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Jumping Red Lights, Prosecution

the_red_lanternthe_red_lantern Posts: 212
edited August 2007 in Commuting chat
A friend of mine was pulled over by a policeman in an unmarked car after he had jumped a red light. The policeman gave him a lecture on how dangerous this manovure was and my friend started to explain how he knew the light sequence like the back of his hand, and that in his measured opinion as there was no advanced stop box at this junction it was safer for him to jump the light. At this the officer became very irate and stated to him that if he was not going to another incident he would have prosecuted him, he also promised that if he was to see him doing it again he would prosecute him to the nth degree. Just out of interest, what is the nth degree of prosecution for jumping a red light?
Kev
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  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    Just out of interest, what is the nth degree of prosecution for jumping a red light?

    No idea. The best way of dealing with the old bill is not to give then backchat. Smile. Be polite.
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    What a censored your mate is!!! He shouldn't do the crime if he doesn't want the consequences, and then he shouldn't be whining about it either.
  • I reckon it's the policeman who is a mammary gland
  • cutthroatcutthroat Posts: 1
    Nah - we've all been there. If you know the light sequence it really can be safer to jump the light. But Rothbook is right, just be polite to the police and apologise - it is just easier.
  • AndyGatesAndyGates Posts: 8,467
    "Oops, sorry, you got me. Won't do it again occifer."

    Backchat *always* leads to trouble, especially for something so damn trivial.
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  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    It's not the jumping the red light I'm most unimpressed with, it's the whining and bad attitude afterwards. If you're going to jump reds, at least take it like a man when you're caught.
  • Hairy JockHairy Jock Posts: 558
    Where did all these juvenile delinquents come from? Grow up, start taking responsibility for your own actions, you can’t expect anyone to show you an respect until you do. If there is no ASL at the traffic light, approach it in the primary position (if you don’t know what the primary position is try reading Cyclecraft).
    **************
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  • RufusARufusA Posts: 500
    Just out of interest, what is the nth degree of prosecution for jumping a red light?

    Section 36 of the RTA makes it an endorsable offence, so potentially fines of up to £1000 and a maximum of 3 penalty points on a license. Though I am not sure if you can have an endorsment if you are not in a motor vehicle.

    In reality it will be a £30 FPN!

    Rufus.
  • GreenbankGreenbank Posts: 731
    I'm with Mikey on this. If you do something stupid then bleating about it will only make it worse.

    It also works the other way. When stopped, years ago, on a motorbike with a missing rear L-plate (it must have snapped off officer! infact it had as the remains of it were still attached to the number plate) I let the officer spend 10 minutes explaining how to drill holes in a numberplate so that I could affix a new L-plate more securely. Lots of "Thank you officer" etc and he felt like he'd done his good deed for the day. So much, in fact, that he forgot to ask to see my license (which I did have), MOT (which I did have), VED (which I did have) or insurance (which I didn't have, naughty I know).
    --
    If I had a baby elephant signature, I\'d use that.
  • If your friend broke the law, he should think himself lucky that he wasn't prosecuted. I'm sorry guys, but if it was a car driver that ran a red light, and ran you over, I don't think that you'd be defending him or saying that it's OK to jump red lights when you know the sequence like the back of your hand. They're there for a purpose, you know!

    "on your bike" Norman Tebbit.
  • To be fair to my mate he held his hands up right away and admitted he was in the wrong but he tried to put over the point it wasnt as dangerous as it seemed (to a non cyclist). I am definately in the camp of smile politely and take your dressing down like the good little boy they want you to be.
    Kev
  • GreenbankGreenbank Posts: 731
    the point it wasnt as dangerous as it seemed

    That's where your friend went wrong. The law doesn't say "You should not pass a white stop line whilst the light is red unless, of course, you know it isn't as dangerous as it seems" does it?

    Mr Policeman isn't interested how dangerous you thought it was. His interest is public safety (i.e. the safety of others that might have been affected by your friends actions) and upholding the law.
    --
    If I had a baby elephant signature, I\'d use that.
  • AtzAtz Posts: 1,383
    A friend of mine was prosecuted for speeding. His argument when caught was that he was speeding on a road where no pedestrians could wander (fenced off), when there was no traffic (except the police naturally) and good conditions so it was 100% safe. The policeman agreed with all of those but pointed out that he knew what the speed limit was and the consequences are his fault. The same with your friend.

    Additionally, I know too many people who've been bounced over cars that are racing the amber light (or jumping the red) to think that crossing at anything but green is "safe".
  • I understand the desire to jump a light if there's no advanced box. I have the same problem on my commute, but I get round it by stopping for the red and then freewheeling a (safe) short distance ahead anyway. Then when the lights go yellow I'm well away without putting others in danger, breaking the law, and pissing off motorists.

    Your friend may think he knows the light sequence, but the sequences are all programmed in and they do sometimes get changed, which could catch your friend out, in a potentially fatal way.

    Cheers :-)
  • cupofteacpcupofteacp Posts: 578
    Blindly RLJing is stupid and dangerous. God is not your co-pilot.

    What happens when they change the fazing, or when a motorist c0(ks up and charges through.

    However stopping and the slowing moving forward, and being aware of the traffic is a safer option.
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  • Noel PTNoel PT Posts: 627
    I used to be an Red Light Jumper .....until Wednesday!

    I saw a dude get knocked down in Hackney road. Not a pretty sight. He wasn't horribly damaged but it was not great to see.

    The ironic thing was that, it was an ambulance that knocked him down about a mile away from the red light that he jumped. But naturaly the first thing that was mentioned was his RJL even though it was erelavant.
  • misterbenmisterben Posts: 193
    Couple of points of note here:

    1. I presume I am not the only one who seeths at cyclists cycling through red lights when the pedestrian crossing lights are green?

    2. Some cities (including Glasgow where I live) now have a fancy system that re-phases lights automatically for buses that are running late, based on a fancy GPS system.
    mrBen

    "Carpe Aptenodytes"
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  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    I also know the sequence for traffic lights. They go red, (STOP!); red+ amber (STAY STOPPED); green, (PROCEED WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO); amber (STOP UNLESS IT IS UNSAFE TO DO SO); red, (STOP!!!).
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,044
    i know all the sequences of the light son my way home and the time between the red man on the crossing opposite to the green light appearing

    but i still don't RLJ...use the time to practice trackstands or something....
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    If you get stopped for an offence whilst on your bike you can have penalty points added to your drivers licence. I know of 1 guy who had his drivers licence removed for driving a bike whilst over the legal drink driving limit (OK he was way over the limit). Public Highway and all that!!
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    cee wrote:
    If you get stopped for an offence whilst on your bike you can have penalty points added to your drivers licence.

    I don't believe you're correct. Care to quote the case number and other details so we can look it up online?
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,044
    I thought you could.....

    of course it depends if one has a driving licence, but i suppose 95% of people technically old enough to drink do
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    Despite my having seen many debates on this issue, I've never once come across positive proof of it, and huge numbers of people saying that it's utter tripe. You can't get points on your driving license for a cycling offence.

    OTOH, there was quick proof when someone once questioned whether a cyclist had been prosecuted for furious pedalling/dangerous cycling.
  • snookssnooks Posts: 1,521
    Just a quick thought

    If you didn't have a driving licence...Where would they put the penaly points??? :-)

    Also if you were drunk in charge of a bike, and again you didn't have a licence, how could they stop you riding a bike which you don't need a licence to ride?

    Happy to be proved wrong

    btw as a pedestrian the other day, just missed the green flashing man Got half way across to the traffic island), there was just one cyclist waiting at the lights, and even though the his light went green he still waved me across in front of him. So not everyone is in so much heuury they have to jump the lights :-)
    .
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  • jam1ecjam1ec Posts: 64
    I was having a think about this on my ride in this morning. I don't have a blanket rule that i do not jump lights. i think it comes down to judgement. The speeding in a car analogy is a good one. Here are some examples.

    Break to the law:
    If i am driving on a quiet motorway in ideal weather conditions, light, good visibility, dry, etc... then i may well creep over the speed limit. I would however accept the penalty points and fine, knowing that i was breaking the law. I do not know that many, if any, people who can honestly say they have never broken the speed limit whilst driving a car.
    If i am cycling along a quiet road in similarly good conditions and there is a red light at a pedestrian crossing and i can see either the people crossing have made it across or, some chav pressed it deliberately to stop me and has no intention of crossing, i will cycle through the red light.
    I think the key thing in either of these situations is that you evaluate you are not putting others at risk.

    Stick to the law:
    I do not speed in built up areas, particularly near residential areas or schools.
    I do not jump red lights at complex road junction no matter how quiet the road is.
    I don't think in either of these situations you are in control of the risk you create.

    There are obviously a lot of situations that fall in between these, on the whole i would say i very rarely jump red lights and ride safely. I just wonder how many people who say they never jump lights really mean it.
    FCN : 1
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    Going a bit off topic here....

    I've only ever cycled in Coventry, so my observations may be peculiar to my location, but I don't really see the point in ASLs, or coasting through red lights. If I pull up to traffic lights on my commute, and I know I'm far enough up the queue to clear the junction when the lights change, then I just take the primary position and wait my turn. If I'm too far back to do that, then I'll filter down the queue until I find a bit of a gap between two cars near the front, I'll pull in there, wait for the lights to change and immediately take the primary position when the car in front moves.

    There are a couple of places where I've used ASLs, and they seem to put you in a position that's more likely to bring you into conflict with cars. You're passing vehicles that are going to repass you as soon as the lights change.
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    I always filter to the front if I possibly can. I will wait behind cars when they start making them with the exhaust pipes pointing forwards.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    BentMikey wrote:
    Despite my having seen many debates on this issue, I've never once come across positive proof of it, and huge numbers of people saying that it's utter tripe. You can't get points on your driving license for a cycling offence.

    OTOH, there was quick proof when someone once questioned whether a cyclist had been prosecuted for furious pedalling/dangerous cycling.

    I was speaking to a copper about this the other day what they can do is

    £30 fine tell you to walk home

    Do you for drunk and disorderly if you cause a fuss (or if you're clearly far too pi$$ed to walk let alone ride)

    That's it, your driving license has absolutely no bearing on cycling

    As to jumping red lights... I have done it occasionally but never if there's any pedestrians I might obstruct... it's generally filter lanes, that kind of thing. I'm aware this doesn't make it ok.
    Purveyor of sonic doom

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  • homercleshomercles Posts: 499
    jam1ec wrote:
    If i am cycling along a quiet road in similarly good conditions and there is a red light at a pedestrian crossing and i can see either the people crossing have made it across or, some chav pressed it deliberately to stop me and has no intention of crossing, i will cycle through the red light.
    I think the key thing in either of these situations is that you evaluate you are not putting others at risk.

    Well said jam1ec!
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    I was reflecting on why RLJing raises the blood-pressure for many (including me despite/because of my status as a reformed ex-RLJer). I think it comes down to this:

    Everyday we are presented with loads of opportunities to behave like @rseholes. You know the kind of thing - push in in queues, push through doorways rather than hold the door for someone else, fail to say thanks/acknowledge thoughtful behaviour by other, refuse to smile. All of these things are minor inofthemselves but collectively they make the world a less attractive place to be. Speaking personally, I try to avoid doing all these things but still have my @rsehole moments. I think in most cases, RLJing is not reckless it's just one of those antisocial discourtesies that makes the world less pleasant.

    I think its a good thing to avoid being an @rsehole as much as possible. We'll all fail from time to time but each red light is a great chance to "just say no to Mr @rsehole"

    Cheers,

    J
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