If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Friday, 5 November 2010

One rule for them ...

From the BBC's Berkshire News page:
Reading cyclists fined £30 for riding with no lights

Cyclists caught riding without lights in the dark have been fined as part of a police clampdown.
Thirty people were stopped outside Reading Station as part of a new safer riding initiative, which has been rolled out across the Thames Valley.
Those caught between 1800 and 2100 GMT on Tuesday were given £30 fixed penalty notices for travelling without lights.
At last! Cyclists expected to follow the normal rules of the road like the rest of us. Whatever next? Fined for running red lights? Riding on the pavement? Treating one-way streets as if they were their own driveway? I'm all in favour. Oh, hang on ...
If riders show police a receipt showing a set of lights has been bought within seven days, the fine will be cancelled.
So, if I am stopped and given a fixed penalty for (say) riding with a bald rear tyre, I will be offered the chance to turn up at the cop shop a week later with a receipt for a new one, and they will forget all about it?

Nope. You see, we're not special like cyclists.


  1. Next you'll want them to fine riders for not wearing a helmet.


  2. I love that photo - two fingers to the H&S fanatics! Pity he didn't have a fag on at the same time.

  3. Well in Cambridgeshire a while ago we had an even brighter scheme: if you got caught riding a bike with no lights you got a mild ticking off AND A FREE SET OF LIGHTS! Aaarrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhh!

  4. We're special down here - earlier in the year Sussex plod were pulling bikers and trying to forcibly gift them with hi-vis vests.
    Apparently other places thought it was a good idea, too. (http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/General-news/2010/February/feb1210-police-to-issue-thousands-more-riders-with-hiviz-vests/).

    Actually, I'm not too anti- the principle of starting an enforcement campaign by giving people a reduced punishment option as long as they mend their ways - we've had the same thing over minor speeding, for example.

    Traditionally, unlike the hi-vis cobblers above, you would expect to be doing something actually wrong before getting stopped, though...

  5. Derf: great idea, and one that Labour would be proud of: take money off the law-abiding and give it to the criminals. It's a bit like paying people not to rob banks, only on a smaller scale. Where can I sign up? I have a bike that could easily be made light-free.

    Endo: Yes, I guess it's a hearts and minds thing, the 'nudge' theory, and it's not exactly major expense. The principle rankles a bit, though.


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