An Edinburgh driver has been issued with an anti-social behaviour order for careless driving in the second week of Scottish police’s road safety initiative in the city.
In total, police handed out 15 conditional offers of a fixed penalty fine for offences such as using a mobile phone while driving, for cyclists failing to stop at a red light or for cycling on pavements.
Police also targetted taxi drivers waiting by Haymarket Station outside the taxi ranks. PC Stephen Kirk, from Police Scotland, said: "Taxi drivers parking by Haymarket Train Station is a particular concern as it’s a dangerous area for cyclists, due to how busy the junction is and the tram tracks in place.”
Over two weeks, police spoke to spoke to 186 drivers and 129 cyclists. Numbers dropped in the second week of the initiative, which police say shows the message was getting through.
PC Chris Harvey told the Edinburgh Evening News: “Some people may think we handed out a relatively low number of fines, but from our point of view it has been very much worthwhile. More than 300 people have been spoken to, and we noted in the second week that the message was already beginning to filter through, with fewer people having to be reminded of the rules of the road.”
Issuing an ASBO to a careless driver is not a common enforcement technique, but police say it’s a useful one.
PC Harvey said: “This is a great tool which allows us to check the behaviour of those who act anti-socially on roads by, for example, wheel-spinning away from traffic lights or revving their engines in residential areas,” he said. “If the person given a warning re-offends within a year we can impound their vehicle.”
Several cities have seen road safety crackdowns in the last few weeks but concerns have been expressed at the uneven targetting of cyclists in some areas. In Manchester, police stopped 125 cyclists and 22 drivers. In London no figures have yet been released for the ongoing Operation Safeway crackdown but observers say the overwhelming majority of those stopped have been cyclists.
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.