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Drivers and cyclists stopped for range of offences

Central London was today flooded with police in the Met has described as a major road safety operation involving 2,500 officers this week, aimed at making busy London junctions safer.

Around 650 officers were deployed at 60 major junctions in London today. The police presence is planned to increase to 2,500 officers in 166 locations during the week, and may carry on until Christmas.

There have been widespread reports of drivers being ticketed for stopping in advanced stop line ‘bike boxes’ and of cyclists being fined for running red lights and riding on pavements.

Superintendent Rob Revill of the Safer Transport Command, said: "Our aim is to reduce the appalling number of people who die or are injured on London's roads each year. Every road death is a needless tragedy that wreaks devastation for the victim's friends and family. Every serious injury is life-changing and distressing.

"We are doing this by enforcing traffic legislation robustly and at every opportunity. Traffic and Safer Transport officers will be out in force, and even officers who don't specialise in traffic policing will be watching and dealing accordingly with anyone they see breaking the law.

The police initiative, dubbed Operation Safeway, comes after the deaths of six cyclists in London in a two-week period earlier this month. Brian Holt, 62 was hit by a lorry on November 5, and hours later Francis Golding, 69 was struck by a coach; Mr Golding later died of his injuries.

On November 12 Roger De Klerk, 43 was hit by a bus in Croydon, and there were two fatal collisions the following day. Venera Minakhmetova, 24 was hit by a lorry at the notorious Bow roundabout, and hours after the roundabout had been the scene of a protest against the recent deaths in London, Khalid al-Hashimi, 21, was hit by a bus near the other end of Cycle Superhighway 2 in Whitechapel. On November 18 Richard Muzira, 60 became the sixth cyclist to die so far this month when he was hit by a lorry.

Tales from the road

Riders’ accounts of encounters with officers on patrol this morning have been a mixed bag, with reports of officers not quite seeming to know the rules around advanced stop lines, for example.

On The Guardian’s website, CallMeWhatever posted: “Lots of police on CS7 between Colliers Wood and Clapham Common this morning. I'm not sure if they were all there for bike watching though, or if something else was going on in the area. Some of them seemed to be using the cycle lane as parking spaces for their motorbikes, hence forcing all the cyclists out into the middle of the road.”

The Evening Standard spoke to 57-year-old Ben Watson who was stopped while taking his children to school by cargo bike this morning.

“This policeman called me over and said ‘is that bike legal?’ I thought ‘well you’re the policeman surely you should be telling me whether its legal or not’”, said Mr Watson.

“I think it seems a bit unfair as this operation is making out cyclists are the problem when it is actually cars that are the problem.

“I know where I’m going. I’ve been taking the kids to school on this route for four years, I know what I’m doing.”

On the Guardian, betweenarock12 said: “As I saw this morning, handing out fines to cyclists for stopping over the line or jumping lights versus them handing out polite leaflets to car and lorry drivers stopping over the line and stopping in the advance cyclist areas hardly sends the right message for the need for everyone to take responsibility for road safety.

That police seem to be targeting cyclists rather than even-handedly enforcing the law was a common complaint. On the Guardian’s site, andythatcham said: “Interesting chat with a police officer on my ride in this morning. 20 of them in Brixton watching cyclists on road junctions. As the PC said to me 'we're watching you lot'. Attitude and resourcing suggests Met (and Boris) blame cyclists for recent deaths.”

But it hasn’t been entirely a crackdown on cyclists. There have been many reports that just the presence of officers at junctions has prevents drivers from encroaching on bike boxes and jumping red lights, and Guardian commenter ID8688170 found officers helpful when he reported a white van that had crossed two lanes without signalling and almost hit another rider.

He said: “There was a police motorbike about 100 metres further down the road so I stopped and pointed out the van. The policeman was great about it and promptly chased after him and pulled him over to have a word. Sadly he hadn't seen it so couldn't do a lot but his attitude was great and he genuinely did his best and seemed thankful that I'd pointed it out to him.

“Hope fellow cyclists appreciate that most of the police are trying their best to help improve safety, they aren't out to get us. If you're polite I think they will take comments on board.”

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.

39 comments

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jasecd [394 posts] 2 years ago
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I find police attitudes tend to mirror that of the general public - a sizeable minority couldn't give a shit about cyclists and think of them as second class road users.

I wonder what the officer who left hooked me (and then threatened to arrest me when I remonstrated with him) thinks about todays duties?

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Vikeonabike [59 posts] 2 years ago
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The press (including cycling press) are really beginning to piss me off. They have no real interest in improving cycling safety but purely in inflaming the war between cyclists and motorists. Biased reporting or twisting something into being something it isn't.
Everyone agrees that cycling on Britains roads is dangerous. As cyclists we can't even agree how to be responsible for our own safety (The "I shouldn't have to wear a helmet / Hivis they should see me anyway debate). Everyone wants someone else to blame and someone else to take responsibility.
And for FFS stop blaming the POLICE for everything!
 102
PS Road CC missed this from the piece taken from the standards article
Last Monday, the Met carried out spot-checks on cyclists and HGVs in Vauxhall.

In four hours, the officers stopped 70 lorries and issued 15 fixed penalty notices for offences such as the vehicles not being fit for the road.

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alexb [128 posts] 2 years ago
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Not impressed by what I saw this morning. PCSOs at Albert Bridge completely ignored an HGV that jumped the lights right in front of them. However, it was clear that drivers were behaving a bit better at that junction.

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Simon_MacMichael [2452 posts] 2 years ago
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Vikeonabike wrote:

PS Road CC missed this from the piece taken from the standards article
Last Monday, the Met carried out spot-checks on cyclists and HGVs in Vauxhall.

In four hours, the officers stopped 70 lorries and issued 15 fixed penalty notices for offences such as the vehicles not being fit for the road.

We reported it last week. It's the first link under 'Related Stories' to the right of the beginning of this article: http://road.cc/content/news/99261-police-safety-operation-targets-dozens...

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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MikeOnABike [58 posts] 2 years ago
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On my ride home this evening, just as you come into Brixton near the police station. 2 cars in the ASL and 3 bikes with no lights. Standing on the pavement 3 fat plod, seeing everything and doing nothing. What a waste of time and money.

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Vikeonabike [59 posts] 2 years ago
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In that case I stand corrected and offer my humblest apologies  40 ..

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 2 years ago
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did not see any evidence of Police in Camden today

just saw the usual from motorists using smart phones in their cars, vehicles of all sorts including motorbikes, cars, taxi and HGV / bus encroaching into the ASL, and 2 instances of motorists trying to drive through pedestrians crossing on a green pedestrian crossing light (which means a red traffic stop light)

funny thing we don't hear about statistics on numbers of cyclists being injured in RTC, just the deaths.

When I was in hospital on Friday having my plaster cast removed (after being involved in a hit and run involving a white van from the previous week) I overheard the medical staff talking to the people on the left and right of my bay, and both told the consultants they had been knocked off their bikes by cars.

the guy on the right sounded in a bad way, the consultant said his bone was fragmented into little pieces and there was nothing they could do to screw/glue it back together. said something about him requiring surgery once it healed and expecting long term problems, yikes!

the consultant asked how my injury had happened, I told her about my RTC and she said they'd seen a huge increase in cyclists coming into A&E or fracture clinic for hit and runs or just from falling off their bikes due to "other conditions"

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Leodis [403 posts] 2 years ago
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Judging by my own experience of the police as a cyclist when I was knocked off by a driver not looking, it was one of contempt and I seemed to be the criminal and was wasting their time.

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nowasps [429 posts] 2 years ago
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Vikeonabike wrote:

Everyone agrees that cycling on Britains roads is dangerous.

They don't, you know.

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faqibg [16 posts] 2 years ago
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I personally get annoyed when people jump red lights as they are also branded as cyclists by the general public, today I saw a lot of people getting nabbed for that.

But also saw 2 officers standing at each side of the road at Waterloo and both completely ignored a pair of jaywalkers running in front of me.

So like the others a mixed bag but better than nothing I guess.

Let's see what happens when the dust settles down.

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sm [383 posts] 2 years ago
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'Jaywalking' is simply called crossing the road in this country and isn't illegal. Dangerous at times? Sure, but not illegal. I welcome the crackdown. Better if it is truly even handed. If it isn't? Well people should not be breaking the law, be they cyclist or motorist. Just don't let a policeman or woman ask me where my helmet is because I'll be pointing to my pants.

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Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
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faqibg wrote:

But also saw 2 officers standing at each side of the road at Waterloo and both completely ignored a pair of jaywalkers running in front of me..

Crossing the road isn't illegal in this country.

EDIT Pipped by SM!

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IanW1968 [271 posts] 2 years ago
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Got knocked off again today, it's the second time in a few months.

Last time the guy got out of his car and hit me for being a cyclist, this time it was an old boy who was really apologetic. Both times there were witnesses to confirm there was nothing I could do and it was the drivers fault.

I'm not a newbie to cycling and have thousands of road miles experience both at pace and commuting.

TBH though the outcome as I sit here now is that a nice big 4x4 to drive around in has never looked so appealing and the chance of me encouraging the family to get about by bike are close to zero.

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harman_mogul [226 posts] 2 years ago
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'Anecdotal evidence'...but telling

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RhysW [81 posts] 2 years ago
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I hope they were out at dusk today and picked up the cars with headlights out.

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IanW1968 [271 posts] 2 years ago
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Maybe a more constructive thought, wouldn't a few public information adverts help with the misguided indignation?

People are allowed to walk across the road.
Riding two abreast is ok.
Riding in the middle of the road is ok.
Riding on pavements is bad.
Parking on pavements is bad.
Talking on phones is bad.
Running lights is bad.
How to use ASL's
Etc etc

TV time is cheap as chips at the mo.

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 2 years ago
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'jaywalking' is illegal in many US states but not here in the UK

pedestrians, like cyclists and equestrians (horse riders) have a legal 'right of way' to use the public highway

motorists do not have any legal right of way (they confuse this with their 'right of way' at junctions when encountering other motor vehicles)

motorists are granted an exemption to drive on the public highway through the licensing of the driver, and their vehicle. This exemption can be withdrawn at any time by the authorities.

a number of motorists in the UK have an attitude that it is "their right to drive" when in fact the law says otherwise

on a day to day basis (what you see on the street) you will see this confusion when a pedestrian is legitimately crossing the street and a motorist tries to bully / intimidate them by driving at them at speed, and beeping their horn.

What this motorist does not realize is that that pedestrian actually has a legal entitlement to cross that road, and the motorist should give way if the pedestrian is already crossing before the motorist arrives at that section of road.

Sadly, because of the prominence given to motor vehicles in the UK, snobbery about ownership of vehicles versus cycling and pedestrians, and a lack of traffic policing, these drivers believe that other road users should get out of their way!

of course, this does not excuse a pedestrian stepping into the street without due care and attention (which we might call jaywalking), which is a situation many cyclists have experienced:-

-a pedestrian distracted by their phone, music, newspaper, lunch, etc. steps off the pavement without looking and nearly goes into the cyclist, as the lack of engine noise (associated with motor vehicles) tells them the road is clear

of course, this 'jaywalking' is also a reason that a large number of pedestrians end up killed or seriously injured by motorists in the UK every year, from not paying attention to oncoming motor vehicle traffic

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William Black [193 posts] 2 years ago
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IanW1968 wrote:

Maybe a more constructive thought, wouldn't a few public information adverts help with the misguided indignation?

People are allowed to walk across the road.
Riding two abreast is ok.
Riding in the middle of the road is ok.
Riding on pavements is bad.
Parking on pavements is bad.
Talking on phones is bad.
Running lights is bad.
How to use ASL's
Etc etc

TV time is cheap as chips at the mo.

Maybe a Kickstarter/crowd funded advert?

There must be ad agency out there with the kit, the talent and the contacts to make some serious commercials that can be broadcast independently on behalf of the cyclists of the UK?

I'd definitely chip in the pot

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IanW1968 [271 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
William Black wrote:
IanW1968 wrote:

Maybe a more constructive thought, wouldn't a few public information adverts help with the misguided indignation?

People are allowed to walk across the road.
Riding two abreast is ok.
Riding in the middle of the road is ok.
Riding on pavements is bad.
Parking on pavements is bad.
Talking on phones is bad.
Running lights is bad.
How to use ASL's
Etc etc

TV time is cheap as chips at the mo.

Maybe a Kickstarter/crowd funded advert?

There must be ad agency out there with the kit, the talent and the contacts to make some serious commercials that can be broadcast independently on behalf of the cyclists of the UK?

I'd definitely chip in the pot

I think that's a great idea and know a few people who may be willing to help.

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1199 posts] 2 years ago
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I _so_ want to see a cop fine a fellow cop for driving into an ASL at red. I see police vehicles do it so often that surely such a cop-books-cop incident must happen, if they are seriously cracking down on it?

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 2 years ago
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Everyday I ride through a short 300 metre 20mph zone at about 18 to 20mph, cars, vans and even buses always try to squeeze by never wanting to wait even 10 or 15 seconds whilst I go through. I have even seen cars passing on the wrong side of traffic Islands rather than wait.
Luckily in Plymouth the vast majority will be patient. The more cyclist on the roads the better as we'll naturally slow the traffic down & folks will eventually learn to live with us.

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stealfwayne [116 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
IanW1968 wrote:
William Black wrote:
IanW1968 wrote:

Maybe a more constructive thought, wouldn't a few public information adverts help with the misguided indignation?

People are allowed to walk across the road.
Riding two abreast is ok.
Riding in the middle of the road is ok.
Riding on pavements is bad.
Parking on pavements is bad.
Talking on phones is bad.
Running lights is bad.
How to use ASL's
Etc etc

TV time is cheap as chips at the mo.

Maybe a Kickstarter/crowd funded advert?

There must be ad agency out there with the kit, the talent and the contacts to make some serious commercials that can be broadcast independently on behalf of the cyclists of the UK?

I'd definitely chip in the pot

I think that's a great idea and know a few people who may be willing to help.

Seconded, A proper attempt to highlight issues related to real world cycling on the road . We ride, we're allowed to and we are gong to continue to do so.
We should do this and get a crowd funded motion going....

Avatar
stealfwayne [116 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
IanW1968 wrote:
William Black wrote:
IanW1968 wrote:

Maybe a more constructive thought, wouldn't a few public information adverts help with the misguided indignation?

People are allowed to walk across the road.
Riding two abreast is ok.
Riding in the middle of the road is ok.
Riding on pavements is bad.
Parking on pavements is bad.
Talking on phones is bad.
Running lights is bad.
How to use ASL's
Etc etc

TV time is cheap as chips at the mo.

Maybe a Kickstarter/crowd funded advert?

There must be ad agency out there with the kit, the talent and the contacts to make some serious commercials that can be broadcast independently on behalf of the cyclists of the UK?

I'd definitely chip in the pot

I think that's a great idea and know a few people who may be willing to help.

Seconded, A proper attempt to highlight issues related to real world cycling on the road . We ride, we're allowed to and we are gong to continue to do so.
We should do this and get a crowd funded motion going....

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badback [302 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I wonder if they got a few more police doing their patrol on bicycles if things would change a little quicker.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Vikeonabike wrote:

PS Road CC missed this from the piece taken from the standards article
Last Monday, the Met carried out spot-checks on cyclists and HGVs in Vauxhall.

In four hours, the officers stopped 70 lorries and issued 15 fixed penalty notices for offences such as the vehicles not being fit for the road.

no we didn't, we reported on it at the time.

http://road.cc/content/news/99261-police-safety-operation-targets-dozens...

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Username [179 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
jasecd wrote:

I find police attitudes tend to mirror that of the general public - a sizeable minority couldn't give a shit about cyclists and think of them as second class road users.

I wonder what the officer who left hooked me (and then threatened to arrest me when I remonstrated with him) thinks about todays duties?

05:45 this morning, going for an early morning ride, stopped at a red light two abreast with a fellow rider, a car came up behind us and started rev'ing his engine. He was obviously annoyed that two cyclists had stopped at a light forcing him to wait.

When the lights changed we moved off and kept a strong primary because we were taking a right turn up ahead. The car behind us gunned his engine and aggressively UNDERTOOK us. I was about to shout out when I noticed it was a cop car.

Charming.

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

@username

if this happens again get the number plate and contact the local nick, ask to make a complaint to professional standards about the officers conduct. every time a vehicle is taken out on duty, they log the officer's collar number against the vehicle id.

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antonio [1124 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Watched the report on breakfast beeb this morning, again a media push toward cyclists at fault. I fail to see why if police are going to flood the streets, none of them take to the bike, anyone who cycles sees more bad driving, bad cycling, car driver phone usage than anyone else.

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alexb [128 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Absolutely. If Boris wanted to really improve cycling he'd get the Police out on their bikes filming the behaviour of fellow road users. Everything that happened in cars, lorries etc. could be tackled from the film footage if not too serious and the rest dealt with on the spot. Imagine the howls of protest if hundreds of drivers got summonsed for dangerous driving, using phones/tablets etc. over the course of a week - oh hang on a minute, we could already do that with the footage gathered for free by regular every day cyclists...

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