Edinburgh cyclist fines almost double since 2010

Numbers of careless and dangerous cyclists rise, but fewer drunk riders

by John Stevenson   December 30, 2013  

Edinburgh Castle © Simon MacMichael_

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The number of cyclists fined in Edinburgh for offences such as careless or dangerous riding has almost doubled since 2010. In that year, police issued 99 fixed-penalty notices to cyclists, a figure that rose to 193 in 2012/13.

The information  was obtained by a freedom of information request from The Herald, but only figures for the Lothian and Borders police were available prior to the creation of a single Scottish police force, because of differences in methods of recording the data.

However, separate statistics for the number of "reported cycling offences" within Scotland showed a 24% increase from 298 in 2010/11 to 369 in 2012/13.

Of those 369, there were 96 offences of "carelessly or inconsiderately riding a bicycle", up from 50 in 2010/11, and 36 reports of dangerous cycling, up from 27. The number of riders pedalling drunk fell from 44 to 38, while 199 offences were classified as “other”.

Reactions from motoring and cycle campaigning groups to the increase in reported cycling offences were mixed.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said that the near-100% increase in Lothian and Borders was "quite striking", but an increase in cyclin would lead to an increase in reported offences. He said: "The crucial thing is whether that's down to increased policing or more offences taking place.

"I don't think it's helpful to blame one group or another. All road-users have a responsibility to abide by the highway code, whether that's cyclists cutting through red lights at junctions or motorists texting at the wheel."

Neil Greig, director of policy for the Institute of Advanced Motoring, said the figures would reassure motorists. He said: "I'm pleased to see a rise in cycling prosecutions to match the rise in cycling. Cyclists must exercise responsibility if they want to be taken seriously as a mainstream form of transport.

"For me, it shows that the police are aware of cycling casualties and they're reacting to that. Motorists often feel that cyclists get away with bad behaviour, whether its cutting through red lights or putting themselves at risk in other ways."

John Lauder, national director of sustainable transport campaigners Sustrans Scotland, said: "It stands to reason that as more people cycle there would be more fines issued to cyclists, although it's disappointing. But it is good to see police using the law fully to penalise bad cyclists. Hopefully by doing so we'll see offences go down."

In a recent crackdown on poor driving and cycling behaviour, Edinburgh police spoke to 186 drivers and 129 cyclists and issued 15 conditional offers of a fixed penalty fine for offences such as using a mobile phone while driving, for cyclists failing to stop at a red light or for cycling on pavements.

23 user comments

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"186 drivers and 129 cyclists and issued 15 conditional offers of a fixed penalty fine"

yet Neil Grieg comments "Cyclists must exercise responsibility if they want to be taken seriously as a mainstream form of transport"

Hardly advanced thinking, more neanderthal. breaking the law whilst driving is so socially engrained and acceptable that most don't give a damn about doing it. Most drivers admit to frequently breaking the law by speeding, using mobiles, parking dangrously. It's so common there is a whole bloody genre of TV programmes about illegal and anti-social driving.

I suggest that the IAM put their own house in order and become responsible road users before attacking anyone else

posted by gazza_d [186 posts]
30th December 2013 - 13:33

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i am a little confused by the 15 conditional fines for using mobile phones?

Since when has this been a grey area?

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posted by mrmo [1029 posts]
30th December 2013 - 13:45

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Edmund King has said sensible things about cycling, but juxtaposing a cyclist going through a red light, and a motorist texting at the wheel is irresponsible. The difference in the risk to others in the two activities is enormous, and represents the ridiculous attitude of many people.

posted by Bikebikebike [70 posts]
30th December 2013 - 15:50

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pedalling drunk is a crime??? One I can't believe that is what they actually call the offense but I really had no clue it was illegal to drink and pedal. I guess I just assumed it was way safer to ride a bike drunk then drive a car drunk. Maybe not a perfect solution but a solid improvement

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
30th December 2013 - 16:04

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mrmo wrote:
i am a little confused by the 15 conditional fines for using mobile phones?

Since when has this been a grey area?

They were not all for mobile phone use, some were for rlj's and cycling on a pavement, but i admit there is no grey area for driving and mobile phone use.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2674 posts]
30th December 2013 - 16:05

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Bikebikebike wrote:
Edmund King has said sensible things about cycling, but juxtaposing a cyclist going through a red light, and a motorist texting at the wheel is irresponsible. The difference in the risk to others in the two activities is enormous, and represents the ridiculous attitude of many people.

You obviously did not see the article about the cyclist who went through a red light and hit the small child before buggering off. The child has suffered major brain trauma, has had to learn to walk and talk again and still requires ongoing treatment.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2674 posts]
30th December 2013 - 16:08

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Bikebikebike wrote:
Edmund King has said sensible things about cycling, but juxtaposing a cyclist going through a red light, and a motorist texting at the wheel is irresponsible. The difference in the risk to others in the two activities is enormous, and represents the ridiculous attitude of many people.

You obviously did not see the article about the cyclist who went through a red light and hit the small child before buggering off. The child has suffered major brain trauma, has had to learn to walk and talk again and still requires ongoing treatment.

I'm not really sure you understand the point I'm making. Yes, people can get injured if a cyclist goes through a red light, but it's nothing like as dangerous as texting at the wheel of a car.

People have been killed through running with scissors. They have also been killed by someone firing a shotgun directly at their face. However, one activity presents a greater risk than the other. The same for RLJ/texting. Is this a difficult concept?

posted by Bikebikebike [70 posts]
30th December 2013 - 16:45

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stumps wrote:
Bikebikebike wrote:
Edmund King has said sensible things about cycling, but juxtaposing a cyclist going through a red light, and a motorist texting at the wheel is irresponsible. The difference in the risk to others in the two activities is enormous, and represents the ridiculous attitude of many people.

You obviously did not see the article about the cyclist who went through a red light and hit the small child before buggering off. The child has suffered major brain trauma, has had to learn to walk and talk again and still requires ongoing treatment.

It's silly to even so much as suggest that the risks posed by a RLJing cyclist and a texting or otherwise deliberately distracted motorist are even anywhere near being in the same ballpark. Yes, you may be able to point to the one or other pedestrian hit in recent years. But you'll have to pretend that that's a result on par with the thousands of people killed by motorists every year. You're making an utterly ridiculous argument, sorry.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [225 posts]
30th December 2013 - 17:01

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You obviously did not see the article about the cyclist who went through a red light and hit the small child before buggering off. The child has suffered major brain trauma, has had to learn to walk and talk again and still requires ongoing treatment.[/quote wrote:

Yes very bad. One of a very few incidents. Would you now like to list all the hit and run incidents by motorists. Just for a balanced argument.

posted by cbrndc [10 posts]
30th December 2013 - 18:01

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So this is the old... cars do more damage so let cyclist break the law debate, lets just prosecute car drivers.

Come on you lot this is total and utter bullshit, if you break the law you get done, you cannot be serious this just isn't an argument or a debate.

If you ride like an idiot you deserve to be prosecuted, if you drive like an idiot you deserve to be prosecuted, of course a car can do more damage but so what, I'm sure you would be happy for the police to stop looking into burglary because its a lessor offence than murder, breaking the law is breaking the law, so lets just all be law abiding citizens, if you wish to take risks then do so, but don't complain if you get caught, that's all part of the game.

posted by mikeprytherch [208 posts]
30th December 2013 - 18:32

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No one is saying let cyclists break the law. But a bit of proportionality would be a good start. All that the current behaviour of the police says to me is "Oh bugger this, we can't stop people killing thousands of road users using their cars - let's go fine some cyclists for riding on the pavement instead."

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [225 posts]
30th December 2013 - 19:13

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You all seem to have completely missed the point - you can kill or maim someone just as easily jumping a red light as texting.

Anyone who says otherwise is talking rubbish. What people on here are saying is that there are more people hurt / injured etc by texting than rlj which i totally agree with but thats NOT what my comment was about, it was to show that similar injuries can be sustained by both offences.

cbrndc - i could list the thousands of incidents you requested but by doing so does that mean the injuries sustained to the little girl i mentioned are any less important or trivialised becuase there are so few such incidents, i think not and people should be ashamed if they disagree.

In the end if, whilst at work, i see a cyclist break the law before i see a motorist break the law then they will be dealt with accordingly and it would be totally wrong for someone suggest otherwise.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2674 posts]
30th December 2013 - 20:32

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stumps wrote:
You all seem to have completely missed the point - you can kill or maim someone just as easily jumping a red light as texting.

Anyone who says otherwise is talking rubbish.

Stumps, if your point is that a red light jumping cyclist, with a much better all round visibility, can do the same damage with their 20 pound bike as a texting motorist with their 1.5 ton car and their eyes on their cellphone, then sorry, you are the one talking rubbish. I may have misunderstood your point, granted. But that's what you seem to be saying there.

stumps wrote:
i could list the thousands of incidents you requested but by doing so does that mean the injuries sustained to the little girl i mentioned are any less important or trivialised becuase there are so few such incidents, i think not and people should be ashamed if they disagree.

It's not about trivialising what happened to the little girl. What people here appear to be irritated about (I certainly am) is the complete lack of proportionality. Police are clearly going for the low hanging fruits.

stumps wrote:
In the end if, whilst at work, i see a cyclist break the law before i see a motorist break the law then they will be dealt with accordingly and it would be totally wrong for someone suggest otherwise.

Again, I may have misunderstood the point you're trying to make here - but does that mean you're going to proceed to write a parking ticket instead of pursuing the street thug who just knifed someone simply because you happened to come across the illegally parked car first? You cannot be serious.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [225 posts]
30th December 2013 - 21:50

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Also, someone forgot to close a QUOTE up there, and its effect on the page markup is messing with my OCD. Using this comment to fix that.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [225 posts]
30th December 2013 - 21:58

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Hmm, could the conditional fines for phone use be on cyclists? Are there provisions in the law for cyclists to use their phones? I use mine as my bike computer so I'd rather like to know the legal position of that.

posted by Madi [5 posts]
30th December 2013 - 22:59

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userfriendly - red light jumper with all round visibility on his lightweight road bike = little girl nearly killed and left with brain trauma. Take off your rose tinted glasses mate.

And where did i say i would ignore major crime and rather deal with a motoring offence. Dont try and be smart and put words into my mouth .

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2674 posts]
30th December 2013 - 23:02

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Oh Stumpy, I see now you're just trolling. Or are you just being a normal policeman? Either way, please can you say:

you can kill or maim someone just as easily jumping a red light as texting. <\blockquote> again?

I'm imagining you inhaling the helium from a party balloon and then saying it over and over until you run out of breath.

Go on, go on, go on.

posted by Bikebikebike [70 posts]
30th December 2013 - 23:15

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D'oh. Mucked up the html there.

posted by Bikebikebike [70 posts]
30th December 2013 - 23:15

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stumps wrote:
userfriendly - red light jumper with all round visibility on his lightweight road bike = little girl nearly killed and left with brain trauma. Take off your rose tinted glasses mate.

Oh please. Number of motorists / number of cyclists. Number of accidents where motorists kill and maim people / number of accidents where cyclists kill and maim people. Please compare the results of these two. Then please reconsider the "rose tinted glasses" remark. This is getting silly.

stumps wrote:
And where did i say i would ignore major crime and rather deal with a motoring offence. Dont try and be smart and put words into my mouth .

I was exaggerating. Yes. I'm not trying to put words into your mouth, just trying to illustrate that it's a bit hard for me to comprehend why you would not go for the offender who poses a vastly higher risk to public safety simply because you happened to catch the infinitesimally smaller fish first. Maybe you want to elaborate on that. Maybe not.

Bikebikebike wrote:
D'oh. Mucked up the html there.

You're forgiven. Applause Big Grin

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [225 posts]
30th December 2013 - 23:25

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Mr Thingy of Cars-Is-King says bikers should do xyz to be taken seriously and get respect as little cars.

There's so little similarity between the risks created by cycling and driving (whether well or badly) that it's irrational for road.cc to report drivers' organisations' irrelevant reactions to cycling fines.

What did roadsweepers think? What about joggers or dog walkers? Please stop making this big thing of drivers. Half the readers here are drivers.

posted by vbvb [220 posts]
31st December 2013 - 3:58

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stumps wrote:
userfriendly - red light jumper with all round visibility on his lightweight road bike = little girl nearly killed and left with brain trauma. Take off your rose tinted glasses mate.

And where did i say i would ignore major crime and rather deal with a motoring offence. Dont try and be smart and put words into my mouth .

+1

A lawbreaking prat is a prat, is a prat, is a prat, whether riding a bike, driving a bus, car, truck, taxi or motorcycle. The laws of physics mean a lawbreaking cyclist is less likely to do major damage than someone in a large vehicle, but that doesn't stop them from being a lawbreaker.

And a lawbreaker on a bicycle may well exhibit the same behaviour when behind the wheel of a vehicle anyway so if an offence is seen, it's best that it is dealt with.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
31st December 2013 - 12:10

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Just like in case of other law enforcement or emergency organisations/services, the role of police is making our streets safer and SAVING as many LIVES per every £1 of taxpayers' money as possible.

The most effective way of saving lives is dealing first with those who most often take them - in this case stupid, careless or/and dangerous drivers.
Once speeding, using mobiles and other dangerous behaviour is no more widespread and socially acceptable (just like drink driving used to be) and police get bored, they can start chasing law-breaking cyclists.

As it's been pointed out, resources that law enforcement agencies have to their disposal are limited so they need to set their priorities in order to achieve maximum effectiveness in saving lives. Going after everyone as a matter of principle and in the name of "equality" is irrational and leads to more deaths on the streets. It really is as simple as that.

Sadly common sense and effectiveness seem to be the concepts that many public servants and forum members aren't familiar with.

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [172 posts]
31st December 2013 - 16:59

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Quote:
Neil Greig, director of policy for the Institute of Advanced Motoring...said: "I'm pleased to see a rise in cycling prosecutions to match the rise in cycling. Cyclists must exercise responsibility if they want to be taken seriously as a mainstream form of transport.

That'll be the same Neil Greig of the IAM pictured in the passenger seat of the car above, helping to launch the "Nice Way Code" road safety campaign?
He'd probably be taken more seriously if he had a word with the driver about stopping before the pedestrian crossing, not on it...

posted by Nice Wee Cod [5 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 2:07

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