Cambridge: Fines “Returnable” By Going Without Lights

Cambridge, England, is considered to be a city model in use of bicycle, at least for what is in the United Kingdom. I might help its small size, roughly 25% of the population is student, or having a veteran Association in operation, or – probably – more factors.

For the municipalities, it best of have associations solvents is that can contribute ideas great. And the Cambridge Cycling Campaign had an solves the problem of riders circulating without lights. Is so easy and cheap that it hurts.

The police of Cambridge prepared each autumn a campaign to warn whenever there are and fine to the cyclists without lights, but not was giving them results desired. There are people who feel threatened by the police, and in general no one likes to be warned or even less to be fined, but deserves and either due to ignorance. And a public awareness campaign costs good money.

To avoid that it perceived as a coercive campaign, in 2011 we used the alternative lighting, give something cheaper than a media campaign, but that meant to reward with lights for cyclists that did not meet the standards, as well as assume a cost to the City Council. And the lights is depleted quickly, with what the scope was scarce.

In 2012 a great idea occurred to them: “returnable fine”, or how to call it in English, ‘the lights instead of ticket initiative’. It is very simple: If you are going without lights, the police put you fine which corresponds, but if you solventas the situation in less than a month, they cancelled it you. It is very easy: be Commissioner with the recent receipt of a few lights, checks if it is necessary that you have installed, and is cancelled the fine. There are more information in English on the website of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign.

From the point of view legal, is leverages a program English of rectification of defects in vehicles, so perhaps in Spain not is could apply of it same way. These same it summary:

  1. Resolve the problem, because the rider just leading lights.
  2. It is right, because the same laws apply to cyclists and drivers. (This we do not know if it could apply equally in Spain).
  3. Not requires bureaucracy, because the fine are overrides to the check and seal the receipt of them lights and is as if never is had issued.
  4. Many fines can be placed within the year and it can become a routine for the police officers, task rather than a timely campaign.
  5. For the cycling has felt economic, because a game of lights is much more cheap that it fine (of 50 pounds, 64 euros to the change of today).
  6. The police can put them fines without repair, because this type of fine goes clearly in favour of who it receives, by have mood educational and not assume a “prejudice” nor have “desire collection”.
  7. If there is clear negligence or recidivism, the police can put a fine standard, “non-refundable”.
  8. As costs public money, does not require funds, it is economically sustainable and understandable even for them that do not circulate in bike.

Seems a great idea and easy to apply. Do you know of any similar programs in their cities? Would could replicate it in Spain? what says it law?