Cyclists who ignore traffic regulations at Tarthorst shopping centre almost never get booked, it turns out from a remark by community police officer Alex de Wit in De Gelderlander newspaper. So are racing students being let off?
No, says De Wit in a clarification. ‘I give a ticket to cyclists who commit serious offences such as ignoring a red light or cutting people up. But it wouldn’t be fair to fine people for crossing without giving a hand signal. I’ve seen 300 people commit the same traffic offence in the space of 15 minutes. If I give ten of them a ticket, that’s completely random. There needs to be an element of fair play.’ Nevertheless, what De Wit sees during his weekly checks in De Tarthorst make him wince.
The traffic situation in the residential neighbourhood has been the subject of debate for some time: hundreds of cyclists cross De Tarthorst from the town centre to campus between quarter past and half past eight almost every morning. ‘The cyclists, especially the students, often shoot out left and right in front of the cars and other people,’ says De Wit. ‘Most don’t stick their hand out. I often see cars having to brake hard. Their excuse is that they’re in a hurry to get to lectures on time. Ridiculous. They should just get out of bed earlier.’ De Wit doesn’t give tickets for the students’ crass behaviour, but they do get a severe reprimand.