Free bells for Freo cyclists
A cyclist rides through Fremantle's historic west end. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Fremantle bike riders will be given free bells and lights to ensure they abide by the road rules.

The move comes after a meeting between Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt and Police Supt Brad Sorrell yesterday, prompted by an article in _The West Australian _about a 24-year-old environmental scientist who was fined $50 for not having a bell on his bike while riding down a port-city street on Friday night.

In the article, Dr Pettitt said this kind of "over-zealous policing" was discouraging people from riding bikes.

Dr Pettitt said yesterday that the meeting with Supt Sorrell and other senior Fremantle officers had been constructive.

"We agreed that a positive way forward would be for the Fremantle Council and Fremantle Police to work together to improve bike safety by giving out lights and bells with warnings as a way of positively engaging with cyclists," he said.

"The City will pay for the bells and lights and the police will distribute these through enforcement.

"It is a good outcome. It will make cyclists safer in Fremantle but in such a way that encourages cycling in Fremantle, not discourage cycling in the way that a straight-up fine might do.

"Once a bike rider has been warned and been given a set of lights and a bell, then there is no excuse for not doing the right thing."

Supt Sorrell said he had wanted to meet with Dr Pettitt because he was concerned about the reference to the police's strategic focus.

He said local officers would now be involved in community engagement and education strategies over safe cycling.

Supt Sorrell said that since May last year, patrols had increased the enforcement of road traffic laws within the Fremantle CBD.

This had resulted in 1106 cautions and 319 fines.

"It can be seen from this that police are warning and educating the public, rather than just issuing infringements," he said.

'It will make cyclists safer in Fremantle but in such a way that encourages cycling.'"Fremantle Mayor *Brad Pettitt *

The West Australian

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