2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby find_bruce » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:45 am

2 bicycle cops at the western end of Pyrmont Bridge this morning as I rode in, with two cyclists apparently being booked. 1 cyclist did not appear to have a helmet, not clear what the 2nd was being booked for.
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by BNA » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:39 am

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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby trailgumby » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:39 am

Possibly speeding or not having "an audible warning device" fitted?

Would be nice if those guys could be spending some time catching red light runners.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby Sydguy » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:43 am

Maybe they were booking people for running the red at the intersection just before the start of the bridge.

Plenty of cyclists fly through there on a red bike if the traffic has a green in their direction.

Complete waste of police resources but it will keep Alan Jones happy, and we don't need him becoming more bitter, twisted and bile spewing.

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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby grimbo » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:35 pm

Hee hee. I saw the traffic light was green, so I didn't swing in to the bike lane at the pedestrian crossing as I normally do, but stayed on the road and fanged across the intersection.

Gave the cops a cherry good morning, and they ignored me.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby find_bruce » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:58 pm

Trailgumby I would be surprised if these cops could book anyone for speeding (1) it is before the "speed limit signs" (2) it is doubtful that the "speed limit" have any legal effect - the authority of who installed them and the non-compliance with the road rules and (3) cops are required to measure speed using authorised devices & I saw nothing that would resemble that.

Sydguy you may be right. If so the ticket would be highly dubious as the cops were not in a position to see the red bicycle in the direction of travel - seeing a red bicycle in the opposite direction still leaves room for reasonable doubt.

Other possibilites include riding no hands, "furious" riding, failing to give way to a pedestrian, not keeping left.

In any event, just a heads up that they are out and about again
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby wombatK » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:46 pm

find_bruce wrote: and (3) cops are required to measure speed using authorised devices & I saw nothing that would resemble that.

Don't take too much comfort in this.
Traffic infringement notices for travelling in excess of legal speed limits (or speeding fines) can be issued
following detection of excess speed in a number of ways: from stationary radars (including speed cameras);
through laser speed testing (LIDAR); from vehicle mounted radars in police cars – which can operate
whether the police car is moving or stationary; from speed checks using a police car speedometer; and from
an estimate of speed.

from http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/publication/ ... 0fines.pdf with emphasis added.

There has always been an option in the motor traffic acts for police to book a speeding driver/rider on the basis
of an estimate of speed.

I'm pretty sure that you, as a regular cyclist, could easily tell if someone was cycling across Pyrmont Bridge at 20 kph
or 30 kph (ie. 2 or 3 times the speed limit). A police cyclist, with more specialist training, would be an even better
estimator of speed and could probably get you for 15 kph.

And I'm not even thinking about other options, like using a stop-watch and progress between certain lines on the bridge
to refine a better speed estimate.

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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby find_bruce » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:07 am

find_bruce wrote: and (3) cops are required to measure speed using authorised devices & I saw nothing that would resemble that.

wombatK wrote:Don't take too much comfort in this.

Actually I wouldn't take too much comfort from the other two either - it's all very well to be right, but it can take a lot of time & money to prove it as this motorcyclist would know. He thinks it was worth it, but YMMV.

wombatK wrote:There has always been an option in the motor traffic acts for police to book a speeding driver/rider on the basis of an estimate of speed.

The ombudsman's report from 2003 you quote from lists rampant defects in the police measuring of speed. Changes in the law were made following that report which tightened up on the ways in which police measured speed. I thought not using police guestimates of speed was one of those changes, but I am going off memory & haven't checked so I could be wrong. Like I said I wouldn't bet on it anyway.

wombatK wrote:I'm pretty sure that you, as a regular cyclist, could easily tell if someone was cycling across Pyrmont Bridge at 20 kph or 30 kph (ie. 2 or 3 times the speed limit). A police cyclist, with more specialist training, would be an even better estimator of speed and could probably get you for 15 kph.

I have not seen any evidence that would suggest ths is correct & to the contrary, in my experience we are pretty bad at converting what we see into a guess of speed. One of the things about criminal offences is that "probably" is not enough.

Here's a fun little game - ride towards someone, such as Harry Potter or one of his mates on Pyrmont Bridge. If you ride at 10 kph in first gear with a high cadence (works best if you have a granny gear), said person will grunt at you to slow down. Next time ride at 20kph in top gear. Your cadence is low & you will be allowed past with no comment at all.

Yep what they are seeing as high speed is just high cadence & they have no real knowledge of your speed.

But all of this is academic, because at the time I ride over the bridge the number of pedestrians will limit your speed far more effectively than any enforcement.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby diggler » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:58 pm

Is there an official 10km/h speed limit? Does it apply to everyone? I jog faster than that.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby find_bruce » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:14 pm

diggler wrote:Is there an official 10km/h speed limit? Does it apply to everyone? I jog faster than that.

Simple, sensible questions, to which you would, quite reasonably, think there would be simple, sensible answers. Unfortunately not.

Your 2nd question is easy - pedestrians are road users and so the Road Rules apply to them, speed limits only apply to "drivers" which includes a rider of a bicycle, unless expressly excluded. So nope a pedestrian is not obliged to obey any speed limit. If you want to get off and push your bike, go nuts - 20kph is marathon pace while Usain Bolt is said to have achieved 44 kph - but only between the 60 & 80 metre mark of a 100m sprint.

As to whether there is an "offical" speed limit, I don't think there is, becuase of two factors

(1) whether the bridge is a road related area. There seems to be a good argument that it is not an area "designated for use by cyclists", although it is a matter on which people could disagree.

(2) a speed sign is prescribed traffic control device which can only be installed by a person with the appropriate authority. The particular design of the signs makes me suspect that they were installed by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. As that Authority does not appear to have been designated as a "traffic control authority" the sign would only be valid if it was authorised by the Roads and Maritime Authority or the Commissioner of Police.

On the TV news in Melbourne recently there was controversy because people were being caught for speeding because of an unauthorised sign showing a higher limt - can't find a link though.

This of course is all very interesting, but you will still be better off not having to defend the charge if you can avoid it. Besides, I am just some bloke on the internet - if I am wrong, it's your problem
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby wombatK » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:38 pm

find_bruce wrote:As to whether there is an "offical" speed limit, I don't think there is, becuase of two factors

(1) whether the bridge is a road related area. There seems to be a good argument that it is not an area "designated for use by cyclists", although it is a matter on which people could disagree.

(2) a speed sign is prescribed traffic control device which can only be installed by a person with the appropriate authority. The particular design of the signs makes me suspect that they were installed by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. As that Authority does not appear to have been designated as a "traffic control authority" the sign would only be valid if it was authorised by the Roads and Maritime Authority or the Commissioner of Police.

1)
The SHFA is the designated authority for the roads and road related areas within the Darling Harbour precinct, and that includes the Pyrmont Bridge. Not only do they have the authority to put up the signs, their officers can enforce them (i.e. book you).

2)
It doesn't matter whether the bridge is a public road, a shared cycleway, or cycleway - the road rules apply and the speed limit is valid.

There is a similar situation near the Armory Wharf Cafe at Newington, where 10 km signs were erected some time ago near a children's playground. In that case, it's clearly a shared cycleway. And the Sydney Olympic Park Authority is the relevant authority.

The signs have similar effect to the 10 kph speed limit that applies in most shopping center car parks - pretty much every driver and cyclist ignores them. But I wouldn't take my chances on ignoring it if there were police or SHFA rangers in sight.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby find_bruce » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:50 am

wombatK wrote:1)
The SHFA is the designated authority for the roads and road related areas within the Darling Harbour precinct, and that includes the Pyrmont Bridge. Not only do they have the authority to put up the signs, their officers can enforce them (i.e. book you).

You semed so confident that I thought you must be right. But then I went back and read the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 1999. Yes Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is a "declared organisation", but so far as I can ascertain, that authrotiy extends only to various aspects of parking. Oh & I couldn't find Pyrmont Bridge in schedule 3.

Under the Road Transport (General) Regulation 2005 only a class 1 officer (police, State Debt Recovery Office etc) can issue a penalty notice for speeding offences or a cyclist not wearing a helmet- see schedule 3

A Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority "enforcement officer" is a "class 8 officer". A best I can tell their powers to issue a penalty notice under the Road Rules extends to rule 168–1 (1) - stop in a restricted parking area, various offences in relation to mobility parking schemes under the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 1999.

wombatK wrote:2)
It doesn't matter whether the bridge is a public road, a shared cycleway, or cycleway - the road rules apply and the speed limit is valid.

Thank you for proving my point that this is a matter on which reasonable minds may differ.

wombatK wrote:The signs have similar effect to the 10 kph speed limit that applies in most shopping center car parks - pretty much every driver and cyclist ignores them. But I wouldn't take my chances on ignoring it if there were police or SHFA rangers in sight.

& on this matter we are in complete agreement
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby ratter » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Sydguy wrote:
Complete waste of police resources
JM



If they were not catching anyone doing the wrong thing then es it's possibly a waste, but if they are catching people then obviously they are needed, we have rules we have to abide to, just like car drivers etc
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby gururug » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:08 pm

The cyclecops on the bridge in my experience have been pretty ethical and balanced.

I highly doubt they would fine anyone for speed ( just a verbal warning ) unless you were highly reckless. They are there for cyclist safety just as much as pedestrian.

The Pyrmont bridge ends and the corner of Kent and King are the most dangerous intersections in the city during peak times, so there presence here is justified IMHO.

I'm guessing they are there because many pedestrians have complained about this hotspot. Moral, ride safe and wear the right gear and all is well.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby Sydguy » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:17 pm

I think the worst intersection is King and Kent, people heading south down Kent and turning right to go down King generally do not wait for the green bike.

They never get through the King/Sussex lights, I end up behind them and then as the bikes and people take off there is an awkward merge... made more dangerous because said muppets often end up wobbling like a newborn giraffe trying to stand up in front of you.

Cops should venture up there, maybe I should complain about it! lol


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2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby SmellyTofu » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:29 pm

Don't think anyone waits for the lights anyway from several people running reds there this morning. Also there was 1 cycle authority on the bridge this morning. Cruised past at 15 but my friend had no speedo so how does one know the speed?
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby sogood » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:44 pm

Then mentality that cops should only focus their attention and book offending motorists is quite unfortunate.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby find_bruce » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:12 am

They're breeding - 4 cops this morning, 3 dismounted, waiting by the lights - blindingly obvious, but that didn't stop one legend riding across the intersection with his helmet dangling nonchalantly from his handlebars - cop pulled him up, it seems the cyclist is meant to wear the helmet, not the bike.

Other cop had a new tactic, did a u turn at miller st & then back down the cycle path on Union St. Interestingly he didn't stop for the red bicycle on the corner of Edward St - probably a reflection of the fact that in 12 months I have only ever seen it go green 3 times.

Change to the phasing of the lights on King St today - car lights had been green for some time when the red arrow came on & then green bike at the end of the light cycle rather than the beginning. Should make it easier to get through the lights legally and so improve compliance.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby black4tress » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:01 am

2 cops on the western end of the walk bridge this morning. Roadie in front of me ran the red and got booked....$50 aparently

I wander if anyone has tried to do a runner (or rider) to avoid getting booked....how fit could these guys be ? :lol:
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby Strawburger » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:07 am

black4tress wrote:2 cops on the western end of the walk bridge this morning. Roadie in front of me ran the red and got booked....$50 aparently

I wander if anyone has tried to do a runner (or rider) to avoid getting booked....how fit could these guys be ? :lol:


Yep, saw a guy with a BSO being booked for no helmet when i came through.

The police bikes look so heavy even cadel evans would have trouble keeping up with a road bike
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby westab » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:26 am

Strawburger wrote:
black4tress wrote:2 cops on the western end of the walk bridge this morning. Roadie in front of me ran the red and got booked....$50 aparently

I wander if anyone has tried to do a runner (or rider) to avoid getting booked....how fit could these guys be ? :lol:


Yep, saw a guy with a BSO being booked for no helmet when i came through.

The police bikes look so heavy even cadel evans would have trouble keeping up with a road bike


Very true - and they have about 2kg (variable) on their belt + a first aid kit on the bike. But if they want you can you outrun a radio (or twenty of them tomorrow).

Always better to pay the price for one wrong thing than many. Also it pays to remember they are acting for the collective safety (open to debate) and to uphold the laws we all agree to (by the people we vote in ?) :?
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby black4tress » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:30 am

Strawburger wrote:
black4tress wrote:2 cops on the western end of the walk bridge this morning. Roadie in front of me ran the red and got booked....$50 aparently

I wander if anyone has tried to do a runner (or rider) to avoid getting booked....how fit could these guys be ? :lol:


Yep, saw a guy with a BSO being booked for no helmet when i came through.

The police bikes look so heavy even cadel evans would have trouble keeping up with a road bike


I spoke to one of the coppers at the lights and said that I hope these fines go towards getting you guys some decent bikes :lol:

They are friendly enough and are there in the best interests of everyones safety.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby TimW » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:35 am

(AT) Westab, the duty belts when fully loaded are over 7 Kilogrammes, which is why they are now implementing tactical vests to load some of the equipment on, for the smaller, more fragile, affirmative action rort. :twisted:
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby westab » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:10 am

TimW wrote:(AT) Westab, the duty belts when fully loaded are over 7 Kilogrammes, which is why they are now implementing tactical vests to load some of the equipment on, for the smaller, more fragile, affirmative action rort. :twisted:


Very true I am sure - a number of my mates are general duties police and their belts are heavy. The Only bke police I asked how much extra weight they were caring were the two wonderful officers who were running the "CARES" program teaching school kids (8 y.o.) last year. They told me the min. they were allowed to get away with was about 2kg - but they were not on active duty. 2kg or 7kg sitting on your belt is still going to slow you heaps.

Thanks Tim for the update.
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby JV911 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:46 am

more

http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/f ... 1vl5v.html

i had to laugh at the pic of the hipster getting booked :lol:
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Re: 2 bicycle cops on Pyrmont Bridge this morning

Postby find_bruce » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:35 pm

Interestingly I saw 3 cops on pyrmont bridge on Thursday 7 June, with one of them pushing what looked like a measuring wheel (it could have been a unicycle :D ) & that makes me wonder what they are up to.

My best guess is that they are measuring the distance between designated points so they can get an accurate measure of a cyclists speed.

It is possible that my comments above and on Cyclists fined in Sydney may not be as academic as I thought at the time.

find_bruce wrote:
find_bruce wrote:It's possible that the Traffic Sergeant doesn't know the law, but I am not going to tell him that. :wink: Oh & he forgot "furiously" (rule 245-1)

wombatK wrote:It's an extraordinary statement from the Traffic Sergeant given that Rule 20 is crystal clear about a driver's responsibility, and makes no exception for bicyclist from the term driver in this rule...

I have been a bit busy of late but had a few minutes to turn my mind to this. There is a part of rule 20 which doesn't appear in what you quoted, the importance of which will becomer clear later.
Road Rule 20 Obeying the speed limit wrote:A driver must not drive at a speed over the speed limit applying to the driver for the length of road where the driver is driving.
Penalty and disqualification: a driver who contravenes this rule is guilty of an offence and is liable to a maximum penalty and a period of disqualification (if any) determined in accordance with rule 10–2.

I agree with you that rule 20 is crystal clear - a cyclist is a driver & required to comply with applicable speed limits (no need to re-hash the discussion in relation to particular places).

Road Rule 10-2 specifies the maximum penalty according to the speed in excess of the limit - more than 45, 30-45 and less than 30. I would expect that almost any speeding by a cyclist will fall in the category of 30km per hour or less, which means the maximum fine is 20 penalty units, currently $2,200.

The usual way of dealing with speeding offences though is to issue a penalty notice and this is where it gets murky. The issueing of penalty notices is set out in the Road Transport (General) Regulation 2005 (NSW). The penalty notice offences, who can issue the penalty & the amount are set out in schedule 3. In relation to rule 20, they are set out by reference to the class of motor vehicle,
(a) in the case of a class A motor vehicle and otherwise than in school zone ...
(b) in the case of a class B motor vehicle and otherwise than in school zone ...
(c) in the case of a class C motor vehicle and otherwise than in school zone ...

There are then separate provisions for school zones etc. The important point though is that a bicycle is not a motor vehicle of any class.

Unless there is something I am missing, this means a police officer cannot issue a penalty notice for speeding on a bicycle. Accordingly the only way to enforce rule 20 in relation to a cyclist is to issue a court attendance notice. If the offence is proven, a cyclist who exceeds the speed limit by 30 km per hour or less will be liable to a fine of up to $2,200.

So the Police can't issue a speeding ticket to a cyclist, but they could, if so inclined, drag you off to court & the court could, but probably won't, issue a very serious fine.


No doubt people will let us know if there are further developments.
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