Police crack down on cyclists without lights

Owen Kennedy 13 November 2008

Cambridge police have begun an operation cracking down on cyclists who ride at night without lights, according to Cambridge Evening News.
The initiative began just over two weeks ago, on 27 October, the same weekend that the clocks went back.
Cambridge Evening News reported that Mill Road had seen the most £30 fines given out, with 50 issued in just two hours on Hallowe’en.
Quayside, near Magdalene Bridge, was close behind in second place with 48 fines given out the day before.
In total, 170 fines were issued.
At the same time, Cambridge City Council also offered free bike lights to those that were fined.
Some 160 sets were given to student cyclists.
Sgt. Gordon Morgenthaler, a spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police, was quoted as saying:
“We have had a lot of good feedback and on Bonfire Night we issued just four tickets to cyclists without lights.
“We will never fully eradicate the problem, but we are making a difference.
“The colleges have picked up on the campaign and are warning students to get lights fitted to their bikes.
“It has certainly brought the dangers of cycling without lights to the fore.”
Cambridge Evening News also quoted Paul Griffin, the Community Safety Officer for the City Council as saying that students should expect there to be further crackdowns in the future:
“The week-long operation is not the end of our work to tackle this issue.
“In fact, it is just the beginning.
“More enforcement and education operations are planned, including two evenings this week.
“ights will again be made available for those fined.”
One student cyclist, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Cambridge Student (TCS) that recent campaigns have brought them around to the advantages of using bike lights:
“I hadn’t really considered the dangers of riding without lights.
“Although I’m not sure that fining students is really the right way to go, I think that giving out bike lights for free will definitely encourage a lot more students to cycle safely.”

Owen Kennedy
Deputy News Editor