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A month-long crackdown by police on rogue cyclists in the city of York has resulted in just 25 people being fined for riding at night without lights, figures obtained by the country’s leading traffic lawyer have revealed.

Nick Freeman, aka Mr Loophole

Additionally, North Yorkshire Police officers participating in October’s much-heralded “Operation Shimmer” also fined just three cyclists for riding on footpaths whilst another three were ticketed for failing to stop at junctions.

However, 50 riders were given bike lights which loophole lawyer Nick Freeman described as rewarding criminality courtesy of the tax payer.

According to their own website, North Yorkshire Police said Operation Shimmer – a joint initiative with York City Council – was designed to “educate and enforce the use of cycle lights and reflective equipment as the nights draw in”.

The aim, it continued, “will be to promote the safety of cyclists in and around York. Officers will be on patrol issuing tickets to cyclist who do not use cycle lights, however they will be issuing reflective equipment to cyclist to aid them being seen in the future”.

Mr Freeman said: “Police forces up and down the country are simply turning a blind eye to crimes committed by cyclists. And let’s remember cycling without lights at night is a criminal offence.

“Even though it’s highly dangerous to motorists, pedestrians and law abiding cyclists, it’s clear police are choosing to ignore the problem.

“To stop and fine just 25 in a whole month as part of a highly publicised ‘crackdown’ of lawless cyclists is pitiful. The officers must have been patrolling with their lights off!

“Despite launching Operation Shimmer in a blaze of publicity, neither the police nor City of York Council are shouting about the results. And I’m not surprised!

“York is a cycling city, and safe cycling should rightly be applauded. However, there are far too many cyclists who have a total disregard for the law which puts at risk their own safety and the safety of those around them.

“But, because they don’t carry any identification markers, they are effectively anonymous and feel they can get away with breaking the law.”

Other figures acquired by Mr Freeman under the Act revealed that in the whole of last year, the North Yorkshire force handed out just 40 fines to cyclists riding without lights compared to 79 in 2012. These figures were for the entire county, not just York!

Meanwhile just 23 cyclists were fined last year for riding on footpaths and 13 for failing to stop at junctions.

Mr Freeman added: “Sadly North Yorkshire Police is not alone in failing to tackle this growing menace.”

North Yorkshire Police 2012 2013 2014 2015
Cycling on footway & Ride a pedal cycle on a footpath / by the side of a road made / set apart for the use of footpath passengers 68 60 30 23
Pedal Cycle – No specified obligatory lamps & Pedal Cycle – lamps reflectors not maintained 79 20 26 40

Pedal cycle – contravening traffic sign/road markings & ride a pedal cycle on a road and fail to comply with the indication given by a traffic sign

24 9 38 13

North Yorkshire Police

 October 2016 (Operation Shimmer)

Cycling on footway & Ride a pedal cycle on a footpath / by the side of a road made / set apart for the use of footpath passengers

3

Pedal Cycle – No specified obligatory lamps & Pedal Cycle – lamps reflectors not maintained

25

Pedal cycle – contravening traffic sign/road markings & ride a pedal cycle on a road and fail to comply with the indication given by a traffic sign

3

How many lights were given out to cyclists?

50

About Freeman & Co.

Freeman & Co. are a specialist firm of road traffic and criminal defence solicitors based in Manchester but with nationwide coverage.

Freeman & Co. specialise in a wide variety of road traffic cases, ranging from drink driving, speeding and mobile phone offences, to name but a few.

The firm was created by Nick Freeman, who has been dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the press for his technical legal ability and robustly challenging the prosecution.

Nick is well regarded as an expert road traffic lawyer and has successfully represented many high profile clients for a variety of motoring offences as well as criminal offences.

The firm of Freeman & Co. embodies the way Nick works, with minute attention to detail and challenging the prosecution at every turn.

If you are facing a road traffic matter or criminal offence and need the services of Freeman & Co. please call on 0161 236 7007.

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