A new crackdown by the Transport for London, will see drivers who stop in bike boxes at traffic lights receiving a £60 fine and 3 penalty points if they are caught. According to the Evening Standard, Transport for London is close to securing a change in the law which will allow this to be enforced by civil authorities.
Under the current law only police can enforce this, however this is rarely done. Transport for London want to use CCTV and number plate recognition technology to enforce the law. An article from the Guardian in 2010, highlighted the difficulties the police face in enforcing this law. In this Article, PC James Aveling said that “Booking cars which enter the zone is tricky, as it’s not illegal if they stop in one if a light turns red as they’re part-way in. Officers thus have to watch a driver creep in on an already red light. There are also rumours that some officers see the penalty for the infringement – six points on the licence the same as you’d get for sailing all the way through the red light – as somewhat disproportionate.”
The director of cycling charity Sustrans said that “Fining drivers who stop in bicycle boxes will help change behaviour so that in the future this issue will need very little policing and our roads will be safer and more harmonious.”
However Paul Watters, the head of road policy for the AA said that “rule enforcement by camera could result in motorists being unfairly punished when there are mitigating factors”
By enforcing this rule in this way, the Transport for London will be hoping to see a change in driver attitude and behaviour to create safer roads for cyclists. This is just one of the many steps that the Transport for London are taking to make London’s roads a safer place to for everyone.