Driver gets Asbo during police cycling crackdown

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A MOTORIST has been handed an Asbo for careless driving as part of a road safety crackdown in the Capital.

Police issued the Asbo and handed out 15 fixed penalty fines to drivers and cyclists in the second half of a two-week initiative in the West End.

Officers said the safety message was getting through as the number of people they stopped dropped in the second week of the crackdown.

Pc Chris Harvey said: “Some people may think we handed out a relatively low number of fines, but from our point of view it has been very much worthwhile. More than 300 people have been spoken to, and we noted in the second week that the message was already beginning to filter through, with fewer people having to be reminded of the rules of the road.”

Ninety-five drivers and 72 cyclists were spoken to by police in the first week, numbers dropped to 91 drivers and 57 cyclists in the second. The most common offences were using a mobile phone while driving, cyclists failing to stop at a red light or cycling on pavements, and taxi drivers waiting by Haymarket Station outwith the designated ranks.

Pc Chris Harvey said officers appreciated the legislation which allows them to issue Asbos to drivers and even seize their cars.

“This is a great tool which allows us to check the behaviour of those who act anti-socially on roads by, for example, wheel-spinning away from traffic lights or revving their engines in residential areas,” he said. “If the person given a warning re-offends within a year we can impound their vehicle.”

Police and city transport leaders hope that the crackdown will help solve some of the problems that have been seen recently on the roads in Haymarket.

Pc Stephen Kirk, from Police Scotland, said: “Haymarket is a particular concern as it’s a dangerous area for cyclists, due to how busy the junction is and the tram tracks in place.”

Central Taxis director Tony Kenmuir called the current Haymarket system “a 
disaster”. “There used to be 14 spaces outside Haymarket,” he said. “Now there are three. Also, often the lights take a long time to change, meaning taxis that have picked up are stuck and others cannot take their place. However, I believe a detector is being fitted which will solve this problem.”

Transport convenor Lesley Hinds said: “There’s still much to be done in educating a minority of motorists and cyclists to obey the rules of the road.

“Through our multi-agency Streets Ahead partnership, we work constantly to make Edinburgh’s roads safer for everyone.”