Cycling: offences - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 02 May 2012 | Standard notes SN00623

Authors: Louise Butcher

Topic: Cycling

This note looks at the road traffic offences that can be committed by cyclists and the penalties available for them.

With cycling increasing in popularity, particularly in urban areas, there has been renewed focus on making cycling safer for both cyclists themselves and for other road users, particularly pedestrians. There are a number of sanctions available to the police for those cyclists who break the law. There remain difficulties with enforcement, particularly regarding children cycling on the pavement, and penalties or prosecutions in individual cases are a matter or the police.

It is an offence to ride a bicycle on a public footpath under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, as amended. This was made a fixed penalty offence in 1999 and since December 2002 Community Support Officers have been able to issue a fixed penalty notices for this offence. It is also an offence to ride a cycle dangerously or carelessly on a public road (including the pavement) and to cycle while under the influence of drink or drugs.

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