Hundreds fined as police clamp down on anti-social cycling Manchester

Police target "dangerous and irresponsible" cycling in Operation Grimaldi

by Simon_MacMichael   June 28, 2013  

Operation Grimaldi (picture Greater Manchester Police)

Greater Manchester Police have revealed that hundreds of cyclists in Manchester have been issued £80 fines for “dangerous and irresponsible” cycling on the city’s Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road in recent months.

Since February, officers have issued 415 fixed penalty notices for a range of offences including riding through red traffic lights or on the pavement, using a mobile phone while riding, and riding without lights.

The fines have been issued on ten separate “days of action” between February and June as part of Operation Grimaldi, which police say focuses on “on ‘hot spot’ areas where pedal cyclists have been seen using the roads dangerously or irresponsibly.”

Cyclists issued with the fixed penalty notices were given the opportunity to avoid paying fines by attending cycling awareness courses.
Traffic PCSO Gareth Walker commented: “The aim of the operation was not to fine all offenders but to educate them, offer training and promote road safety.

“Many of the cyclists we spoke to were not aware of the danger they put themselves and others in by the actions they were taking while failing to stop or being distracted on their phones.

“The number of killed or seriously injured on the roads has fallen over the last two years but we need to continue to educate road users of how to share the roads safely in order to ensure these numbers continue to fall.”

One local cycle campaigner told the Manchester Evening News that while it was right to take action against cyclists flouting the rules, police should also target motorists who break the law.

Pete Abel of the Love Your Bike campaign told the newspaper: “We are in favour of taking action against people who cycle poorly and anti-socially, but we don’t see an equivalent crackdown on drivers.

“When cyclists runs a red light it is usually inconvenient, when a driver does it is downright dangerous.”

Transport for Greater Manchester plans to install segregated cycle lanes along parts of Oxford Road as part of its Bus Priority scheme. The proposals are open to public consultation until 5 July.

 

35 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

sfichele wrote:
Fines for RLJ I have no problem with. But fines for "weaving dangerously", have they been fining cyclists for legally filtering through traffic?

It wouldn't shock me, after all we all know their attitude seems to be motorists can do what they like and riders are easy targets when they need funds.

posted by northstar [1110 posts]
28th June 2013 - 10:22

10 Likes

“When cyclists runs a red light it is usually inconvenient, when a driver does it is downright dangerous.”

This kind of nonsense doesn't do cycling any favours.

It is usually inconvenient and always dangerous, regardless of vehicle. End of. Implying it's not dangerous when cyclists do it is ridiculous and out of touch.

posted by Yemble [24 posts]
28th June 2013 - 10:25

6 Likes

And what is the cyclist saying to the officer?
Yes, my name Michael Mouse, 69, Disneyland Terrace, Fixieville, FU1 1TT

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
28th June 2013 - 10:28

8 Likes

Using a mobile phone whilst riding isn't even illegal, are they making up laws?

posted by northstar [1110 posts]
28th June 2013 - 10:30

5 Likes

This really makes my piss boil. This stupid "cyclists don't even realise they're being dangerous" nonsense. Cars kill about 2000 every year, can't be bothered looking up the figure, no doubt someone will correct me. Cyclists kill between none and three per year and car drivers are foound to be wholly responsible in about 80% of fatalities and serious injuries. And yet plod are trying to tell us they WE are the dangerous ones! Angry Aaaarrrrrrgghhhhhhhh Angry

posted by Actium [42 posts]
28th June 2013 - 10:34

7 Likes

Actium wrote:
This really makes my piss boil. This stupid "cyclists don't even realise they're being dangerous" nonsense. Cars kill about 2000 every year, can't be bothered looking up the figure, no doubt someone will correct me. Cyclists kill between none and three per year and car drivers are foound to be wholly responsible in about 80% of fatalities and serious injuries. And yet plod are trying to tell us they WE are the dangerous ones! Angry Aaaarrrrrrgghhhhhhhh Angry

I bet the 'Police Commissioner' thought it was a great idea!

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
28th June 2013 - 10:37

8 Likes

Good - hope they do the same in Bristol.

Too many cyclists seem to think the law doesn't apply to them and ride like inconsiderate idiots as they don't expect reprecussions. They irritate and endager other road users, who then tar anyone on a bike with the 'bloody cyclists' label, and think nothing of driving too close to us, cutting us up etc as 'all cyclists break the laws, so why should I care about them'

(they should also be nailing drivers who drive poorly, RLJ and encroach on Advanced Stop Boxes as well)

posted by Sherlock Ohms [16 posts]
28th June 2013 - 10:50

9 Likes

it wouldn't take many officers in a couple of locations around many cities to crack down on the bloody car drivers too ... on the spot fines for those arrogant ejits as
well please ... oh that's right they're not such an easy target are they .... bastards ....

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [767 posts]
28th June 2013 - 10:57

1 Like

northstar wrote:
Using a mobile phone whilst riding isn't even illegal, are they making up laws?

But it is fucking stupid though.
Cyclists need to act responsibly.
Dumbfucks in cars & lorries cause more injuries & death than cyclists, fact.
Selfish cyclists pissing on basic road rules and etiquette "because they can" do nothing to help the progression of cycling as a mainstream mode of travel.

posted by Dog72 [108 posts]
28th June 2013 - 11:21

3 Likes

Yemble wrote:
It is usually inconvenient and always dangerous, regardless of vehicle. End of. Implying it's not dangerous when cyclists do it is ridiculous and out of touch.

Not true; if it were, there would be no countries in the world where it is legal to turn through a red light. To imply that every single instance is dangerous is ridiculous.

posted by Saratoga [26 posts]
28th June 2013 - 11:32

5 Likes

Seems so! And if they think you're commiting the offence of careless cycling or inconsiderate cycling, it would appear that their only recourse is to prosecute, not give out on the spot fines. http://ukcyclerules.com/2010/10/12/can-you-ride-while-using-your-mobile-...

posted by AleT [53 posts]
28th June 2013 - 11:49

4 Likes

extra cool points for doing a track stand while that chat with you Smile

posted by mrchrispy [337 posts]
28th June 2013 - 12:21

2 Likes

Dog72 wrote:
northstar wrote:
Using a mobile phone whilst riding isn't even illegal, are they making up laws?

But it is fucking stupid though.
Cyclists need to act responsibly.
Dumbfucks in cars & lorries cause more injuries & death than cyclists, fact.
Selfish cyclists pissing on basic road rules and etiquette "because they can" do nothing to help the progression of cycling as a mainstream mode of travel.

It's not illegal so why do they think they can issue fines for it?

posted by northstar [1110 posts]
28th June 2013 - 12:37

4 Likes

I don't care about the fine aspect so much, although I think it probably should fall under riding without due care and attention (if thats a law, I don't know) I'm just sick of tossers jumping lights, using mobiles, riding like C*nts, weaving, pavement jumping etc and giving us a bad name.

posted by Dog72 [108 posts]
28th June 2013 - 12:58

5 Likes

You're just ranting, still haven't answered the question.

posted by northstar [1110 posts]
28th June 2013 - 13:07

6 Likes

I'm not ranting. I'm giving you my opinion, in which I think yes its Ok to fine people for using a mobile while riding, as I believe its riding without due care and attention, if the that's not a law then it should be. Unlike you I'm not an expert on cycling & British law, I do know how to ride a bike though and riding while chatting on a mobile makes anyone doing it a Twat.

posted by Dog72 [108 posts]
28th June 2013 - 13:22

6 Likes

So you are happy for the Police to hand out fines to people on a whim?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
28th June 2013 - 13:33

5 Likes

And dont get me started on how many bike thefts we have in Manchester....... Waiting

posted by Some Fella [823 posts]
28th June 2013 - 13:43

3 Likes

Interesting... I remember seeing a bunch of coppers flagging down a cyclist who had jumped a pelican crossing red outside the uni on Oxford Road a couple of months ago (I had stopped for it Big Grin ). There did seem to be a lot of them and I wondered if something like this was going on.

To be fair, I see cyclists jumping lights on this stretch all the time, and more jump them than stop I'm sorry to say. Only very very rarely is it genuinely safer to jump than not, and most who do it, if they're honest, do it because they can't be bothered waiting and know they'll get away with it.

As to the other offences, I should say:

a) sometimes it is genuinely safer to hop briefly onto the pavement (and more than any other issue pavement riding highlights the need for better cycle facilities), but you are putting pedestrians at risk - and they are the vulnerable party in this case.
b) riding without lights at night is plainly stupid; dangerous to the rider and to other road users. It's certainly fine-worthy.
c) as pointed out above, talking on the phone while cycling isn't actually illegal (nor, I believe, is drinking and cycling) so it's hard to see the premise for handing out fixed penalties. Victims of this should firstly challenge the fine, and secondly take a long, hard look at themselves
d) It's not clear that fines were handed out for 'weaving dangerously', but that's a very woolly definition and one person's weaving is another's basic survival technique

While I'm happy to see the RLJers being taken to task (though it's clearly had zero impact if my daily commute is anything to go by) I'm surprised that GMP see this as a priority. Perhaps they'll start handing out fines to the pedestrians who walk in cycle lanes next?

A crackdown on the insane Curry Mile driving would have been more welcome and a greater boon to public safety.

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1103 posts]
28th June 2013 - 14:11

4 Likes

Yes I think we should have a Police state. Like Judge dread but more rightwing and violent.

posted by Dog72 [108 posts]
28th June 2013 - 14:22

3 Likes

Riding and talking on a mobile could fall into riding without due care and attention (Sect 3 Road Traffic Act)but even if it doesn't surely riding one handed with the other against your ear isn't exactly sensible. There are plenty of cyclists who give most of us a bad name by riding on the pavement, RLJing etc. just because it saves a few seconds and they think they're entitled to do so.

As the article says most could avoid the fine by going on an awareness course, which yes would cost some money but is exactly the same concept as the speed/mobile/seatbelt awareness courses motorists are offered.

Drunk in charge of a pedal cycle is an offence btw

Wobblerthe1st

posted by wobblerthe1st [5 posts]
28th June 2013 - 15:10

5 Likes

Tweeted GMPlod earlier asking,
'Is there a similar operation for motorists?
Do you run 'Cyclist awareness' sessions for drivers?'
To be fair they did respond,
'the cyclist awareness sessions are more lenient than what a motorist would receive for say dangerous driving'.

Arf!

Joselito's picture

posted by Joselito [144 posts]
28th June 2013 - 15:40

5 Likes

They said that "Dangerous riding of cycles can cause fatalities for both riders and pedestrians".

I asked how many people had been killed by cyclists in the past year - No response.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
28th June 2013 - 15:59

2 Likes

I'd say using your phone while cycling is even more stupid than jumping a red light.

posted by paulfg42 [379 posts]
28th June 2013 - 20:43

7 Likes

Sherlock Ohms wrote:
They irritate and endager other road users, who then.. think nothing of driving too close to us, cutting us up etc as 'all cyclists break the laws, so why should I care about them'
You think lorries would stop flattening people if only we were more polite to them? We need better designed roads, not more Ps and Qs.

posted by vbvb [303 posts]
28th June 2013 - 22:38

3 Likes

Dog72 wrote:
I'm not ranting. I'm giving you my opinion, in which I think yes its Ok to fine people for using a mobile while riding, as I believe its riding without due care and attention, if the that's not a law then it should be. Unlike you I'm not an expert on cycling & British law, I do know how to ride a bike though and riding while chatting on a mobile makes anyone doing it a Twat.

No it doesn't, you are just ranting - like most car drivers it seems.

posted by northstar [1110 posts]
29th June 2013 - 4:46

5 Likes

paulfg42 wrote:
I'd say using your phone while cycling is even more stupid than jumping a red light.

*yawns* except it isn't, i hope you need to never use one.

posted by northstar [1110 posts]
29th June 2013 - 4:48

5 Likes

farrell wrote:
They said that "Dangerous riding of cycles can cause fatalities for both riders and pedestrians".

I asked how many people had been killed by cyclists in the past year - No response.

Which proves why they are doing it, it seems.

It's drivers that are the problem, everyone knows that but hey why go after the problem when you can persecute the victims.

posted by northstar [1110 posts]
29th June 2013 - 4:49

2 Likes

wobblerthe1st wrote:
Riding and talking on a mobile could fall into riding without due care and attention (Sect 3 Road Traffic Act)but even if it doesn't surely riding one handed with the other against your ear isn't exactly sensible. There are plenty of cyclists who give most of us a bad name by riding on the pavement, RLJing etc. just because it saves a few seconds and they think they're entitled to do so.

As the article says most could avoid the fine by going on an awareness course, which yes would cost some money but is exactly the same concept as the speed/mobile/seatbelt awareness courses motorists are offered.

Drunk in charge of a pedal cycle is an offence btw

An awareness course is a load of rubbish, just another cash cow it seems.

posted by northstar [1110 posts]
29th June 2013 - 4:51

5 Likes

Police have slapped 400 cyclists with fines in just 10 days as part of a crackdown on 'dangerous and irresponsible' biking.

The £30 penalty notices were handed out along Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road for offences such as running red lights, not having lights fitted, cycling on footpaths and using mobile phones whilst cycling.

Cyclists were also fined for dangerously weaving in and out of traffic.

It was part of Greater Manchester Police’s ‘Operation Grimaldi’ – with the Oxford Road corridor identified as a dangerous cycling hotspot on 10 ‘days of action’ between February and June this year.

Cyclists were given the chance to escape the fines by attending cycling awareness events at Moss Side and Withington fire stations.

Around 340 of the cyclists handed the fines took up the offer.

GMP say the operation was aimed at educating cyclists about keeping safe on the road.

PCSO Gareth Walker said: “Many of the cyclists we spoke to were not aware of the danger they put themselves and others in by the actions they were taking while failing to stop or being distracted on their phones.

“The number of killed or seriously injured on the roads has fallen over the last two years but we need to continue to educate road users of how to share the roads safely in order to ensure these numbers continue to fall.”

But a cycling campaigner said the operation was ‘one-sided’ – urged police to concentrate on motorists instead.

Pete Abel, from the Love Your Bike campaign, said: “We are in favour of taking action against people who cycle poorly and anti-socially, but we don’t see an equivalent crackdown on drivers.

“When cyclists runs a red light it is usually inconvenient, when a driver does it is downright dangerous.”

Every adult in Greater Manchester is entitled to six hours free cycle training and education about cycle safety. For more information go to www.tfgm.com/cycling.

So reading the article 80% handed there £30 pound fines back so no revenue generation there. I wonder if 400 car drivers ran red lights the cycling fraternity would be nuclear. In my opinion trying to educate all road users to share the road should be commended. Motorists that commit offences such as speeding their courses are around 90 pounds. Look likes cyclists get a good deal so stop whining. It also links a page to adult cycling training looks like they are trying to reduce serious incidents with cyclists. Who ever posted the web news has this wrong and is trying to get a biased opinion. Everyone wants to get home safe at the end of the day

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/poli...

posted by studmuffin75 [2 posts]
29th June 2013 - 17:35

3 Likes