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Questions asked after another police force keen to highlight crackdown on cyclists jumping red lights

Greater Manchester Police is the latest force to share pictures of officers disciplining cyclists for riding through red lights

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.

> Police in Hackney catch 18 red light jumping cyclists in 90 minutes

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.

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."

> Derbyshire Police share video of cyclist fined for jumping red light — insist "cyclists must stop"

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.

> "Tired of road crime": CyclingMikey on episode 16 of the road.cc Podcast, plus how to make the most of your lunchbreak 

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.

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?"

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.

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137 comments

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to FatMamil | 2 years ago
8 likes

Not the messiah, not fanboys.  Well, not everyone.  Write in favour of the devil if you like - but explain why or expect people to be suspicious and ask you your reasons.

As you seem to like the first century idiom (or Monty Python) I think the question might be "If young Michael was reporting people writing 'Romanesi EuntIte Domusm' instead of beatings and crucifixions by Romans would you be in favour?"

Again sorry that you feel you can't ride to work.  That would seem to be the important point here. But you didn't explain why not, nor how that was related to some guy most people have never heard of and couldn't care about posting stuff on Twitter.

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chrisonabike replied to FatMamil | 2 years ago
1 like
FatMamil wrote:

[...] His response to police action against cyclists breaking the law is eye rollingly predictable. It's good to see majority here seeing police action as a good thing though, if anything it undermines the idea cyclists are not accountable and need licensing. Still it was fun to see the reaction to mesiah Mikey being criticized. Have a good one and ride safe. I had a feeling this thread be inundated with Mikey's fanboys, but gee.

That idea is something that the behaviours and opinions of cyclists will make zero difference to.  Unless you believe in sinister conspiracies by the Velominati or Lycrist Infiltrators at the highest levels?  Or that "cyclists control the media"?  I am sorry I / we don't but there aren't enough of "us"! There wouldn't be enough time to proselytize or convince everyone of my bona fides (so tiring...) and still have time for a ride.

I think I already left this one for you but you're welcome and you can have a couple of freebies in case you encounter "but red lights" or keen licence proponents:

https://cyclingfallacies.com/en/55/collective-responsibility-collective-guilt

https://cyclingfallacies.com/en/11/people-break-the-rules-when-cycling

https://cyclingfallacies.com/en/33/cycling-should-require-a-licence-and-registration

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wycombewheeler replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
5 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:

Or that "cyclists control the media"? 

I thought it was space lizards?

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chrisonabike replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
4 likes
wycombewheeler wrote:
chrisonatrike wrote:

Or that "cyclists control the media"? 

I thought it was space lizards?

So hard to tell them apart.

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hawkinspeter replied to FatMamil | 2 years ago
7 likes
FatMamil wrote:

Please stop feeding headcam narcissist CyclingMikey.

Edit. I apologize for upsetting the Messiah.

The people actually "feeding" CyclingMikey (he's not the Messiah, he's a very good bloke) are the drivers that insist on driving dangerously by using phones etc.

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Simon E replied to FatMamil | 2 years ago
6 likes
FatMamil wrote:

Please stop feeding headcam narcissist CyclingMikey.

Edit. I apologize for upsetting the Messiah.

Ha ha, you're fanning the flames in these threads more than anyone.

You must be even dumber than I thought.

There's no messiah here matey boy, we are just grateful that anti-social behaviour and dangerous driving are being reported to the police.

2 very simple questions for you:

1. Have you ever created any login/account/profile on road.cc before the one named FatMamil?

2. Do you also post infantile drivel like this on any other forums or web platforms? (that includes being a columnist for the Daily Fail et al)

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Hirsute replied to FatMamil | 2 years ago
4 likes

You failed to reply to any of the responses on here and then you post that.

Your objective on here then is to look foolish.

Well done, as you have achieved that.

PS here is a driver who was grassed up by footage from another driver

https://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/19914426.braintree-man-given-nine-ye...

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Rendel Harris replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
6 likes

I'm getting the feeling that FatMamil might just have been one of Mikey's catches...

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wtjs | 2 years ago
4 likes

All this talk about police resources...Of course, I only know about Lancashire Constabulary, but my wish is not that they start conducting RLJ 'operations' (a load of clumsy BigFoots in Super-Viz standing around a TL junction surrounded by H&S mandated safety barriers are not going to catch anybody) but that they stop actively working against the RLJ operation I'm doing for them! If they simply started issuing FPNs and distributing points, took a few to court to discourage the others then the problem would soon be solved with a lot less police effort

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TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
3 likes

I've got no problems with the police stopping RLJing cyclists at all, in fact I would encourage more of it.  It's just the timing of all of the police forces putting out social media posts about these campaigns is a bit off.

However, it could be the same effect as the close pass campaign..... one force starts it, the other forces follow suit.

I do however think that the cycling press are making too much of it.... as articles like this give motorists and the general press the impression that cyclists are against any form of enforcement of the law against cyclists thereby perpetuating the myth that cyclists think they are/should be above the law.

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belugabob replied to TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
3 likes
TriTaxMan wrote:

I've got no problems with the police stopping RLJing cyclists at all, in fact I would encourage more of it.  It's just the timing of all of the police forces putting out social media posts about these campaigns is a bit off.

However, it could be the same effect as the close pass campaign..... one force starts it, the other forces follow suit.

I do however think that the cycling press are making too much of it.... as articles like this give motorists and the general press the impression that cyclists are against any form of enforcement of the law against cyclists thereby perpetuating the myth that cyclists think they are/should be above the law.

My thoughts, exactly.

Behaviour should be the focus, not the form of transport

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TheColster | 2 years ago
9 likes

I fundamentally disagree with this use of police time based on my previous experience with this. Several years ago, I was stopped at this junction by the police in an identical operation, under the label 'Operation Considerate'. However, I hadn't even jumped the light (and I had proof recorded of this on video too), so I have my concerns that some of those pulled over this time were also incorrectly stopped this time too.

There was a coach taking up the ASL at the junction when I arrived, preventing cyclists safely stopping at the lights, and I was also close passed 30 seconds after having a conversation with the police. The police made no effort to stop either of those drivers who (in my view) were committing the most potentially dangerous offences. They seemed to have a single focus, and given I was stopped unjustly I believe it was to stop as many cyclists as possible, and overall I don't think it was in the best interests of the public.

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lukei1 | 2 years ago
0 likes

I don't really have a problem with this. As long as they do it say twice a year not every week while ignoring speeding. People who cycle through red lights don't deserve any sympathy

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peted76 | 2 years ago
1 like

I see little issue with this, it doesn't appear to be a regular 'resource sink' thing and all areas of the law need to be reminded not to break it at times. 

Of course we'd all like our coppers to be like Sherlock Holmes out fighting crime and tracking down wrong'uns.. but we'll have to settle for the jobworths the system encourages/produces.

 

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Capt Sisko replied to peted76 | 2 years ago
2 likes

I also don't have a problem with this either. Cyclists are legitimate road users and as such they occasionally come under the spotlight of the authorities. It's no different to the police targeting noisy exhausts on motorbikes on a sunny Sunday, dodgy farm trailers on market day, broken lights on cars when the hour changes or any other group that they think there is a problem with. It’s not personal, it’s not vindictive, it’s just today is our turn.

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newtonuk | 2 years ago
0 likes

None of these photos show what I would call a cyclist, more like people riding bikes, which by the very definition is a cyclist.... hmmm, we need a different name for two different groups of people maybe like horse riders and jockeys have.

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Car Delenda Est replied to newtonuk | 2 years ago
7 likes

Cycler - one who cycles
Cyclist - one who believes in cyclism, an adherent to the one true (cycle) path

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JustTryingToGet... replied to Car Delenda Est | 2 years ago
0 likes

Pedal-plodder... some who uses a a bike to trundle from A to B. I might need to change my user name.

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IanMK replied to newtonuk | 2 years ago
3 likes

Agreed. Drivists will no doubt be disappointed with the the lack of lycra.

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lesterama replied to newtonuk | 2 years ago
7 likes

Human on a bike: a human being using a bicycle.

If the rancid press were forced to call us humans on bikes rather than cyclists, their us-and-them blaming narrative would become a lot harder to peddle.

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hawkinspeter replied to lesterama | 2 years ago
4 likes
lesterama wrote:

Human on a bike: a human being using a bicycle.

If the rancid press were forced to call us humans on bikes rather than cyclists, their us-and-them blaming narrative would become a lot harder to peddle.

How about "rolling pedestrians"? That'd cover more than just cyclists and could be used to imrpove the state of pavements for wheelchairists too.

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mdavidford replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

How about "rolling pedestrians"? That'd cover more than just cyclists and could be used to imrpove the state of pavements for wheelchairists too.

It sort of sounds like an advanced form of sleeping policeman, though.

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brooksby replied to newtonuk | 2 years ago
0 likes
newtonuk wrote:

None of these photos show what I would call a cyclist, more like people riding bikes, which by the very definition is a cyclist.... hmmm, we need a different name for two different groups of people maybe like horse riders and jockeys have.

IIRC the Dutch have those names.  Something like 'road racer' and 'bicycle rider' (but in Dutch, obviously).

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chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:
newtonuk wrote:

None of these photos show what I would call a cyclist, more like people riding bikes, which by the very definition is a cyclist.... hmmm, we need a different name for two different groups of people maybe like horse riders and jockeys have.

IIRC the Dutch have those names.  Something like 'road racer' and 'bicycle rider' (but in Dutch, obviously).

I believe it's "fietser" ("ordinary cyclist" *) vs. "wielrenner" (basically "roadie").  So it's like walker / pedestrian vs. jogger/runner.  Both are normal activities but everyone walks, fewer people put on trainers / shorts and jog.

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/lycra-on-the-streets-of-the-netherlands/

https://transportcyclist.medium.com/of-fietsers-and-shimanongs-426607a7dd87

* I'm unclear whether "fiets" is really extensive word (can be understood as everything with wheels and not powered to the extent of a motorbike) or it's simply that everyone appreciates that mobility scooters, wheelchairs, handcycles, tricycles, cargo bikes, recumbents, other adapted cycles are all in the same category of vulnerability / having access to "cycle facilities".  BicycleDutch states that that the basic meaning of "fiets" is a cycle you use for everyday transport - probably looking like a "Dutch bike" or roadster.  I think the translation of "cycle" rather than "bicycle" works anyway.

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KDee replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
3 likes

Correct...wielrenner and fietser.

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lesterama | 2 years ago
3 likes

This must be another slice of Operation Red Meat

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cmedred | 2 years ago
2 likes

A revision to the Highway Code to institute the "Idaho stop'' in the UK might help here, and it has been shown to reduce fatalities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idaho_stop

 

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hawkinspeter replied to cmedred | 2 years ago
0 likes
cmedred wrote:

A revision to the Highway Code to institute the "Idaho stop'' in the UK might help here, and it has been shown to reduce fatalities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idaho_stop

Totally agree.

I re-read some of that Wikipedia page and found a couple of interesting references:

Why Bicyclists Hate Stop Signs

Paris cyclists given right to break traffic laws

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SurreyHiller replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
1 like

That could be particularly useful as a reply to those who ask why cyclists don't use the cycle paths.   Stop signs could be interchanged for driveways, junctions, crossings and pedestrians etc.
Quite a clear explanation of why it's so inefficient to keep slowing and speeding up...

Will save the link...

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IanMK | 2 years ago
9 likes

I have wondered if I filmed cars rolling through a stop sign if the police would take it seriously.
They do seem to arbitrarily choose the laws they enforce.

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