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Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Drive to stop red light jumpers
Cycling on the Thames Path
The campaign aims to improve safety for cyclists
A campaign has been launched to reverse London's reputation for aggressive driving and cycling.

Jumping red lights, cycling on the pavement and parking in cycle lanes are among bad habits being targeted.

London's mayor Ken Livingstone said only a "visible minority" of road users broke traffic laws, but they triggered road rage and endangered lives.

Cycling broadcaster Jack Thurston said it was drivers, not cyclists, who caused the worst accidents.

"If you are calculating who to come down on the hardest, you ought to be looking at where the road traffic injuries and fatalities are coming from," he said.

"And from all the statistical analysis - they are not coming from cyclists."

The "Share the Road" campaign is part of wider efforts to improve road safety in London, where 214 people died on the roads in 2005.

There is nothing more frustrating, and often dangerous, than road users who think the rules do not apply to them
Ken Livingstone

Transport for London (TfL) is keen for more people to take up cycling and is in the process of creating a 147m network of cycle routes - the London Cycle Network Plus, due to be completed by 2010.

On Sunday, London hosted the final leg of the Tour of Britain, with an 80km route through the city which TfL hopes will raise cycling's profile.

Driving and cycling in London can be a stressful experience. One poll suggested men in London are the UK's most aggressive drivers.

Traffic cameras in the city reportedly catch almost 10,000 drivers a month jumping red lights, while a survey by the RAC found that up to 50% of cyclists in central London completely disregarded traffic lights.

In July Mr Livingstone said he was considering number plates for cyclists, in a bid to improve standards.

On Monday he said he wanted to see a shift in culture on the roads, where aggressive driving was considered unacceptable.

"Overall London's roads are getting safer. But there is nothing more frustrating, and often dangerous, than road users who think the rules do not apply to them."

He said the campaign would be backed up by police enforcement.

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04 Jul 06 |  Magazine
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