Operation Pedro shows bike riders do the right thing

NSW Police Force ran Operation Pedro yesterday, their periodical program that focuses on bike rider and pedestrian safety in central Sydney.

To NSW Police Force’s own admission, the operation primarily targets non-compliance by riders and walkers, particularly helmet use and pedestrians not crossing safely – in good news though, a high level of compliance was reported by the police.

Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer Craig Richards said that the good behaviour by the majority will help dispel the myth that bike riders don’t abide by the law.

“This should help squash the rubbish that all bike riders are law breakers”, said Mr Richards.

“We always ask that bike riders ensure they aren’t’ breaking the law, for the safety of themselves and all other road users and pedestrians and this shows that most do.”

201 fines were dished out to bike riders for disobeying traffic lights, riding on the footpath, not wearing a helmet and for other offences. 31 fines were handed to pedestrians and 154 to motorists for unlisted traffic offences.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, said the aim of the operation was to raise awareness about road safety.

“We need everyone that uses our roads to take personal responsibility for their actions in order to reduce the number of deaths,” said Mr Smith.

What does raise concern about Operation Pedro is that while Police say all road users must take responsibility, not all road users appear to be scrutinised in the same way.

Victoria Police’s equivalent program, Operation Halo, also focuses on vulnerable-road-user road safety and issues many more fines to car drivers than bike riders and pedestrians.

Late last year Victoria Police nabbed more than 600 motorists and 48 bike riders as part of Operation Halo.

“We do hope that NSW Police aren’t being heavy handed with bike riders. We all need to be held to account, car drivers as well as bike riders.” added Mr Richards.

Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol, along with Surry Hills, Sydney City, Redfern, Leichhardt, Newtown, Rose Bay, Kings Cross and Harbourside Local Area Commands conducted Operation Pedro.