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Cambridge lights crackdown making cyclists more switched on, say police

Oxford ahead of Cambridge when it comes to number of fines handed out as police note cultural shift away from riding without lights in the light blue city

Police in Cambridge say a campaign to ensure cyclists use lights in the hours of darkness is working despite more than 300 bike riders being handed fines for failing to do so.

Under Cambridgeshire Police’s Lights Instead of Tickets initiative, people were able to avoid paying a £30 fine if they were able to prove they had bought a set of lights within seven days of being issued a fixed penalty notice. The inititiative is similar to that run by police in Oxford where a total of 354 fixed penaly notices have been handed out so far this year in two police operations. 

According to Cambridge News, police targeted riders on Arbury Road, Milton Road and Mitcham’s Corner during the month-long operation with a total of 304 people given fines and 151 others spoken to by police.

Sergeant Jason Wragg told Cambridge City Council’s north area committee: “PCSOs from the north area team have been active with the LIT campaign, which targeted various anti-social cycling offences.

He said it was “difficult to qualify” the effect of the operation, “but colloquially local culture does seem to be changing, for example more cyclists seem to have lights.”

He admitted that bike theft remained an issue, adding that officers were closely monitoring a group of youths believed to be stealing bicycles.

“As with the drug dealing, cycle issues are city-wide problems and other area teams have also prioritised similar work,” he continued. “Together with the east area team, we have carried out two warrants in relation to the handling of stolen bikes and arrested five individuals.

“We have recovered three stolen bikes as a result of pro-active targeted stop-searches and have been able to return them to their owners.

“Cycle crime is still high, with a couple of groups of youths targeting cycles on pretty much a nightly basis,” he added.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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