Student cyclists welcome police’s clampdown on dangerous drivers

By Conor de Smith.

Student cyclists have welcomed the news that local police are beginning to clampdown on drivers’ dangerous approach to passing those on bikes.

Leicestershire Police have adopted a “safe pass” initiative where plain-clothed officers will attempt to catch motorists who do not give cyclists enough room on the roads.

A 1.5 metre distance, just larger than a 2017 Infiniti QX30, is expected to be granted for bike users but that is continually found not to be the case.

Students at both De Montfort University and University of Leicester have welcomed the patrols with many feeling endangered whilst travelling to their respective place of study.

Chris Stanton, President of DMU Cycling, 21, cycles to university every day and says he welcomes this initiative as he has had multiple bad experiences in the city over the years.

“I absolutely welcome this initiative,” said the third year Marketing Management student. “It is a major issue on the roads.

“Cyclists very rarely get any respect on the roads due to drivers maybe having one bad incident with a cyclist so now they treat all of them badly.

“It is certainly an initiative that needs to be done, how they carry it out will be interesting to see.

“I’ve had several bad experiences while in Leicester but I’m sure this is not just a Leicester issue.

“For example, I have been pushed onto a curb by a car coming too close to me, cut up more times than I can count and have been hit by a car running a red light.

“The knowledge that you are safer on the roads is certainly beneficial as the risk is reduced.

“Making drivers aware of cyclists has been important for a while, especially in cities, so to have this initiative come in does help with that.

“This may be the start of more help for cyclists because room on the road is important, so whether this leads to better driving around bikes, cycle paths being built or just more concern over cycle safety, it is a step in the right direction.”

De Montfort University already does plenty to encourage more students to cycle to university.

With the unveiling of the new bike racks on Mill Lane last month, there is now room for 590 bikes on campus. Showers in four buildings on campus and facilities such as free inner tubes, puncture repair kits and lights are also available.

The new bike racks on Mill Lane.

The new bike racks on Mill Lane.

The news that police will be stricter when it comes to drivers is an added bonus for law student Sophie Llewellyn, 18, who said: “As a cyclist, who travels to and from uni using a bike, there have been a lot of times where drivers have gotten too close to me.

“I think it’s great that the police are clamping down on this because it needed to be done.”

James Parish, a 19-year-old Geography student at University of Leicester, added: “I don’t commute to university on my bike but do often travel to town on it as I’m quite some distance away.

“I’ve personally never been hit off my bike by a car but I’m aware that drivers show very little respect to cyclists.

“This needs to be stopped so I’m glad the local police are doing something about it but it should have been done sooner.”

Comments

  1. Catherine says:

    Great article. We need to raise more awareness and keep cyclists safe.

    Like

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