvies are a bit dumb ....but don't argue plasticity of soils with me 8) :lol: . Although you probably will....).

Everything I can find on what constitutes a "brake" that relates to a wheeled vehicle (so don't obfuscate and introduce aircraft, electrical motors or pump brakes) refers to a mechanical device that typically works through applying friction to the wheel. Fair enough, although we're working through the application of UK law that states that the fixie has a rear brake when force is applied to the pedals. My question is

Is the braking achieved on a fixie using your legs as efficient as that achieved through a friction brake in good condition? Lets use this case as a measurement....32kmh speed, call the bike/rider total weight around 85kg (10 kg for bike, 70 kg for the young fella).

Not that having a rear brake by UK standards really matters.

Several types of bikes fit into that category. I'll do you the favour but please learn to use google in the future.
https://ukcyclerules.wordpress.com/2011 ... ke-brakes/

But I'm really not sure the relevance here to the ACTUAL offence he was changed and convicted of.


I agree.

Is it compulsory to have a front brake? Yes

Did he have a front brake? No.

What is at contention here is what he was charged with. Wanton or furious driving. And I believe this can easily be applied to this case..

The ACTUAL offense he was charged with.

"Whosoever, having the charge of any carriage or vehicle, shall by wanton or furious driving or racing, or other wilful misconduct, or by wilful neglect, do or cause to be done any bodily harm to any person whatsoever, shall be guilty


Riding a bike without a front brake which nobody disputes is illegal in UK constitutes "wilful misconduct or neglect". Nobody here has given me a solid legal opinion on why this should not apply. Arguing over whether or not a fixie has a rear brake is a distraction. Arguing over whether or not a motor car would be charged is fair but remains a distraction. Arguing over his tatts, attitude, facebook posts etc is a distraction.

By riding an illegal cycle did Charlie engage in "wilful misconduct or wilful neglect"? I'm happy for somebody to give me a legal reason why that is wrong, and will gladly change my outlook on the fairness of the conviction on its legal merits when that is done.

Lets not end up like the No vote in Australia gents :wink: :lol:

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

Postby BJL » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:48 am

fat and old wrote:
Is the braking achieved on a fixie using your legs as efficient as that achieved through a friction brake in good condition? Lets use this case as a measurement....32kmh speed, call the bike/rider total weight around 85kg (10 kg for bike, 70 kg for the young fella).

Not that having a rear brake by UK standards really matters.



Well that's another point of contention, the 'condition' of the brakes. Next they'll be measuring your brake pads, measuring the thickness of the wheel rim brake track, wiping the brake tracks with forensic chemicals to make sure they were absolutely spotless and as a last resort claim that riding in wet conditions amounts to 'wanton or furious riding' as your brakes don't perform as well in the wet.

This has been nothing more than a witch hunt. If they prosecuted motorists to the same degree, they'd have to build another prison to house all the motorists who kill on the roads. Has a motorist ever been put in jail over a road death they caused by driving a vehicle with worn suspension? What about worn brakes or bald tyres? We know the last one is a get out of jail card. What about people with dodgy eyesight or slower reaction times like the elderly who continue to keep driving despite knowing the risks? What about those who refuse to drive according to the conditions and hoon around winding mountain roads? Is any of that 'dangerous driving' ?

Not in this world it ain't. These things all come under the banner of 'innocent people going about their business'. But cyclists? OH NO, those devil worshiping, human sacrifice performing demon lords of the underworld masquerading as doped up green hippies with a superiority complex need to be rooted out and severely punished for daring to ride a bike in an age where a dangerous, arrogant, selfish, expensive polluting form of transport is king.

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

Postby hamishm » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:43 pm

So, human909, as chief defender of Alliston in this thread, what do you think would be a fair punishment in this case? He did, after all, kill someone while riding a bike that he had deliberately and consciously made unroadworthy, and he did see that a collision was likely before it happened.

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