Edinburgh police warn more than 100 motorists for encroaching on Advanced Stop Lines

Operation also sees two dozen cyclists stopped for running red lights

by Simon_MacMichael   May 11, 2012  

Edinburgh © Simon MacMichael.jpg

Police in Edinburgh have warned more than 100 motorists for encroaching on Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs) designed to protect cyclists at traffic lights. During an operation that spanned four days early last month, Lothian & Borders Police also issued warnings to 26 cyclists for jumping red lights, and six for riding on the pavement, reports The Scotsman.

The operation took place on the city’s North Bridge, which links the Scottish capital’s Old and New Towns during the operation, which formed part of the Drive Safe, Cycle Safe campaign, which is a joint initiative of Lothian & Borders Police, Edinburgh City Council, Lothian & Borders Fire Brigade and NHS Lothian.

The newspaper reports that from the end of this month, cyclists and motorists committing similar transgressions will be given £30 fixed penalty notices rather than escaping with a warning.

A spokesman for Lothian & Borders Police told the newspaper: “Drivers who stopped within cycle boxes were told that this was illegal and given advice to avoid committing the offence again to ensure the safety of cyclists.

“Over 20 cyclists were also given appropriate guidance after officers observed them cycling through red lights.”

The operation is aimed at targeting drivers’ behaviour at junctions, with police saying that from 2004 to 2009, three in four injuries to cyclists in Edinburgh happened either at a junction or within 20 metres of one, according to the newspaper.

Police said that during last month’s operation, 53 private car drivers were warned for stopping in ASLs, plus drivers of 34 black cabs, 15 public service vehicles including coaches, and four buses. Some 85 per cent of motorists stopped were male.

Les McVay, chair of the Edinburgh Licences Taxi Partnership, told the newspaper that it was working to make sure its members understood rules regarding ASLs.

“Everybody wants to work together to improve safety for cyclists and we have been working with our members to ensure taxis and cyclists continue to co-exist effectively in Edinburgh.

“We have put the details regarding not stopping in the red box out to all of our drivers and will continue to work with the cab office to try to get this message across. We would point out that all road users, including car and taxi drivers and cyclists, should be obeying traffic laws.”

Dave Du Feu, who chairs Spokes, the Lothian cycle campaign, commented: “I applaud the police for their efforts to increase safety on city roads. This is an even-handed campaign and neither motorists nor cyclists can feel targeted as a result. The Highway Code is there for all to adhere to and I would ask all cyclists to obey it.

“Some feel ASLs are for cyclists only but they offer increased safety for all. They allow cyclists a head start but also improve visibility at junctions for pedestrians and allow motorists a better view also.”

A police spokesman added: “Lothian and Borders Police is committed to making our roads safer for all members of our communities.

“The ‘Drive Safe, Cycle Safe’ campaign is a partnership initiative that aims to reduce the number of Edinburgh road traffic accidents involving cyclists. The campaign focuses on the importance of motorists observing traffic signals and cycle boxes, and of cyclists stopping at traffic lights.”

Meanwhile, the newpaper also reported that 5,000 fines had been issued to motorists caught driving in bus lanes on major routes into the city centre, known as Greenways, in the first week in which cameras were deployed there.

The drivers face a fine of £60 each, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days, and according to the newspaper two motorists were each caught committing the offence on five separate occasions.

Finally, STV reports that the new Labour and SNP coalition which has assumed control of the city following last week’s elections has made a number of pledges including retaining the tram system currently being built, and holding a consultation on introducing 20mph zones in more areas of Edinbugrh.

 

9 user comments

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Now this is the kind of lead out we cyclists need, the ASL's are certainly not heeded where I live.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1038 posts]
11th May 2012 - 15:30

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Interesting - I note that the SNP is pledging to retain the tram system currently under construction. Had the city planners been a little more intelligent the tram system could have been built along the disused railways now used as cyclepaths. This would have cost a lot less and would already be up and running, rather than the present situation with a fantastically expensive project that still isn't complete and will require vast sums of money before it can be made ready. The cyclepaths are pretty underused and as a friend of mine pointed out, he prefers to cycle through the city on the streets as there's less chance of being mugged.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2336 posts]
11th May 2012 - 15:48

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Just stopped and warned for now? so it's a case of 'the Leith police dismisseth us.'

posted by wild man [287 posts]
11th May 2012 - 15:57

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"The operation is aimed at targeting drivers’ behaviour at junctions, with police saying that from 2004 to 2009, three in four injuries to cyclists in Edinburgh happened either at a junction or within 20 metres of one, according to the newspaper."

In any major city isn't that everywhere?

posted by lazyslug [7 posts]
11th May 2012 - 17:17

1 Like

Am I the only one who regards them as death traps. Make space so I can get in front of all those impatient drivers reveing their engines at the lights and then when they go green pull away at 5mph rather than the 35 the car drivers want.

posted by mattsccm [283 posts]
11th May 2012 - 21:44

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The article also shows that as a society , well at least those in power, we actualy have no interest in ennforcing laws. I can't think of a motoring offence that doesn't need at leat 2 zeros stuck onto the penalty. Thats how to stop things.

posted by mattsccm [283 posts]
11th May 2012 - 21:47

1 Like

wild man wrote:
Just stopped and warned for now? so it's a case of 'the Leith police dismisseth us.'

If there were a 'like' button on comments here, I'd have pressed it on this one Smile

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8652 posts]
11th May 2012 - 21:53

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It is a shame that know one thought to tell this driver who for some reason wasn't given a ticket.

posted by Kim [154 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 21:36

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There was as a plan to to use the Roseburn path for the Tram, but there was a major protest from the cycling community in Edinburgh. Contrary to what your friend says, these paths are well used by a wide range of people, not just the odd commuter. When I lived in Gorgie, I used to commute on the Roseburn path as it was more direct than using the roads, and without the traffic lights. I was far from alone in using it.

posted by Kim [154 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 21:44

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