City centre councillors back GMP’s ‘Operation Grimaldi’ to improve safety for pedestrians. cyclists and other road users.
Greater Manchester Police have stopped 400 cyclists since the beginning of the year in an effort to clamp down on the number of cyclists involved in collisions and to encourage them to learn how to ‘share the road’ with others safely.
The operation focuses on ‘hot spot’ areas where pedal cyclists have been seen using the roads dangerously or irresponsibly.
The traffic network team at Greater Manchester Police has been working along the Oxford Road corridor and Wilmslow Road area of the city centre where a number of collisions have occurred recently. GMP had also received a number of complaints about cyclists failing to stop at red lights and weaving dangerously in and out of traffic.
The operation has seen 415 fixed penalties issued over 10 days of action spread across five months (February to June 2013) for offences such as running red lights, not having lights fitted, cycling on footpaths and using mobile phones whilst cycling.
Offenders were given the option of paying the fine or attending a cycling awareness event at the nearby Withington and Moss Side fire stations.
City centre councillor Kevin Peel said:
“I want to see more people cycling in Manchester city centre and less cars on the roads. It is important to ensure that cyclists are aware of safety concerns and we support this operation. I am particularly keen to see cyclists on the roads and not on pavements after receiving a number of complaints from pedestrians who have been involved in near collisions.
“However it is equally important to ensure that car drivers are aware of cyclists and I would like to see a similar clampdown on motorists using their mobile phones while driving and stopping in cycle lanes.”
Traffic PCSO Gareth Walker said:
“The aim of the operation was not to fine all offenders but to educate them, offer training and promote road safety.
“Many of the cyclists we spoke to were not aware of the danger they put themselves and others in by the actions they were taking while failing to stop or being distracted on their phones.
“The number of killed or seriously injured on the roads has fallen over the last two years but we need to continue to educate road users of how to share the roads safely in order to ensure these numbers continue to fall.”
Every adult in Greater Manchester is entitled to six hours free cycle training where an approved instructor will attend your place of work or home and offer support and education about cycle safety.
For more information go to www.tfgm.com/cycling