Sunday 19 August 2012

Crime and punishment: cyclists and drivers

Our friends down in Bristol will be delighted to learn that the British criminal justice system takes a far more robust attitude to lawless, road-tax-dodging cyclists than it does to ordinary decent motorists who through no fault of their own and in exceptional circumstances sometimes find themselves going a little faster than the permitted speed limit.

A “ROGUE” cyclist spent a night in the cells for refusing to give police his name after they stopped him for using a no-cycle lane on Hampstead Heath. Jean Dollimore, spokeswoman for Camden Cycling Campaign, said it was “extreme” to arrest a cyclist using an empty path when “there are not nearly enough cycle paths on the Heath”. She added: “I imagine this man wasn’t trying to be a rogue cyclist, he just thought it was 8pm, no one was around, and it was safe to do so. 

There is no way to cycle all the way across the Heath on a network of paths without having to get off and walk some of the way, and that needs to change.” Cyclist Eddison Joseph, 50, from Kentish Town, called for “common sense” after he was fined £330 by magistrates in March last year for riding on a no-cycle path on Hampstead Heath 


Mercedes driver Shayla Christina Arnold, 27, of Tennant Road, Acomb , admitted doing 96 mph on the A64 at Tadcaster . Her solicitor, Keith Haggerty, said she was racing to get home because her daughter, a passenger in the car, was feeling ill and needed medicine. Arnold said she needed her car to do two care service jobs looking after up to 20 people a week in their own homes. She was given five penalty points and fined £170. 

Porsche driver Dean Robert Sheriff, 43, of Dalton Terrace, York, admitted doing 97 mph on the A64 at Tadcaster and had a previous conviction for speeding. He was given five penalty points, and a £200 fine. He said he had been suffering from stomach cramp, sickness and diarrhoea and was hurrying to get to a McDonalds further along the route. 

VW Golf driver Luke Tibble, 29, of Broad Green Wellingborough, admitted doing 108 mph on the A63 at Newthorpe. He was given a 28-day driving ban and £230 fine. He said he had not been in a hurry, but had had a loss of concentration.