Stories of police crackdowns on cyclists riding without lights or in pedestrian areas crop up regularly here on road.cc, but in Birmingham police have been busy protecting bike riders by launching a blitz against drivers who put their cyclists’ lives at risk by jumping traffic lights at one of the city’s busiest junctions.
Since the clampdown was initiated last month, more than 100 drivers have been issued with penalty notices for driving through green lights intended for cyclists and buses at the Belgrave Middleway junction, close to the West Midlands city’s Central Mosque, reports the Birmingham Post.
According to West Midlands Police, the initiative will remain in place for a further six months in an attempt to reduce the number of motorists illegally driving through the traffic lights.
Sergeant Danny Cooke, of the Sparkbrook neighbourhood policing team, told the newspaper: “At our regular meetings for residents, traffic issues on Belgrave Middleway have been identified as one of the priorities for us to work on, so our team has been tackling the issues.
“In the past the three weeks alone, we have issued more than 100 penalties for contravention of the bus lane and 28 speeding penalties, as well as seizing two cars for no insurance and arresting a 30 year-old man for driving while disqualified.
“Drivers who are not paying attention to the lights controlling the cycle lane are posing a particular hazard for cyclists, and we are working with the council to make this area safer,” he added.
Graham Lennard, from Birmingham City Council’s cycling and walking travelwise team, confirmed that during the summer, members of his staff had paid a visit to the site and that engineers had checked that the signals were operating properly, adding: “The police are giving regular attention to the junction.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.