Perth’s police chief is warning cyclists who flout the law by riding on footpaths that they will face the strong arm of the law.
Chief Inspector Ian Scott, area commander for Perth and Kinross, said he has received a “number of complaints” from residents about incidents involving cyclists where they posed a risk to pedestrians.
Mr Scott alluded to the recent court case at the Old Bailey concerning Charlie Alliston, 20, who was found guilty of causing bodily harm by ‘wanton or furious driving’ when he knocked over and killed 44-year-old mother-of-two Kim Briggs in London last year.
Mr Scott said: “In recent weeks I have received complaints regarding cyclists using footways or footpaths in Perth city centre and also in Burghmuir Road and Jeanfield Road.
“With the recent media publicity involving the cyclist in London being found guilty of causing the death of a pedestrian I feel it necessary to highlight the risk that some cyclists are posing to pedestrians in Perth.”
He continued: “Cyclists must remember that they are required to adhere to the rules of the road in the same way that motorists are – by complying with traffic lights, road signs and traffic direction. Also, they should ensure their bike is roadworthy and fitted with lights and reflectors if cycling during night time or when there is seriously reduced visibility.
“Generally, anyone cycling on a footway or footpath in Scotland is committing an offence under the provisions of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984. By cycling on footpaths there is a greatly increased risk of being involved in a collision with a pedestrian and ending up in court charged with an offence.”
And Mr Scott also pointed to the Road Traffic Act 1988, which covers the offence of dangerous cycling which is defined as cycling in a manner liable to cause either injury to a person or serious damage to property.
“In determining whether a person has cycled dangerously, a court will consider whether it would have been obvious to a competent and careful cyclist that cycling in such a manner fell far below the standard that would be expected of such a cyclist.”
The matter was raised back in 2014 by former Perth city centre Councillor Heather Stewart, who hit out at cyclists riding in the city’s pedestrianised High Street.
“As we are all aware cycling on pavements is against the law and should be enforced by the police,” she had said.
“However, it would seem that many are unaware that cycling on the High Street’s pedestrianised zone is also not allowed and they should in fact dismount and walk along the street.”