Questions have been asked of Greater Manchester Police after the force shared news of a crackdown on cyclists jumping red lights in the city centre, with many doubting the operation is an effective use of resources.
The force's transport unit is the latest to ask riders to stop at red lights. Last week, the Metropolitan Police sent 14 officers on a 90-minute operation in Hackney to deter red light jumping cyclists — 18 were fined.
On Friday, Derbyshire Police also shared a video of a rider passing through a red light, saying the individual was fined, and accompanied the clip with a message insisting "cyclists must stop".
However, the Manchester post, below, has 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.
In just 90 minutes, #gmptransportunit officers dealt with 30 cyclists who were found to have ridden straight through red traffic lights on Oxford Road. Please follow the rules of the road and help us make the city a safer place to cycle #Travelsafe pic.twitter.com/ilFKgWG5eg
— GMP Manchester City Centre (@GMPCityCentre) February 7, 2022
The GMP Manchester City Centre account tweeted to its 176,000 followers: "Traffic offence reports were issued during this deployment, however officers have also utilised education alongside enforcement. By highlighting the dangers and refreshing their knowledge of the law we hope to reduce the risks to all road users, not just cyclists."
Despite the explanation, many responses centred on questions around police resources, prioritising more dangerous offences, and doubts about if similar offences by other road users were also being targeted.
Prominent road safety campaigner CyclingMikey, who submits videos of law-breaking drivers to the police, called for more "evidence-led" policing.
I'm not a fan of red light jumping by drivers or cyclists, but shouldn't you be doing more evidence led policing, focusing on the most harmful and most lawbreaking? pic.twitter.com/PuujLmfGnE
— CyclingMikey tired of road crime. 🇪🇺🇳🇱🇿🇼 (@MikeyCycling) February 7, 2022
Another asked: "Did you see any cars speed up and go through changing lights? I see that frequently and is much more dangerous."
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 crack down on.
There’s far more serious & frequently dangerous road traffic offences committed - 56% of motorists break the 30mph speed limit yet enforcement of this frequently fatal offence is minimal. Plus add driving through red lights, on mobile phones, under the influence of drink / drugs. pic.twitter.com/UJOk4lPf6v
— A56 Safety Campaign (@A56Safety) February 7, 2022
Pompey Cyclist suggested: "Now do cars. Because, you know, they actually cause danger and that wouldn’t be a total waste of our money."
Another added: "I wonder why you don’t do this with drivers? After all everybody should be held to account." While someone else asked why there were no pictures of an operation cracking down on red light jumping drivers at the same junction?
Stephen Hines replied: "Did you take the opportunity to stop any drivers at the same time? Enforcement is great, but it would be nice to see all road users held to the same standard, and it might be nice for the cyclists to know how many other offences were dealt with in the same operation."
However, not everyone questioned the police action. Many comments thanked the force for its work.
One cyclist said: "Thank you for this, I'm truly fed up with getting abuse from drivers for [those] that don't stop at lights. Now, about those drivers. Mostly the abuse is because I've asked them to put their phones down or not pass so closely... You're going to be targeting them next right?"
Seriously, stop doing this. Ideally stop it because we're supposed to obey the rules of the road but if that doesn't bother you then at least stop it because it gives the anti-cycling people free ammunition! https://t.co/I6h3bYLL7A
— Yet Another Tweeting Barrister (@TweetingYet) February 7, 2022
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.