Cycling

“STUPID AND INAPPROPRIATE”: STUNT COP WAS HANDLING COMPLAINT OF “BICYCLES OCCUPYING THE LANE”

A police motorbike officer seen mocking a group of cyclists on Castle Peak Road was “dealing with a complaint about bicycle [sic] occupying the lane,” according to a police spokeswoman.

In a video shared widely on Facebook and Whatsapp, the officer speeds up to the group of cyclists approaching Tsing Lung Tau, and attempts a pastiche of cyclists’ “dancing on the pedals”, swaying his bike from side to side several times before speeding off.

A senior Hong Kong Island police officer who wished to remain anonymous said he “was not sure of the reason behind such a stupid and inappropriate act. I believe my colleagues in Traffic New Territories will look into the case seriously.”

“If he is under my command, he will be off motorcycle patrol immediately,” says the source.

A spokeswoman says the matter is under investigation.

“When police officers drive vehicles to perform their duties, they should abide by relevant traffic laws and road safety under any circumstances,” says the spokeswoman.

“The police are learning about the incident, and if someone is found to have violated regulations, they must follow up seriously,” she says.

Cycling advocacy groups have called on the police to answer questions on why police were harassing cyclists in the first place. Cycling is legal on almost all roads and, according to the latest Road Users Code, cyclists should ride in the centre of a narrow lane – one that cannot safely accommodate a bicycle and motor vehicle side by side.

Last year, Transport Department removed from its Road Users Code outdated advice to ride “about 1/2 metre away” from the kerb.

The incident comes days after a police crackdown on Hong Kong’s 16th “Ride of Silence”, a socially-distanced event to commemorate the 16 cyclists who died on Hong Kong’s roads in 2020. Around fourteen HK$5,000 tickets were given to those who showed up to the event, even as they stood in appropriately small groups around the TST start point. Organiser Martin Turner said the police action was “heavy handed”.

A group of four cyclists from the event (including this reporter) was later stopped at a Nathan Road roadblock, with officers warning the group to disband as it was β€œon the boundary” of the legal limit of group gatherings, according to the road block officer, and β€œcycling past anyone else would make you a group of five”.

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