A police force has hit back after being criticised for issuing a £50 fine to a number of cyclists who travelled through a red light earlier this month.
Surrey Police’s Vanguard RoadSafe team stopped four cyclists in Esher over the weekend after they were seen “contravening a red traffic light”.
Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, Surrey RoadSafe said that fixed penalty notices had been issued to all four of the riders.
A video clip was attached showing the group of cyclists riding past cars stopped at a red light and turning right into another lane.
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The camera footage of the cyclists running the red light was released on X
Many criticised Surrey Police for issuing fines, suggesting that a driver would be unlikely to be fined for going through a red light and that the original clip did not properly show them breaking the law.
In response to the criticism, the police posted a second, clearer video, showing the whole offence including the cyclists riding up to the red light and continuing past the stopped cars.
The second post stated: “Following on from yesterday’s post, there were a lot of questions raised as to whether the cyclist had travelled over the stop line when the lights were red.
“As you can see from the downloaded Cleartone [technology], the lights were red when they crossed the stop line and then continued.”
Many in the comments suggested that the cyclists should receive penalty points if they have driving licences after the second video was published.
A spokesperson for Surrey Police said the RoadSafe team followed the cyclists after observing them failing to stop at the line and moving in front of traffic.
They added: “The cyclists were warned of their vulnerability and that they put themselves in danger of a collision and injury.
“All were issued with a £50 fixed penalty ticket for ‘contravention of a red traffic light’ and given suitable safety advice for the future,” they told Yahoo News.
Rule 71 of the Highway Code states that at traffic light junctions and at cycle-only crossings with traffic lights, cyclists must not cross the stop line when the lights are red.
Some roads also have an advanced stop line allowing cyclists to have a better view of the road and allow them to wait ahead of other traffic.
The Highway Code clarifies that when the traffic lights are red, riders may cross the first stop line, but they must not cross the final stop line.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “The Government has introduced a range of laws in recent years in an effort to fix the daily conflicts we see between motorists and cyclists.
All four riders were hit with a £50 FPN
“However, if our research is anything to go by, this has largely been to no avail, with the majority of respondents still reporting aggression and conflict among road users.”