A CRACKDOWN on cyclists dangerously riding around at night without lights showed that almost 89 per cent were still flouting the law.

Thames Valley Police said a total of 110 cyclists were stopped in Oxford’s High Street between 6.30pm and 9pm.

Out of those, 97 were slapped with £50 fines for riding without the necessary lights to keep them and others safe on the roads.

Cyclists can avoid paying the fine, but only if they buy a set of front and rear lights and present the receipt - with the fixed penalty notice - at a police station within seven days.

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Insp Oscar Hayward said 10 special police officers had taken part in the cycling blitz and similar checks would be done in the coming months.

He said: “It is vital for cyclists to understand that just because they can see where they are going on a well lit street it does not necessarily mean that they are fully visible to motorists approaching with their headlights on.

“The operation was a success and the team stopped a considerable amount of cyclists.

“Cyclists must have a light on both the front and back of their bike and it is advisable to wear fluorescent or high visibility clothing.”

Monday’s police operation was welcomed by Oxfordshire cycling group Cyclox, which campaigns in the city for better cycling provisions and safety.

Vice-chairman Dr Alison Hills said: “We strongly support this initiative and applaud the police for undertaking it.

“We do not have our own education programme for this, but we are very supportive of anything that promotes greater visibility.”

Dr Hills added: “Another key part of visibility at night comes from wearing high-visibility clothing, it is important and does have an impact with drivers.

“As a group we also feel that it is also important for car drivers to be aware of cyclists however.

“Driver behaviour plays a large role in safety, it must be a two-sided process.”

The Thames Valley Police initiative on Monday came after another carried out on October 27, in High Street and Abingdon Road.

Officers fined 276 cyclists who did not have a front white light and rear red light.

The Oxford Mail also carried out two surveys, on October 24 and November 5.

In the first just 42 per cent had the correct lights, but in the second survey this had risen to about 82 per cent.

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