Greater Manchester Police has said that it issued 147 fixed penalty notices – the vast majority to cyclists – in an operation designed to encourage bike riders and motorists to share the road safely.
The initiative falls under the force’s Operation Grimaldi campaign and took place from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 November, with activity centred on Deansgate, Trafford Street/Great Bridewater Street, Wilmslow Road/Platt Lane and Oxford Road.
It coincided with Road Safety Week, which saw police in other cities including London, Bristol and Edinburgh run similar operations, mostly taking an educational approach by providing advice rather than handing out fines.
In Manchester 125 cyclists were issued fixed penalty notices for offences including riding on the pavement or without lights and ignoring red traffic lights, although they can avoid having to pay a fine by attending a cycling awareness event.
Police also issued 22 fixed penalty notices to drivers for offences including driving while using a handheld mobile phone, failure to comply with traffic signs and not using a seatbelt.
One motorist had a car seized for antisocial driving under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002.
Inspector Paul Rowe of Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit commented: “Operation Grimaldi isn’t about trying to catch people out, it’s about highlighting the dangers and encouraging cyclists and motorists to share the road and put road safety first.
“While it might seem to some that we’re pulling people over for minor offences, we know only too well the devastating consequences that something as simple as cycling without lights or driving while using a mobile phone can have.
“No officer wants to be knocking on a door this Christmas to tell somebody their loved one has been killed and through Operation Grimaldi we remain absolutely committed to making the roads safer for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians alike.”
Jim Battle, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, added: “Like most people, I and the police want the roads to be safe for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
“That’s what this operation is about – educating the handful of cyclists who flout the basic rules of the road and also targeting irresponsible drivers for offences, such as using a mobile phone.
“We have a way to go before cyclists and drivers can share the roads in harmony. The reality is we all have a responsibility to make our roads safer, whether on two wheels or four, and we all have to work together to achieve that.”
In June, Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a total of 415 cyclists had been fined since February this year on ten separate “days of action” held as part of Operation Grimaldi.
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.