Police threaten fines over anti-social cycling

Box Hill will be on the cycling highlights of the Olympic road race in 2012.  But recently Surrey Police have been handing out leaflets to cyclists warning them that careless and inconsiderate cycling could be deemed a criminal offence with riders facing a maximum fine of £1,000.  Their definition is:

“if a person rides a cycle, on a road, without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road”

Surrey Police told Cycling Weekly that it had taken action to warn cyclists that they may face prosecution following complaints from motorists that cyclists were riding in pelotons, while the police force said it was also looking to crackdown on anti-social cycling on the roads in the region.

I understand that at times cyclists seem to think they own the road, but more often than not when a few people are out for a cycle ride, sometimes riding side-by-side they’re very aware of traffic around them and aren’t normally a serious inconvenience.

Inspector Terri Poulton commented:

Hello, I am the local Neighbourhood Inspector for the Mole Valley area and thought it would be a good idea to touch base with you all about this.

I would like to apologise about the wording of the attached card which was produced by a local officer who genuinely thought it would be helpful.  We live and learn!

Whilst I support the message about road safety – this extends to all road users; I have been very clear through the Cycle and Drive SMART initiatives in the local area that we want to support everyone in enjoying our area – cyclists, drivers and pedestrians.  You can hear me speak about Cycle SMART at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhBgVst2944

An increase in cyclists is putting more pressure on the local roads network but I want to focus my efforts on targeting the minority of poor drivers and cyclists.  I hope this message is received as intended – an apology for the blunt, inappropriate card which is no longer being used – but also a plea for understanding.  Safety and tolerance is the key message and, above all, we want everyone to enjoy our beautiful area.

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