Edinburgh police launch equal-opportunity roads crackdown

Drivers and cyclists targeted in two-stage winter blitz

by John Stevenson   November 11, 2013  

Edinburgh Police Regulations Enforced sign (CC licensed by by Andrew M Butler:Flickr)

Police in Edinburgh today begin a two-week road safety initiative that will two-stage approach to warning and then punishing drivers and cyclists who break the road rules.

For the first week, the focus will be on “educating city centre road users” rather than punishing them, though Police Scotland say they will nevertheless take tough action against motorists or cyclists whose behaviour puts themselves and other road users at risk.

Officers will be on cycle patrol in locations throughout the city centre, particularly at busy times of the day where traffic is at a peak.

They will be keeping an eye out for common offences such as failing to obey traffic lights, illegal parking or stopping on main commuter roads, cycling on pavements, and cycling without lights during hours of darkness.

PC Stephen Kirk, from Police Scotland, said: "This fortnight-long initiative will have two phases, with the focus over the first week being on educating city centre road users on how they can keep themselves and others safe, at a time of year when hazards increase, not least because of darker evenings.

"The second week will focus more heavily on enforcement, particularly against those who we identify as repeat or blatant offenders whose behaviour warrants action.

"The ultimate aim of the initiative is to reduce road casualties in the city centre at a time of year where casualty numbers rise, particularly among cyclists.

"Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe, and our aim is to improve the safety of road users in Edinburgh city centre through a combination of education and targeted enforcement."

The combination of bad weather, dark evenings and road users being unaccustomed to the conditions means November has the highest number of road crashes. Oxford, Cambridge and Dorset have also announced increased enforcement activity in the last couple of weeks, usually aimed at cyclists rather than all road users.

10 user comments

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Was in London at the weekend. Far too many bikes without lights.

posted by Docroddy [21 posts]
11th November 2013 - 18:16

30 Likes

Good job too.
As far as I am concerned if you are a road user you have to obey the rules.
If you don't pay the fine and take the punishment. If you don't like it, perhaps you should be using the bus, tram or train.

The above applies to drivers, motorcyclists, bus drivers, lorry drivers, coach drivers, van drivers and cyclists. Also most definitely to the clown who SMIDSY'd me on my motorbike about 3 weeks ago.

posted by freespirit1 [191 posts]
11th November 2013 - 20:49

25 Likes

Its laughable you could down the the roads of the UK with no lights and get a £60 fine because its dangerous.... which i agree with but you hit a 3ft wide pot hole on the road and there classed as ok and not dangerous and you should have missed it ... wish the councils spent as much money on prevention as they do on conviction

posted by djfleming22 [14 posts]
11th November 2013 - 21:48

15 Likes

If they really cared about lighting, they'd zero vat rate dynohubs

posted by Trull [65 posts]
11th November 2013 - 22:41

13 Likes

It seems they're not going to be specifically targeting the one offence that worries and frightens me most as a cyclist, or at least, it isn't on the list given here: dangerous overtaking. If that was policed properly - even for a few weeks a year - I would feel safer on the roads.

posted by bambergbike [87 posts]
11th November 2013 - 22:53

17 Likes

bambergbike wrote:
It seems they're not going to be specifically targeting the one offence that worries and frightens me most as a cyclist, or at least, it isn't on the list given here: dangerous overtaking. If that was policed properly - even for a few weeks a year - I would feel safer on the roads.

Word.

Although, having been witness to the rather poor driving of some police officers, I think they might struggle to recognise dangerous overtaking...

posted by hoski [69 posts]
12th November 2013 - 10:33

17 Likes

I'm happy to pay VED on the same basis she does. And as I believe I emit less than 100g/km CO2 it'll cost me nothing.

posted by mbrads72 [139 posts]
12th November 2013 - 12:37

14 Likes

bambergbike wrote:
It seems they're not going to be specifically targeting the one offence that worries and frightens me most as a cyclist, or at least, it isn't on the list given here: dangerous overtaking. If that was policed properly - even for a few weeks a year - I would feel safer on the roads.

Absoultely 2nd that, I'd like to see some plain clothed police cycle up and down CS2 and nick every b******d that comes too close. They'd have their hands full after a few minutes.

posted by kie7077 [567 posts]
12th November 2013 - 15:21

27 Likes

And considering cyclists only make up a small percentage of traffic overall, will they finish once they've proportionally caught as many cyclists, or will they unfairly be disproportionate?

posted by kie7077 [567 posts]
12th November 2013 - 15:24

21 Likes

The article claims we have lots of road crashes at this time of year, "the highest number". Not according to the EU stats as far as I could see. I think July was the winner.

Rospa also notes that 80% of serious cycling accidents happen in daylight and most in Spring and Summer.

The Guardian pointed out a study a couple of years back about the oddly tiny link between lack of lights and cycling accidents.

The police pick up wonderful goodwill from drivers and reactionary locals for these poisonous anti-cycling campaigns (just have a look at the Evening News headlines generated to see the goodwill and the poison). This isn't good for cycling numbers and that isn't then good for safety. These campaigns are no more well-researched than a primary teacher doing a project on WW1 or whatever, and road.cc ought maybe to be more vocal in quizzing their logic.

posted by vbvb [304 posts]
12th November 2013 - 20:19

9 Likes