Cycling in Sydney Australia
Today in the mail I received an infringement notice for "Not stop before red bicycle crossing light". Here's the story of how it happened, which I wrote as soon as I got home after the incident:
Today I got stopped at the corner of Oxford St and College St by a motorbike cop because I wasn't wearing a helmet. I showed him my medical certificate, which satisfied him.
But then out of nowhere:
"What about the red light you went through?"
"I didn't go through a red light"
"Yes you did, that one!" he said, pointing to the lights across College St at the intersection with Oxford St.
"It was green"
"But it's a pedestrian crossing"
"No, it's a shared path, with a bike lantern"
"You went through a red light"
"I stopped with all the pedestrians, and we all waited until it went green, and we all crossed together. If you have any footage of it on that camera [he was wearing a body-camera] I'd love to see it"
"It's all on camera, and if I send you a ticket you'll be able to see it"
"You might be getting a ticket in the mail"
I'd love to fight this, and I'm pretty sure any video evidence would exonerate me, although there's a small chance that the light began flashing red before all the waiting pedestrians (with me at their rear) had time to step out onto the road.
Perhaps we should be offering $ for Colin's defence as well as all the good advice?
Its a shame you didn't get a helmet fine so you could take advantage of the fund set up by Freestyle Cyclists and the Upright Bicycle Riders.
But what the hell, I'll chip in few bucks. Provided you take it to court and tell us the story! :)
Any developments Colin?
Yes. I went to court and got a s10, no offence recorded, no fine.
Prior to going to court I managed to get in touch with the highway patrolman, and arranged to watch the footage from his body cam. To my surprise it showed that I did leave the footpath when the red man was flashing, though it was perhaps only a second or two after.
The detail was that I waited behind the crowd of pedestrians leaving the footpath (so as not to bother them), and by the time they had all made it onto the road and I had my turn, the flashing red man had appeared. Of course I got to the other side of the road before most of the pedestrians who had left before me, because a bike is speedier than walking.
This is a good illustration for why there should be separate lights for people on bikes, with a longer green time, and shorter red flashing time.
I managed to explain all this to the magistrate, who was sympathetic, and basically said to me "plead guilty and I'll let you off". So I did.
For me this is not about motorbike cops and they way the evidence is with the fine. It is about these bike lanterns that are red. They should be green.
This arvo I came across Pyrmont bridge, around the curved shared path to cross Sussex and go straight up the bike path.
As I approached the first crossing the traffic had been going left to right and they were just getting amber. By the time I got to the edge of the footpath the cars on my right got the green to go up King St. They did not get the left arrow as the pedestrians got the walk. So it was peds and cars with green.
Problem was the bike lantern remained red.
For years my way of protesting there was to ride up on the road and not the bike path. Because only vehicles were allowed to go. God knows how long I was expected to wait.
Today I just went up the path and mumbled "what bullshit".
Then up at the next crossing (Kent) the cars had green, no left arrow yet I had a red bike lantern.
The lantern lights are not being managed. You need to get a fine and then a court hearing and get us all in there with you.