The latest round of crackdowns on cyclists breaking rules on cycling in Oxford has begun, with police handing out £30 fines to those without lights and riding on Cornmarket and Queen’s Lane on Wednesday of 2nd Week.
Officers stopped 51 cyclists during the day riding in both pedestrian areas and later went on to stop more without lights that evening.
A police spokesman confirmed that the policy of reimbursing cyclists fined for not having lights, but who bring proof of having purchased lights within seven days, is still in place. He stated the policy was now “force-wide, and an all year round policy” and said: “Oxford has more cyclists than most cities, and Thames Valley Police remains committed to protecting the safety of all road users. We will continue to perform these crackdowns as long as people continue to break the rules.”
Student reaction was mixed, with one undergraduate, who wished to remain anonymous, saying: “I don’t think people realise that bike lights aren’t to help you see the road, but for other people to see you – as someone who drives as well as cycles I know it’s almost impossible to spot a cyclist at night without lights, even if they’re wearing bright clothing.”
He stated that whilst agreeing “to some extent” with the fines on Cornmarket, owing to the fact that the street is “full of aimless shoppers by day and somnambular alcoholics by night.” He had himself broken the rules on cycling on Queen’s Lane: “I’ve definitely cycled down it and I didn’t actually know it was illegal.”
Blaming poor signage, he suggested the police should put the money gained from fines toward providing more visible signs: “The Cornmarket ones are tiny and I’ve never even noticed ones for Queen’s Lane.”
Keble second year, Chris Lee objected to the current system of allowing buses, but not cyclists, drive along the two roads, saying: “if people have a right to be run down by buses on Queen’s Lane then I don’t see why they don’t have a right to be run down by cyclists”.