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Cyclists face the wheels of justice; Increasing number are fined for breaking the law.

Byline: Maggie Barry

THE number of cyclists fined for breaking the law on Scotland's roads has jumped by almost a quarter.

Reported cycling offences across the country rose from 298 in 2010/11 to 369 in 2012/13 - a rise of 24 per cent.

The figures come as the Scottish Government announce they want 10 per cent of all journeys in Scotland to be by bike by 2020.

It is currently 1.3 per cent but growing and this year promises to give a massive boost to cycling in the UK, with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Giro d'Italia kicking off in Northern Ireland in May and the Tour De France starting in Yorkshire in July.

But the relationship between motorists and cyclists is not always a happy one, with cyclists accusing drivers of being inconsiderate and using bullying tactics on the road.

Motorists say cyclists behave badly - going through red lights, weaving between traffic and generally refusing to obey the Highway Code.

Now it appears that their behaviour has caught up with them.

The biggest rise was in offences for cyclists "carelessly or inconsiderately riding a bicycle", which almost doubled from 50 to 96.

Dangerous riding offences shot up 33 per cent, from 27 to 36, although the number of cyclists caught drunk at the handlebars fell 14 per cent from 44 to 38. A total of 199 - the largest proportion of offences - were simply classed as "other".

Neil Greig, director of policy for the Institute of Advanced Motoring, claims the figures will reassure motorists.

"I'm pleased to see a rise in cycling prosecutions to match the rise in cycling," he said.

"Cyclists must exercise responsibility if they want to be taken seriously as a mainstream form of transport.

"Motorists often feel cyclists get away with bad behaviour, whether it's cutting through red lights or putting themselves at risk in other ways."

A prang with a cyclist has the potential of pushing up car insurance for any driver and the Government are considering European policy that makes drivers automatically responsible for any accident involving a cyclist.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 3, 2014
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