City of London Police are to hand cyclists bike lights instead of penalty notices on Monday October 31 and Tuesday November 1. The move is timed to coincide with the clocks going back, a time when many cyclists get caught out having been cycling home in daylight the week before.
The initiative has come about thanks to the Road Danger Reduction Partnership, which comprises the City of London Corporation, City Police, the London Fire Brigade, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London.
On the Monday, officers and PCSOs will be placed on the cycle superhighway near Blackfriars Bridge between 4.40pm and 6.30pm.
On the Tuesday, the City of London Cadet Unit will be handing out lights between 5pm and 9pm near the junction of Moorgate and Ropemaker Street.
Chief Inspector McKoy said: “Road safety is a key priority for the City of London Police and this is a great initiative that will aide safer travel for cyclists. As the clocks change and nights draw in, it is imperative that cyclists are seen at night. I would encourage all cyclists to come along on Monday 31 October and Tuesday 1 November."
Chris Hayward, Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation said: "The City of London Corporation is working hard to improve the safety of cycle commuters in the Square Mile. We want to encourage safe cycling and having working lights on a bicycle at night is both a legal requirement and crucial to safety. I hope to see all the City’s cyclists lit up brightly over the coming winter months.”
Similar initiatives are run each year in a number of cities, including Cambridge and Oxford where a number of students return to cycling not having ridden for years. Earlier this month, York police have also announced that they too will be handing out lights where necessary, but added that “if people are failing to act or caught twice, they will be getting a ticket.”
Following the two-day campaign by City of London Police, cyclists who do receive a ticket for riding without lights at night can have it rescinded if they attend a cycling safety lecture as part of Operation Atrium. Lectures will be run monthly.