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Drivers and cyclists targeted in two-stage winter blitz

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.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

10 comments

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Docroddy [31 posts] 2 years ago
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Was in London at the weekend. Far too many bikes without lights.

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freespirit1 [224 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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djfleming22 [31 posts] 2 years ago
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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

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Trull [81 posts] 2 years ago
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If they really cared about lighting, they'd zero vat rate dynohubs

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bambergbike [89 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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hoski [81 posts] 2 years ago
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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...

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mbrads72 [175 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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kie7077 [874 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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kie7077 [874 posts] 2 years ago
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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?

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vbvb [587 posts] 2 years ago
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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.