"Cyclists think they can get away with murder" - P

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EdinburghFixed
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"Cyclists think they can get away with murder" - P

Postby EdinburghFixed » 13 Nov 2008, 11:23am

"They think they can get away with murder and a lot of them think it is fun and acceptable." - Inspector Gilhooly of Lothian and Borders Police.

For the background to this, see this link (but best to ignore the comments!)

10 policemen took a whole Saturday to catch 12 deviant cyclists! I caught this in CityCycling and thought I would also write a letter to the police, for whatever good it may do...

Dear Chief Constable David Strang

I am writing to you regarding the Edinburgh Evening News story on the 6th November regarding Operation “Appetite”, the crackdown on cyclists.

I have no problem at all with action being taken over things like dangerous pavement cycling, shooting red lights etc. - the law’s the law. However, I was gravely concerned by the quote attributed to Inspector Gilhooly that “cyclists think they can get away with murder”.

With cyclist numbers increasing steadily and the concomitant rise in conflict with other road users, I think it very ill advised to deliberately inflame both parties with provocative statements like this.

Would the police publish a statement that “pavement parking drivers think they can get away with murder”? Or, “speeding drivers think they can get away with murder” or even “uninsured drivers think they can get away with murder”? I think not.

Each year in the UK on average, less than one person is killed by a pavement cyclist. In allocating the limited resources of the Police, surely this must be contrasted with the ~3500 people killed in road accidents by motorists!

I am also disturbed that between ten officers, just twelve cyclists were stopped during the whole of the Saturday referred to by the article. This implies that ten officer-hours were expended for each cyclist apprehended! As a long-standing Edinburgh resident I can tell you that as many motorists continuing after the light changes to red, or speeding could be apprehended in five minutes on certain city streets!

Although I applaud the intentions behind the crackdown and understand that it is largely a ‘show piece’ to appease residents like myself, I question whether it is a sensible use of police resources.

As a pedestrian in the city centre I am more concerned by daily dangerous driving antics than the admittedly annoying, but rarely dangerous cyclists. How many people are killed or seriously injured by speeding cars in Edinburgh each year, compared with those killed or seriously injured by cyclists?

I trust you will compare cyclist accident figures, before and after, to see how effective Operation “Appetite” has been. Will this information be made public?

Yours sincerely,


I hadn't seen this story covered here so thought it was worth a quick post.

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Coffee
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Postby Coffee » 13 Nov 2008, 12:57pm

Well cycling does lead to harder things...like murder. 100% FACT!

It's also in 'todays vote poll' on that site!

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paulah
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Postby paulah » 13 Nov 2008, 3:12pm

Of course they wouldn't need to save that speeding drivers get away with murder because it's stating the obvious - they drive danngerously or carelessly, knowing that they could easily kill someone and when the inevitable happens all they get is their driving licence revoked for a year or two or a couple of years in prison.

If they spent a whole Saturday booking drivers on the roads near me the system would be overloaded, and a concerted effort a week or so would result in so many drivers off the the road that we wouldn't need to vote for a congestion charge in Manchester.

kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 13 Nov 2008, 3:50pm

As a cyclist I enjoy my infamy. They hate us, why worry?

At least in hating us they know we're there and it annoys them. 8)

dodger
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Postby dodger » 13 Nov 2008, 4:11pm

Good letter. What's the chance of a sensible reply?

Paul Power
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Postby Paul Power » 13 Nov 2008, 4:28pm

I find it interesting the way the piece in the paper is written, for example paragraphs like'

"On a number of occasions, as patrols waited at notorious junctions – mainly on Princes Street – they witnessed cyclists screeching to a halt when lights turned to red – only because they had seen the police."

You can see how the emotive the language is - the main pulling power being the word MURDER.

What the report fails to cover (as is of course to be expected in these situations) is the reasons why cyclists are taking the routes they're taking, illegal or otherwise.

and of course, this paragraph is beyond belief:

"Further problems encountered by officers involved cyclists chaining their bikes in inappropriate places, including gates to houses in the city centre and lampposts on central reservations. Sometimes bikes are found on posts in George Street, often slipping down on to the pavement or road, causing a tripping hazard to passers-by.

Were I living in Edinburgh, as soon as I read this, I'd go out and chain my bike to Inspector Gilhooly's leg to highlight the lack of safe, secure cycle parking, which is why so many cyclists have to lock their bikes to 'inappropirate places'

Note the report makes no mention of the adundance of appropriate cycle parking available.

Paul
Last edited by Paul Power on 13 Nov 2008, 4:42pm, edited 1 time in total.

kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 13 Nov 2008, 4:36pm

dodger wrote:Good letter. What's the chance of a sensible reply?


None.

(Surely you've read these things before?)

This is a good link (pulled from one of the replies in that thread)

http://www.citycycling.co.uk/issue21/issue21page12.html

.

Hector's House
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Postby Hector's House » 13 Nov 2008, 6:49pm

Paul Power wrote:Were I living in Edinburgh, as soon as I read this, I'd go out and chain my bike to Inspector Gilhooly's leg to highlight the lack of safe, secure cycle parking, which is why so many cyclists have to lock their bikes to 'inappropirate places'

Note the report makes no mention of the adundance of appropriate cycle parking available.



Very true. One of the first things I noticed in the first few weeks after my return from Malawi was how many bike racks had sprung up in seven months!

dodger wrote:Good letter. What's the chance of a sensible reply?


Not sure on the chances of recieving a reply, but I am sure that if he does reply personally, it will be a more than sensible one.



edinburghfixed,
I'll try not to mention this next time I see David Strang (which will no doubt be around Christmas time...)

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hubgearfreak
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Postby hubgearfreak » 13 Nov 2008, 7:39pm

Hector's House wrote: next time I see David Strang (which will no doubt be around Christmas time...)


you can politely suggest from me that he might like to get out of his car and on a bicycle for a few weeks around any city.
knowing even a smidgen of what he is on about won't do him any harm 8)

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Simon L6
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Postby Simon L6 » 14 Nov 2008, 7:28am

Inspector Gilhooly's choice of words, and his use of police time commend him for early retirement. The 'screeching to a stop' thing is sweetly pathetic. Other than that, what is there to say? They caught twelve cyclists. Take any busy crossroads in London and you could get twelve cars jumping the red in an hour.

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EdinburghFixed
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Postby EdinburghFixed » 14 Nov 2008, 7:37am

I didn't say it because it didn't help my point, but there are lights where you could easily catch 12 cyclists an hour (probably far more). Just not the ones on Princes Street, which involve you shooting a side-on torrent of vehicles from the Mound or Waverly Bridge!

Presumably they targeted Princes Street because it's so heavily pedestrianised (many people to see and complain). Also it does have a huge pavement which I could understand inviting pavement cycling (although you could only do about walking speed, same as the crowds!)

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Postby 2Tubs » 14 Nov 2008, 12:41pm

So the police have said we can get away with Murder?

Cool!

Anyone have Jeremy Clarksons address?

>;o)

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Richard Fairhurst
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Postby Richard Fairhurst » 14 Nov 2008, 1:00pm


PW
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Postby PW » 14 Nov 2008, 1:05pm

No - that link's a blank page. Maybe he's read this thread? :twisted: :twisted:
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

Richard Fairhurst
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Postby Richard Fairhurst » 14 Nov 2008, 3:24pm

It's a Flash map, may not work in all browsers. Try this crappy Google one instead:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en ... iwloc=addr