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Cyclist fined £220 for riding through red light forcing mum with pushchair to stop mid-crossing to avoid collision

The cyclist was initially offered a fixed penalty notice which went unpaid, following which a full criminal prosecution was launched

A cyclist has been ordered to pay a total of almost £400, including a fine and other costs, for riding through a red light as a mum with her child in a pushchair were crossing the road, making them stop in their tracks to avoid a collision.

31-year-old Pavanrao Hanchate was caught by police officers immediately after he failed to stop at the red light, and almost caused a collision with the mother and the child, The Standard reports.

Court papers revealed that he “rode through a red light, which had a pedestrian with a pushchair and child on the crossing”, and the “pedestrian had to stop mid-crossing to avoid  collision with the cyclist”.

Hanchate, who lives in Norwich, was offered a fixed penalty fine but this went unpaid, and he was then taken to court in a full criminal prosecution.

The magistrate convicted him of riding a pedal cycle on a road and failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic signal, marking an unusual prosecution likely because the officers noticed the incident and stopped Hanchate at the scene to get his details.

Hanchate was ordered to pay a £220 fine, plus £90 in prosecution costs and an £88 victim surcharge.

> Should cyclists be allowed to ride through red lights? Campaigners split on safety benefits

The news comes just a few weeks after the “dangerous cycling” bill was tabled in Parliament by senior Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith and backed by Transport Secretary Mark Harper, who said it would mean the “tiny minority” of reckless cyclists would face the “full weight of the law”, while protecting “law-abiding cyclists”.

The bill was purposed to introduce the specific offence of "causing death by dangerous, careless, or inconsiderate cycling, and causing serious injury by careless or inconsiderate cycling", which would lead to tougher penalties for those who kill or injure while riding bikes, e-bikes, electric scooters, unicycles, and "personal transporters”.

Duncan Smith’s amendments had been welcomed by Matthew Briggs, a longstanding campaigner for a dangerous cycling law, whose wife Kim was hit and killed by a cyclist riding with no front brakes in London in 2016, with the cyclist Charlie Alliston later being jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of causing bodily harm by "wanton and furious riding”.

> "If the aviation or rail industry had the safety record that roads do, planes would be grounded, and trains would be stopped": Brake road safety charity latest to respond to government's 'dangerous cycling' bill

The bill was first agreed upon in the House of Commons by ministers, but was then shelved following the announcement of the general elections by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

However, just days after it was reported that the bill won’t become law, it received cross-party backing in the Parliament, with Labour joining the Conservatives in committing to introduce stricter laws on cycling if they form government after winning the upcoming election.

The amendments, if passed, will replace the current legislation with which cyclists who kill or injure while riding recklessly can be prosecuted under the 1861 ‘wanton or furious driving’ law, which carries with it a maximum sentence of two years in prison. 

It means the maximum sentence for causing death or serious injury by dangerous cycling, if the proposed amendment passes, would be brought into line with sentencing guidelines for dangerous driving, of which the maximum sentence is currently 14 years' imprisonment. The government are set to bring forward an updated amendment to James Cleverly’s Criminal Justice Bill as it enters the House of Lords, where it will be debated.

> Cyclists riding through town centre threatened with £1,000 fines and told they “don’t pay road tax” as “cowboy” wardens accused of “running amok” – but council orders staff to stop fining cyclists

Currently, the Highway Code dictates that cyclists must stop at red lights. In April, we reported that the City of London Police had handed out 944 fixed penalty notices to cyclists for riding through red lights since its Cycle Response Unit was formed nine months ago.

The authority — which polices the Square Mile area of the English capital home to the Stock Exchange, Bank of England and St Paul's Cathedral — said it would continue to fine cyclists who ride "through red lights, putting themselves and pedestrians at risk".

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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45 comments

Avatar
kingleo | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

They should do that at the junction of Priory Lane, which comes from Richmond Park and the south circular road, Every day I walk with my bike from the common to the south side of the road when the lights are green for me - cyclists are always rinding through the lights and whizzing by just behind or in front of me, often I have to stop to avoid a collision. If I tell them a red light means stop for everybody I get a stream of verbal insults, some even try to make out that I'm in the wrong crossing the road when the lights are green for me. 

 

Avatar
mimbike | 4 weeks ago
16 likes

I take red lights as an opportunity to get my breath back!

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Disgusted of Tu... | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

No doubt the IDS brigade will be thumping the table over this but some idiot (on a "Boris bike"?) is hardly representative of the 10s of thousands who act responsibly on their daily commute or recreational ride.

The fact this incident made "headline news" surely demonstrates it's biased and disproportionate representative action of the few which tarnishes the responsible 99% of cyclists.

I patiently waited 5 minutes at a set of temporary lights yesterday on a quiet rural road for the traffic lights to "recognise me" but that's understandably just not news worthy for the tabloids or IDS I suppose?

Avatar
Mr Anderson replied to Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells | 4 weeks ago
7 likes

There are several permanent traffic lights on my routes in SE London, that have these 'car only' sensors.  A few times I have waited for 5 minutes or more, then realized I am never going to get a green light, unless a car arrives.

A few years ago, it was suggested these traffic detection systems conflicts with a cylist's human rights to freedom of movement!

Avatar
mitsky | 4 weeks ago
7 likes

I'm glad this idiot got done.

What would the equivalent punishment have been for a motorist?

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to mitsky | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

mitsky wrote:

I'm glad this idiot got done.

What would the equivalent punishment have been for a motorist?

more than the £30 failing to stop at a traffic light fixed penalty notice the cyclist declined to pay. If a driver is caught by a speed camera or red light camera and declines to pay the FPN (aside from loophole eploitation on not identifying driver) I would expect them to be fined at least as much for taking it to court.

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Geordiepeddeler replied to mitsky | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

I have submitted at least 20 videos of extremely dangerous passes to the police and have not heard anything. I think the people shouting it's great that the cyclist got done, my answer is yes, anyone who breaks the law deserves to be punished. Just remember I said EVERYONE!

Avatar
wtjs replied to Geordiepeddeler | 3 weeks ago
5 likes

I have submitted at least 20 videos of extremely dangerous passes to the police and have not heard anything

Yes, they just binned them regardless of the merits of submissions. That's the purpose of Operation Snap- to give the appearance of doing something without the effort of taking any action

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Mr Anderson | 4 weeks ago
1 like

Does anyone know the answer to my question?

Cycling Mikey no longer reports Gandalf offenders because he says this offence has been "decriminalized", does anyone know the precise details?

I believe this is an offence under Sect 36 of the RTA 1988, and the penalty is 3 pts and up to £1000 fine, am I correct, has this changed?

Avatar
HLaB replied to Mr Anderson | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

I don't know if it applies to London but shire councils can apply to the DfT to decrimalise certain things now and start issuing fines.

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/councils-in-england-to-get-new-powe...

https://news.leicester.gov.uk/news-articles/2022/october/new-powers-woul...

 

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Mr Anderson replied to HLaB | 4 weeks ago
1 like

Thanks.  This does apply to London too.

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Mr Anderson replied to HLaB | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

I have read through a lot of legal verbage, and in essence, Cycling Mikey is correct.  Generally, because the powers to enforce on Section 36 have been devolved to the LAs, the Police no longer want to act on this.

My strong advice to Mikey is:

Don't Gandalf them, but post videos of the level of the offending you witness, and the near-misses, perhaps then those at Marlowe House will change their policy, and start issuing fines again.

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ktache replied to Mr Anderson | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

He's been back, recent posts on YouTube, remember he was carried on the bonnet of a lawbreaker and for some reason the court sided with the violent criminal.

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wtjs | 4 weeks ago
6 likes

Currently, the Highway Code dictates that cyclists must stop at red lights. In April, we reported that the City of London Police had handed out 944 fixed penalty notices to cyclists for riding through red lights

Meanwhile, in Lancashire, the bent, idle and hopelessly inept Constabulary simply refuses to take action against motorists' RLJ offences:

https://upride.cc/incident/pj23vmc_honda125_redlightcross/

https://upride.cc/incident/g16dht_hgvtrainer_redlightcross/

https://upride.cc/incident/k7ddy_audia4_redlightpass/

Or against those driving around for months in vehicles with No MOT/ Failed MOT etc. etc. It really is a War on Cyclists

Avatar
Mr Anderson | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

Today's election debate is about housing.

How long will it be until I wake in the morning to hear the news "Today, the political parties will be announcing their plans to 'End the War on Motorists'" ?

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wycombewheeler | 4 weeks ago
11 likes

Well deserved for this arsehole. If you go through red lights you have to give way.

Not only was he an arsehole, but dumb enough to get caught, and then go to court. How did he think he was getting off?

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ErnieC | 4 weeks ago
8 likes

Good, as it should be. 

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Scarey | 4 weeks ago
8 likes

All my working life was spent in the road transport industry and have driven likewise; I've gained the opinion that most bad driving is just bad manners, even without traffic lights, forcing a pedestrian to stop is both inconsiderate and illegal! I don't think the police should have given this rider the option of a fixed penalty, it should have been full court proceedings at the outset. The evidence suggests we can do with such people, whether riding or driving, the magistrates were far too lenient.

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mdavidford | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

road.cc wrote:

The magistrate convicted him of riding a pedal cycle on the road and failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic signal

Was that two separate offences?

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Aberdeencyclist replied to mdavidford | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

Had it been a car , he'd be charged with driving a motor car on the road and failure to comply
Not sure what need there is to nit pick on what is blatantly bad behaviour by a cyclist which lets us all down

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Aberdeencyclist | 4 weeks ago
11 likes

Aberdeencyclist wrote:

Had it been a car , he'd be charged with driving a motor car on the road and failure to comply Not sure what need there is to nit pick on what is blatantly bad behaviour by a cyclist which lets us all down

Well, I don't feel let down by them - I don't even know them

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mdavidford replied to Aberdeencyclist | 4 weeks ago
8 likes

Not picking nits. Just trying to raise a smile.

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dubwise replied to Aberdeencyclist | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

"Let us all down", really?

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wycombewheeler replied to dubwise | 4 weeks ago
3 likes
dubwise wrote:

"Let us all down", really?

My capacity for being let down is already used up by people who also drive there is nothing left for this rude behaviour.

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Capercaillie replied to Aberdeencyclist | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

I'm a driver and a cyclist. A quick look on Google gives lots of examples of drivers running red lights and hitting pedestrians. I don't feel responsible for the actions of those scumbags, so why should I be responsible for the actions of a similarly irresponsible cyclist?

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MysteriousMist replied to Aberdeencyclist | 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Aberdeencyclist wrote:

Had it been a car , he'd be charged with driving a motor car on the road

....Where else they gonna drive?

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antigee replied to mdavidford | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Many people seem to think so and that one inevitably leads to the other

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LeadenSkies | 4 weeks ago
16 likes

What a plonker, twice. Once for committing the offence and again for ignoring the fixed penalty and ending up in court.

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chrisonabike | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Sounds like someone who ain't going to do what they're told.  Hopefully they get the money out of them.

On the other side of this (and may not apply as this seems to be a selfish individual) the UK's crossings are inherently inefficient (because motor vehicles).  I wonder if we could find our way to removing "light jumping" temptations AND make crossing safer by having pedestrians dealing with crossing cycleways separately from the main road?  Generally no need for traffic lights or for everyone to come to a halt and wait in that case.

Probably take a generation or so of "learning" in the UK though...

Avatar
cyclisto replied to chrisonabike | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Each country has its own rules, own infrastructure, own culture and these factors create very different user experience.

The Dutch have understood that a cyclist will need much much more human energy to regain his/her average travelling speed than a pedestrian or a driver, so they try to make their lives easier as much as possible. Combined with arguably the best infrastructure and a flat terrain (Ok there are supposed to be some strong headwinds sometimes) they have managed to have one of the highest cycling usages and very safe too, making Duch citizens rich, healthy and happy.

Some times laws and infrastructure should be updated. Change these and culture will follow.

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