A complaint often made by cyclists is that police don’t appear to target motorists for bad driving in the same way that cyclists are targeted on frequent campaigns about breaking traffic laws or other misdemeanors.
Lothian and Borders Police up in Scotland have taken note. The usual winter campaign by police up in Edinburgh to promote cycle safety has also been taking note of driving practices by motorists in the city.
In the last week, Lothian and Borders Police Road Policing and Safer Neighbourhood Teams has been on Edinburgh’s streets with high-visibility police cycle patrols that have been monitoring driving and cycling on the city’s main roads.
Motorists and cyclists were approached by these patrols when officers believed guidance on driving or cycling behaviour was appropriate.
Around 100 motorists were stopped during the week and spoken to by police to correct inappropriate driving behaviour and other offences. This resulted in six drivers receiving a fixed penalty notice or being reported to Edinburgh’s Procurator Fiscal. Three cars were seized in the operation as well.
A total of 242 cyclists were also stopped by officers and given advice for a number of issues including red light offences, cycling on pavements and bike security/safety.
Sergeant Quentin Russell of Lothian and Borders Police said the aim of the week long cycle patrol initiative was to promote road safety across both motorists and cyclists as well as make both groups aware of their responsibilities to each other when out using the roads.
“The purpose of this initiative was to enhance the standards of cycling and motoring on Edinburgh’s roads as well as improve relations between motorists and cyclists.”
Local cycling organisations, including The Bike Station and Spokes, supported actions taken by Lothian and Borders Police.
“The actions taken by Lothian and Borders Police last week have been praised on various social networking sites by members of the cycling community and we were delighted with the response to this campaign,” Sergeant Quentin Russell added.