Road Traffic Act 1991

May I say to the gentleman in his car today who, while one vehicle was pulling in right in front of me while I cycled, blasted his horn from behind me, then overtook me driving on the wrong side of the road towards a blind crest and corner, steering with one hand while he wound down the window with the other hand and pointed at me as looked me in the eye and said “You have to pull into the side of the road, you’re causing a traffic jam” before driving on and blasting his horn again, I was not breaking the Road Traffic Act.

For the purposes of those who read English, let me quote the Road Traffic Act of 1991.

Cycling offences.

7. For section 28 of the [1988 c. 52.] Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be substituted—

“Dangerous cycling.

28. — (1) A person who rides a cycle on a road dangerously is guilty of an offence.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) above a person is to be regarded as riding dangerously if (and only if)—

(a) the way he rides falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful cyclist, and

(b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist that riding in that way would be dangerous.

(3) In subsection (2) above “dangerous” refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of that subsection what would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.

For reference, for those who can read English and understand computers enough to be able to navigate the Internet and are legally allowed to surf the Internet, here’s the full text of the Road Traffic Act 1991.

2 comments on “Road Traffic Act 1991”

  1. pablo Reply

    Oh dear, looks like one of our non-cycling edinburgh motorists are again out with their superior knowledge of how and when somebody should cycle.

    I’ve said it before and hear it comes again. It never ceases to amaze me what people do after they determine a cyclist is in the wrong. from:

    swerving wildy across the road to almost hanging their entire body out of the window with odd gestures to make “sure” the cyclist knows that what he was doing is dangerous.

    I’d imagine that there is a road rule that would state motorists should be in complete control(or show full attention to) their vehicle at all times…

  2. Patrick Hadfield Reply

    I have ofter considered while cycling of having some kind of implement – maybe like Rosa Kleb’s shoes in “From Russia With Love” – whereby I could conveniently give irritating car drivers a flat tyre. Or three.

    I even thought about carrying a pen knife to aid me…

    Of course, I wouldn’t dream of such a thing…

    Alternatively, when I cycled in London (a much less pleasurable experience than using the cycle paths and quiet roads I am able to access around Edinburgh) I found that having a whistle stuck in my mouth to blow at irritating motorists, or just to let them now that I was there. I had a loud whistle; it certainly freaked a lot of (bad) drivers.

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