Edinburgh police issue an ASBO and 15 fines in road safety crackdown

More drivers than cyclists stopped in Scottish capital

An Edinburgh driver has been issued with an anti-social behaviour order for careless driving in the second week of Scottish police’s road safety initiative in the city.

In total, police handed out 15 conditional offers of a fixed penalty fine for offences such as using a mobile phone while driving, for cyclists failing to stop at a red light or for cycling on pavements.

Police also targetted taxi drivers waiting by Haymarket Station outside the taxi ranks. PC Stephen Kirk, from Police Scotland, said: "Taxi drivers parking by Haymarket Train Station is a particular concern as it’s a dangerous area for cyclists, due to how busy the junction is and the tram tracks in place.”

Over two weeks, police spoke to spoke to 186 drivers and 129 cyclists. Numbers dropped in the second week of the initiative, which police say shows the message was getting through.

PC Chris Harvey told the Edinburgh Evening News: “Some people may think we handed out a relatively low number of fines, but from our point of view it has been very much worthwhile. More than 300 people have been spoken to, and we noted in the second week that the message was already beginning to filter through, with fewer people having to be reminded of the rules of the road.”

Issuing an ASBO to a careless driver is not a common enforcement technique, but police say it’s a useful one.

PC Harvey said: “This is a great tool which allows us to check the behaviour of those who act anti-socially on roads by, for example, wheel-spinning away from traffic lights or revving their engines in residential areas,” he said. “If the person given a warning re-offends within a year we can impound their vehicle.”

Several cities have seen road safety crackdowns in the last few weeks but concerns have been expressed at the uneven targetting of cyclists in some areas. In Manchester, police stopped 125 cyclists and 22 drivers. In London no figures have yet been released for the ongoing Operation Safeway crackdown but observers say the overwhelming majority of those stopped have been cyclists.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson 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 CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com 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 TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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