Chained your bike to a lamppost recently? Tantamount to murder, according to Edinburgh police.
They’ve launched a crackdown on cyclists who dare to perform such an horrific crime. Oh, along with red light jumping, pavement riding, and ignoring one way signs*.
Inspector Andy Gilhooly of Edinburgh police said these were all more serious offences than cyclists believed.
He told local reporters: "They think they can get away with murder and a lot of them think it is fun and acceptable. It's actually very dangerous and serious."
Insp Gilhooly sent a team of officers into the city centre who reprimanded 12 riders, for offences as serious as chaining their bikes in “inappropriate places”, including gates to houses in the city centre and lampposts on central reservations.
Cyclist were also told off for riding without lights (fair enough), and jumping lights (yep, that's fair enough too).
However, some Edinburgh cyclists point out these are not black and white issues:
Earlier this year a 35-year-old cyclist in the city was killed at a junction by a lorry, when he was dragged under its wheels.
According to one blogger, “Cyclists ride on the pavement either to take a short cut in a road system designed to benefit drivers or to avoid recklessly driven vehicles. Cyclists shouldn't, of course, but on Britain’s lawless and blood-drenched roads no one should be too surprised that cyclists adapt to motoring privilege and violence by developing classically Darwinian strategies for survival.”
We’ll let you make up your own minds, but warnings are expected to turn into fines if our two-wheeled Scottish colleagues don’t pull their socks up.
So do Edinburgh police hate cyclists? Well, at the same time as running the anti RLJ** Operation Appetite, they’re spending more cash on bike patrols, and cracking down on bike theft gangs. Insp Gilhooly said: "In general, cycling is a big thing in Edinburgh and we encourage it. It promotes healthy living and means there are fewer vehicles on the roads. "Most cyclists are fine, but there are those who spoil it as it's all about getting somewhere as quickly as possible for them."
* All of which are pretty dumb.
** That’s Red Light Jumping to all you well behaved roadcc readers.