Undercover police to tackle the “danger” cyclists

Tian Zhong – News Reporter 11 January 2013

Cambridgeshire’s new police commissioner has called for a crackdown on cyclists flouting traffic laws. Undercover police have been used for the first time to tackle these “danger” cyclists.

Sir Graham Bright is targeting what he called “anti-social cyclists” including those who cycle on pavements, through red lights, without lights, and the wrong way down a one-way street. Previously, this type of cycling behavior was rarely punished. However in just one night of the recent crackdown, 54 riders were caught breaking the rules.

One of the key factors behind this task is the recent royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Sir Graham believes the city is in the “eyes of the world” after the visit and he wants it to be safe for both the visitors and residents.

Speaking to the Cambridge News, Sir Graham Bright said: “It was one of the first things I did. During the campaign I had Cambridge Cycling Campaign people after me saying this is something that needs to be addressed.” Although he felt very confident in the practice, he spoke candidly that he could not dictate what will happen.

While the crackdown is good news for pedestrians and drivers, cyclists are concerned about the potential cost of penalty, most of which are students. A third year student at Selwyn College said: “I will certainly become more cautious if I am aware of the undercover police looking for the dangerous riders.”

Getting around Cambridge is risky for most, but are cyclists to blame? Critics have argued that the crackdown was a “waste of resources”, and the key problem might lie in the reckless drivers or the carefree pedestrians.

Nevertheless, Zhang Wei, an Economics student at Trinity College, is not convinced by the argument. She complained: “I always feel nervous when I try to cross the streets in Cambridge because I cannot see when the bikes are coming.”

“I think car drivers are more careful because breaking rules may rid them off the road for some time. Cyclists, however, are not under such supervision. That is why I feel the crackdown will be very effective”, she added.

Tian Zhong – News Reporter