Traffic Light Etiquette

Bullet1
Bullet1 Posts: 161
edited December 2012 in Road beginners
As someone who is fairly new to commuting (17 miles into Manchester) I have been know to 'jump' the occasional red light especially when turning left- as and when I'm not putting myself or any other road user/pedestrian in danger. Not all the time but occasionally.

Whilst this is obviously still a traffic offence is it 'acceptable' or am I some who gives all law abiding cyclists a bad name.
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Comments

  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,521
    Probably.

    The question is: would it stop you?
  • Bullet1
    Bullet1 Posts: 161
    edited March 2010
    ........yes I would actually - hence asking the question.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,521
    The biggest issues are probably a) being hit by a car from jumping, though by the sounds of it you're only going through lights in situations where you don't cross the traffic's path (things that are legal in other countries like the Netherlands for example), and b) the inevitable extra abuse you'll attract from other drivers.

    Edit: I stopped for reason b), if anyone's taking score...
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,437
    You have to be careful as junctions with a pedestrian crossing phase may well have peds crossing on a green signal who may not be expecting anyone to come around the corner (with good reason). But as Rick says it's the perception of other road users that's the biggest issue. Would you do the same in a car?
  • Bullet1
    Bullet1 Posts: 161
    edited March 2010
    Wouldn't dream of doing the same in my car (cue next person to say "why are you doing it then") but then there are a number of behaviour change from bike to car, espicially the way other car users view bike versus other cars. (would a car overtake another car and cut in front in a 30 mph zone when coasting up to a junction at 20 mph...something I'm sure most folk experience on a daily basis)

    Fully take on board - pedestrians which I why whenever I have done it I've ensured I'm not butting myself or any other road users or pedestrians in danger.
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    I think 'etiquette' applies when there is no firm law. There is a law which says that you should wait for a green light.

    Badger baiting is also illegal.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I wait for a green light; I don't want to annoy any other road users. Then again I don't commute, so I encounter a traffic light about once a fortnight.

    I also give way to anything with antlers.
  • Muddybill
    Muddybill Posts: 10
    Seriously, wait for the green light. Apart from anything else, one day you'll jump the red, not notice the police car sitting there and find yourself in trouble.
    Also, cyclists already have a (generally not deserved) poor rep with car drivers. Why make it worse? Stop on the red and have a well earned rest!!
    Bikes... How many is too many?
  • moonshine
    moonshine Posts: 1,021
    Wait.....

    and use it as an opportunity to look cool by pulling a nice long trackstand. :D

    it pisses me off when someone pulls through a red light when i've been waiting for a cycle of lights...i think it pisses drivers off too.

    why cause aggro? and if you hit someone, your in the sh1t....
  • Bullet1
    Bullet1 Posts: 161
    6 against - 0 for!

    ......point taken, habit changed, life/injury saved, clean licence

    Next question.....any tips for
    use it as an opportunity to look cool by pulling a nice long trackstand

    P.S. I'm still in the 'remember to unclip camp' and haven't yet had the pleasure of looking a tw*t and giving the motorist something to laught at! (touches wood)
  • Bunneh
    Bunneh Posts: 1,329
    Most of you have seen the clip from Fools and Horse where Delboy leans on the bar only to fall through it because the door's been lifted up. My Dad was telling me about a ride he was on with a friend, they pulled up at some lights and his mate put a hand out to lean on the postbox; he misjudged it and fell over! My dad couldn't stop laughing.

    When you do get clipped shoes make sure the cleats are tight otherwise you can't get your foot out and you will look like a prick at the lights :lol:

    On a more on topic note, if I find a set of lights that are slow I tend to get off and walk around them, especially if I'm turning left. I never skip them whilst riding and I believe it does give cycling in general a bad name; but it's okay to dismount and walk around.
  • Chip \'oyler
    Chip \'oyler Posts: 2,323
    I'm sure you get pissed off when motorists break the law - so why be a hypocrite?
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  • Porgy
    Porgy Posts: 4,525
    I have no problem with anyone breaking the law. But when a road user endangers another road user by negligence or any other reason - and then does not learn from their experience - or refuses to be told they are wrong - that's what annoys me.
  • floosy
    floosy Posts: 270
    I always stop at red lights.....

    On my 14 mile each way commute to work there are 37 sets of traffic lights.....

    ohh boy can I track stand now.....

    Dave...
  • Personally, I can't stand RLJ'ers. Seems a bit much to ask motorists to respect you as a cyclist if you don't respect the rules of the road. But I did RLJ (the three sets of lights in my town) before I became a roadie :oops:
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,521
    Bullet1 wrote:
    6 against - 0 for!

    ......point taken, habit changed, life/injury saved, clean licence

    Next question.....any tips for
    use it as an opportunity to look cool by pulling a nice long trackstand

    P.S. I'm still in the 'remember to unclip camp' and haven't yet had the pleasure of looking a tw*t and giving the motorist something to laught at! (touches wood)

    I'm not against!

    Nor am I for...
  • Squillinossett
    Squillinossett Posts: 1,678
    Im going to single myself out for some abuse here, I am guilty of jumping red lights.

    If I can see its safe and clear, I do it. No in the patch of traffic, but as you describe, nipping around corners etc...
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    I used to, but learnt - on here - that it pisses other road users off somewhat and gives them an excuse to hate us, so I stopped doing it. You can argue that they'll find another reason to hate us, but why give em the ammo? Plus which, there's a Smug Factor 10 as a reward for sitting patiently at a red light knowing that the driver behind fully expected you to sail through it.
  • lukasran
    lukasran Posts: 53
    its a personal risk assesment. have a good look and get through. no red light jumper has a death wish and it has got to be safer than setting off with all the lorrys buses etc. when im driving and see a bike jump the lights i think well done, why wait if you dont have to and its safer not to? smug factor for impressing the car drivers strange.
  • sheffsimon
    sheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    lukasran wrote:
    its a personal risk assesment. have a good look and get through. no red light jumper has a death wish and it has got to be safer than setting off with all the lorrys buses etc. when im driving and see a bike jump the lights i think well done, why wait if you dont have to and its safer not to? smug factor for impressing the car drivers strange.

    What if you dont spot car/pedestrian etc. Its not a "personal risk assessment", its not your choice to make. If somebody is coming through on green, or somebody is crossing the road, they have a right to expect that there wont be some c**t jumping the red light.
  • on the road
    on the road Posts: 5,631
    Bullet1 wrote:
    As someone who is fairly new to commuting (17 miles into Manchester) I have been know to 'jump' the occasional red light especially when turning left- as and when I'm not putting myself or any other road user/pedestrian in danger. Not all the time but occasionally.

    Whilst this is obviously still a traffic offence is it 'acceptable' or am I some who gives all law abiding cyclists a bad name.
    You shouldn't have admitted it on here, they'll come down on you like a ton of bricks while doing the same themselves.
  • Down/Up
    Down/Up Posts: 27
    I recommend jumping the red light if you are certain it is safe and their and no peds around. A large number of the cyclist casualties in London are from HGV making right turns and running over cyclists on the kerb side who are either going straight ahead or also turning left. So my vote is get the around that corner as quickly and safely as possible, under no circumstances should you be lurking around the kerb on the left side of traffic waiting for the lights to change. Either use the cyclist advance stop box or if there isn't one just plonk yourself right in fornt of the cars, or even better make the left turn when its safe to do so, not when the light tell you to. I'd rather be annoy a few motorists than put intentionally put myself in one of the most dangerous positions on the road.
  • phreak
    phreak Posts: 2,905
    I go if the way is clear. It's a matter of being sensible I think. I mean I doubt anyone would grumble if a pedestrian crossed a crossing without a green man if the road was clear.

    Something else to consider, especially in London is that the edge of the road, and often the middle as well to be honest, is usually in a terrible state, so getting away before the mass of traffic behind you lets you stake out a safe bit of road without having to ride through the grand canyon's that litter the edges.

    All the saints on here will be saying next they've never gone over the speed limit in their cars ever. That's considerably more dangerous yet I dare say the majority of drivers do that every day.
  • Paul32uk
    Paul32uk Posts: 80
    phreak wrote:
    I go if the way is clear. It's a matter of being sensible I think. I mean I doubt anyone would grumble if a pedestrian crossed a crossing without a green man if the road was clear.

    All the saints on here will be saying next they've never gone over the speed limit in their cars ever. That's considerably more dangerous yet I dare say the majority of drivers do that every day.

    This. I slow down to under walking pace or stop completely and take a good look and if it is safe to do so shall proceed. I dont see the point of getting off the bike and walking the junction if I've slowed to slower than walking pace and checked. What is the difference in me cycling slowly across a junction that I'd walk across if it is safe to do so? I cycle to work when there is hardly any traffic on the road and I really dont see the point in sitting waiting at junctions for ages when there is no one else around. I have also experienced junctions where my weight is simply not enough to trigger the sensors to say something is waiting at the lights. What do you do in this situation? If you say get off and walk across again why bother? there is nothing there!!

    I do agree it requires a degree of common sense in when you cross the junction. I'd not do it on a busy junction and try 'nipping' through gaps in traffic. That's insane. What if your chain jumps etc? I do want to live and believe I make my choices wisely. Where and when is quite a key thing here and not every persons situation is different. I'd imagin London is chaotic compared to the routes I take.

    I'll probably get flamed but lets face it motoroists are going to moan at anyone and anything these days. If they dont want to sit in the traffic they have the option to get out there on two wheels too, be it bicycle or motorcycle. You'll never ever win the hearts of motorists so its not even worth trying. Being stuck in a car brings on a rage that cannot be explained it seems to some people :lol: The amount of cars I used to get moving out to try and block me when I had a motorbike was unbelievable. All because of the 'if im stuck in traffic you should be' attitude.

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  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    I stop as I would with a car. I know the folk in this thread and other threads say they check, but have to say I've never seen any one check all the bikes and cars for that matter that RLJ just sail though with out looking.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    lukasran wrote:
    smug factor for impressing the car drivers strange.
    Prat. I didn't actually say that. What I said was that obeying the law knowing that the impatient bloke sitting behind has been proven wrong in his undoubted and confident assertion either to himself or his passengers that 'all cyclists jump red lights' endows a feeling of smugness on the cyclist.

    Feel free to misquote me in future though. :roll:
  • lukasran
    lukasran Posts: 53
    Prattle
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    lukasran wrote:
    Prattle

    making your self look good! would sir like some more eggs?
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,437
    Down/Up wrote:
    I recommend jumping the red light if you are certain it is safe and their and no peds around. A large number of the cyclist casualties in London are from HGV making right turns and running over cyclists on the kerb side who are either going straight ahead or also turning left. So my vote is get the around that corner as quickly and safely as possible, under no circumstances should you be lurking around the kerb on the left side of traffic waiting for the lights to change. Either use the cyclist advance stop box or if there isn't one just plonk yourself right in fornt of the cars, or even better make the left turn when its safe to do so, not when the light tell you to. I'd rather be annoy a few motorists than put intentionally put myself in one of the most dangerous positions on the road.

    Surely, unless you are at the front of the queue already, you need to go down the left hand side of the traffic before you can turn left? If you are doing this and are half way along an artic when the lights turn green there is a very good chance you are going to get cut up. Or do you go between lanes / down the right of the queue and then cut across the front of vehicles? Just sit in the middle of your lane and wait your turn to go through the green light or dismount and walk through the junction. Trying to justify it as being safer is ridiculous.
  • squigs
    squigs Posts: 149
    I cant believe there are arguments for jumping red lights!
    The rules are simple, you stop if they are red!
    Don't expect to ride on the roads safely with cars, jump red lights, then moan if car drivers are disrespectful. I go out of my way to thank car drivers for the patience they show, giving way to me, and generally driving safe around me.
    Then idiots on here try and justify jumping a red light and winding up car drivers.
    Having experience of Driving cars, Motor Bikes, and our beloved bicycles I know all it would do is wind other motorists up.
    Do us all a favour and stop it.
    There are too many sites devoted to slagging us off, don't give them fuel!
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