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Cops plan morning rush-hour sting to stop bikers off siding’

PUBLISHED: 00:11 17 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:37 05 October 2010

TRAFFIC cops are out in force during tomorrow morning’s rush hour (Wednesday) stopping motorcyclists in East London riding illegally on the wrong side of keep left’ traffic bollards into the path of oncoming traffic. The sting’ operation is being set on the A1203 at The Highway in Shadwell, just a-quarter-of-a-mile before the Tower of London, a dangerous stretch of road where a biker was killed last year on the wrong side of the carriageway

Mike Brooke

TRAFFIC cops are out in force during tomorrow morning’s rush hour (Wednesday) stopping motorcyclists in East London riding illegally on the wrong side of keep left’ traffic bollards into the path of oncoming traffic.

The sting’ operation is being set on the A1203 at The Highway in Shadwell, just a-quarter-of-a-mile before the Tower of London, at the junction with Dock Street and East Smithfield.

It snared 78 biking cheats last time the trap was laid in The Highway—a dangerous stretch of road on a heavily-used route from Essex and the Blackwall Tunnel where a biker was killed last year on the wrong side of the carriageway.

Traffic officers working with Transport for London and Tower Hamlets Council are manning the operation from 7am to 9am to speak to motorcyclists about the dangers of the practice known as off-siding’—dodging round bollards to beat the traffic.

It is the second time in 10 months police are running the operation following 37-year-old biker Andrew Graham’s death.

Andrew, a graphic artist from Tilbury in Essex, was killed approaching traffic lights along The Highway on April 25 last year, at the height of the morning rush-hour.

He rode the wrong side of a bollard and collided with a car ahead of him turning right.

Andrew’s girlfriend, Astrid Connolly, is backing tomorrow’s sting’ operation.

“These initiatives are vital to highlight the dangers caused by off siding’ and prevent fatal injuries in future,” she said.

“Too many lives are lost by what are in reality minor errors—and so unnecessary.”

Those caught off-siding’ may be issued with a £30 fixed-penalty notice, Scotland Yard warned tonight.

But they could also be summoned to court and face fines of up to £5,000 and nine penalty points and disqualification if police suspect they have been riding without due care and attention.

The last sting’ operation police ran in The Highway, in November, led to 78 motorcyclists getting fixed penalty notices for off-siding.’ Police also advised 119 motorcyclists about the dangers of the practice.

So far this year, some 38 riders and one passenger riding pillion have lost their lives on London’s roads out of a total of 133 traffic fatalities.

Traffic Command Pol Ins Graham Horwood said: “We need to stop the pattern of death and injury that off-siding can cause on London’s roads and are urging bikers to think about the manoeuvres they make.”

His officers will be handing out leaflets warning motorcyclists to keep on the correct side of the road—and the law.

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