x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Police to target dangerous bicycle riders

Officers warn cyclists that the rules of the road apply to them, too, and not just to motorists.

AJMAN // Police are warning cyclists that the rules of the road apply to them, too, and not just to motorists. After impounding 115 bicycles in the first six months of this year, police yesterday started a one-week campaign to force all cyclists to obey traffic signals as well as fitting front and rear lights on their bikes. Col Abdullah al Nuaimi, the deputy director general of Ajman Police, said accidents involving cyclists in the emirate were on the increase; many cyclists did not consider themselves bound by traffic rules.

He said that since the start of this year more than five cyclists had died in accidents. "It's a common thing to see a cyclist going through the red lights," he said. "Most of them do not realise how dangerous it is while others have no knowledge of traffic rules at all." Most cyclists breaking the law were illiterate labourers whose companies did not provide them with transport to work, or delivery boys for small cafeterias and restaurants, he said.

During the campaign police will confiscate all bicycles that are too old to be on the roads while cyclists violating safety rules will lose their bikes for a week. This includes riding bicycles with worn tyres. Uniformed and plain-clothes officers will be watching spots such as roundabouts and traffic lights. Mr al Nuaimi said cyclists would not be fined, as most were poor, and struggling to make ends meet.

"We believe our presence on the roads to warn them and seizing their cycles would be enough." In a similar campaign in Sharjah last month police impounded more than 500 cycles. ykakande@thenational.ae