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Bristol City Council agrees to revoke fine for woman who tended fallen rider

Bristol City Council has agreed to revoke a parking ticket given to a woman who stopped to administer first aid to an injured cyclist.

Janet Young pulled into a loading bay to help a rider who had clipped the kerb and fallen over in Church Road, landing on his head.

Ms Young, said that she would do it again regardless of being ticketed, but asked the council to look at pictures of the incident, following which they decided to cancel the fine, which was £70, reduced to £35 if paid promptly.

"I think anyone would, of course we would, it's just [instinctive] to help someone in need," Ms Young told BBC News.

"It was an enforcement car [that caught me] so they would have seen the accident."
Enforcement cars photograph drivers in loading bays, bus lanes, taxi ranks and other restricted areas.

"Appeals are considered sympathetically in certain circumstances, providing there is evidence," a city council spokeswoman said.

"We received Mrs Young's appeal this morning and will be writing to her this afternoon to confirm that the penalty notice has been cancelled."

At the end of last year we reported how a cyclist was left lying injured by the side of a busy road in Warwickshire for more than 20 minutes as motorists passed by just feet away from him without stopping. 

Ian Hughes, aged 66 and from Higham on the Hill near Hinckley in Leicestershire, had been thrown from his bike on the A5 near Atherstone, Warwickshire, after hitting a hole in the road on Friday 21 December at around 10.30am. The fall left him with a broken arm and torn muscles in his wrists.

The Leicester Mercury reported that while the cyclist’s recollection of events was sketchy, he said that a lorry that was behind him avoided hitting him but failed to stop, and that over the next 20 to 30 minutes a succession of cars passed by until finally one stopped.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

9 comments

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Northernbike [229 posts] 4 years ago
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Is the Bristol which penalises people for helping injured cyclists also the Bristol which brands itself a 'cycling city' or are there two cities called Bristol, one which thinks cyclistsare really cool, if only for the governent funding they attract, and one which thinks they deserve be left to bleed on the roadside on pain of a fine for anyone who stops to help ?

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therevokid [1015 posts] 4 years ago
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bristol ? Cycling City ?? .... my ar53 !!!

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maldin [147 posts] 4 years ago
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So the obvious question is - are the city now going to fine the idiot in the enforcement car who saw the accident, didn't assist but instead decided to try fine the person who did assist!?

This feels like the usual Big Business/ Big Government attitude of trying to defraud money out of people, hoping to get away with it because people are too scared, ignorant or just can't afford the time to fight it. Pathetic... I would like to see more than an apology but an acknowledgement that the council's lack of humanity is a poor example to the citizens it is supposed to represent and lead - but its unlikely they were lower themselves to that level  2

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mbrads72 [217 posts] 4 years ago
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FFS! The fine was cancelled the same day the situation was brought to the Council's attention. They're not psychic.

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 4 years ago
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I think the city council should look up which enforcement officer that wrote the ticket and fire him or her for failing to help with an accident

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paulrbarnard [182 posts] 4 years ago
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Northernbike wrote:

Is the Bristol which penalises people for helping injured cyclists also the Bristol which brands itself a 'cycling city' or are there two cities called Bristol, one which thinks cyclistsare really cool, if only for the governent funding they attract, and one which thinks they deserve be left to bleed on the roadside on pain of a fine for anyone who stops to help ?

Perhaps it is one and the same. Enforcing illegally parked cars certainly contributes to safer cycling. As was reported the special circumstances were taken into account and the ticket dropped. I for one prefer to see a once in a blue moon special circumstances consideration rather than everyday illegal parking

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maldin [147 posts] 4 years ago
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Which means that someone in the council is sensible - that's not supposed to be exceptional, its supposed to be the norm. What is not sensible is someone sitting in an enforcement vehicle, witnessing an accident or its aftermath, and instead of helping, deliberately identifying the first motorist to respond as a traffic law breaker. One hopes that the council are now educating the people behind the cameras so that in future they have a level of a) humanity and go to the assistance of an accident victim and b) common sense so they don't issue fines is such situations. The council appeals people aren't to blame for this, but someone surely did think that issuing a fine was a better decision than assisting or applying common sense - and that person may or may not be having to account for their actions, but certainly should be.

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s_smith [24 posts] 4 years ago
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The camera car is an automatic system which the enforcement officer just drives around. The footage is reviewed by someone else who would have been unaware of the circumstances. The fact that the council revoked the fine as soon as the lady contested it shows that the council doesn't punish good samaritans as some posters have claimed. These camera cars book vehicles in bus lanes and on school keep clears keeping school children and cyclists like myself, who use the bus lanes, safe by encouraging drivers to not park in these areas/lanes.

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maldin [147 posts] 4 years ago
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s_smith wrote:

The camera car is an automatic system which the enforcement officer just drives around. The footage is reviewed by someone else who would have been unaware of the circumstances. The fact that the council revoked the fine as soon as the lady contested it shows that the council doesn't punish good samaritans as some posters have claimed. These camera cars book vehicles in bus lanes and on school keep clears keeping school children and cyclists like myself, who use the bus lanes, safe by encouraging drivers to not park in these areas/lanes.

Fair enough - if the camera is automatic then I retract my views. I stand corrected.