The Pigs Are Out: City Centre Crackdown on Cycling Offences
Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner: catching offending cyclists is “like shooting fish in a barrel”
Quake in your boots, Cantabs, Cambridgeshire Constabulary are cracking down on bike crime. “Operation Pedalo” – see what they did there? – consists of Special Constables patrolling cycling hot spots to target missing lights, pavement cycling and other common cycling offences, and follows similar campaigns carried out in February 2013 and December last year.
£1500 in fines was slapped on over 40 cyclists travelling down Regent Street on Tuesday evening alone. The changes come thanks to local residents consistently naming anti-social cycling as a problem at neighbourhood meetings. Many students have been less sympathetic to the objective of the campaign, however, with one Pembroke student suggesting that “the police should concentrate on proper problems and stop harassing students for the sake of it.”
Most of the efforts will be focused around the town centre, with Sidney Street near Sainsbury’s labelled as a prime area for the investigation. But if you are among those privileged few who are lucky enough to live in a further out college, don’t get complacent. Hills Road is also being targeted, amongst others.
Specials will also be positioned at junctions, looking out for red light jumpers. For many students, this will mean falling out of bed a few minutes earlier for lectures, since the roads near the Sidgwick and Downing sites are among those affected. Although the sight of hapless arts students throwing themselves across Queens Road like lemmings is a Cambridge institution which will be hard to break, it is hoped that the policies put in place will improve safety for all road users.
In addition to this, the Lights Instead of Tickets (“LIT”– they must have employed the pun talents of someone from The Tab) scheme will be in place. This allows offenders a week long grace period to buy bike lights and avoid a fine.
So unless you want your leisurely cycle (read: mad, panicked dash) to lectures to be interrupted by the law, get yourself some lights, get off the pavement and keep your eyes on the traffic lights.