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Police slap more than 2,000 cyclists with warnings, fines

More than 100 people received 40-euro traffic fines for infractions ranging from missing lights to riding on the pavement.

Baksidan av en cykel med baklykta på.
File photo of bicycle rear reflector and lamp. Image: Yle/Hedvig Sandell

Police said they handed out warnings to 2,333 cyclists and issued fines to 133 others during a traffic enforcement operation focusing on bikers last week.

"Police gave out warnings and 40-euro traffic fines for lights that were partly or entirely missing, riding on the pavement and for running red lights, among other things. Some police stations also gave lights to cyclists who didn’t have them," police inspector Heikko Kallio of the National Police Board said in a statement.

The background to last week’s intensive monitoring operation was new traffic laws that took effect in June and aimed to remind cyclists of them.

"The goal of the surveillance was to remind people moving around in the dark of the importance of visibility. One new issue in relation to previous legislation is therefore that cyclists must also use a rear red light when riding in the dark or at dusk, or when visibility has deteriorated due to weather conditions or other reasons," Kallio pointed out.

Bicycle riders are also being urged to use a cycle helmet, although not using one is not a punishable offence.

"According to new traffic rules, cyclists and passengers should generally wear protective headgear while riding. One positive observation during the operation was that many people did wear helmets," Kallio noted.

Police are also advising residents of urban areas to use reflectors. They said that they will continue to monitor how cycling rules are being observed alongside other police work.

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