Anti-cycling Dales councillor banned for drink driving

John Quinn claimed cyclists were "a law unto themselves", rode at 40-50mph knocked off wing mirror

by John Stevenson   July 28, 2014  

Embsay - picture Chris Heaton geograph.org.uk

A Yorkshire local councillor who accused cyclists of being traffic menaces in the run up to the Tour de France has been banned from driving after being found to have almost twice the legal limit of breath alcohol.

Councillor John Andrew Quinn (Conservative) who represents the village of Embsay on Craven District Council claimed cyclists riding ahead of the Tour de France acted as “a law unto themselves”, rode through the village at 40 to 50mph and hinted they were responsible for knocking off car wing mirrors.

On June 29, Quinn stopped at the scene of a crash on Skipton Road, where a motorbike and side car had left the road, seriously injuring the rider, according to the Craven Herald.

Although Quinn was not involved in the crash, police speaking to him at the scene noticed alcohol on his breath, Skipton magistrates court heard.

Quinn tested positive for alcohol in a roadside breath test and at the police station was subsequently found to have 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

At a meeting of Craven Council’s select committee in 2013, Quinn claimed that cyclists were riding at speed through villages including Embsay and failing to stop at red lights, including at pelican crossings, and demanded to know what action police were taking against cyclists.

“They are a law unto themselves,” he said. “We have an elderly population in Embsay and we’ve had incidents where car wing mirrors have gone missing. Something needs to be done.”

Unusually for a local newspaper report, involving bicycles, the comments to the Craven Herald's article weren't full of the typical accusations of all cyclists breaking the law and how they shouldn't be on the road in the first place because they "don't pay road tax," a common misconception due to that tax being abolished in the 1930s.

Instead, the comments, including some from cyclists who appear to be neighbours of Councillor Quinn, highlighted logging trucks, cars and caravans as posing the greatest danger on Embsay's roads as well as being responsible for those broken wing mirrors, and also highlighted the imppossibility of cyclists riding through the village at between 40 and 50mph as he had claimed.

After an outcry from local cyclists, police and Craven District Council vowed to work with cycling groups

It turns out, then, that Quinn, who admitted drink-driving, himself poses a traffic hazard. The court heard that he had been entertaining at home before driving into Skipton to fill his Landrover Freelander with fuel for a business trip the next day.

He was banned from driving for 18 months, fined £420 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and victim surcharge of £42.

His ban will be reduced by 18 weeks if he completes a drink-drivers rehabilitation course by July next year.

49 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Can;t help thinking that any mirrors he may have lost may not have been cyclists, but from him bouncing along dry stone walls in his Landie

As others have said - Karma rocks!

posted by gazza_d [209 posts]
28th July 2014 - 21:28

93 Likes

Sounds like there is something this guy could teach me! The last time I hit a mirror on the bike, I hit the floor and it remained firmly on the car. Maybe I hadn't drunk enough?

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [293 posts]
28th July 2014 - 21:36

106 Likes

#bloody cyclists...#...hic.....

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [543 posts]
28th July 2014 - 21:52

70 Likes

jacknorell wrote:
The irony is of course delicious.

Still a bit split though, as the fella is at least compassionate enough to stop and help at an accident! Many would not be.

Multiple levels of irony there, really. "No good deed goes unpunished" being just one of them (if he hadn't done the right thing and stopped he wouldn't have been nicked). Can't help thinking the fact his business offers 'health and safety advice' is yet another. Its a veritable irony layer cake.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [680 posts]
28th July 2014 - 22:21

87 Likes

Karma' s a bitch innit?

posted by SevenHills [149 posts]
28th July 2014 - 22:30

66 Likes

bikebot wrote:
Does anyone know of a word that could be used to describe pleasure at the misfortune of others? We really should have something like that Laughing

Schadenfreude

Rolling On The Floor

Airzound

posted by Airzound [303 posts]
28th July 2014 - 22:46

61 Likes

Here's a link to his councillor page so we can see what he looks like.

http://www.cravendc.gov.uk/article/2007/Councillor-John-Andrew-QUINN-Con...

He might find it a little harder getting around now. I have an old bike which I no longer have need of which I can offer to him at a very good price. He could do with losing quite a bit of weight. Maybe this is the start of the rest of his life?

Airzound

posted by Airzound [303 posts]
28th July 2014 - 22:53

74 Likes

Airzound wrote:
[...] Maybe this is the start of the rest of his life?

He drinks and drives. Therefore, he doesn't care about life.

posted by severs1966 [84 posts]
29th July 2014 - 2:20

66 Likes

Airzound wrote:
Here's a link to his councillor page so we can see what he looks like.

http://www.cravendc.gov.uk/article/2007/Councillor-John-Andrew-QUINN-Con...

He might find it a little harder getting around now. I have an old bike which I no longer have need of which I can offer to him at a very good price. He could do with losing quite a bit of weight. Maybe this is the start of the rest of his life?

Aye, I can't help but notice his address is on there. Perhaps we can have a whip round and order him a bike? Or maybe some bike catalogues. Perhaps an LBS near him would help out? We're having a laugh at his exposure as a massive hypocrite right now, but if he were to become a cycling convert off the back of it, wouldn't that be the best of all possible outcomes?

seven's picture

posted by seven [112 posts]
29th July 2014 - 6:21

59 Likes

Airzound wrote:
Here's a link to his councillor page so we can see what he looks like.

http://www.cravendc.gov.uk/article/2007/Councillor-John-Andrew-QUINN-Con...

Notice he is "retiring" at the next election and the info was updated on 9th July...lets hope he was pushed and his behaviour has ended his political career Applause

posted by RedfishUK [54 posts]
29th July 2014 - 6:43

54 Likes

This is very funny.

Well, not the fact that he's a drink-driving kn*bhead. But it's certainly an amusing scenario.

posted by dp24 [190 posts]
29th July 2014 - 9:15

53 Likes

jacknorell wrote:
The irony is of course delicious.

Still a bit split though, as the fella is at least compassionate enough to stop and help at an accident! Many would not be.

You know there are other reasons he could have stopped other than out of compassion or his incredible first aider skills (you would guess that paramedics would have been in attendance if the police were there)?

It could be he revels so much in his own self importance that he thought he would stick his nose in and those tendencies are amplified when one is under the influence of alcohol.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [527 posts]
29th July 2014 - 9:51

58 Likes

zanf wrote:

You know there are other reasons he could have stopped other than out of compassion or his incredible first aider skills (you would guess that paramedics would have been in attendance if the police were there)?

At no point does it state police was there when the councillor stopped, so you're making assumptions.

He's clearly a knob for drinking and driving, and has some very strange ideas about cyclists.

But he's probably not the devil incarnate and responsible for all cycling problems ever, which some people on here are implying.

posted by jacknorell [384 posts]
29th July 2014 - 10:21

43 Likes

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [956 posts]
29th July 2014 - 10:28

46 Likes

He shouldn't be allowed to continue in his capacity as a councilor following this incident. It speaks volumes for his ability to make the right decisions for people in his local area.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
29th July 2014 - 10:30

45 Likes

Oops! Devil

KalaBlinds 'cos we all need our beauty sleep.

posted by don simon [155 posts]
29th July 2014 - 12:06

41 Likes

Drinking with friends, then filling up the tank before a long journey in the morning. It seems like it didn't occur to him that he shouldn't have been driving, even though he was nearly double the limit.

Well done to the Police - one less drink driver on the road.

posted by BikeBud [103 posts]
29th July 2014 - 12:07

52 Likes

Clearly if your going to accuse someone of being a law unto themselves, you should clearly be law abiding yourself. Nae Luck Baw Bag! Silly

Das's picture

posted by Das [47 posts]
29th July 2014 - 13:25

42 Likes

bikebot wrote:

Does anyone know of a word that could be used to describe pleasure at the misfortune of others? We really should have something like that Laughing

Yes. We Germans do have a word for that indeed. One which you people like to steal ... Tongue Make up your own words!

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [288 posts]
29th July 2014 - 13:59

34 Likes

A lawlessness unto himself!

posted by Volumedistorted [2 posts]
29th July 2014 - 14:49

26 Likes

Would be hilarious if he hadn't been posing such a danger to himself and others and, let's be honest, how likely is it that this is his first ever trip out behind the wheel with a few drinks onboard?

Whilst no journey can ever be "essential" enough to drink & drive, how ridiculous to drive out just to buy fuel after drinking - to me that shows either a complete disregard for others or 'above the law' self-importance, or most likely both.

A One Year Walk will do him good. Might sign him up for a few 2015 bike brochure mailings to read too.

Applause

posted by hirsthirst [17 posts]
29th July 2014 - 16:34

34 Likes

Well thankfully that is one less motorist we cyclists have to deal with.

posted by Cannondale123 [4 posts]
29th July 2014 - 16:38

29 Likes

Brilliant. Well done N Yorks Police and maybe Mr Quinn will now be signing up to Road.cc for some sound advice on how to get about for the next year and half or so; he may struggle with insurance costs in the future so might even become a cycling convert. It is after all, a tad more difficult to get charged with being drunk in charge of a push bike .........

MikeF

posted by msfergus [18 posts]
29th July 2014 - 16:48

28 Likes

I could sure do with some of these...

posted by jonesybryan [2 posts]
29th July 2014 - 18:33

22 Likes

I really hope this guy has a old bike in the shed...

posted by peterdmadden [3 posts]
30th July 2014 - 17:29

19 Likes

I've left the idiot a message thanking him for adding to the evidence that vulnerable road users need protecting from selfish and reckless individuals like himself.

The Tories have demonstrated their disdain for cycling with continued reluctance to crack down on motorists like this whilst Mr Cameron had the audacity to attend and enjoy the tour de france 'as he thoroughly supports cycling and recognises the immense benefits it offers to society'. Pull the other one David.

With politicians like this what hope is there of getting road safety taken seriously?

Hating our selfish and ignorant car culture

posted by ironmancole [130 posts]
30th July 2014 - 18:30

18 Likes

userfriendly wrote:
bikebot wrote:

Does anyone know of a word that could be used to describe pleasure at the misfortune of others? We really should have something like that Laughing

Yes. We Germans do have a word for that indeed. One which you people like to steal ... Tongue Make up your own words!

Nah, you should be proud of it. It's your most successful language export since the hamburger!

posted by bikebot [549 posts]
30th July 2014 - 18:57

12 Likes

ironmancole wrote:
I've left the idiot a message thanking him for adding to the evidence that vulnerable road users need protecting from selfish and reckless individuals like himself.

The Tories have demonstrated their disdain for cycling with continued reluctance to crack down on motorists like this whilst Mr Cameron had the audacity to attend and enjoy the tour de france 'as he thoroughly supports cycling and recognises the immense benefits it offers to society'. Pull the other one David.

With politicians like this what hope is there of getting road safety taken seriously?

Whilst I agree with your sentiment I think it's a litte unfair to critsise Mr. Cameron for attending the TDF. The TDF is a sporting event and doesn't really have anything to do with day-to-day cycling. If he were to attend an F1 or Moto GP race it wouldn't necesarily be indicitive of his attitude to travel by motor vehicle. I wish we could stop lumping everything and anything to do with bikes into one box. There's obviously some overlap but a lot of sporting cyclings rarely use their bikes for transport.

I don't actually think that the tories are anti-cycling per se. What they don't want is to see a change in modal share for transport in favour of the bike. They want people to continue to buy and use cars. They are also in favour of people buying any using bikes as long as it doesn't impact the dominace of the car on the roads i.e. bikes for sport and leisure and not as a primary form of transport. Something that you strap to you car in order to drive to a nice place for a bike ride.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
31st July 2014 - 9:44

3 Likes

The unit is the gram - not 'gramme'. Please consult the SI Brochure to avoid such errors in future.

posted by Ham-planet [89 posts]
14th August 2014 - 3:28

0 Likes

Ham-planet wrote:
The unit is the gram - not 'gramme'. Please consult the SI Brochure to avoid such errors in future.

Although the scientist in me agrees with you, to be fair to them - the unit of mass in the metric system was the 'gramme' and it was also the common English spelling of 'gram' (unsurprising given our language history).

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [419 posts]
14th August 2014 - 8:47

0 Likes