A recent Oxford crackdown on cyclists riding without lights appears to be having an impact. An Oxford Mail survey on Wednesday found 128 of 700 cyclists travelling out of the city across Magdalen Bridge were without lights versus 280 out of 485 in a similar exercise undertaken four days before the police blitz.
We reported how 267 cyclists were given £50 fixed penalty notices in the space of a three-hour police operation on Monday 27th October. However, those stopped could avoid paying if they presented a receipt to police within seven days, proving that they had purchased a set of lights for their bike since being fined.
Oxford City Council board member for transport, John Tanner, was largely unimpressed by the reduction in the number of people cycling without lights and suggested police were being ‘too reasonable’.
“The cyclists who do not use lights or wear reflective clothing are a danger to themselves and others on the roads.
“I think the police are being very reasonable with their scheme allowing people to prove they have bought lights rather than being fined. But that seems to be too reasonable and we should perhaps be tougher on cyclists who do not have lights.”
However, Simon Hunt, chairman of Oxford cycling group, Cyclox, was happy to see police action having an impact.
“I am delighted to see that enforcement seems to be having such a dramatic effect. Perhaps we will have another police blitz and everybody will end up having lights."
Hunt says that those cycling without lights give cyclists a bad name, but warns: “Some people like to think they are untouchable or immortal – but we know that is not always true.”