Do you speak to RLJ's?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by spindrift, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. spindrift

    spindrift Guest

    You are waiting at the lights on the left hand side of your lane.

    A cyclist undertakes you and steams through the red light.

    The lights change and you invariably catch up with the RLJ.


    Do you say anything?

    Not even:


    "RED LIGHT, [email protected]!"


    Or how about last night on Hackney Road, I slow to a stop for a girl in
    the middle of the zebra to cross and a white van swerves incredibly
    close to me and causes the girl to leap out of the way.

    I was sooo close to leaning in the window and having a chat...
     
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  2. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    spindrift wrote:
    > You are waiting at the lights on the left hand side of your lane.
    > A cyclist undertakes you and steams through the red light.


    Normal practice in many parts.

    > The lights change and you invariably catch up with the RLJ.
    > Do you say anything?


    No, concentrate on your own driving/riding. Campaign for bike
    registration plates if you feel strongly about it, then you will be able
    to do what you might if it were a motorist - report them.

    > Not even:
    > "RED LIGHT, [email protected]!"


    Not /even/ that, no.

    > Or how about last night on Hackney Road, I slow to a stop for a girl in
    > the middle of the zebra to cross and a white van swerves incredibly
    > close to me and causes the girl to leap out of the way.
    >
    > I was sooo close to leaning in the window and having a chat...


    Go to http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.rec.driving for an in-depth
    discussion on that one.

    --
    Matt B
     
  3. spindrift

    spindrift Guest

    Since motorists flout the law with impunity are we merely seeing the
    recent London cyclists imitating drivers?

    What I mean is, cyclists and pedestrians see ASL jumpers, mobile phone
    users and speeders every single day. We are cut up, driven at, spat at
    and have objects hurled at us, see bike rage for details.

    This does not excuse bad cycling behaviour but since the motorists
    drive as if the roads are lawless the level of bad behaviour finds
    itself- all other road users are understandably reluctant to place
    themselves in more danger.


    Take RLJ's.

    You can proceed safely through a deserted junction or take your
    chancers with three frustrated boy racers doing standing start races as
    the lights change.

    Mitigation?

    I should coco.

    How about this for mitigation:

    Woman hits cyclist, cyclist falls off and is killed. Woman goes to
    court, pleads that points will mean an automatic ban (she has already
    been convicted of several offences), and that means she would have to
    walk two miles to school. Intolerable! So she walks away with her
    license and a £250 fine. That, my friend, is the reality of motorists'
    accountability, brought to you by registration plates, excise duty,
    compulsory testing and insurance.

    For instance, take the case of Peter Williams, a 22-year-old cyclist
    who was killed in January 2000 after a driver hit him with her wing
    mirror. He fell under the wheels of a following vehicle. The driver
    admitted driving without due care and attention but was fined just
    £200. No penalty points were applied despite a history of offences
    which would have meant an immediate ban under `totting up`. Phillip
    Judge, Chairman of the Bench in Cheltenham, said a driving ban would
    prevent her from taking her children the 2 miles to school and
    therefore cause too much hardship.

    The idea that punishments should not cause hardship to the offender is
    a new one to me.

    Nor is this unusual. 25-year-old Carl Fox from Doncaster was killed by
    a driver travelling at 46mph in a 30mph zone. The driver was fined
    £100 and three penalty points. And Peter Longbottom, a racing cyclist
    of international repute, was held to have contributed to his demise by
    using a flashing rear light. The transport department has figures
    showing that these, while technically illegal, are three to five times
    more visible than a steady light.

    And more recently 17-year-old Jason Salter was knocked off his bike and
    killed by a woman who chose to try to overtake in the face of oncoming
    traffic, necessitating her passing far too close - a situation
    familiar to and dreaded by any regular cyclist. This triumph of
    impatience over respect for human life netted the driver a whopping
    £135 fine (less than the cost of a bicycle) and just six penalty
    points.

    Take the blame attached to a cyclist for being killed whilst possibly
    wearing an Ipod. How many motorists have died while listening to the
    radio? This is an important question because it points to the cyclists`
    apartheid, where we are held to a higher standard while being fed a
    steady diet of outrage, condescension and nannyish pats on the back:
    all for the sin of being self-propelled.

    I made exactly this point earlier with regards this misguided `lights`
    campaign (www.stopatred.org).

    `The rules` say that it is Okay for pedestrians to ignore lights
    altogether and for drivers to treat a red light as though it were not
    red for three or more seconds after it has changed. However, by making
    this a `cyclists only` issue, this `campaign` effectively reinforces
    the view that a higher standard of behaviour can rightfully be expected
    from cyclists, and that cyclists can be rightly condemned for not
    meeting that higher standard.

    We routinely have silly "lycra-nazi" articles in the press, and idiots
    like Jeremy Clarkson saying that he will run over, kill or cripple
    cyclists who get in his way:

    http://cars.msn.co.uk/carnews/ttclarksondec05/Default.asp

    And then we have obscure lobby groups supported by fake policemen who
    see traffic law enforcement as an infringement of motorists` right to
    speed. They propogate the dangerous myth that speeding is safe and they
    look with disdain on all vulnerable road users. They make the roads far
    more dangerous for everyone and they encourage the marginalisation of
    cyclists and pedestrians.

    So where is the law?

    Why are the roads lawless as far as drivers are concerned?
     
  4. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    spindrift wrote:
    > Since motorists flout the law with impunity are we merely seeing the
    > recent London cyclists imitating drivers?


    No, human nature is the same - whether it be in a cyclist or in a
    motorist. Some feel free to flout what they consider to be inessential
    rules, even if it means taking calculated risks. Others (the majority I
    believe) will comply because 'the law is the law'. The fact is that the
    tens of thousands of cases of RLJ which must occur each day result in
    proportionally very few casualties. There is compelling evidence to
    suggest that the removal of traffic lights will, in fact, result in
    fewer accidents, and less congestion. Perhaps you would be better off
    dedicating your energy to campaigning for the radical solution.

    --
    Matt B
     
  5. spindrift

    spindrift Guest

    It's confusing.



    More drivers than cyclists flout the law.

    The majority of motorists break the law:

    http://www.directline.com/about_us/news_050805.htm

    The majority of motorists get away with it.




    Even killer motorists often get fined the cost of a good restaurant
    meal and keep their licence.


    Take the three cases above, Jason, Carl and Peter, in what way does the
    punishment fit the crime?
     
  6. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    spindrift wrote:
    > It's confusing.


    What is?

    > More drivers than cyclists flout the law.


    Can you prove that assertion?

    > The majority of motorists break the law:
    > http://www.directline.com/about_us/news_050805.htm
    > The majority of motorists get away with it.


    And what does that tell you? Do you have similar stats for the
    behaviour of cyclists - on pavement cycling for instance?

    > Even killer motorists often get fined the cost of a good restaurant
    > meal and keep their licence.


    Only if there is not enough evidence to convict them of a more serious
    offence. Would you have anyone accused of any offence thrown in gaol
    whether there was any actual evidence of that offence or not?

    > Take the three cases above, Jason, Carl and Peter, in what way does the
    > punishment fit the crime?


    I imagine that the punishments were from within the prescribed bounds
    for the crimes for which they were convicted. Would you rather that
    they were convicted of more serious crimes, despite there being no evidence?

    --
    Matt B
     
  7. spindrift

    spindrift Guest

    So the majority of motorists indulge in a habit that is a contributory
    factor in twelve hundred deaths a year.


    Even when drivers are clearly guilty of causing a death through
    reckless, stupid behaviour the penalties are derisory, and the total
    cost of all fines paid by all speeders amounts to less than £1 per
    driver per year.

    Part of the problem is the gap in the law between Careless and
    Dangerous, but the main part of the problem is a pliant media who
    reinforce the heirarchal nature of road traffic and a skittish judicial
    system who shy away from holding drivers accountable even though it is
    technically impossible for an overtaking car to kill a cyclist if the
    HC is adhered to.
     
  8. congokid

    congokid Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    spindrift <[email protected]> writes

    >You are waiting at the lights on the left hand side of your lane.
    >A cyclist undertakes you and steams through the red light.
    >The lights change and you invariably catch up with the RLJ.
    >Do you say anything?


    Sometimes I'm tempted but I'm not one for confrontation and don't think
    it would have any lasting effect. I'm usually overtaken on the outside
    and the pavement though as I tend to rest my foot on the kerb, so
    overtaking on the inside is a bit difficult (undertaking is a different
    business I believe).

    --
    congokid
    Eating out in London? Read my tips...
    http://congokid.com
     
  9. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    Matt B wrote:
    > spindrift wrote:
    > > It's confusing.

    >
    > What is?
    >
    > > More drivers than cyclists flout the law.

    >
    > Can you prove that assertion?


    Trivial. 90% of drivers admit to speeding.
    There are more than 10/9 times the numbers of drivers than cyclists.

    It is therefore impossible for there to be more cyclist lawbreakers
    than motorist lawbreakers.

    > > The majority of motorists break the law:
    > > http://www.directline.com/about_us/news_050805.htm
    > > The majority of motorists get away with it.

    >
    > And what does that tell you? Do you have similar stats for the
    > behaviour of cyclists - on pavement cycling for instance?


    You don't need them. Just the number of cyclists.

    ...d
     
  10. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    spindrift wrote:
    > It's confusing.


    > More drivers than cyclists flout the law.
    > The majority of motorists break the law:
    > http://www.directline.com/about_us/news_050805.htm
    > The majority of motorists get away with it.


    > Even killer motorists often get fined the cost of a good restaurant
    > meal and keep their licence.


    > Take the three cases above, Jason, Carl and Peter, in what way does the
    > punishment fit the crime?


    It doesn't, and that needs to be addressed.

    However, you are, I think delibeartely, confusing several very
    different issues.

    There are two distinct types of red light jumper (RLJ): One is the
    "amber gambler" who goes through in the couple of seconds after the
    lights have changed, and the other is the delibereate law-breaking
    red-light-crasher, who comes up to the lights long after they have
    changed, sometimes when pedestrians are crossing the road at green
    pedestrian lights, and still drives/rides through.

    The majority of motor vehicle drivers will act as Type One some of the
    time, as will some cyclists (though it's more dangerous on a bike
    because of the greater time taken to clear the junction, unless one is
    an athlete). No-one really cares about amber gamblers as long as
    they're not too blatent about it and it is restricted to just a second
    or so after the red phase starts.

    Far fewer motor vehicle drivers will act as Type Two, partly because
    unless they are at the front of the queue they'll be blocked by other
    vehicles which have stopped. The ones who do act this way are mainly a
    subset of those who drive in bus lanes, speed in built up areas,
    overtake on the inside, fail to give cyclists room, cut up busses, etc
    - i.e. very bad drivers in general who regard the law as not applying
    to themselves. The majority of other motorists regard this group as a
    menace, and they are of course a deadly danger to pedestrians,
    cyclists, and indeed other motorists.

    Cyclists who act as type two may not be anything like the hazard that
    motorists of this type are, but they are far more common, and *very*
    highly visible to other road users, especially pedestrians, who
    generally find them frightening. Hence why they are a big problem to
    other, law abiding cyclists - they very effectively turn the public
    against us all.
     
  11. spindrift

    spindrift Guest

    "Cyclists who act as type two may not be anything like the hazard that
    motorists of this type are, but they are far more common"


    Nonsense.

    A survey by the RAC found that, yes, a lot of cyclists run red lights.


    It also found that one in ten drivers in Manchester and London crossed
    traffic lights more than three seconds after the lights turned red, and
    one in five bus drivers ran red lights.

    There are ten thousand traffic light camera prosecutions annually in
    London alone, a small part of the 1.5 million prosecutions annually
    based on camera evidence (I don't know what proportion are speed versus
    red lights), in turn the tip of the iceberg of twelve million
    prosecutions and cautions for motoring offences by UK police forces in
    2002.

    Lawbreaking, then, is not restricted to bikes.

    Motorists break the law in vast numbers.

    Speeding, in particular , is rife, and despite the evidence that the
    faster you go the more likely you are to kill or be killed if you
    crash, when speed cameras are erected we don't laugh at the idiots who
    get caught, we rail against the "stealth tax" on motorists.

    Gatsos are a stealth tax on motorists in the same way that city centre
    video cameras are a stealth tax on muggers and DNA testing is a stealth
    tax on rapists. People will brake to 20mph when they see a Gatso in a
    60 limit, because they haven't a clue what the limit is - they simply
    don't care enough to know. I drive a car, and I drive within the speed
    limit, which means for a start knowing what the limit is. I haven't
    always, and I've driven when too tired, and while talking on the phone,
    but I don't do that stuff any more because it's too bloody dangerous.
    When you wake up as you hit the rumble strips on the M3 at 135mph at
    3am after a 44 hour shift you realise that life's too short for that
    kind of stupidity. The plain and obvious fact is that, however illegal
    the cyclists' behaviour may be, the likely consequences are trivial
    compared with the daily consequences of illegal behaviour we claim as a
    right as drivers.

    Drivers also park illegally, causing danger and inconvenience. And they
    fail to observe box junctions (many drivers haven't a clue what these
    are anyway), they overtake on the inside, they hog the middle lane on
    motorways, they drive on the pavement and damage it, they use fog
    lights when it's not foggy or raining, they drive while drunk or stoned
    or smoking or talking on the phone, they drive with the stereo turned
    up too loud, they drive looking over their shoulders at screaming
    children, and they kill and injure over a quarter of a million people a
    year. And they seem to think that an annual payment of a hundred and
    fifty quid gives them a right to do this.

    So on the matter of cyclists and illegal behaviour, I quote the well
    known words of John 8:7 - let he who is without sin cast the first
    stone.


    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/web/public.nsf/Documents/Bloody_cyclists?OpenDocument
     
  12. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    spindrift wrote:
    > So the majority of motorists indulge in a habit that is a contributory
    > factor in twelve hundred deaths a year.


    No they don't. 1200, or so, may, but even that is controversial. The
    vast majority of speeding, and even of inappropriate speed, is
    completely victimless.

    > Even when drivers are clearly guilty of causing a death through
    > reckless, stupid behaviour the penalties are derisory, and the total
    > cost of all fines paid by all speeders amounts to less than £1 per
    > driver per year.


    What is the point you are trying to make with that statistic - that the
    penalty for having an 'accident' should be greater? Would you also
    apply that principle to household 'accidents', which are responsible for
    many more casualties than road 'accidents'?

    > Part of the problem is the gap in the law between Careless and
    > Dangerous, but the main part of the problem is a pliant media who
    > reinforce the heirarchal nature of road traffic


    Not at all. The hierarchy is enforced by the road traffic laws and
    regulations, and reinforced by the highway code. Drivers, and other
    road users are brainwashed to expect motor traffic to have priority.
    The pavements and kerbs suggest that pedestrians are entering into
    another domain when they cross those boundaries. Cyclists are urged to
    keep left and stay out of the way. Drivers are expected to read and
    take note of a never-ending barrage of lines, signs and signals, most of
    which give them de facto priority over pedestrians. If something goes
    badly wrong, due to information overload, concentration lapse,
    distraction, or whatever, the motorist is assumed blameworthy until the
    police can establish or be convinced otherwise.

    Action, not reaction is the clue to road safety. Give all users equal
    access and equal priority. Take time to research some of the work of
    Hans Monderman in Fryslân (Friesland) in the Netherlands, and latterly
    elsewhere.

    --
    Matt B
     
  13. mb

    mb Guest

    spindrift wrote:

    > You are waiting at the lights on the left hand side of your lane.
    >
    > A cyclist undertakes you and steams through the red light.
    >
    > The lights change and you invariably catch up with the RLJ.
    >
    >
    > Do you say anything?



    No, I'm not a policeman.


    >
    > Not even:
    >
    >
    > "RED LIGHT, [email protected]!"



    No, I'm not an idiot.


    >
    > I was sooo close to leaning in the window and having a chat...


    On the other hand, the motorist who crossed my cycle path the other
    day, without even looking[1] as I was zooming along at 40km/h [2], did
    get asked if he was blind when he made the mistake of stopping at the
    petrol station 50 yards down the road.

    [1] My right of way, road clearly marked, I missed him by inches after
    braking rather hard.
    [2] Wind was behind me ;)

    --
    Mike
     
  14. spindrift wrote:
    > You are waiting at the lights on the left hand side of your lane.
    >
    > A cyclist undertakes you and steams through the red light.
    >
    > The lights change and you invariably catch up with the RLJ.
    >
    >
    > Do you say anything?
    >
    > Not even:
    >
    >
    > "RED LIGHT, [email protected]!"
    >


    First catch them up (you probably will as they're not normally that fast
    - proper, fast, cyclists will normally have stopped) then draw level and
    small across. This is invariably a decent way of having them pay you
    attention, makes it harder for them to ignore the bon mot about to come
    their way.

    Then, really politely as vehement cursing doesn't normally work, either
    "red lights are *always* red lights" or, my favourite, "which bit of red
    lights do you need explaining to you?"
     
  15. spindrift

    spindrift Guest

    "Then, really politely as vehement cursing doesn't normally work,
    either
    "red lights are *always* red lights" or, my favourite, "which bit of
    red
    lights do you need explaining to you?" "

    I've done that.

    I also once said:

    "You are making life more unpleasant for other cyclists."


    You can't win though, I once followed a cyclist down Moorgate as she
    sailed through every single red light.

    All the way through The City and past Monument she blithely ignored
    every single red.

    I caught up with her on London Bridge.


    "That's really dangerous"

    I said.


    "I know!"

    she replied:

    "Once a car nearly hit me!"


    Sigh.
     
  16. spindrift wrote:
    > "Then, really politely as vehement cursing doesn't normally work,
    > either
    > "red lights are *always* red lights" or, my favourite, "which bit of
    > red
    > lights do you need explaining to you?" "
    >
    > I've done that.
    >
    > I also once said:
    >
    > "You are making life more unpleasant for other cyclists."
    >
    >


    That's normally my line when I'm a ped and I'm "interacting" with
    pavement cyclists - they will tend to come back with something along the
    lines of "you don't know what it's like on a bike", which is just a red
    rag to this 100-mile-a-week-on-two-wheels bull :)
     
  17. the.Mark

    the.Mark Guest

    chris harrison wrote:
    > Then, really politely as vehement cursing doesn't normally
    > work, either "red lights are *always* red lights" or, my
    > favourite, "which bit of red lights do you need explaining to
    > you?"

    I saw one that just about knocked a kid over at a ped crossing. I
    caught him up just as he passed another crossing that had just gone to
    flashing yellow when I used my favourite, "If you'd been a bit quicker
    you could have gone through that red as well".
    --
    Cheers
    the.Mark
     
  18. POHB

    POHB Guest

    "spindrift" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > Do you say anything?
    >


    The police were saying "you're nicked sonny" this morning to a guy in front
    of me.
     
  19. spindrift

    spindrift Guest

    POHB wrote:
    > "spindrift" <[email protected]> wrote
    > >
    > > Do you say anything?
    > >

    >
    > The police were saying "you're nicked sonny" this morning to a guy in front
    > of me.



    City of London Johnny Law start at 8am nicking cyclists, too late for
    my commute.

    Saw a copper at the end of the wibbly wobbly bridge waiting to nick
    cyclists riding across, so i said how reassuring her presence was and
    wondered whether she would be booking the motorists who ignore the
    pedestrian crossing traffic lights every day. Just outside St Paul's
    school. Silence came the stern reply.

    We need a clamp down on RLJ's and some kind of traffic Ayatollah for
    the miscreant drivers who speed, drive using a mobile, ignore ASL's,
    park in cycle lanes etc etc.
     
  20. BigRab

    BigRab Guest

    If you RLJ you're obviously not going fast enough between them to
    benefit from the interval training. ;-) Reds are for resting.

    BiGrab
     
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