Jeremy VineJeremy Vine is the latest victim of Operation Safeway, the campaign run by the Metropolitan Police as it seeks to bring a halt to unsafe cycling in London.

Rather aptly, the BBC presenter took to the social media channel, Vine, to show the moment he was caught cycling at 16mph in a 5mph zone in Hyde Park.

Vine, who is perhaps best known for his BBC Radio 2 lunchtime show focused on the day’s current affairs, found himself the centre of attention, a high profile victim of the campaign which launched in November last year.

Figures obtained by the London Evening Standard show that the number of fines handed out to cyclists in the capital more than doubled to almost 15,000 last year.

5,000 riders caught jumping red lights

Nearly 5,000 cyclists were caught jumping red lights, an offence punishable with a £50 fine. Other offences – which raised £789,000 for the Met Police – included ignoring signs, failing to stop for officers, not having suitable lights or carrying unauthorised passengers.

Operation Safeway was launched as a direct result of a series of incidents last year, in which six cyclists died in just a fortnight. A total of 14 cyclists died in 2013, and in 2014 that number already stands at 11.

Superintendent Robert Revill, of the Metropolitan Police’s road and transport policing command told the Standard: “It is not about punishment or persecution, it’s about creating awareness.

“We enforce traffic legislation robustly. Officers will be out in force, watching and dealing accordingly with anyone breaking the law.”

Vine incident brings touch of humour to serious campaign

Jeremy Vine took his punishment in good spirits and the Metropolitan Police will undoubtedly be delighted with the added publicity he brought to Operation Safeway. The incident even attracted the attention of The Times cartoonist, Jonathan Pugh.

But as Ann Kendrick, chairwoman of the London Cycle Campaign’s board of trustees told the Standard: “We need to tell cyclists to put out the message that they have to follow the rules like everyone else.”

Motorists versus cyclist war continues

Naturally, the high profile capture of Speeding Vine ignited the cyclist versus motorist war once again, with one commenter taking to Cycling Weekly to ask: “Will the police now also show the same enthusiasm for booking drivers illegally using mobile phones?”

The battle continues…