Met Police handed out 150 fixed penalty notices in a blitz on commuters who flouted London road rules yesterday – but some say the police did not know the law and acted dangerously.
According to the BBC, around 150 notices were handed out on the first day of Operation Safeway, a programme designed to improve road safety and cut fatalities. The Met operation comes a week after a spate of cyclists’ deaths in the capital.
Officers manned 60 junctions yesterday and will visit approximately 100 other dangerous junctions with the worst track record for collisions.
However some cyclists say the police were unsure of the law. One rider, Ben Watson, taking children to school in a cargo bike, was asked by police if his bike was legal. He told the Evening Standard: “I thought, ‘well you’re the policeman, surely you should be telling me whether it’s legal or not’.”
Another cyclist, Ian McNally, told BikeRadar that his friend – who wasn’t wearing a helmet – was stopped by Police Community Support Officers on the Uxbridge Road. He said the PCSO stepped into the road and grabbed his friend’s arm and urged him to wear a lid. The move forced two following cyclists to swerve dangerously into the traffic flow.
McNally said: “It was basically to tell us some safety tips: you should be wearing a helmet, you should be wearing high viz … I asked them why they were doing this and they basically pulled out all these sheets and sheets of paper that they’ve been given to try to show me statistics … like four people have been knocked off here and one person died at this junction here.
“It’s pointless showing me that if you’re trying to cause accidents,” McNally said he told the officers.
And today, Ian Austin MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, which produced the Get Britain Cycling Report, called for a nationwide audit of dangerous junctions
The Dudley North MP told Sky News today: “We need to see an urgent review of the most dangerous junctions across the country.”