Bristol Road Justice meet with Avon & Somerset Police

Bristol Road Justice, along with fellow campaigners from Taunton Area Cycling Campaign, have again met Avon and Somerset Police to review road traffic law enforcement.

The main points from the meeting were:

  • The Head of Road Safety, Superintendent Andrew Williams, reported that A&SP were putting a lot of effort into improving their data collection and analysis so as to be able to more effectively prioritise their austerity-imposed reduced resources.
  • Their incident reporting systems are still paper-based but they are due to move over to a computerised system. This should improve the quality of both the recording of incidents, gathering of intelligence and the prosecution of enforcement action.
  • The web page for reporting cycle incidents resulting in injury and near misses on-line have both been improved. The police have been using camera evidence from cyclists to prosecute drivers. 78 road users, including 11 cyclists, have been prosecuted as a result of video submissions from the public.
  • Our research shows that, in the case of incidents of injury to cyclists caused by motorists, the police very rarely take enforcement action. They claim that in a large number of cases either the cyclist does not wish to pursue the matter or the police are unable to secure sufficient evidence to prosecute.
  • Despite our pressing them to do so, the police gave no undertakings that they would be repeating earlier pro-active initiatives to reduce close-passing and mobile phone use.
  • Bristol Road Justice have to use Freedom of Information requests as the police publish very little information on the actions they are taking to reduce the dangers caused by motorists in relation to vulnerable road users (ie. walkers and cyclists). The police have no plans to be more transparent and publish information on their record of enforcement action.

As ever, Bristol Road Justice is keen to hear from cyclists as to their experiences, good or bad, of reporting incidents to the police and any follow-up action.

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