Dalston fatal e-bike crash rider 'going too fast' - Court Case

Wicky

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 12, 2014
1,834
2,389
Colchester, Essex
www.jhepburn.co.uk
Court case has started...



A cyclist accused of killing a pedestrian while riding a modified e-bike was travelling more than 10mph over the speed limit, a jury heard.

Thomas Hanlon, 32, was "going way too quickly" when he hit Sakine Cihan in Kingsland High Street in Dalston, east London, the Old Bailey heard.

Mrs Cihan, 56, suffered a "catastrophic" head injury and died the next day, jurors heard.

Mr Hanlon denies causing death by careless driving.

Under the law, e-bikes which are fitted with an electric motor can only be driven without a licence or insurance if their power is limited and if the motor automatically switches off at speeds above 15.5 mph.

The court heard Mr Hanlon's bike was capable of going double that speed and as such should have been categorised as a motorbike.

'Jesus, that's fast'

Prosecutor Nathan Rasiah read out a statement by cyclist Raymond Murphy, a witness to the 28 August crash, who said he was "struck" that Mr Hanlon's bike was "going way too quickly for a normal electric bicycle".

"He described riding along approaching the station and becoming aware of a bike travelling very quickly past him, but heading in the same direction as him.

"He recalls thinking 'Jesus, that's fast'," Mr Rasiah.

A few moments later, Mr Murphy "suddenly saw arms and legs everywhere, flying in the air", the court heard.

Mr Rasiah quoted a second witness, Joshua Stubbs, as saying: "It looked like their heads made contact then the cyclist fell to the ground.

"After a few seconds the cyclist got up and looked dazed and confused, the lady lay motionless on the road."

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Mrs Cihan stepping off the pavement and running in front of Mr Hanlon, of Queen's Drive, Leyton, east London.

The court was told Mr Hanlon left the scene despite a passer-by trying to stop him.

The jury heard that, when interviewed by the police, Mr Hanlon admitted leaving the scene but said he had no time to swerve as Mrs Cihan had crossed the road unexpectedly.

Quoting from the police interview, Mr Rasiah said: "She rushed out in front of me to cross and she didn't even look at me."

Mr Rasiah told jurors the lights at the crossing were green for traffic but he said Mr Hanlon's speed amounted to driving without due care and attention.

Both the prosecution and defence agree that Mr Hanlon did not have a licence or insurance for a motorbike.

But he denies further charges of causing death while uninsured and causing death while unlicensed.

The court heard he is contesting these because they require a fault in the driving which contributed to Ms Cihan's death.

The case continues.
 

wheeler

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2016
438
793
Scotland
Of Course, if he had hit the 'jaywalking' lady whilst driving a car then it might not have even made the news. Or if he was a lycra wearing guy on a road bike. After all, she was clearly in the wrong. But it had to be an over powered ebike!
There is no such thing as jaywalking in the UK. Pedestrians aren't even required by law to abide by the red man at light controlled crossings.
 

ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
1,228
353
This will put more pressure on the pedelec concessions which are being flagrantly abused, what could the outcome be?
A total removal of the concession with registration, insurance etc etc being required for all ebikes?
A form of MOT where ebikes require yearly tests for conformance and carry license discs?
Who knows....
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: Nealh

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
9,218
3,532
56
West Sx RH
No concessions will be removed for legal pedelecs, riders abiding by the law have nothing to worry about. Simply make sure your bike is limited, whether plod have time or resources to stop every ebike /pedelecs they see I doubt it.

Hanlon didn't think about the consequences of riding at the speed at which he was going and the onus was completely on him. End of the day the bike was totally illegal and there is little to excuse his behaviour on that fateful day.
 

ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
1,228
353
But when the pedelec concessions are being so widely abused something has to happen, either remove them or put in measures to make them enforceable.
Right now they are farcical.
 
Last edited:
  • Agree
Reactions: Steve Bowles

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
9,218
3,532
56
West Sx RH
Of Course, if he had hit the 'jaywalking' lady whilst driving a car then it might not have even made the news. Or if he was a lycra wearing guy on a road bike. After all, she was clearly in the wrong. But it had to be an over powered ebike!
We will never know the ladies account as she perished due to the fact she was hit at speed.
Likely she may have thought she had time to nip across, saw a bicycle and simply did not comprehend the approaching speed of the bike. Despite you laying the fault at the woman as being in the wrong, she was an innocent victim.
Hanlon hasn't a leg to stand on in this case.
 

ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
1,228
353
We will never know the ladies account as she perished due to the fact she was hit at speed.
Likely she may have thought she had time to nip across, saw a bicycle and simply did not comprehend the approaching speed of the bike. Despite you laying the fault at the woman as being in the wrong, she was an innocent victim.
Hanlon hasn't a leg to stand on in this case.
Yes indeed, apparently he was cycling at 10mph over the speed limit which on a motorcycle type vehicle is illegal.
Either way, nobody glancing at a bike would expect it to be travelling at such a ludicrous speed, he deserves to be strung up not just locked up.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
9,218
3,532
56
West Sx RH
The law is already laid down for pedelecs regs, any one causing injury or death on the road will be dealt with within the law as it is. If you are stopped plod can confiscate your bike if they suspect illegality, if the bike is checked over and found to be illegal then they might prosecute with courts/magistrates endorsing licences and issuing fines
OR
As I mentioned in another thread ' The Met' confiscated 100 pedicabs last 1/4 of last year, no one was prosecuted but were sent written warnings. The fact that the Dalston death had already occurred and didn't lead to any heavy handedness or prosecutions.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
9,914
4,094
lets go back a few years ;)

 
  • Like
Reactions: Andy-Mat

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
9,218
3,532
56
West Sx RH
Yes indeed, apparently he was cycling at 10mph over the speed limit which on a motorcycle type vehicle is illegal.
Either way, nobody glancing at a bike would expect it to be travelling at such a ludicrous speed, he deserves to be strung up not just locked up.
What seems to be implied in this case is he was going at over10mph above the legal ebike assisted speed limit of 15.5 mph but not on his own power. He may well have been below the road speed limit if it was a 30mph zone.
 
Last edited:

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
9,218
3,532
56
West Sx RH
We will have to wait and see what else develops in the case, if he is belligerent and remorseless of his actions then he may likely go down. He has already racked up a few offences besides just the speed issue.

Don't forget the fixie biker of 2018 who went down, he was on his illegal push bike with no effective brake. The lady in that case stepped out ahead of him whilst looking at her hand held device, he showed no remorse and that likely swayed more on the judgement then the bikes illegality.
Pedestrians are also venerable road users when it comes to bicycles or motorised ones just as are cyclists when other vehicles are involved, tis why when riding on shared paths or in busy shared spaces one needs to be very sure of their actions.
 
  • Agree
  • Like
Reactions: Poolepete and flecc

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
9,218
3,532
56
West Sx RH
But when the pedelec concessions are being so widely abused something has to happen, either remove them or put in measures to make them enforceable.
Right now they are farcical.
It is possible that they could be banned from National parks or trail centres.
 

ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
1,228
353
It is possible that they could be banned from National parks or trail centres.
Whatever, those things are lethal in the wrong hands and something needs to happen. They're not dissimilar to guns in fact, and effective enforceable laws need to be in place to protect society.
 
  • :D
Reactions: Artstu

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
9,218
3,532
56
West Sx RH
Whatever, those things are lethal in the wrong hands and something needs to happen. They're not dissimilar to guns in fact, and effective enforceable laws need to be in place to protect society.
Comparing the two is ridiculous.
Villians who use guns will never swap them for ebikes
 

Darren Hayward

Pedelecer
Mar 25, 2015
44
17
57
There are a number of interesting legal arguments in this case. The defence is not disputing that he was driving a motor vehicle and that he needed a licence, insurance, etc. The defence is that the three offences he is charged with (causing death by dangerous driving, causing death whilst uninsured and causing death whilst unlicensed) are all predicated on the basis that his driving was at fault. If he was within the (motor vehicle) speed limit for the road and didn't otherwise break any road laws then he is not automatically at fault and the pedestrian who stepped out in front of him is the primary cause. The prosecution is arguing that the fact he was over the speed limit for an ebike represents driving without due care and attention and establishes cause. The defence response is that they have already admitted his bike was legally a motor vehicle and ebike legislation does not apply.
If the defence wins this argument the judge could order the jury to find him not guilty of the three offences he is charged with. He would then presumably be charged with lesser offences carrying licence points and fines as their only penalty. If you have no licence (or don't use your licence) the points are meaningless. If you are on benefits (which I think he now is) then that's a £5 a week deduction from those benefits.

As UK law is based on case law this would set the pattern for all future cases. Drive your unrestricted ebike within motor vehicle law and have an accident and your safe from any serious criminal prosecution.

If the prosecution wins this argument (that the speed he was riding the ebike at is the main factor) then an ebike being ridden under the riders own power over the ebike speed limit could be classified as the cause of an accident in its own right. Not a good thing in my opinion.


Darren
 

Grahame Robertson

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 28, 2018
7
7
69
There are a number of interesting legal arguments in this case. The defence is not disputing that he was driving a motor vehicle and that he needed a licence, insurance, etc. The defence is that the three offences he is charged with (causing death by dangerous driving, causing death whilst uninsured and causing death whilst unlicensed) are all predicated on the basis that his driving was at fault. If he was within the (motor vehicle) speed limit for the road and didn't otherwise break any road laws then he is not automatically at fault and the pedestrian who stepped out in front of him is the primary cause. The prosecution is arguing that the fact he was over the speed limit for an ebike represents driving without due care and attention and establishes cause. The defence response is that they have already admitted his bike was legally a motor vehicle and ebike legislation does not apply.
If the defence wins this argument the judge could order the jury to find him not guilty of the three offences he is charged with. He would then presumably be charged with lesser offences carrying licence points and fines as their only penalty. If you have no licence (or don't use your licence) the points are meaningless. If you are on benefits (which I think he now is) then that's a £5 a week deduction from those benefits.

As UK law is based on case law this would set the pattern for all future cases. Drive your unrestricted ebike within motor vehicle law and have an accident and your safe from any serious criminal prosecution.

If the prosecution wins this argument (that the speed he was riding the ebike at is the main factor) then an ebike being ridden under the riders own power over the ebike speed limit could be classified as the cause of an accident in its own right. Not a good thing in my opinion.


Darren
Having looked at other reports it appears that he is accused of travelling at 10mph over the speed limit in operation for all traffic on that road, ie 30mph in a 20mph limit. That being the case there is no need for the prosecution to link exceeding the 15mph assisted power maximum for ebikes with the cause of this accident.
If these are the facts then he will be found guilty of careless (not dangerous) driving as he would be if riding an unassisted bike or a motorbike or a tank.
Quite separately, if his ebike has been modified to provide assistance above the 15mph legal limit then he will also be found guilty of riding with no insurance and unlicensed.
I don't think anyone riding a legal ebike with a modicum of common sense and respect for other road users has anything to worry about.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: LeighPing

Darren Hayward

Pedelecer
Mar 25, 2015
44
17
57
Having looked at other reports it appears that he is accused of travelling at 10mph over the speed limit in operation for all traffic on that road, ie 30mph in a 20mph limit. That being the case there is no need for the prosecution to link exceeding the 15mph assisted power maximum for ebikes with the cause of this accident.
If these are the facts then he will be found guilty of careless (not dangerous) driving as he would be if riding an unassisted bike or a motorbike or a tank.
Quite separately, if his ebike has been modified to provide assistance above the 15mph legal limit then he will also be found guilty of riding with no insurance and unlicensed.
I don't think anyone riding a legal ebike with a modicum of common sense and respect for other road users has anything to worry about.
At the moment he is not charged with careless driving so he can't be found guilty of that in this court case. If found not guilty of the three offences he is charged with then lesser charges will presumably be brought.

Darren
 
  • Informative
Reactions: LeighPing