More fixed penalties for cyclists

INCREASING numbers of cyclists are being handed on the spot fines for flouting traffic laws, it can be revealed today.

INCREASING numbers of cyclists are being handed on the spot fines for flouting traffic laws, it can be revealed today.

Offences including riding on paths, using a bicycle without lights, failing to stop when told to by a police officer and carrying more than one person were all punished with a �30 slap on the wrist.

In 2006, 130 fixed penalty notices were issued but by 2008, that figure had risen to 163.

During the last three years, a total of 443 fines were given to cyclists, netting police more than �13,000.

The figures have come to light following a Freedom of Information request submitted by The Evening Star.

The streets in which the highest numbers of fines were handed out included Norwich Road and St Matthew's Street in Ipswich, and High Road in Trimley.

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The most common offences were cycling on paths and using a bike without lights.

A Suffolk Police spokesman defended the steady increase in the issuing of fixed penalty notices, highlighting the importance of adhering to road laws.

He said: “Safety is the key issue here.

“If people continue to use their cycles without lights when they are on the road they are at risk of being injured or killed by drivers who cannot see them.

“Visibility saves lives. Also, riding on public pavements is dangerous and can result in accidents occurring with pedestrians.

“We will continue to tackle this issue with enforcement campaigns across Suffolk.”

Should cyclists be subjected to the same road laws as motorists? Or should the use of bicycles be more proactively encouraged? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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