Edinburgh roads: Police officer fined for breaching no-left turn busy Leith Walk junction
A Police Officer has been caught and fined for breaching the no-left turn at a ‘dangerous’ junction at the top of Leith Walk.
The incident took place in December last year when the officer made a left turn onto London Road while pedestrians were crossing as a green man was showing.
Later that month Edinburgh residents and councillors formed a human shield at the “lawless” junction to stop cars breaching the no-left turn signs and driving illegally into pedestrian crossing.
Chris, from Leith, started filming himself at the busy junction after witnessing cars ignoring the no-left turn signs. He reported the details to the Police when a driver made the turn while he was crossing with a number of other people. At the time the officer was in an unmarked car and appears to be smiling in a photo as he was snapped driving through the junction.
It happened in the same month that officers were later deployed to patrol the turning and catch motorists in the act after locals recorded drivers flouting the rules.
A few months later in March Chris, a law student, was shocked when he got a letter from the Procurator Fiscal's Criminal Allegations Against Police Division (CAAPD) informing him that it was a serving officer who had been issued the fixed penalty noticed.
An extract of the letter read: "Crown Counsel instructed that this matter proceed by way of a fixed penalty. The officer was offered a fixed penalty and has now paid this."
It’s not known if he received any further sanction from Police Scotland.
Chris said: “I was disappointed to learn the driver is a police officer. The no left turn is very well signed and there was a green man at the time so his reasoning is hard to fathom. People should feel safe and comfortable walking in Scotland’s capital, not afraid of being killed by drivers, especially when that driver has been tasked with upholding the law. Looking again at footage of the driver and passenger’s reactions to being caught on camera, it makes me feel uneasy that one of them is a police officer. However, I am grateful to the CAAPD for taking action and I’m glad the officer has paid the fixed penalty notice. I hope he learns from this experience.
“This incident highlights the need for Edinburgh Council and Police Scotland to make pedestrian safety and accessibility a priority. More measures should be put in place to ensure that drivers follow traffic regulations.”
It is understood that at least two people have been hit by cars at the junction since it reopened in November.
A local campaign for a crackdown was backed by TV and radio host and cycling campaigner Jeremy Vine.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 12.10pm on Thursday, 8 December, we received a report of a car ignoring a no left turn sign at the junction of Leith Walk and London Road in Edinburgh.
“Enquiries were carried out and the driver, a 35-year-old man, was reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”