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13. Related to cycling

A bicycle or tricycle basically has the same right to use a road as a motor vehicle. Needless to say, the rider of a bicycle or tricycle also has the duty to exercise due care when using the road and to comply with all traffic regulations (e.g. to comply with all traffic signs, traffic lights and road markings) as if he/she is the driver of a motor vehicle. Major offences related to cycling include:

 

  1. Reckless cycling under section 45 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong), where the maximum sentence is: a fine of $500 for a first conviction, and a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for 3 months for the second or subsequent conviction;
  2. Careless cycling under section 46 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong), where the maximum sentence is a fine of $500;
  3. Cycling under the influence of drink or drugs under section 47 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong), where the maximum sentence is: a fine of $500 for a first conviction, and a fine of $1,000 for the second or subsequent conviction and imprisonment for 3 months; and
  4. Regulation 87 of the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap.374A of the Laws of Hong Kong), which provides that every bicycle/ tricycle shall be equipped with at least one braking system which is efficient and in proper working order.  The maximum sentence is a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 6 months;
  5. Regulation 88 of the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap.374A of the Laws of Hong Kong), which provides that every bicycle/tricycle shall be fitted with a bell capable of giving sufficient warning of its approach or presence.  The maximum sentence is a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 6 months
  6. Regulation 51 of the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations (Cap.374G of the Laws of Hong Kong), which provides that no person riding a bicycle or tricycle on a road shall carry any other person, a person riding a bicycle or tricycle on a road shall do so with at least one hand on the handle bars, and no person shall ride a bicycle or tricycle during the hours of darkness or in poor visibility conditions unless he shows a white light at the front and a red light at the rear.  The maximum sentence for breaching this Regulation 51 is a fine of $2,000; and
  7. Section 4(8) of the Summary Offences Ordinance (Cap.228of the Laws of Hong Kong), which prescribes that it shall be an offence if someone “rides or drives on any foot-path without obvious necessity” or “in any public place rides or drives recklessly or negligently or at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case”.  The maximum sentence is a fine of $300 or imprisonment for 3 months.

One could easily observe that there is no offence like “dangerous cycling” or “dangerous cycling causing death”, as if the act of cycling cannot possibly be dangerous nor cause death.  That is obviously not true.  Common sense will tell us that a bicycle can also be dangerous.

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