Police patrol black spots as London cycle death toll reaches 14 this year
This week, the Metropolitan Police launched Operation Safeway, a major road safety initiative that will see hundreds of police officers monitoring key locations throughout Central London.
Hundreds of officers – many taken off other duties – will be deployed during rush-hour periods to issue fixed penalty notices to motorists caught flouting traffic laws.
It comes amid calls for greater action to prevent further deaths among cyclists in the city.
According to TfL figures, 14 cyclists have been victims of fatal road traffic accidents in London this year, with six in the last two weeks alone. Nine deaths involved heavy goods vehicles.
Speaking to Sky News, Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, said: "We need to see an urgent review of the most dangerous junctions across the country and we need to see a proper audit of how the Cycle Superhighway scheme in London is operating."
Three cyclists died on just one of the capital's controversial ‘Cycle Superhighways’, which have come under fire for not offering cyclists sufficient protection from other road users.
But Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has rejected calls to ban HGVs from certain London routes during peak times in a bid to reduce the number of cyclists’ deaths.
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Boris Johnson’s Cycle Superhighways are not fit for purpose. Blaming cyclists for ‘making risky decisions’ is deeply inappropriate and insensitive to the families of those who have lost their lives.
“Painting cycle paths on congested routes doesn’t provide cyclists with physical protection or segregation from lorries and buses. The recent spate of cyclist deaths is tragic evidence that far more needs to be done.
“While Thompsons welcomes initiatives like Operation Safeway, maintaining this level of traffic monitoring is not sustainable so we share Labour’s call for a more permanent solution.”
“More spending on dedicated cycle lanes, tougher sentences for motorists found guilty of offences and better education for all road users, are essential in ensuring the future safety of cyclists on Britain’s roads.”
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