DRIVERS who stop in “cycle boxes” at junctions will be hit with a fine and penalty points.
Motorists widely ignore the brown-painted zones at traffic lights, which are meant to give cyclists a safety zone from other traffic.
Following a spate of fatal accidents involving cyclists in Edinburgh, city chiefs have decided to crack down hard on selfish motorists.
Any driver caught stopping on a cycle box will be hit with a £60 fine and get three points on their licence.
The council says 74% of injuries to cyclists happen within 20 meters of a junction.
The Drive Safe Cycle Safe campaign will give drivers – and cyclists – a four-week education period.
During that time, cyclists will be encouraged to use them and drivers warned if they stray on to them.
After that, the gloves will come off and police will start handing out penalty notices.
Edinburgh council’s transport leader Gordon Mackenzie said: “We want to remind people of what the rules mean and remind them that they are enforceable.
“It’s to make motorists more aware of cyclists – and cyclists more aware of their responsibilities too.
He added: “The bottom line is that we want to reduce accidents, and a big part of this is making road users aware of what they can do to stop them from happening in the first place.”
The council has also ‘refreshed’ the paint on the boxes around the city.
In Edinburgh today, flagrant violations of the cycle boxes were obvious within minutes.
In one case, the driver of an Edinburgh Council recycling lorry appeared not to be “on message”, stopping on top of a cycle box and then screaming abuse from his cab when photographed.
Taxi drivers appeared to be other regular culprits.
Lynne McNicoll’s son Andrew was killed in a crash earlier this year.
The 43-year-old was hit by an articulated lorry in the city’s Lanark Road while he was cycling.
She said: “This campaign is something I would definitely support.
“Certainly in the last few months I have been a lot more aware, from watching motorists and cyclists, of just how much more education is needed.
“We have said many times that we do not want the blame thing.
“It’s very, very much about working together to make real changes.”
Ian Maxwell, of cycling group Spokes, said: “This campaign is about saying that improvements can be made by both motorists and cyclists.”
Chief Inspector Gavin Philip, of Lothian and Borders police, said: “Throughout the campaign we will have officers on bikes engaging with the community and encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions and to show respect towards other road users.”