Friday, 2 December 2011

Should red-light jumping be a police priority in Central London?

Red-light jumping by cyclists has become a priority for the police in Central London. I do not condone red-light jumping, but I think making it a police priority is not proportionate. Only 6% of collisions involving cyclists (so a tiny fraction of causes of all road traffic accidents) are caused by this practice. Furthermore, the harm caused by cyclists jumping red lights is likely to be modest compared to the damage caused by other vehicles.

The prioritising of police time on to red-light jumping cyclists is partly due to the onus on the police to deal with complaints by the public, who have apparently raised this as a concern. However, if you look at this questionnaire on the City of London website, you could understand why this might be the case as it is pretty skewed against cyclists:

You will see that there are boxes specified for people to rate their "level of concern" over the following issues:

  • dangerous cycling (the only issue qualified by an adjective)
  • skateboarders (just skateboarders, apparently - even when they are off skateboards?)
  • noise
  • drunkenness
  • rough sleepers
  • begging
By calling it "dangerous cycling" it is clearly encouraging people to complain against it. Dangerous could prefix most of the above issues to make them sound more of an issue, but this is not done. Also, there is no mention of dangerous vehicles, which are surely a much more pressing concern.

I encourage people who live, work or visit Central London to use this form to voice concerns against dangerous driving and maybe the police will take a more proportionate approach.


  1. Dangerous cycling has now been amended, I think, to "Inconsiderate Road Users" which seems rather more acceptable

  2. Thanks for that - glad this has now been changed!