Bikes Running Red Lights

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Andrew Swan, Sep 10, 2003.

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  1. Andrew Swan

    Andrew Swan Guest

    Another thread talked about cops running red lights. This prompts me to ask, do you run red lights:

    (a) never
    (b) depends if there's anyone watching
    (c) depends if there's any drivers watching
    (d) depends if there's any bike/car cops watching
    (e) depends if there's any cops watching
    (f) depends if there's any danger to me
    (g) depends if there's any danger to anyone else
    (h) if the light goes red when the bunch I'm in is halfway through (might be a special case of
    (g) or not)
    (i) if I've been waiting ages and they haven't changed (which is actually legal, as the in-road
    sensors can't always [never?] detect bikes and not all lights are on a timer all day)

    <soapbox> My opinion is this: if the only person you affected when you ran a red was yourself, I'd
    say do what you like - it's your money/health if you get fined/injured. However, it's not just about
    you. Like it or not, 80% of motorists (i.e. ignoring the extreme ends of the bell curve) will show
    cyclists respect and consideration in direct proportion to the regard that we (as a body) show for
    the road rules. You can't expect motorists to honour your road rights (e.g. a lane to yourself) if
    you flout your obligations on the road. </soapbox>

    P.S. This sounds like a troll, but it's something I actually feel strongly about. Surely the
    inconvenience of stopping at a few lights (and let's face it, there's usually no good
    reason why you can't, if you're riding responsibly) is worth it if it means we get better
    treatment in general? I know we are all equal road users in the eye of the law, but the
    reality is when push comes to shove, 1000kg of metal beats 8-20 kg of bike. We need all the
    goodwill we can generate, because if it turns into a jungle, we are the mewling baby birds
    on the forest floor.

    P.P. If this was really a troll, I would have x-posted to aus.cars! :)

    &roo
     
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  2. Andrew Swan

    Andrew Swan Guest

    Andrew Swan wrote:
    > Another thread talked about cops running red lights. This prompts me to ask, do you run
    > red lights:
    >
    > (a) never
    > (b) depends if there's anyone watching
    > (c) depends if there's any drivers watching
    > (d) depends if there's any bike/car cops watching
    > (e) depends if there's any cops watching
    > (f) depends if there's any danger to me
    > (g) depends if there's any danger to anyone else
    > (h) if the light goes red when the bunch I'm in is halfway through (might be a special case of (g)
    > or not)
    > (i) if I've been waiting ages and they haven't changed (which is actually legal, as the in-road
    > sensors can't always [never?] detect bikes and not all lights are on a timer all day)
    >
    > <soapbox> My opinion is this: if the only person you affected when you ran a red was yourself, I'd
    > say do what you like - it's your money/health if you get fined/injured. However, it's not just
    > about you. Like it or not, 80% of motorists (i.e. ignoring the extreme ends of the bell curve)
    > will show cyclists respect and consideration in direct proportion to the regard that we (as a
    > body) show for the road rules. You can't expect motorists to honour your road rights (e.g. a lane
    > to yourself) if you flout your obligations on the road. </soapbox>
    >
    > P.S. This sounds like a troll, but it's something I actually feel strongly about. Surely the
    > inconvenience of stopping at a few lights (and let's face it, there's usually no good
    > reason why you can't, if you're riding responsibly) is worth it if it means we get
    > better treatment in general? I know we are all equal road users in the eye of the law,
    > but the reality is when push comes to shove, 1000kg of metal beats 8-20 kg of bike. We
    > need all the goodwill we can generate, because if it turns into a jungle, we are the
    > mewling baby birds on the forest floor.
    >
    > P.P.S. If this was really a troll, I would have x-posted to aus.cars!
    > :)
    >
    > &roo
    >
    Forgot option (j): depends if any of my mates will rag me for stopping

    &roo
     
  3. Trevor S

    Trevor S Guest

    Andrew Swan <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    <snip>

    > (i) if I've been waiting ages and they haven't changed

    --
    Trevor S

    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." -Albert Einstein
     
  4. John Doe

    John Doe Guest

    I never run red lights for the reasons you mentioned. I obey all traffic rules.

    Peter
     
  5. Brunswick_kate

    Brunswick_kate New Member

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    As you mention, this isn't illegal.

    I do cop to having done "rolling stop signs" on the bike trails but upon reflection, have decided it's pretty hypocritical of me to run those and then bitch about people on bikes ignoring the rules they don't like. Solution: I'm giving up the sections of the cycling path where these stop signs are every 200 m through a residential neighbourhood and sticking to the road ways where I won't be inconvenienced by the continuous stop and go thing.

    Hope you've got room on that soapbox for 2 because I'm right there with you.
     
  6. Real LITE guy

    Real LITE guy New Member

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    (i) if I've been waiting ages and they haven't changed

    ALSO

    If there is no traffic in sight and I have my wits about me (not tired or pre-occupied), I'll coast on through.

    That implies paying close attention and not assuming safety.
     
  7. Georgetown_Jay

    Georgetown_Jay New Member

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    Nice Thread...

    I'm sick & tired of stopping at reds on my ride just to have some idiot on another bike behind me catch up and roll through the intersection. Seriously - what's wrong with these people :confused: Now each of the cars waiting at the red to go through the lights is likely a bit more agitated with “those damn cyclists" and I’m left to contend with them when the light turns green.

    On a positive side I've found it somewhat therapeutic to then catch up to my ignorant fellow cyclist, inform him of the purpose of a red light, and leave him staring at my back tire....:p
     
  8. Gary K

    Gary K Guest

    (b) or more to the point, no traffic anywhere, deserted, I'll ride thru.
    (c) bunch riders consider themselves as one large vehicle, much like when a motorist is left waiting
    to turn in the middle, the lights go red then he has the right to clear the intersection.

    Lots of cyclist run red lights infront of lines of motorist tho. Pretty bad. I'm with the motorists.

    GK

    Andrew Swan <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Another thread talked about cops running red lights. This prompts me to ask, do you run
    > red lights:
    >
    > (a) never
    > (b) depends if there's anyone watching
    > (c) depends if there's any drivers watching
    > (d) depends if there's any bike/car cops watching
    > (e) depends if there's any cops watching
    > (f) depends if there's any danger to me
    > (g) depends if there's any danger to anyone else
    > (h) if the light goes red when the bunch I'm in is halfway through (might be a special case of (g)
    > or not)
    > (i) if I've been waiting ages and they haven't changed (which is actually legal, as the in-road
    > sensors can't always [never?] detect bikes and not all lights are on a timer all day)
    >
    > <soapbox> My opinion is this: if the only person you affected when you ran a red was yourself, I'd
    > say do what you like - it's your money/health if you get fined/injured. However, it's not just
    > about you. Like it or not, 80% of motorists (i.e. ignoring the extreme ends of the bell curve)
    > will show cyclists respect and consideration in direct proportion to the regard that we (as a
    > body) show for the road rules. You can't expect motorists to honour your road rights (e.g. a lane
    > to yourself) if you flout your obligations on the road. </soapbox>
    >
    > P.S. This sounds like a troll, but it's something I actually feel strongly about. Surely the
    > inconvenience of stopping at a few lights (and let's face it, there's usually no good
    > reason why you can't, if you're riding responsibly) is worth it if it means we get better
    > treatment in general? I know we are all equal road users in the eye of the law, but the
    > reality is when push comes to shove, 1000kg of metal beats 8-20 kg of bike. We need all
    > the goodwill we can generate, because if it turns into a jungle, we are the mewling baby
    > birds on the forest floor.
    >
    > P.P.S. If this was really a troll, I would have x-posted to aus.cars! :)
    >
    > &roo
     
  9. DurangoKid

    DurangoKid New Member

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    I live in Palo Alto, Ca, USA, a.k.a., "on the peninsula". The main artery for bikes is Foothill Expressway. Access is limited to main streets that cross Foothill. Thus, there are more than a few lights. I always stop at the lights. There's too much traffic to blow off a red light. I also refrain from making a U-turn down the intersecting street to dodge the red light. People have been killed trying that. Most of the intersections can sense bikes in the left turn lane. Some can't. On the ones that can't, I treat them as a stop sign when making a left turn. Even that can get tricky when the volume of motor traffic is up.

    In general, traffic is too heavy around here to run red lights. The odds of being caught by a cop or an oncoming car are too great. It's not worth the exposure.

    Stop signs are a slightly different case. On four way stops I roll up to the intersections slowly so as to be able to stop if I spot something. If not, I roll into the intersection without touching the ground with my foot. Most of the time I'm the only one at the intersection so, why come out of the clips? When traffic is heavy or the intersection is blind, I always stop. On two way stops where I have the right of way, I don't assume I'm going to get it if there are cars present or the corners are blind.

    There are a few intersections on popular routes where the local police/sheriffs hang out on weekends to site cyclists who run stop signs. They will site cyclists and they can be rather picky about whether touching the foot is a stop or coming to a complete stop is a stop or hovering in the clips for a few seconds is a stop. It's cheaper to stop with a foot flat on the ground.

    Most of the drivers around here fit uder the hump in the bell curve. Many of the drivers are cyclists themselves. It's that three sigma prat that keeps me honest.
     
  10. "Georgetown_Jay" wrote:

    > I'm sick & tired of stopping at reds on my ride just to have some idiot on another bike behind me
    > catch up and roll through the intersection.

    What's worse is stopping my bike at a red light, and having a motorist behind me ignore it and go
    straight through (admittedly there's been negligible traffic about). It's happened a few times.

    John
     
  11. "Andrew Swan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Another thread talked about cops running red lights. This prompts me to ask, do you run
    > red lights:
    >
    > (a) never
    > (b) depends if there's anyone watching
    > (c) depends if there's any drivers watching
    > (d) depends if there's any bike/car cops watching
    > (e) depends if there's any cops watching
    > (f) depends if there's any danger to me
    > (g) depends if there's any danger to anyone else
    > (h) if the light goes red when the bunch I'm in is halfway through (might be a special case of (g)
    > or not)
    > (i) if I've been waiting ages and they haven't changed (which is actually legal, as the in-road
    > sensors can't always [never?] detect bikes and not all lights are on a timer all day)

    Never ever ever.

    (1) I want all other road users to respect me as a rightful user of the road, and to do so, it's
    important that I follow the rules that they need to abide by.

    (2) I'm kinda lucky to be here today after being hit (in a car) by a drunk running a red light late
    one night. Came through a crossroads (Melbournians: corner of Springfield Rd and Blackburn Rd)
    and hit the front right guard of my car, spinning me around a few times while he speared off
    into a power pole. A few feet further and it would have been the driver's door that he hit, not
    the guard. I was very lucky to walk away with a few cracked ribs and a thumping headache.

    (3) Accidents happen at intersections, not when you're idling along some country lane "Famous Five"
    style. Life is precious, people. We gotta take care out there.
     
  12. MikeyOz

    MikeyOz New Member

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    I have only ever run red lights, when it is dark about 5 in the morning and there is sight nor sign of another living thing or motorised thing. I know it is still illegal but I feel that if I obey the road rules then I will get treated better by drivers because they are going to see I obey road rules.

    People that usually coast past me I then usually pass them again anyway, they are just fooling themselves and one day the are going to do it, not see something and it is going to kill/injure either themselves or someone else.

    its just not worth it and packs should stick the rules more than anybody else.

    the thing about red lights and the sensors not detecting the bike really does give me the irks.... so what do you do wait for a car to come along ? I dont think so.

    Mikey
     
  13. robroy

    robroy New Member

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    Firstly Good Thread

    I, like others think that we should be law abiding. However, there have been times when I have crossed the line, pun intended, especially waiting for green arrows ...those detectors are killers.

    I agree with those other riders that say if we are wanting respect by motorists we should be seen to be upholding the law and not flouting it by cruising on through red lights.
     
  14. Alex

    Alex Guest

    I only run a red light when (h) or (i) apply, except when I'm making a left turn. In which case, I
    also run the light if (f) and (g) apply. Not sure if you're allowed to do this in ther states but
    you are only supposed to do this in SA if the intersection is appropriately signed. I tend to treat
    all of them as signed....

    In the case of (i), I predict this occuring on the unavoidable intersections that I know don't sense
    my bike and treat them as a give way sign when ther are no cars to set them off.

    "Andrew Swan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Another thread talked about cops running red lights. This prompts me to ask, do you run
    > red lights:
    >
    > (a) never
    > (b) depends if there's anyone watching
    > (c) depends if there's any drivers watching
    > (d) depends if there's any bike/car cops watching
    > (e) depends if there's any cops watching
    > (f) depends if there's any danger to me
    > (g) depends if there's any danger to anyone else
    > (h) if the light goes red when the bunch I'm in is halfway through (might be a special case of (g)
    > or not)
    > (i) if I've been waiting ages and they haven't changed (which is actually legal, as the in-road
    > sensors can't always [never?] detect bikes and not all lights are on a timer all day)
    >
    > <soapbox> My opinion is this: if the only person you affected when you ran a red was yourself, I'd
    > say do what you like - it's your money/health if you get fined/injured. However, it's not just
    > about you. Like it or not, 80% of motorists (i.e. ignoring the extreme ends of the bell curve)
    > will show cyclists respect and consideration in direct proportion to the regard that we (as a
    > body) show for the road rules. You can't expect motorists to honour your road rights (e.g. a lane
    > to yourself) if you flout your obligations on the road. </soapbox>
    >
    > P.S. This sounds like a troll, but it's something I actually feel strongly about. Surely the
    > inconvenience of stopping at a few lights (and let's face it, there's usually no good
    > reason why you can't, if you're riding responsibly) is worth it if it means we get better
    > treatment in general? I know we are all equal road users in the eye of the law, but the
    > reality is when push comes to shove, 1000kg of metal beats 8-20 kg of bike. We need all the
    > goodwill we can generate, because if it turns into a jungle, we are the mewling baby birds
    > on the forest floor.
    >
    > P.P.S. If this was really a troll, I would have x-posted to aus.cars! :)
    >
    > &roo
     
  15. Rickster

    Rickster Guest

    Andrew Swan <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Another thread talked about cops running red lights. This prompts me to ask, do you run
    > red lights:
    >
    > (a) never
    > (b) depends if there's anyone watching
    > (c) depends if there's any drivers watching
    > (d) depends if there's any bike/car cops watching
    > (e) depends if there's any cops watching
    > (f) depends if there's any danger to me
    > (g) depends if there's any danger to anyone else
    > (h) if the light goes red when the bunch I'm in is halfway through (might be a special case of (g)
    > or not)
    > (i) if I've been waiting ages and they haven't changed (which is actually legal, as the in-road
    > sensors can't always [never?] detect bikes and not all lights are on a timer all day)
    >
    [snip]

    I love (h). Some of the excuses you get. But in reality, it's "I'm a hack at he back half of the
    bunch, and if it gets away 'cos I stop at a red light, I'm too much of a hack to power on to catch
    it, and thus I can't pretend to partake in the glory sprint at the end of the ride"
     
  16. > By the time you get up onto the curb and press the button, wouldn't the light have already
    > changed?

    Yeah, but the question was what you do at lights that don't have a timer and don't get tripped
    by a bike.

    For me it's kind of a moot point anyway. The nearest traffic light from where I live is ~15km, and I
    always cycle in the other direction. :)
     
  17. troyq

    troyq New Member

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    I know a "red light" is a "red light" but im interested to know if people treat red lights differently in different circumstances, such as pedestrian crossings...

    Case in point, this morning on my way to work I was cruising down a hill about to begin the few hundred metre climb up the other side and sure enough the pedestrian lights go red just before i get there. Normally, no problem, wait for pedestrians... however it turns out to be school kids pressing the button while walking by with no intention of crossing the road.

    Of course I stopped, for all the reasons everyone else has mentioned above... but I was very tempted to continue, and spray a word or several in their direction.

    So back to my point, a red light is a red light but does everyone always stop (and remain stopped) at pedestrian lights?
     
  18. Liz

    Liz Guest

    Does everyone always stop at pedestrian lights? NO! Well not car drivers anyway. I went for a walk
    the other day and came to a pedestrian only crossing on a moderately busy road. Pushed the button,
    waited for the little green man to appear, checked to see that the approaching car really was
    stopping, then started to cross. Then another car came up from behind, beeped its horn, swerved past
    the stopped car and continued full speed through the intersection. Gave me quite a fright.

    "troyq" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]iot.net.au...
    > Andrew Swan wrote:
    > > Another thread talked about cops running red lights. This prompts me
    to
    > > ask, do you run red lights: <snip> &roo
    >
    >
    >
    > I know a "red light" is a "red light" but im interested to know if people treat red lights
    > differently in different circumstances, such as pedestrian crossings...
    >
    > Case in point, this morning on my way to work I was cruising down a hill about to begin the few
    > hundred metre climb up the other side and sure enough the pedestrian lights go red just before i
    > get there. Normally, no problem, wait for pedestrians... however it turns out to be school kids
    > pressing the button while walking by with no intention of crossing the road.
    >
    > Of course I stopped, for all the reasons everyone else has mentioned above... but I was very
    > tempted to continue, and spray a word or several in their direction.
    >
    > So back to my point, a red light is a red light but does everyone always stop (and remain stopped)
    > at pedestrian lights?
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > >--------------------------<
    > Posted via cyclingforums.com http://www.cyclingforums.com
     
  19. Liz

    Liz Guest

    Specially when it's a 4WD that's just stopped to deliver a child at school, and is turning into a
    major road. "John Henderson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Georgetown_Jay" wrote:
    >
    > What's worse is stopping my bike at a red light, and having a motorist behind me ignore it and go
    > straight through (admittedly there's been negligible traffic about). It's happened a few times.
    >
    > John
     
  20. Jess

    Jess New Member

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    I prefer not to run red lights if I can help it. I agree that if we want respect from drivers and the right to use the roads, we should respect the road rules like anyone else. However, at 5am in the morning and I'm late for training and there's no one around (especially cars), I will run certain lights that I know take forever to change. If there's any other cars sitting there though, I'll wait too.
    When riding in a bunch, I try to persuade fellow riders to stop if we get caught (and only half the bunch makes it through). Sure, it's a pain in the ass, especially since you've got to haul ass to catch the bunch again, but it's for our collective image as cyclists that we need to endure a bit of inconvenience.
    PS A mate was fined the other day for running a red light by a plain-clothes cop and he tried to fight it and was fined more (maybe for abusing a cop??).
     
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