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Cyclists fined over £1,000,000 in London police crackdown

Operation Safeway fined another 6,000 riders in first seven months of 2014

The Metropolitan Police's Operation Safeway crackdown on cycling traffic offences saw riders fined a total of over £1,000,000 in 2013 and 2014.

The Evening Standard's Josh Pettitt reports that 15,786 fixed penalty notices were handed out to cyclists in 2013, more than twice the 6,286 of 2012.

Riders were fined for offences such as jumping red lights, ignoring traffic signs, failing to stop for officers, not having lights, or carrying passengers, and levied £50 fines totalling £789,300 .

Operation Safeway was launched last November in reaction to the deaths of six riders in a two-week period, a tragedy researchers are still at a loss to explain.

The Met deployed 2,500 officers at 170 junctions throughout London and handed out 14,000 fixed penalty notices or reports for summons to drivers and cyclists in six weeks.

In that period, 4,085 FPNs or reports for summons were handed to cyclists, over 90% for three offences: riding without lights, contravening traffic signals and riding on the pavement.

The most common driver offences were failing to wear a seatbelt, using a phone and contravening traffic signals.

Operation Safeway has continued into 2014, with 5,851 cyclists fined in the first seven months of this year, an additional £292,550 bringing the total to £1,081,850.

A Metropolitan police spokesman told that figures for the number of drivers fined in that period were not available because the Evening Standard had asked only about cyclists. They're getting back to us.

The Met concedes that because Operation Safeway is about cycling safety it may appear to unevenly target cyclists because driver offences can be picked up in other ways.

Superintendent Robert Revill, of the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, told the Standard: “It  is not about punishment or persecution, it’s about creating awareness. We enforce traffic legislation robustly. Officers will be out in force, watching and dealing accordingly with anyone breaking the law.”

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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