Bicycles as Carriages (1878)

Bicycles as Carriages

John Palmer was summoned for not having kept a dray, of which he was in charge, to the left hand side of the road, when meeting a bicycle. The complainant was Mr Frank Loyd, a lieutenant in the 55th regiment and he stated that on the 20th instant he met the defendant in Broad Street, Portsmouth, while riding a bicycle. He (complainant) was on the left of the road and the defendant on the right and the more he tried to evade the defendant the more the defendant went to the wrong side and eventually he (complainant) was pushed into the gutter off his bicycle by the machine touching the horse’s nose. After going thirty yards further the defendant drew up at his employer’s office. –  Captain John Stainer, of the 55th Regt., gave corroborative testimony. – The defence was that there was space sufficient between the dray and the kerb for the complainant to have passed and that the complainant jumped from his bicycle and was not touched by either horse or dray. –  The Magistrates said they believed the public were not aware that bicycles and tricycles were entitled to the same privileges as other conveyances. There was no doubt that the defendant had committed the offence, but in ignorance and they were of opinion that a caution to him and the public generally that bicycles must be treated as other carriages would meet the justice of the case. They therefore dismissed the information, but warned the defendant as to his conduct in the future.

Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle etc, September 25, 1878

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