May the farce be with you

The words of Chief Constable Peter Fahy have obviously not filtered down to Bournemouth yet as the town begins a crackdown on speeding cyclists.

A police officer and a Council official, armed with a hand-held radar device, hide behind a beach hut to monitor the speed of bicyclists proceeding along the promenade where a 10 mph speed limit is in force for such two-wheeled transportation.

The offenders are then stopped and offered advice on road (promenade) safety. Under the law, cyclists cannot be charged with speeding as bicycles do not have a speedometer (how remiss, most unlike New Labour to miss an opportunity for easy cash) and it is therefore impossible for the rider to know exactly how fast he or she is travelling.

The initiative was brought in after one person was knocked over last summer and suffered a cut.

A more sensible approach might have been a cycle lane or educational notices, rather than taking up valuable resources. Or even use one of the existing beach rangers to signal people to slow down if it is crowded or if a problem or potentially dangerous situation is perceived.

Incidentally, skateboarders using the public thoroughfares in Málaga can now be fined if they are traveling faster than pedestrians in the area.  Don’t think there are any plans to introduce speed traps or set up a special ‘skateboard squad’, though.