Police in Scotland say a 'Vulnerable Road User' initiative saw four cyclists fined in Edinburgh for riding through red lights.
The operation, which also saw cyclists, pedestrians and drivers "spoken to and given advice" appeared to take place at a pedestrian crossing in the Scottish capital, Roads Policing Scotland explaining that four cyclists and one driver were fined for going through red lights.
"Edinburgh Roads Policing were on a Vulnerable Road User initiative where cyclists, pedestrians and drivers were spoken to and given advice. Four cyclists were given FPTs for red light offences and one driver was issued an FPT for red light offence on a pedestrian crossing," a social media post communicating the action said.
The post was complete with hashtags saying "always on duty" and "red means stop" and attracted more of the often heard social media 'anti-cycling bingo' discourse around cyclists, including calls for mandatory insurance for bike riders.
"I wish they would talk to the cyclists around here," one reply said. "Jumping red lights and racing through pedestrian crossings. Flying down the pavement at speed. Cycling on the wrong side of the road. Take your life into your hands walking around here."
According to Rule 69 of the Highway Code:
You MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.
[Laws Road Traffic Act 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD Schedule 3 pt 3, sch7 pt4, sch9 pts 4 and 6, sch 13 pt 6, sch 14 pt 2]
This type of police operation, accompanied by a post on social media, is nothing new. Last February, police in Hackney said they had caught 18 cyclists jumping red lights in 90 minutes, each getting a £50 fine and road safety lesson.
A week later questions were asked after another force, in Manchester, was keen to highlight its crackdown on people using bicycles riding through reds. The Manchester post attracted a significant amount of responses questioning why the force is "prioritising" less dangerous offences, and others asking for more effective use of police resources.
A campaign group dedicated to making the A56 in the North West of England safer for all users suggested there are "far more serious" dangers on the road that police should be looking to target.
In January, leading cycle campaigners in Scotland discussed the potential road safety implications of allowing cyclists to ride through red lights, Gregory Kinsman-Chauvet of Bike for Good suggesting that road laws from other parts of the world, such as in some parts of the United States and France where cyclists are permitted to proceed at red lights in certain circumstances, should be implemented in Scotland.
However, Cycling Scotland's safety manager Simon Bradshaw questioned if such action was a road safety priority, and said Scotland's road laws were "very different to France, making it complex to replicate".
Last month, an Evening Standard journalist Sophie Wilkinson penned a column titled 'Why I skip red lights', in which she outlined why she believes cyclists should be allowed to ride through red lights, so long as they give pedestrians priority.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.