Massive London police traffic enforcement operation next week

News of operation comes as names released of two recent fatalities

by John Stevenson   November 20, 2013  

Cyclist and policeman (CC licensed image by stumayhew:Flickr)

A massive police operation is planned next week to try and halt the run of crashes between cyclists and motor vehicles in London that has seen six fatalities so far this month.

According to the Evening Standard, traffic officers will be on duty on every major street, looking out for drivers using mobile phones, stopping in Advanced Stop Line ‘bike boxes’ and cyclists riding on the inside of HGVs.

The operation comes despite Boris Johnson and Transport for London insisting they would not be rushed into action after the recent deaths.

However, London’s cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, said the move was essential to reassure cyclists and prevent further loss of life.

He said: “This is a new zero-tolerance approach with a police officer on every main road in central London from Monday which is a huge escalation to the checks we are doing already.

“They will be stopping lorries and cars and where there is unsafe driving they will be taken off the road. We will also target unsafe cyclists. It is a short-term measure but the Mayor and the police feel we must act as a result of the recent spate of appalling accidents.”

Chief Superintendent Glyn Jones, head of the Met’s Traffic Command, said: “This is a police response to save lives and save injury.

“We have reviewed the level of deaths in the last weeks and in response to public concern we are redeploying officers during the rush hour to where we know there are a high number of collisions. We will be applying road traffic laws to all road users. We will be focusing on people driving carelessly or recklessly, whether they are lorry or car drivers or cyclists.”

Mr  Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries. “They may well have the right to be there but the fact is it is a dangerous manoeuvre.”

Most recent crash victims named

The planned operation comes as the victims of the most recent fatal cycling crashes on London roads were identified as 60-year-old Richard Muzira and 21-year-old Khalid Al-Hashimi.

An inquest into the death of Khalid Al-Hashimi from the NW6 area of London was opened in Poplar today, but no further details have yet been made available. 

Originally from Zimbabwe, Richard Muzira had been imprisoned and tortured for his role in the struggle against white minority rule. He was described as a “local hero” and a “wonderful man” who had won an award for his voluntary work.

His daughter Niadzi, a 24-year-old web-designer, said: “I’m so proud of my dad. He wrote books, plays and poetry, he was a bit of a maverick. He was always very active learning and teaching himself.”

Mr Muzira had volunteered for many years at mental health charity  CoolTan Arts. The organisation’s chief executive Michelle Baharier, said: “You couldn’t ask for a more lovely person than Richard. He was a fantastic friend. He was really community-spirited and was a complete and utter intellectual. He was a very calm and really astute person.

“This has come as such a shock to all of us here.”

Yesterday evening another cyclist was taken to hospital after a collision with a lorry less than half a mile from the junction where Richard Muzira died.

Paramedics were called to the junction of Camberwell New Road and Wyndham Road at 5pm last night where they treated a man in his 30s for leg injuries before he was transferred to hospital.

Six cyclists have died in collisions with vehicles in London this month, and a total of 12 have been killed in the UK.

29 user comments

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great - that's what is needed a solution that lasts only one week and about which we've already warned the drivers *sigh*

posted by mad_scot_rider [537 posts]
20th November 2013 - 13:43

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Not sure whether I'm keen on this method of policing - whilst I have seen a lot about, they're all in hi-viz and you can spot them a mile off so everybody behaves. 1 week down the line and all the bike boxes will be full with mopeds and cars. Much better to be plain clothed and handing out fines to keep them out of the boxes long-term.

posted by AyBee [60 posts]
20th November 2013 - 13:46

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This will only work if these crackdowns are sustained, repeated and not announced in advance.

Until people get the message that they can't get away with taking the piss (and I include all road users in this) then they will continue to take the piss

posted by VeloPeo [214 posts]
20th November 2013 - 13:51

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Quote:
Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries. “They may well have the right to be there but the fact is it is a dangerous manoeuvre.”

Simple. 50% of cyclist deaths are completely avoidable by cyclists not being thick as mud.

The other 50% is down to all sorts of factors, and this doesn't necessarily carry across to injuries, but it's a good point well made.

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [165 posts]
20th November 2013 - 13:55

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well said goldfever4. lets wait for the response backlash from the righteous

posted by duc888 [30 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:05

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I second undercover traffic enforcement. I actually think a great way to catch both cyclists and drivers who *break the law* would be undercover coppers on bikes. If it was a permanent measure, I think it would change the attitude of drivers around cyclists and make cyclists think twice about anti-social cycling (RL Jumping etc.),

Although, the way some drivers behave around cyclists, they'd probably claim entrapment because the copper hadn't paid road tax and was hogging the road!

Dedicated cycling price comparison | http://www.leadoutbikes.com

posted by mckechan [178 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:06

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Goldfever4 wrote:
Quote:
Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries. “They may well have the right to be there but the fact is it is a dangerous manoeuvre.”

Simple. 50% of cyclist deaths are completely avoidable by cyclists not being thick as mud.

The other 50% is down to all sorts of factors, and this doesn't necessarily carry across to injuries, but it's a good point well made.

Thick as mud, or just cycling along the cycle lanes and filter lanes to the ASL, where they are being directed to?

One mistake should not mean a bloody and brutal death. I hope you never make a mistake on the road, and pay for it with your life.

You can fck right off.

posted by Bikebikebike [70 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:08

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I'd have thought the policeman in the picture would have stopped the cyclist for carrying an inappropriate load in his basket.

posted by Matt_B [20 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:10

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Goldfever4 wrote:
Quote:
Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries. “They may well have the right to be there but the fact is it is a dangerous manoeuvre.”

.

Going up the inside or on the inside? But yes being going anywhere near stationary hgvs is pretty stupid. Then again where are the feeder lanes for ASLs! nothing like joined up thinking!

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posted by mrmo [1030 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:12

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Goldfever4 wrote:
Quote:
Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries. “They may well have the right to be there but the fact is it is a dangerous manoeuvre.”

Simple. 50% of cyclist deaths are completely avoidable by cyclists not being thick as mud.

The other 50% is down to all sorts of factors, and this doesn't necessarily carry across to injuries, but it's a good point well made.

Source?

If you're telling 50 or so people a year they deserve their deaths, personally I'd feel pretty ashamed at myself if I hadn't researched that sufficiently well to be sure first.

(edited since I didn't realise there's no swear filter here)

posted by nuclear coffee [114 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:28

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London's streets are so unsafe that they need policemen on ever one!!! What happens the rest of the time.

Come on, build some infrastructure Boris!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by P3t3 [40 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:38

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zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
20th November 2013 - 14:47

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It may not be a long-term solution, but at least this will raise awareness of cyclists at a time when accidents are spiraling...

Also makes me wonder whether if you took a picture of a car/lorry in a bike box with the red light (and their numberplate) in sight and sent it to the police - would they be fined?

posted by Cyclash [4 posts]
20th November 2013 - 15:08

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You'd probably get a letter like the one the cycling silk received:

http://thecyclingsilk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/metropolitan-police-letter-...

Chiggety check yourself before you wreck yourself

posted by therealsmallboy [85 posts]
20th November 2013 - 15:28

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therealsmallboy wrote:
You'd probably get a letter like the one the cycling silk received:

http://thecyclingsilk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/metropolitan-police-letter-to-cyclists.html

This says that it's illegal for a cyclist to enter the bike box if the lights are red? That's ridiculous!

posted by Cyclash [4 posts]
20th November 2013 - 15:42

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Bikebikebike wrote:
Goldfever4 wrote:
Quote:
Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries. “They may well have the right to be there but the fact is it is a dangerous manoeuvre.”

Simple. 50% of cyclist deaths are completely avoidable by cyclists not being thick as mud.

The other 50% is down to all sorts of factors, and this doesn't necessarily carry across to injuries, but it's a good point well made.

Thick as mud, or just cycling along the cycle lanes and filter lanes to the ASL, where they are being directed to?

One mistake should not mean a bloody and brutal death. I hope you never make a mistake on the road, and pay for it with your life.

You can fck right off.


If you're not in a position to determine whether you're safe riding (wherever that may be), you shouldn't be on the road, it's akin to a route leading you off a cliff - would you still drive it?

posted by AyBee [60 posts]
20th November 2013 - 15:46

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P3t3 wrote:
London's streets are so unsafe that they need policemen on ever one!!! What happens the rest of the time.

Come on, build some infrastructure Boris!!!!!!!!!!!

Err, must be a different London to the one I've lived in for donkey's years. Some roads in the London I live in are very dangerous, but most aren't.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
20th November 2013 - 16:01

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Cyclash wrote:
therealsmallboy wrote:
You'd probably get a letter like the one the cycling silk received:

http://thecyclingsilk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/metropolitan-police-letter-to-cyclists.html

This says that it's illegal for a cyclist to enter the bike box if the lights are red? That's ridiculous!

It actually gets better, it is illegal to enter the box by any route other than the feeder lane, you know the one, in the gutter partially blocked by a car or bus or truck!!!!!

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posted by mrmo [1030 posts]
20th November 2013 - 16:04

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Cyclash wrote:
It may not be a long-term solution, but at least this will raise awareness of cyclists at a time when accidents are spiraling...

Also makes me wonder whether if you took a picture of a car/lorry in a bike box with the red light (and their numberplate) in sight and sent it to the police - would they be fined?

No the vehicle driver wouldn't be fined. You would need video evidence to prove the vehicle entered the ASL box after the light turned to red. Vehicles can be in the ASL box if they have to stop because the lights are changing, otherwise they'd risk running a red light which is vastly more dangerous for everyone.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
20th November 2013 - 16:06

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"Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries."

Was on twitter this morning trying to work this out with Mark from the ibikelondon blog. Along with so many other things the Met have done recently, I reckon this is dead wrong.

It's accurate to say that half of cyclists killed in London since Jan 2010 were crushed by HGVs in left-hooks. But many of those, as far as the commentaries of the time had it, were killed off the lights by an HGV surging forward, or killed by a lorry passing them and turning. Hardly the same thing as a cyclist going down the inside!

Can anyone confirm this detail (John Stevenson)? Cos I think it's fairly important that the Met understand that their spokesperson is essentially blaming cyclists for heading down the left of a lorry (into the ASL feeder, ho hum) and being killed, when in actual fact it may only be a small proportion of cyclist fatalities that are happening because of the cyclist going into the blind spot, and more happening because the blind spot is being moved on top of the cyclist.

We need to stop blaming cyclists for their deaths, btw. Even those who died going down the inside of an HGV are not to blame. No one likely told them how dangerous that move was - and most of our roads are designed, with cycle lanes, feeder lanes etc. to reinforce the idea that a cyclist's place is to the left of traffic at all times pretty much. In many other EU countries they've largely designed out these moves - making it impossible for cyclists to do this. The blame, clearly, falls on road design, vehicle design (those giant blind spots) and having lorries all over narrow, congested streets, with drivers incentivised to rush to make their next stop.

posted by PsiMonk [10 posts]
20th November 2013 - 16:13

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Really, this is all boondoggle. What's the point of burning money having police out giving tickets when people aren't even prosecuted for killing cyclists while driving and using a phone?

posted by roseofwinter [40 posts]
20th November 2013 - 16:41

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How's this going to work safely?

If cars stop in the ASL then are the drivers going to be handed a ticket on the spot, without holding up the flow of traffic?

Equally, if the police stop cyclists in the narrow cycle lane then won't the obstruction cause cyclists to spread out over the road - at a congested junction?

posted by Old Cranky [276 posts]
20th November 2013 - 16:59

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AyBee wrote:
Bikebikebike wrote:
Goldfever4 wrote:
Quote:
Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries. “They may well have the right to be there but the fact is it is a dangerous manoeuvre.”

Simple. 50% of cyclist deaths are completely avoidable by cyclists not being thick as mud.

The other 50% is down to all sorts of factors, and this doesn't necessarily carry across to injuries, but it's a good point well made.

Thick as mud, or just cycling along the cycle lanes and filter lanes to the ASL, where they are being directed to?

One mistake should not mean a bloody and brutal death. I hope you never make a mistake on the road, and pay for it with your life.

You can fck right off.


If you're not in a position to determine whether you're safe riding (wherever that may be), you shouldn't be on the road, it's akin to a route leading you off a cliff - would you still drive it?

What does that even mean?

posted by Bikebikebike [70 posts]
20th November 2013 - 17:27

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PsiMonk - Interesting point regarding the Met spokesperson. The cynic in me says they put a spin on this for the mayor. Once they've made a statement, many will take it as a fact and blindly recite it.

There are people out there who still think that Jean Charles De Menezes jumped the ticket barrier (he didn't - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes#Ticket_bar...).

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posted by mckechan [178 posts]
20th November 2013 - 18:16

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PsiMonk wrote:
"Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries."

Was on twitter this morning trying to work this out with Mark from the ibikelondon blog. Along with so many other things the Met have done recently, I reckon this is dead wrong.

It's accurate to say that half of cyclists killed in London since Jan 2010 were crushed by HGVs in left-hooks. But many of those, as far as the commentaries of the time had it, were killed off the lights by an HGV surging forward, or killed by a lorry passing them and turning. Hardly the same thing as a cyclist going down the inside!

Can anyone confirm this detail (John Stevenson)? Cos I think it's fairly important that the Met understand that their spokesperson is essentially blaming cyclists for heading down the left of a lorry (into the ASL feeder, ho hum) and being killed, when in actual fact it may only be a small proportion of cyclist fatalities that are happening because of the cyclist going into the blind spot, and more happening because the blind spot is being moved on top of the cyclist.

Agree entirely that this is a crucial detail. And I see I'm not the only one who found himself thinking of the DeMenezes case! The track record of the Met is not that great in such matters.

I would like to see the Met backing up this particular claim (or publicly withdrawing it - one or the other)

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [636 posts]
20th November 2013 - 18:28

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PsiMonk wrote:
"Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries."

Was on twitter this morning trying to work this out with Mark from the ibikelondon blog. Along with so many other things the Met have done recently, I reckon this is dead wrong.

Can't say I disagree. The Met press office didn't have anything to say about this operation when I spoke to them this morning, but I have to admit the sheer wrongness of that stat is amazing.

I'm trying to speak to a senior officer during the traffic operation next week so when I call them tomorrow to try and make that happen I'll seek clarification.

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posted by John Stevenson [975 posts]
20th November 2013 - 18:34

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Dear Goldfever4: You win. Such concise ability to offend, display ignorance and generally waste pixels puts you waaaay ahead of the other asshats I've read today.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [437 posts]
20th November 2013 - 21:10

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Goldfever4 wrote:
Quote:
Mr Jones said half of all cyclists killed on London’s roads since January 2010 have been going down the inside of lorries. “They may well have the right to be there but the fact is it is a dangerous manoeuvre.”

Simple. 50% of cyclist deaths are completely avoidable by cyclists not being thick as mud.

The other 50% is down to all sorts of factors, and this doesn't necessarily carry across to injuries, but it's a good point well made.

A point made seemingly without reference to any actual instances. I'd like to see the data on that 50 per cent figure rather than leap on it with glee as a stick to beat victims.

Also, nearly all bike 'infrastructure' in London is on the left of one or two lanes of motor traffic. The attractions of using one of these lanes instead aren't always immediately apparent.

posted by congokid [110 posts]
20th November 2013 - 21:56

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There was a Met Police HGV check running just south of Blackfriars bridge this morning. I imagine thye will find a very high number of faults and illegal vehicles agains as they always do with these checks.

posted by thereverent [296 posts]
21st November 2013 - 15:36

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