Avon & Somerset Police appear to be quite concerned about suggestions that they are carrying out a purge against cyclists following their high profile attempts to enforce traffic regulations being breached by cyclists over the last week. Media attention has been intense with hundreds commenting via the Evening Post's online edition.
Claims of discrimination against cyclists are based on the fact that most traffic offenses perpetrated by motorists continue to be almost entirely ignored. However on Wednesday a story appeared in the Evening Post giving details of 'Operation Safer Bristol' which uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to detect vehicles that are stolen or not taxed and insured. More than 1,000 vehicles have been stopped, 93 people arrested and 200 vehicles seized.
Good news, but just how 'new' is it? Much the same story had appeared in the Post the previous day and that in turn was a rehash of the original story that appeared back in October, when the bulk of the enforcement was actually carried out. So why has this old story suddenly reappeared twice in quick succession, just as some cyclists are asking why only they are expected to obey road traffic regulations?