Police “Neglecting” Cyclists
Information obtained by the Green Party under the Official Information Act showed that the Police have not kept any records relating to cyclists or cycle safety under their Community Roadwatch reporting system.
That’s an on-line tool that allows the public to report incidences of dangerous driving.
The system has been operating since 1995.
Cyclist and Green MP Kevin Hague said: “The Police’s inability to record information relating specifically to cyclists and their safety amounts to nothing less than wilful negligence.”
“The Police say they care about road fatalities, some even take them very personally, but this kind of mismanagement shows a lack of care for some of the most vulnerable road users — cyclists.
Mr Hague became concerned about the effectiveness of the Community Roadwatch Report after a number of cyclists he knows reported lodging details of dangerous driver behaviour that weren’t followed up by Police.
“The Community Roadwatch Report considerably enhances the Police’s presence on our roads. If the Police are not adequately capturing what the public is reporting out there on the streets, how are they going to be able to police road safety effectively?
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
“The Community Roadwatch site presents a confusing story of the Police’s actual responsibility. If the Police receive a report about a serious offence, then they need to follow it up,” said Mr Hague.
“The site can also be improved by adding fields identifying modes of transport involved. Without them, the information submitted tells us nothing about what road users are being placed most at risk and in what situations.
“Such valuable information could, in time, change road policing priorities saving lives.
“Police also need to remember cyclists are more at risk on our roads than drivers when considering whether to prosecute. Driver behaviour that’s annoying to other drivers can be lethal to cyclists.
“I’m often asked if the Police are doing enough to protect cyclists on our roads. Unfortunately, we’ll never know until better records are kept.”