As the bicycle celebrates 200 years, my birthday interchange with police is less enjoyable

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Vehicle gate barrier in the pedestrian zone of downtown Brussels.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – The road barrier a cyclist on my route, where police simply through the barriers into the path of oncoming cyclists.

As the bicycle celebrated its 200th birthday yesterday, I had yet another run in with (motorised) police in Brussels and their disregard for cyclists. Riding (slowly) through the predestrianised city centre, where cycling advocacy groups have just graffitied the asphalt with Bike Brussels stencils to encourage even more cyclists to the area, I rode up on a  police car.

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Best view of the Brussels 20km run

Barry Sandland/TIMB - Two bicycle police officers watching the Brussels 20km run

Barry Sandland/TIMB – Best view of the Brussels 20km run

The Brussels 20km run has started. You can stand at one location for AGES and still have runners coming by. Over 60,000 would be a fair estimate. The police are Continue reading

UK Parliamentary report details failures of police and courts to cyclists

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Bumber sticker on a bicycle reads, In Bike We Trust.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – We trust our bikes, but less so the police and courts to do the right thing.

There has been a shocking report released in the UK about the dire situation of policing, and justice in the courts, for cyclists. The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) met over a series of weeks and heard testimonies about the inadequate response of police and UK courts to injuries to, and deaths of cyclists, many from cyclists who have been personally severely injured in Continue reading

Critical Mass and the police

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Some of the riders in the Critical Mass ride were stopped by police last night. The idea that they were blocking traffic, were impeding flow. A few members were taken to one side and lectured. I rode up on this and took some photos – and was immediately told by the police to stop taking pictures, that it was illegal. Of course, it is not. The police can be photographed and they can be photographed while they are doing their jobs. The limitation appears in Continue reading

Is the Jeremy Vine video a sea change by police or just an exception that proves the dire conditions of cycling in London and the UK?

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - On-bvoard cameras used by cyclists on their daily rides

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – The presence of on-board cameras used by cyclists on their daily rides has become one of the most influential aspects in forcing police and courts to change their attitude towards road rage and dangerous driving directed to cyclists.

What might be considered a “finally” moment in UK cycling, a woman found guilty of aggression towards a cyclists has been jailed for nine months. In one of the higher profile cases of aggression against a cyclist, British journalist Jeremy Vine recorded an exchange as he travelled down Continue reading

Sideswiped by car, but police stop me

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Police and a bicycle safety

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Another interaction with aggressive drivers ignored by police

Life in Brussels, Belgium. Friday night, I was sideswiped by a car pulling out of the parking lane. Pushed me out into oncoming traffic. I screamed and shouted to get some space, hitting her side window. She gave me the finger and mouthed, “Fuck off”. I shouted back to “Give space, watch for cyclists”. “Fuck off,” and again the finger. I shouted back to “Fuck off and learn to drive”. … Police were there. Continue reading

A massive bicycle police presence to protect our space

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Bicycle police reinforcing the pedestrian area in Brussels city centre

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A steady police presence in the city centre

As summer approaches, this reinforcement will be reassuring for cyclists and pedestrians alike.
Brussels has a schizophrenic relationship with cycling. While there are a lot of cycling police, there seems to  be less enforcement of the rules from their driving counterparts – at least against the drivers. I have been stopped four times by police who have spoken to me about turning right on a  red light. Problem was, at each and every intersection I was permitted to do just that. There are signs to that effect.

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