Cyclist fined for drunken motorway trip

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Elyob, May 15, 2003.

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  1. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_781788.html?menu=news.quirkies

    A Belgian man has been fined £275 for riding his bicycle on a motorway while drunk. Cyriel Alens,
    52, from Kallo, decided to take a shortcut home via the E314 after a late night at a pub in Vrasene.
    Police were alerted after motorists spotted him cycling erratically without his lights on, reports
    Het Laatste Nieuws. Officers made him leave his bicycle chained to a crash barrier at the side of
    the road and walk home. Mr Alens said: "I was too afraid of what my wife would say for returning at
    such a late hour, so I took the shortest way." By the time he returned to the barrier the next day,
    his bicycle had been stolen. Story filed: 10:19 Thursday 15th May 2003
     
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  2. "elyob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Officers made him leave his bicycle chained to a crash barrier at the side of the road and
    > walk home.

    Surely it would be just as safe pushing it home as walking!
     
  3. "Farmer Alfalfa" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > How was he supposed to recover it legally?

    I doubt the police would allow a bicycle to be left chained to the side of an m-way anyway, as it
    could cause a hazard due to people trying to stop to try and steal it. Perhaps people might even
    reverse back along the shoulder to it once they realise it's unattended!
     
  4. John Blake

    John Blake Guest

    In message id <[email protected]> on Thu, 15 May 2003 14:41:55 +0100, Adrian
    Boliston wrote in uk.rec.cycling :

    >"elyob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >
    >> Officers made him leave his bicycle chained to a crash barrier at the side of the road and
    >> walk home.
    >
    >Surely it would be just as safe pushing it home as walking!

    Because it is too tempting to get back on the bike. Why walk at 3mph or less when s***faced, when
    you can cycle at 20-30mph?

    Well that's how "the" mind works in that condition. Fearless and brave to the point of stupidity in
    a sober person's eyes.

    Why didn't the police give him a lift home with the bike? If taking a motorway route home was going
    to shorten the route, it's unlikely he has cycled 50 miles from home to get a glass of Stella is it?
     
  5. "John Blake" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    >
    > Why didn't the police give him a lift home with the bike?

    Why should the police make things easier for an *offender*, at the expense of the public purse?
    Motorway traffic cars are IIRC filled to the gunwales with copper-related tat such as traffic cones,
    road closed signs, dragon-lights etc so there wouldn't be much room for a bike anyway.

    Whilst his "crime" is insignificant compared to some of the things cagers do, it could still
    potentially have caused an RTC and we all should *know* the motorway is off limits to push bikes!
    [1] Part of the punishment (as well as the fine) would be having to leave the bike there, and then
    arrange at his *own* expense to retrieve it. If it were locked up, I doubt if anyone would have
    tried nicking it anyway.

    You do the crime, you do the time... in my area if a drunk driver is nicked usually their car is
    left where it is (unless there is other crime involved and the traffic cops want to search the car
    for evidence). Anyway I bet his bike was being watched by CCTV all that time - probably how he got
    nicked in the first place...

    Alex

    [1] Apart from the Nigerian cycling team, who decided to use the M6 hard shoulder as a practice
    track when they were in the Manchester olympics. GMP traffic still pulled the lot of them over -
    they were let off with a warning as they had only recently arrived in the country and were
    genuinely unaware of the motorway traffic regulations - perhaps this practice is permitted on
    motorways in Nigeria!
     
  6. David Marsh

    David Marsh Guest

    [Interleaved quoting: please read to end for all comments] Mr [email protected] (2.3 zulu-alpha) [comms room 2]
    wrote in uk.rec.cycling: about: Re: Cyclist fined for drunken motorway trip

    > Why should the police make things easier for an *offender*, at the expense of the public purse?
    > Motorway traffic cars are IIRC filled to the gunwales with copper-related tat such as traffic
    > cones, road closed signs, dragon-lights etc so there wouldn't be much room for a bike anyway.

    Dragon-lights? What on earth are they?!

    > [1] Apart from the Nigerian cycling team, who decided to use the M6 hard shoulder as a practice
    > track when they were in the Manchester olympics. GMP traffic still pulled the lot of them over
    > - they were let off with a warning as they had only recently arrived in the country and were
    > genuinely unaware of the motorway traffic regulations - perhaps this practice is permitted on
    > motorways in Nigeria!

    I remember once seeing a geography video at school about Ghana (OK, not quite the same place) where
    one of the features was the pride being shown in the new (at the time the video was made) motorway
    from Accra to [somewhere].

    Cut to clip of somewhat dusty motorway (complete with appropriate international blue motorway signs)
    undulating through the countryside (ie, somewhat steeper gradients than motorways here) with people
    walking along the hard shoulder with pots on their heads, and assorted wildlife strolling leisurely
    through the adjacent bush and across (and no vehicular traffic apart from about two Land Rovers) ;-)

    ObCycling: Didn't see any bikes, though..

    --
    David Marsh, <reply-to-email is valid at time of writing> | Glasgow, Scotland. [en, fr, (de)] |
    http://web.viewport.co.uk/ | Learn usenet and netiquette: read news:news.announce.newusers |
    >I scorefile posters who don't quote in traditional interleaved style.<
    begin Once upon a time, there was a badly-broken newsreader program...
     
  7. John Blake

    John Blake Guest

    In message id <[email protected]> on Sun, 25 May 2003 00:11:06 +0100,
    Mr [email protected] (2.3 zulu-alpha) [comms room
    2] wrote in uk.rec.cycling :

    >"John Blake" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >
    >>
    >> Why didn't the police give him a lift home with the bike?
    >
    >Why should the police make things easier for an *offender*, at the expense of the public purse?

    Practicality being more use than fastidious observance of rules.

    If a cyclist is on a motorway returning home after a night on the ale, he is not likely to be far
    from home. As I said before, who cycles 50 miles to get a glass of beer? If the cyclist is
    disorderly he can be properly nicked. If not, the police could get him home and lecture him on the
    way that he is a danger to himself and other road users. They can then get back to work patrolling
    with no paperwork to complete after giving a ticking off. The offender will hopefully not re-offend
    and can start an Urban Myth about getting nicked for drunk whilst cycling on the local motorway.

    Or do it the other way. Arrest the cyclist. Spend hours on paperwork. Spend hours in a court. Spend
    hours away from doing the job they are placed to do -deter crime on the motorway. Piss poor use of
    resources paid for by the public purse for something that could probably have been sorted in less
    than 15 minutes at the outset.

    >Motorway traffic cars are IIRC filled to the gunwales with copper-related tat such as traffic
    >cones, road closed signs, dragon-lights etc so there wouldn't be much room for a bike anyway.

    That may be so here in the UK where it is known that resources are limited / over stretched /
    mismanaged. Whatever car is on the road may well be the only car there. But in the original message
    the case was in Belgium. Are they packed to the gunwales equally so?

    >Whilst his "crime" is insignificant compared to some of the things cagers do, it could still
    >potentially have caused an RTC

    RTC? Do you mean RTA?

    >and we all should *know* the motorway is off limits to push bikes! [1] Part of the punishment (as
    >well as the fine) would be having to leave the bike there, and then arrange at his *own* expense to
    >retrieve it. If it were locked up, I doubt if anyone would have tried nicking it anyway.

    You obviously missed the original message. The bike WAS left on the motorway locked to a crash
    barrier. It wasn't there when he returned to collect it. Someone HAD nicked it. So now there ARE two
    crimes instead of one. The police have doubled their work in filling out forms rather than policing.

    That's where being practical is more use than being anal about following rules. But common sense
    isn't common is it?

    >You do the crime, you do the time... in my area if a drunk driver is nicked usually their car is
    >left where it is (unless there is other crime involved and the traffic cops want to search the car
    >for evidence). Anyway I bet his bike was being watched by CCTV all that time - probably how he got
    >nicked in the first place...

    Being drunk and in poor control of half a ton of metal where persons outwith the vehicle are in more
    danger than the person inside it is no comparison to a cyclist being drunk. The cyclist is of more
    danger to himself than other road users. You are not comparing like with like.

    --
    I don't do arguments, read the reply properly to get the context. Kind regards. If you want to take
    it to email remove THE SPAM BLOKA
     
  8. "John Blake" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    comparison to a cyclist being drunk. The cyclist is of more danger to
    > himself than other road users. You are not comparing like with like.
    >
    I admit to missing the first post - but I have to say perhaps you may also be guilty of not
    comparing like with like, given that the incident happened *outside* the UK. Perhaps if someone said
    "autoroute" instead of motorway I might have twigged :)

    I appreciate the cyclist is less of a danger to other road users; but there is *still* the danger of
    the cyclist causing a multiple vehicle RTC if other motorists took avoiding action.

    A lot of the time that the "common *law*" *isn't* often driven by "common sense" (in bald financial
    terms) - but sometimes it has to be enforced even if not always "cost-effective". It is in fact
    cheaper to put young offenders in 5-star hotels than YOI's - but to do so may cause something of an
    (understandable) public outcry....

    Its also not cost-effective or even common sense to nick people for small-scale recreational use of
    drugs, nor to bust up unlicensed raves with riot police but the coppers do it all the time because
    "thats the law" and if *they* don't, others complain.

    I'd agree that a tipsy cyclist clocked on town/city CCTV who is narrowly missing peds and taxis and
    weaving about the place *should* only be flagged down and given a talking to by the bobbies and then
    sent on their way - but cycling on the motorway is frankly just *taking the piss* and should expect
    more robust treatment.

    Its the difference between a hippy smoking a spliff in their own house (where they are usually left
    alone) or blowing smoke in a coppers face (when they *will* get nicked). I make no apology for the
    drugs comparison; as here we have someone who took a drug (in this case alcohol) and then committed
    an act which is perceived as anti-social.

    I can't comment on what the Belgians keep in the motorway traffic police cars - I have never had
    dealings with their Police service - but I'm even more inclined to believe in this case that the
    cops did the right thing here - *more so* than in the UK! ]

    AFAIK Belgium's road system is one that gives priority to cyclists - and is often better laid out
    than the UK - it appears that there really was no *need* for this chap to get in this situation in
    the first place no matter how drunk he was! (and I am quite aware that very good beer can be
    obtained from Belgium.)

    People should take responsibility for their own actions - if not someone *else* will, usually from
    some or other public authority and in a manner which is non-ideal for all parties concerned.

    Alex
     
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