A ‘blanket’ road safety event, incorrectly labeled as targeting cyclists alone, has taken place today as part of Road Safety Week.

The event saw officers in central London stopping all road users and making safety checks or giving advice, as well as issuing tickets to those seen to be breaking the law.

Meanwhile, extra police officers have been deployed at Bow Roundabout to patrol and enforce road safety following last week’s cyclist fatality at the notorious junction.

Sgt Simon Castle, of the Met’s Traffic Unit and Cycle Task Force, said of the operation at Vauxhall Bridge: “It was a blanket operation against all road users – whoever is causing the danger and committing offences will be dealt with in an appropriate fashion.”

He added extra local officers have been sent to Bow: “We have got extra officers around Bow roundabout out on the road. They have borrowed bikes and are doing patrols and safety advice to those taking risks and those at risk.”

Cyclists are being advised to wear hi-vis and helmets as part of the Road Safety Week operation, a suggestion not welcomed by all. One Twitter user, @hatapota, said today:

“Got stopped by police today suggesting I wear hi-viz in case drivers not wearing glasses can’t see me. So wrong. #cyclists @metpoliceuk”.

However, Castle defended this position, saying: “It is good safety advice; look at the lady who had that VW pulled off her in Spitalfields, she said she would be dead if it weren’t for her wearing a crash helmet.”

According to the Evening Standard more than half of lorries stopped as part of the event were found to be breaking HGV safety rules, most commonly due to drivers exceeding their driving time limits.

Following the death of a cyclist in Camberwell today following collision with a lorry, many, including London Green Party leader, Jenny Jones, are calling for city centre lorry bans during rush hour.

The theme of this year’s annual Road Safety Week, co-ordinated by road safety charity Brake, was distraction. Drivers are also being advised not to use hands free kits as part of this, because of the ‘distraction element’.

Related links

Cyclist dies after incident involving lorry in London

  • Daren Taylor

    the places where cars cause problems with bikes is usually 100 metres or so after the junction where car drivers start cutting the bikes up, thats where the cops should be, or on bikes themselves to see how cyclists get treated by car drivers.
    the reason cyclists jump the red lights by a few second is to get ahead of the cars to avoid the snarl ups where as said the cars often cut the bikes up.
    im a cyclist and driver in london, and a driver sometimes do find it difficult to identify cyclists, but as a cyclist i do know this and drive completely defensively.

  • Ken Evans

    The Bow Roundabout is obviously of a terrible design, it must be fixed ! I think it would be cheaper just to give away free lights to any cyclist without them, than to have police on the roads. If London had cycle paths like so many other European cities have had for decades, then these issues wouldn’t arise. (And those cyclists would still be alive.)

  • Steven blackbourn

    So then people a few things that will help to stop cycle road deaths. Lights on bikes at all times,the law should be carried out fully against any vehicle going through any red light. More police on bikes to carry the law through, lorries removed during the day from city centers, deliveries at night only. More investment into cycle lanes, the Lord Mayor of London has the funds to carry this out and then this could be an example that other cities could take on. Also a cycling test should have to be attained before going on a bike, the example that any one without any experience can get them selves on a Boris bike and ride straight into main street traffic is not very safe. Some thing we could all think about is this, a few years ago London played host to the start of the Tour De France, a British rider won a tour, we were the strongest nation in track cycling, and to finish off Sir Bradley won the Olympic gold TT medal. All this in mind more people have been inspired and got a bike to commute to work, is this going to be the olympic legacy, the deaths that is?????

  • stuart place

    This sounds like a good scheme, i would go further to suggest that any unlit bikes during the street light-lighting up times should be removed off the road, it only costs £4 from our local poundshops to fit front and rear lamps, a packet of batteries and a yellow HiVis vest, this should be a minimum requirement, also i’m at a loss as to how the cycling safety board(or whatever they call themselves) opposed that helmets should be compulsory in their consultation earlier this year (around the time wiggins’ accident) it beggers belief !!!
    p.s, my female friend went in for her motorbike driving test last year, but due to being born deaf she is ineligible to hold a motor bike licence,= i find this staggering bearing in mind that it seems quite ok for cyclists to wear walkman/ipod headphones blasting away !!, shouldn’t these be outlawed too ?

  • ed

    It was good to see police talking to motorbikes stopping in the advanced stop zone this morning. I’ve never seen this before.

    This campaign must be a good thing, police visibly enforcing minor road infringements in a sensible way will remind everyone to behave according to the rules and so hopefully make the roads more peaceful leading to less friction between cyclists and motorists.

    It should also help the remind the police the importance of apparently minor infringements (like cars in the ASZ) to cyclists.

  • teddy

    “It was a blanket operation against all road users – whoever is causing the danger and committing offences will be dealt with in an appropriate fashion.”
    Not what the traffic officer who stopped me said! He explained they have been told to specifically target cyclists after the recient deaths….

    One officer today even ignored the driver who right in front of him pulled up right into a cycle box, but instead chose to have a ‘word’ with another cyclist (warning him for jumping the red light) who pulled ahead of the red lights and cycle box to get ahead of the cars…. !!!