Police Scotland nabs dodgy drivers in crackdown to protect vulnerable road users

Police detect almost 3000 offences in just one week including speeding, dangerous driving, and using a mobile phone while driving

by John Stevenson   July 16, 2013  

Scottish police on bikes (copyright g_cowan via Flickr)

In the wake of last month’s Transport Scotland figures that showed an increase in people on bikes north of the border suffering death and serious injuries on road collisions, Police Scotland has been cracking down on the kind of driver behaviour that results in the deaths of vulnerable road users.

In the week commencing July 5, a total of almost 3000 offences were reported. Police Scotland officers detected 1171 drivers speeding and 218 motorists driving while using a mobile phone. There were 113 reports of careless or dangerous driving and the Scottish Safety Camera partnerships detected 1209 vehicles speeding.

During this period, a 79-year-old man, Douglas Brown, was killed in a collision with a lorry. He was hit while riding on a B-road in West Lothian last Thursday and died of his injuries on Sunday.

Inspector Tracey Robinson, Divisional Road Policing Unit Edinburgh, said: “Our officers have been patrolling Scotland’s roads focusing on educating everyone about the vulnerability of certain groups of road users. It is disappointing that a number of motorists are still not heeding our advice.

“All road users must be aware of their surroundings at all times. This is particularly important when carrying out manoeuvres at junctions, roundabouts and whilst reversing. In particular, be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists who sometimes travel in groups. When one passes be aware that another could be travelling behind.”

Ian Maxwell, from Spokes Lothian Cycle Campaign, said: “While welcoming the attention paid by the police to the safety of cyclists, Spokes hopes that these frighteningly high levels of speeding and mobile phone use will lead to police action.”

However, it does seem that old habits of thinking die hard. Announcing the crackdown, Police Scotland said, “All road users are asked to ensure that they are properly prepared, including suitable hi-visibility clothing and helmets.”

27 user comments

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I don't want to sound like an old bore, but given that the Police are at least recognizing the problem, isn't your "PC McPlod" headline a bit disrespectful?

posted by cowspassage [43 posts]
16th July 2013 - 10:51

7 Likes

I was going for tongue-in-cheek/affectionate actually, but it's been changed (for other, more tedious reasons) anyway.

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [1132 posts]
16th July 2013 - 11:04

11 Likes

Imagine if you had said PC Umbongo how would that have looked ? But it's only the "Jocks" anyway. Funny how Islam is considered a race but being Scottish isn't.

posted by dreamlx10 [138 posts]
16th July 2013 - 11:09

10 Likes

I know I'm sensitive to this subject (still recovering from being knocked off by a SMIDSY six weeks ago) but that high-vis comment really winds me up. In my case I was wearing all-black, sure, but a bright mostly-white helmet, shiny white bike and it was broad daylight just before noon. The driver simply didn't look - so it wouldn't have mattered what I was wearing. If I'd been driving my car (also black) he still would have hit me.

In full daylight in a rural area I maintain that plain black is actually more visible than the usual coloured patterns/team kit and high-vis as it doesn't get lost in the background; h-v yellow actually blends into bright foliage.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [897 posts]
16th July 2013 - 12:01

10 Likes

dreamlx10 wrote:
Imagine if you had said PC Umbongo how would that have looked ? But it's only the "Jocks" anyway. Funny how Islam is considered a race but being Scottish isn't.

Islam is not a race, similarly Scottish is not a race!

posted by richteebis [23 posts]
16th July 2013 - 12:34

6 Likes

cowspassage wrote:
I don't want to sound like an old bore, but given that the Police are at least recognizing the problem, isn't your "PC McPlod" headline a bit disrespectful?

I don't believe they are really recognising the problem, the last paragraph sums that up quite well.

posted by richteebis [23 posts]
16th July 2013 - 12:36

8 Likes

Gizmo_ wrote:
I know I'm sensitive to this subject (still recovering from being knocked off by a SMIDSY six weeks ago) but that high-vis comment really winds me up. In my case I was wearing all-black, sure, but a bright mostly-white helmet, shiny white bike and it was broad daylight just before noon. The driver simply didn't look - so it wouldn't have mattered what I was wearing. If I'd been driving my car (also black) he still would have hit me.

In full daylight in a rural area I maintain that plain black is actually more visible than the usual coloured patterns/team kit and high-vis as it doesn't get lost in the background; h-v yellow actually blends into bright foliage.


I agree, in my opinion it shows that the police would rather take the easier route and put blame on cyclists. As often seems to be the case.

posted by richteebis [23 posts]
16th July 2013 - 12:38

10 Likes

richteebis wrote:
cowspassage wrote:
I don't want to sound like an old bore, but given that the Police are at least recognizing the problem, isn't your "PC McPlod" headline a bit disrespectful?

I don't believe they are really recognising the problem, the last paragraph sums that up quite well.

So I take it that here in Scotland we will now see drivers wearing hi viz and helmets. Anyway, have not seen a single peeler on the road this week and a bit in Paisley and the driving standards continue to be abysmal to say the least.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1059 posts]
16th July 2013 - 12:59

9 Likes

I agree that hi-viz yellow gets lost in the background of foliage in bright sunlight. It makes sense to wear clobber that makes you more visible, but that shouldn't detract from the responsibility of other road users to be aware of you. Regarding helmets, again it makes sense (to me at least) to wear one as a cyclist, but when a motorist gets a head injury in a collision you never see them getting blamed for not wearing a helmet.

lukea-d

posted by lukea-d [37 posts]
16th July 2013 - 13:07

7 Likes

lukea-d wrote:
I agree that hi-viz yellow gets lost in the background of foliage in bright sunlight. It makes sense to wear clobber that makes you more visible, but that shouldn't detract from the responsibility of other road users to be aware of you. Regarding helmets, again it makes sense (to me at least) to wear one as a cyclist, but when a motorist gets a head injury in a collision you never see them getting blamed for not wearing a helmet.

agreed

posted by richteebis [23 posts]
16th July 2013 - 13:13

7 Likes

It might just be my personal perception but I find that on a bright sunny day a red cycling top can be seen far into the distance.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [964 posts]
16th July 2013 - 13:16

9 Likes

It's so easy for us cyclists to get all superior isn't it? I'm adding that we also need to challenge poor CYCLING behaviour. In the last few days alone, I have noticed a significant number of people riding bikes on pavements, including one who was travelling at such speed that he only narrowly missed pedestrians at a bus stop. When I suggested (from the vantage point of my bike on the road) he might want to get off the pavement, I got a mouthful of abuse. While we can draw distinctions between "people on bikes" and "cyclists", sadly the general public does not and we are all tarred. I have also encountered general and CLUB cyclists riding at speed along cycle tracks and while we can say that they are supposed to be for cyclists, the fact is they are multi-use tracks now. For us to be moaning about road users not giving us respect only then to do exactly the same to other track users is more than a little hypocritical.

Bottom line is for bad things to persist, all it takes is good people to do nothing. If the police are even starting to take action then let's support them instead of knocking them.

I'm fat and fifty - I'm going as fast as I can!

posted by Fionnghal [11 posts]
16th July 2013 - 13:53

11 Likes

Don't let the usual helmet and hi-viz comments distract us from what to my mind is a good news story.

I cycle in Scotland. I want cars to drive at appropriate speeds and I don't want drivers using a mobile phone. I want careless and dangerous drivers stopped.

Yes, much more needs to be done. A short campaign does not fix much. Yes, I wish the final comments were not made. But overall it is a good thing.

As someone who regularly skips into West Lothian on the bike, using B roads, it could have been me hit by the lorry that killed Douglas Brown. I am sorry for his death and the impact it will have on his family.

Ride more, ride better

posted by Sniffer [134 posts]
16th July 2013 - 13:57

6 Likes

richteebis wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
Imagine if you had said PC Umbongo how would that have looked ? But it's only the "Jocks" anyway. Funny how Islam is considered a race but being Scottish isn't.

Islam is not a race, similarly Scottish is not a race!

Exactly my point, you can blithely criticise one but not the other, one brings a cry of racism the other doesn't. Colour, religion, and nationality are not races, so what exactly is racism ?

posted by dreamlx10 [138 posts]
16th July 2013 - 14:31

9 Likes

Sniffer wrote:
Don't let the usual helmet and hi-viz comments distract us from what to my mind is a good news story.

I cycle in Scotland. I want cars to drive at appropriate speeds and I don't want drivers using a mobile phone. I want careless and dangerous drivers stopped.

Yes, much more needs to be done. A short campaign does not fix much. Yes, I wish the final comments were not made. But overall it is a good thing.

As someone who regularly skips into West Lothian on the bike, using B roads, it could have been me hit by the lorry that killed Douglas Brown. I am sorry for his death and the impact it will have on his family.


Yes, a very fair point. Both driving and cycling quality needs to be worked on - we live on a crowded island (well... in places it's crowded) and the rules are there so we all rub along together safely.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [897 posts]
16th July 2013 - 15:22

12 Likes

dreamlx10 wrote:
richteebis wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
Imagine if you had said PC Umbongo how would that have looked ? But it's only the "Jocks" anyway. Funny how Islam is considered a race but being Scottish isn't.

Islam is not a race, similarly Scottish is not a race!

Exactly my point, you can blithely criticise one but not the other, one brings a cry of racism the other doesn't. Colour, religion, and nationality are not races, so what exactly is racism ?

I'm not sure I get your point. Criticism of which one brings cries of racism? Criticism of a minority group is more likely to make people feel they are being unfairly targeted or discriminated simply because of the majority 'ganging up'.

As for what racism is, well that's a very complex issue. Using your example of 'racism' against the PC McPlod comment.... Assuming that the officer in question is white and Scottish and for arguments sake the author is white and English then the comment is xenophobic and not racist as they are both probably caucasian. Well that's my understanding anyway, now let's continue discussing cycling!

posted by richteebis [23 posts]
16th July 2013 - 16:46

10 Likes

This is what the real legal position is:

"As England and Scotland were once separate nations, the English and the Scots have seperate National origins and therefore the Race Relations Act does cover discrimination between them."
BBC vs Souster, Scottish Court of Session, 2001.

Ergo, the Scots are a race.
Now back to the cycling!

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
16th July 2013 - 17:26

10 Likes

Following a number of high profile stabbings, bottlings, and glassings in local pubs Police Scotland said, “All pub goers are asked to ensure that they are properly prepared, including suitable stab proof vests and helmets.”

Surprise Thinking Surprise

Really, though?

posted by workhard [388 posts]
16th July 2013 - 17:33

11 Likes

Quote:
Announcing the crackdown, Police Scotland said, “All road users are asked to ensure that they are properly prepared, including suitable hi-visibility clothing and helmets.”

If I understand correctly, all road users in Scotland are advised to wear hi-viz clothing and helmets. It looks like the police are walking the walk already and just want everyone else to follow suit. Clearly, the YJA and a lid or even multiple lids are the solution to all road safety problems. I look forward to the day when no-one ventures outside without them.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [320 posts]
16th July 2013 - 19:36

8 Likes

dreamlx10 wrote:
richteebis wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
Imagine if you had said PC Umbongo how would that have looked ? But it's only the "Jocks" anyway. Funny how Islam is considered a race but being Scottish isn't.

Islam is not a race, similarly Scottish is not a race!

Exactly my point, you can blithely criticise one but not the other, one brings a cry of racism the other doesn't. Colour, religion, and nationality are not races, so what exactly is racism ?

McPlod is racism towards the Scots? Laughing

(posted by a Scot)

posted by paulfg42 [376 posts]
16th July 2013 - 20:02

8 Likes

Is it okay if the author is one-eighth Scottish? My maternal great-grandmother was a Douglas, and as I have no idea of my paternal ancestry, that means Scots reader can call me a Sassenach bastard and English readers can call me a haggis-eating bastard.

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [1132 posts]
16th July 2013 - 23:11

8 Likes

Definition of 'race':
The Tour de France is a bicycle 'race.'

Humans are a species endemic to the planet Earth. Every summer Humans from around the world come together to take part in this race.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1349 posts]
16th July 2013 - 23:19

9 Likes

John Stevenson wrote:
Is it okay if the author is one-eighth Scottish? My maternal great-grandmother was a Douglas, and as I have no idea of my paternal ancestry, that means Scots reader can call me a Sassenach bastard and English readers can call me a haggis-eating bastard.

Interesting point. You could be anywhere between one and five eighths Scottish, and anywhere between three and seven eighths English. Perhaps sentencing for any offence You may cause, or others may cause you, could reflect this. I'm three quarters Irish and one quarter Geordie myself, and have never quite figured out how I'm meant to feel about the Scots. Why not just be offended if anyone insults you?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 0:02

9 Likes

I'm sorry for all of the cyclist blaming comments above.
I cycle around all day, everyday, always on the road, always stopping at red lights, always giving way to pedestrians, with a mostly polite attitude to motorists (not wearing a helmet or hi vis I add) and yet I still have my life endangered left/right and centre by impatient, complacent idiots.
The bottom line is that motorists kill & maim, cyclists don't.
I welcome any move to crack down on bad driver behaviour but if you want to make a change instead of leaving cyclist blaming comments here, lobby your MP to attend the Get Britain Cycling debate in September.

@rich22222

posted by rich22222 [121 posts]
17th July 2013 - 0:51

7 Likes

oops

I go great with chips Tongue

posted by tommyketchup [84 posts]
17th July 2013 - 10:00

4 Likes

In a week, a total of almost 3000 offences were reported.
1171 drivers speeding
218 motorists driving while using a mobile phone
113 reports of careless or dangerous driving
cameras detected 1209 vehicles speeding.

Inspector Tracey Robinson, Divisional Road Policing Unit Edinburgh, said: “Our officers have been patrolling Scotland’s roads focusing on educating everyone about the vulnerability of certain groups of road users. It is disappointing that a number of motorists are still not heeding our advice.

Perhaps instead of "educating" them, you should prosecute them.

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [594 posts]
17th July 2013 - 13:02

12 Likes

rich22222 wrote:
I'm sorry for all of the cyclist blaming comments above.
I cycle around all day, everyday, always on the road, always stopping at red lights, always giving way to pedestrians, with a mostly polite attitude to motorists (not wearing a helmet or hi vis I add) and yet I still have my life endangered left/right and centre by impatient, complacent idiots.
The bottom line is that motorists kill & maim, cyclists don't.
I welcome any move to crack down on bad driver behaviour but if you want to make a change instead of leaving cyclist blaming comments here, lobby your MP to attend the Get Britain Cycling debate in September.

Or, even better, lobby your MP to try riding a bike in traffic for half an hour...

posted by JeevesBath [127 posts]
17th July 2013 - 13:08

8 Likes