Levy website BikeHub.co.uk has come to the rescue of a London mum who was stopped by police officers for the alleged offence of carrying two children on the back of a cargo-bike. Thing is there is no such offence. As this ‘cycling and the law’ article explains, it is an offence to carry passengers on a bicycle not modified for the purpose but a bicycle built for carrying cargo and kids is 100 percent street legal. Trailers connected to bicycles are similarly street legal.
Mum X takes up the story:
"I ride a Yuba Mundo, with a wooden shelf seat on the back, with my two boys on the back. They are nine and six.
"After riding happily through London once a day with them since September 2009, we got stopped this evening. More officers were summoned, and four of them explained to me that I was breaking the law.
"They were not specific about what law I was breaking. They felt my bike was not meant for transporting people, only cargo, and they wanted me to have a a motorcycle-style shaped seat on the back and, ideally, seatbelts.
"I was not given a ticket, just informed that if I continue to ride this way they will stop me again."
BikeHub.co.uk is in the process of contacting the female officer who stopped Mum X, and will try to explain how she was not riding an illegal bicycle.
"The officers were not barbaric," said Mum X. "But it was a quite unpleasant experience. They did not seem entirely au fait with highway law, as they advised me to walk for a bit and then ride home on the pavement. They made it clear that I would be in trouble if I chose to ride off on the road at the end of our conversation."
Police officers nationwide are sometimes ignorant about transport laws. For instance, a solid white line means ‘must not cross’ but as is clear from these pictures of the Cycle Superhighways in London, the breaking of such laws is routine and usually goes unchallenged. Note how in one of the photos a police car is illegally parked.