Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Questions and response from Graham Bright PCC

I asked via email:

The Police statistical database "STATS19" shows that in Cambridge City 2009-2011 there were 694 cycling casualties, and 155 pedestrian casualties. Statistical analysis shows that anti-social cycling (without lights; pavement cycling; passing red traffic lights) cause extremely low numbers of casualties. 
Will you [Sir Graham Bright] commit the Police to targeting the real dangers posed by motor vehicles to vulnerable road users such as the contributory factor "failed to look properly" which is accountable in 48% of accidents in the city ? 
Cyclists in Cambridge commonly report dangerous driving but find the Police unable to deal with subjective road safety. Examples of near misses and close-passing are common across the city but Cambridgeshire Police require courtroom levels of proof and thus never follow up with time consuming incidents. They are reluctant to issue fixed penalty notices which alleviate these problems. Can you help get better justice for vulnerable road users in the face of dangerous driving in the city?

The answer is below. The response took 12 days, and is very similar to his press release Road Safety: "You can't cherry pick the law" says Sir Graham dated 4th Jan 2013.  

Thank you for your email dated 10 January 2013 regarding road safety. 
Cambridgeshire Constabulary have various road safety enforcement initiatives running throughout the year. Operation Pedalo was implemented to tackle anti-social cycling following the expression of renewed public concerns. One of the main thrusts of the operation has been to increase the use of cycle lights across the city through the LIT scheme. This diversion from prosecution scheme allows people to purchase lights and use them rather than pay a thirty pound fine for failing to display cycle lights. information from our officers conducting these operations has been that they have stopped a wide variety of individuals during December, students, local residents and visitors to the city. During the month the Constabulary have issued approximately two hundred and fifty tickets for the LIT scheme as well as dealing with other cycling and traffic issues.  
I have stated previously that the law is the law, Whether you are talking about pedestrians, cyclists or motorists - particularly those using mobile phones whilst driving. You can’t cherry pick which bits of the law you will adhere to. The fact is that there are more bicycles per head of population in Cambridge than almost anywhere else in the world and dangerous cycling in the city was brought to my attention during my election campaign. As a result I asked the Chief Constable to tackle it. Dangerous cycling is a risk to all road users, including the cyclists themselves. All road users have a responsibility to Walk, cycle or drive safely.  
I hope that this goes some way to ease your concerns and reassures you that this is a matter I am devoting attention to.

Ask a politician a direct question, don't expect a direct answer. 

He missed an opportunity to mention his opinion on enforcement of 20mph zones which is looking favourable for vulnerable road users, but we have yet to see any concrete plans or action.

1 comment:

  1. "the law is the law ... You can’t cherry pick which bits of the law you will adhere to."

    Oh dear. Graham Bright is soon going to be tired of having to repeat this line to all the folk who whine about his "war on motorists" when his force book them for 1mph over the limit, uncleared snow, close overtaking, inching over the lines of mandatory cycle lanes, driving onto pavements, and failing to give way to pedestrians at side-roads. After all, he will definitely be doing those things. Because the law is the law. He can't cherry pick which ones to enforce. Right?