Off-siding is not an offence anymore ?


I was stopped by a cop on the motorbike when was in the middle of off-siding in London.

The guy was on a big motorcycle, not on a small scooters like the guys you usually see standing at the crossings.

He looked into his papers and said that he can’t issue me a fine because off-siding was removed as an offence and that local town council police deals with it.

Can anyone explain this in more details ?

I’m sorry for doing it. This will never happen again.


I do not know what the official laws are on off-siding these days but I do it all of the time as there are many situations on my daily commute where it is safer to do so.

Why you playing football in the road anyway?

I presume offsiding = going round the wrong side of a traffic island?

Strange that he bothered to pull you over to tell you that he wasn’t able to ticket you, I’ve heard that the councils were asking to be able to enforce this rule (presumably by CCTV) but it seems strange that the police would be unable to enforce it - if it was unsafe then presumably it could be a ticket for careless driving or similar?

I think he means going the wrong side of a keep left sign.
In certain London boroughs they enforce it by council cctv (although most don’t) but Greenwich is one where plod enforce it :smiley:

Yes, going on the wrong side of the traffic island.

I was doing it in a safely manner, slow speed, no immediate oncoming traffic. But this guy saw me from a distance and asked to stop.

He spent 5 mins checking his offence papers, but didn’t find any he can ticket me. He wasn’t a council cop, just a regular cop on BMW motorcycle.

What does the highway code say about signs with arrows on them?

Good luck if you hit a pedestrian while going the wrong side of a traffic island to save 30 seconds :frowning:

Failing to observe a road sign was what it said on my paperwork.

If the island has a keep left sign on it riding to the right of the island is an offence because you are failing to obey a mandatory sign.

Yes, some local authoritiesd police mandatory signs using CCTV, but that shouldn’t stop the Police for enforcing the law, especially s they were given new powers to ticket on driving without care which is what offsiding (even carefully) is.

I suspect the traffic copper was going to ticket, then thought about the paperwork.

Its illegal, it always has been, it always will be. Failing to observe a road sign is what it said on my paperwork, by tagging it as off siding seems to play it down some. But hey ho. Where is it safer to ride on the wrong side of the road and who exactly is it safer for :ermm:

As said get involved in a RTC while off siding, failing to observe a road sign, riding on the wrong side of the road and … a Dangerous Driving wrap could end in a ban tears :wink:

Wherever there’s a traffic island and nothing to make being on the right hand side of the road any more unsafe than it normally is. Down the A41 towards Swiss Cottage most mornings it’s probably safer to be going down the right-hand-side of the road than to be filtering (though the bus lane would be even better), and it’s definitely safer to be on the right-hand-side of the islands than the left-hand-side where there’s no traffic coming the other way.

I personally find lots of these traffic islands to be placed in weird locations. I can see their purpose for pedestrians sometimes but most I’ve encountered just seem to create a bottleneck with no reason (I’m sure there’s a reason they’re there).

Like this one, for example. You wouldn’t be able to overtake a bus if there was one, whereas you could simply sail past it if the traffic island was not there.

This one, on the Cannon Street, annoys me every time I get there because there are ALWAYS cars queueing towards the Bank and almost no cars coming towards you. I always wait but I’ve not seen many scooters that do. They just ride on the right side of it.

They’re there to facilitate pedestrians crossing the road - (motor)cyclists’ ability to get to the front of the traffic doesn’t trump pedestrians’ ability to cross the road I’m afraid :slight_smile:

Shouldn’t pedestrians cross the road in designated places, like traffic lights and zebra crossings, anyway? I know they can cross wherever if there are no crossings nearby (whatever is the definition of “nearby”) but still. Either have traffic islands in all popular crossing spots or don’t have them anywhere. Consistency, gentlemen, consistency. :slight_smile:

I thought those traffic islands were designated places? Dropped kerb, traffic island…

Blackheath was a haven for naughty bikers doing this, always found the right code though :smiley:

The point of the islands is to provide a safe haven for pedestrians to cross the road in two sections and those pedestrians aren’t going to be expecting to have bikes appearing from their right as the step off the island looking left for traffic that’s driving on the correct side of the road.

I guess the council could replace all the islands with pelican crossings or have a continuous island down every road to make it more consistent but it seems that would be worse for us in many ways…

Occasionally you get caught at an island but in the grand scheme it’s not that big a deal. I’d certainly rather be held up by an island now and again than have pedestrians wandering into the road at random as I filter.

It was a traffic island without any arrows before it.

It’s on the crossing of commercial and whitechappel roads here

Thousands of people go on the right side there.

Do you mean this pedestrian crossing…



Or do you mean the lights at the junction of Commercial Road & Whitechapel Road…