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Police initiative is part of Operation Grimaldi, 22 motorists fined too

Greater Manchester Police has said that it issued 147 fixed penalty notices – the vast majority to cyclists – in an operation designed to encourage bike riders and motorists to share the road safely.

The initiative falls under the force’s Operation Grimaldi campaign and took place from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 November, with activity centred on Deansgate, Trafford Street/Great Bridewater Street, Wilmslow Road/Platt Lane and Oxford Road.

It coincided with Road Safety Week, which saw police in other cities including London, Bristol and Edinburgh run similar operations, mostly taking an educational approach by providing advice rather than handing out fines.

In Manchester 125 cyclists were issued fixed penalty notices for offences including riding on the pavement or without lights and ignoring red traffic lights, although they can avoid having to pay a fine by attending a cycling awareness event.

Police also issued 22 fixed penalty notices to drivers for offences including driving while using a handheld mobile phone, failure to comply with traffic signs and not using a seatbelt.

One motorist had a car seized for antisocial driving under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002.

Inspector Paul Rowe of Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit commented: “Operation Grimaldi isn’t about trying to catch people out, it’s about highlighting the dangers and encouraging cyclists and motorists to share the road and put road safety first.

“While it might seem to some that we’re pulling people over for minor offences, we know only too well the devastating consequences that something as simple as cycling without lights or driving while using a mobile phone can have.

“No officer wants to be knocking on a door this Christmas to tell somebody their loved one has been killed and through Operation Grimaldi we remain absolutely committed to making the roads safer for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians alike.”

Jim Battle, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, added: “Like most people, I and the police want the roads to be safe for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

“That’s what this operation is about – educating the handful of cyclists who flout the basic rules of the road and also targeting irresponsible drivers for offences, such as using a mobile phone.

“We have a way to go before cyclists and drivers can share the roads in harmony.  The reality is we all have a responsibility to make our roads safer, whether on two wheels or four, and we all have to work together to achieve that.”

In June, Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a total of 415 cyclists had been fined since February this year on ten separate “days of action” held as part of Operation Grimaldi.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

62 comments

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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And still GMP haven't pulled anyone for driving in to an ASL.

And never will.

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

“That’s what this operation is about – educating the handful of cyclists who flout the basic rules of the road and also targeting irresponsible drivers for offences, such as using a mobile phone..

See the language used: Cyclists are flouting the basic rules of the road.

Driving several tonnes of high powered metal at speed whilst being distracted by illegally using your mobile phone - Irresponsible.

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mrmo [2064 posts] 2 years ago
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let me get this straight, 125 cyclists, v 22 drivers.

What proportion of the traffic is car and what bike?

Is it me or does this seem like easy pickings and headline grabbing?

Last night i went through 3 sets of traffic lights and saw 1 cyclist jump red and 6 cars! This is typical. Yes i saw more cars so i would expect more cars to be doing illegal things.

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rxpell [38 posts] 2 years ago
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Have GMP published details of overall number stopped and how many were cars, vans, HGVs and bikes?

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mrchrispy [443 posts] 2 years ago
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It was probably the bottom end of oxford road where most of the traffic is busses and bikes. Maybe they should move further up the road to rusholme where apparently there are no parking rules, red lights dont exist and you dont need insurance.

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 2 years ago
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mrchrispy wrote:

It was probably the bottom end of oxford road where most of the traffic is busses and bikes. Maybe they should move further up the road to rusholme where apparently there are no parking rules, red lights dont exist and you dont need insurance.

Right - but they would only do that if their actual goal was to catch dodgy drivers - and we all know GMP have a tad of an agenda

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YorkshireMike [91 posts] 2 years ago
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GMP really need to target MOTORISTS in North Manchester - the whole area seems to be forgotten about when it comes to cycling infrastructure and safety. It's a nightmare.

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SpaceFlightOrange [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Personally I think its about time. I used to work on Deansgate until about 4 weeks ago and the number of cyclists that run the red lights on the Deansgate/Quay St junction is unbelievable! especially given the number of people that cross when those lights are on red.

Im a keen cyclist, in fact I cycle more than i drive but running the red light is unacceptable.

I suspect though that the proportion of drivers fine is small because there is another junction nearby thats been closed for 18 months, meaning the volume of traffic that area has increase by an order of magnitude. the result of this is it moves at a snails pace now.

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mbrads72 [169 posts] 2 years ago
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shay cycles [318 posts] 2 years ago
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Good!

BUT

I'm a little unsure however that they saw so few motoring offences.

Last night riding home I could not keep count of the number of cars driving through red lights (there were too many). I did count the one cyclist who did so.

I saw three young girls cycling on a pavement but cannot keep count the number of cars parked on the pavements in the same area (there are too many).

I did count the five cars and vans (an average on one every 3 miles) who's occupants were smoking canabis.

I did notice (as I do every night) the row of cars that queue in the right turn filter lane and then go straight on at a junction in order to save a bit of time in the longer queue in the correct lane.

I did notice the number of vehicles entering the advance stop boxes whilst the lights were red (last night this was every advanced stop box I approached)

This is not an unusual commute, and it is in GM. That's why I wonder why the police don't see any of this (in fairness they may well see the ASL infringements but they've told me they can't do anything about them).

GMP have not impressed me overall but I'm still actually pleased to see cyclists pulled for the offences that cause me grief as I cycle myself.

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Pitbull [15 posts] 2 years ago
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The basics : respect all road users, Concentrate, use care & consideration - dont go through red lights - leave pavements for pedestrians - be seen so use lights at night - Simple non selfish actions that do require a working brain - The Police should confiscate mobile phones if used whilst driving!

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Gizmo_ [1381 posts] 2 years ago
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Wasn't Grimaldi a clown?

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Pitbull [15 posts] 2 years ago
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The Police should confiscate mobile phones if used whilst driving!

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Shouldbeinbed [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Absolutely agree with this, I know the city centre and Oxford Rd corridor is the cycling hotbed but the rest of us exist too. I have no confidence in GMP's view or treatment of different grades of road user.

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andyp [1444 posts] 2 years ago
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Excellent. More of this!

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deblemund [263 posts] 2 years ago
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In the City of London last night: the equivalent operation took place, and I witnessed a PC deliberately standing with his back to the ASL so as not to see the black cab that entirely occupied it. Meanwhile a cyclist had stopped by the side of the road to check his phone, and another PC was getting ready to pounce and looked disappointed when the cyclist put the phone back in his pocket and rode off. I was on foot, so had a good view of it all. It's a farce. But do be careful: the police have the power to stop any vehicle, including bikes, for any reason or none. Section 163 Road Traffic Act. Idiotic as the policy may be, it is a criminal offence if you fail to stop.

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antonio [1117 posts] 2 years ago
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If a car has parked part on / part off the pavement then surely they have driven on the pavement, illegal or what?

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banzicyclist2 [299 posts] 2 years ago
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125 cyclists / 25 motorists ! There are a lot of lawless cyclists out there l see loads in Barrow in Furness jumping red lights, on pavements and with no lights etc . It doesn't surprise me one bit !

I try a stick to the rules of the road as much as possible it's a shame a lot don't  37

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Timsen [71 posts] 2 years ago
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I am very concerned about all the media interest around cycling generally. Mark my words..... this is heading inevitably towards ill thought out legislation which will be a complete pain for us all. Please be safe, don't jump red lights, wear suitable clothing, fit some lights & let's try & dampen this down !

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mrmo [2064 posts] 2 years ago
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antonio wrote:

If a car has parked part on / part off the pavement then surely they have driven on the pavement, illegal or what?

Prove it. The car could have been lowered off a low loader by crane.

I know it is unlikely, but you have to prove the car was driven onto the pavement, not just say it is on the pavement therefore it PROBABLY drove on the pavement.

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S1lver [12 posts] 2 years ago
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We should be pleased that there will be less idiots skipping reds making the rest of us look bad.  41

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jmaccelari [238 posts] 2 years ago
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Good news. I wish they would do this all the time and not just during "blitzes"...

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mrmo [2064 posts] 2 years ago
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S1lver wrote:

We should be pleased that there will be less idiots skipping reds making the rest of us look bad.  41

And the next stick to beat cyclists with will be?

You can see where it is going with the hi viz and helmet "advice", or maybe the "car tax". or compulsary "cycle paths"

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graphite [63 posts] 2 years ago
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Well, if you're breaking the law there's not much argument to be had.

Would be nice if the law was clear, appropriate, and applied equally as well though.

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graphite [63 posts] 2 years ago
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jmaccelari wrote:

Good news. I wish they would do this all the time and not just during "blitzes"...

Agreed. However, anything that makes ALL road users think about how they drive/ride is a good thing.

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S1lver [12 posts] 2 years ago
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Giving a fine to a cyclist who has just broken the law can hardly be seen as finding a stick to beat cyclists with.

I think part of the reason cyclists are seen in a bad light is because some cyclists are massive hypocrites. They expect car drivers to treat them as though they are higher beings and then do nothing themselves to try and offer the same respect to drivers ie running red lights!

And before you ask I do not even own my own car. I cycle to work on one bike and ride for fitness on another.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but there's more we cyclists can do to help ourselves before just blaming all drivers...

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Joeinpoole [439 posts] 2 years ago
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Number crunching;

Number of people killed by motorists in 2012 = 1800

Number of people killed by cyclists in 2012 = maybe 1?

Number of motorists fined during Operation Grimaldi = 22

Number of cyclists fined during Operation Grimaldi = 125

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bfslxo [144 posts] 2 years ago
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Joeinpoole wrote:

Number crunching;

Number of people killed by motorists in 2012 = 1800

Number of people killed by cyclists in 2012 = maybe 1?

Number of motorists fined during Operation Grimaldi = 22

Number of cyclists fined during Operation Grimaldi = 125

despite reading it several times now
motorists: 22, cyclists: 125... wtf?

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dtd [63 posts] 2 years ago
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I was riding home and stopped at lights on Deansgate when plod pulled one lad over for having no lights – which in winter is daft, there were 4 cyclists – we weren't in the green box some someone had drove their BMW 4-wheel drive Panzer into it. Plod didn't pull him over.

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AWPeleton [3265 posts] 2 years ago
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S1lver wrote:

Giving a fine to a cyclist who has just broken the law can hardly be seen as finding a stick to beat cyclists with.

I think part of the reason cyclists are seen in a bad light is because some cyclists are massive hypocrites. They expect car drivers to treat them as though they are higher beings and then do nothing themselves to try and offer the same respect to drivers ie running red lights!

And before you ask I do not even own my own car. I cycle to work on one bike and ride for fitness on another.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but there's more we cyclists can do to help ourselves before just blaming all drivers...

Exactly right mate, there are far to many, who include people on here, that think that they are above reproach and the motorist is ALWAYS the baddie. No one is above the law and if you get caught regardless of whether you are on bike or in a motor vehicle you should suffer the consequences.

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