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Getting our own house in order....

RoadtartRoadtart Posts: 54
edited May 2012 in Commuting general
should we, or not?

I currently work in London, just past the Old Street roundabout and the number of cyclists I see jumping red lights is amazing, and I never hear the stationary cyclists that they pass shout at the "jumpers" to show their disgust or displeasure.

Would this lack of action be because of a threat of it turning into something physical, or in hope that there is a policeman watching? I've watched a prticular junction this morning, at various times, and its getting worse. No cyclist should be doing this, and a scalping just isn't the correct punishment.

I'm almost at the stage of photographing the individuals and passing these snapshots on to the police, who have been at the junction in question before, giving out tickets and warnings.

Am I alone in my frustrations?
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Posts

  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    What can you do?

    Do you expect drivers to stand at the side of the road shouting at the drivers over the speed limit?
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Godders1Godders1 Posts: 750
    Irresponsible/inconsiderate road users annoy me regardless of the method of transport. With regards to cycling I’m all for bad cyclists being held to account but this should be proportionate to the impact they have on others. Poor cyclists are rarely a danger to others, more often just being a nuisance. Poor drivers on the other hand are much more likely to be a danger to others. Time and resource is better spent trying to reduce things that are dangerous rather than things that are just annoying.

    I’m dead against any measures being put in place that would act as a barrier to people getting on their bikes (mandatory registration, insurance etc). Less people on bikes = more cars on the road which is a bad thing for all sorts of reasons (most of them pretty obvious and many of them affecting non-cyclists too).
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    We had this same discussion on Commuting Chat about a month ago... Why should cyclists feel the need to police other cyclists? Do motorists feel the need to police other motorists? If you see a motorist go through a red, speed, park illegally, drive without an up to date tax disc, drive whilst chatting on a mobile etc etc etc do you feel the need to chase him or her down? I doubt it so why do you feel such an urge of resentment when a cyclist jumps a red?
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  • Gizmo_Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    We had this same discussion on Commuting Chat about a month ago... Why should cyclists feel the need to police other cyclists? Do motorists feel the need to police other motorists? If you see a motorist go through a red, speed, park illegally, drive without an up to date tax disc, drive whilst chatting on a mobile etc etc etc do you feel the need to chase him or her down? I doubt it so why do you feel such an urge of resentment when a cyclist jumps a red?
    For me: because if we want to assert our right to be on the road the same as any other vehicle, we have the duty to obey the regulations that apply to any other vehicle.
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    We had this same discussion on Commuting Chat about a month ago... Why should cyclists feel the need to police other cyclists? Do motorists feel the need to police other motorists? If you see a motorist go through a red, speed, park illegally, drive without an up to date tax disc, drive whilst chatting on a mobile etc etc etc do you feel the need to chase him or her down? I doubt it so why do you feel such an urge of resentment when a cyclist jumps a red?
    For me: because if we want to assert our right to be on the road the same as any other vehicle, we have the duty to obey the regulations that apply to any other vehicle.

    But if we have the right to be on the road just as any motorist why do we have to "assert" this right or prove that we have the right to be there? Do motorists also have to "assert" their right to the road? Do they have to prove their right to be there? No because it's assumed that they have the right so why do we as cyclists feel that we somehow have to earn our right to be on the roads that we have paid for? I certainly don't... By feeling you have to somehow prove you have the right to cycle on the road you are simply pandering to the view that cyclists have less of a right to the roads than other users
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  • inkzinkz Posts: 123
    I think people hate RLJ more because it affects their own image rather than any genuine concern for the cyclists safety :p
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I see/hear motorists policing others all the time ;-). Usually a blast of the horn, the Vs, road rage lol.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,726 Lives Here
    Hard hats people!
  • I commute on my bike every day...and even when I am on my way to work or out in the car with the Mrs and the family, RLJ's really bug the hell out of me, and I am pretty sure that the vast majority of motorists will feel the same way too....and I am sure too that any good feeling that cyclists have from car drivers evaporates pretty quickly when they see cyclists approach a light, take a quick look and plough on straight through, but how would any cyclists possible be able to police any others??....pretty sure fire way to get a mouth full of abuse or something more.
    Dave
  • Oh come on, who cares what other people do.. I concentrate on enjoying my ride safely and I couldn't care less what anyone else does.. If I see a biker doing something stupid I shake my head and move on.
    A few weeks ago I totally misjudged some lights.. Could've been horrible but it was a genuine mistake, a cyclist shouted something clearly trying to be part of the 'cycle police' - I told him to censored off.. I felt annoyed that some random bloke thought he could impart his judgement on me.. And to be fair, had we been in any other situation he wouldn't have dared front me up.

    Drive as safely as you can, learn from mistakes you see and enjoy yourself rather than spending time watching what every nutter in the world gets upto.

    Just my view.
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    Traffic lights are conflict zones, they cause all the traffic to bunch up with cyclists spread out across the ASL. They are like traffic management for dummies. It's a recipe for conflict. Change the law, make red lights mean give way for cyclists unless there is a separate signal for bikes.

    Traffic lights should be avoided by road planners for this reason until intelligence in the sensor and traffic management system controlling the lights across an entire city can be programmed to adapt and dynamically adjust to minimise congestion.

    We should also have sensors in bike lanes (there are some on Scotswood Road, crude but sometimes effective) which switch lights to green if possible when Aluminium, Steel, Carbon Fibre or Titanium is detected in a vehicle of less than 100kg (fat cyclists need the extra exercise), OK 150kg.

    Of course once cars are autonomous and have their behaviour hard-wired to the highway code and intelligent city mesh networks none of this will matter and cycling will be the only way to have any control on the road!
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I commute on my bike every day...and even when I am on my way to work or out in the car with the Mrs and the family, RLJ's really bug the hell out of me, and I am pretty sure that the vast majority of motorists will feel the same way too....and I am sure too that any good feeling that cyclists have from car drivers evaporates pretty quickly when they see cyclists approach a light, take a quick look and plough on straight through, but how would any cyclists possible be able to police any others??....pretty sure fire way to get a mouth full of abuse or something more.
    Dave

    So you feel annoyed when sat in your car when you see a cyclist rlj. Why don't you feel the same way when you see some driver on their mobile phone? Speeding? Why is it just cyclists you particularly feel annoyed by?
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  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    supersonic wrote:
    I see/hear motorists policing others all the time ;-). Usually a blast of the horn, the Vs, road rage lol.
    Yeah but that's only when 1 motorist impacts on another's safety.motorists don't feel the need to police each other simply for the sake of it because other road users might think badly of them
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  • corshamjimcorshamjim Posts: 234
    Getting 'our' house in order ...

    Who do we mean by 'our' though? The kinds of cyclists who RLJ and ride on pavements aren't even in my house, and if their house is a mess that's their fault. Stuff 'em.
  • nameinusenameinuse Posts: 71
    The problem with this is the idea that because other cyclists behave in a way that motorists don't like, it negates my and other peoples' right to ride on the road safely. It implies that until all cyclists behave themselves then any cyclist is fair game for abuse. Obviously this is wrong on a number of levels:

    - That someone is using the road "wrong" does not legitimise dangerous behaviour towards them. In fact, it should do the opposite. A skilled road user gives a wobbly cyclist, a spooky horse, a child playing in the street or a doddery old bloke in a metro far more room than they would normally.
    - Grouping together "cyclists" as a homogeneous group is a rhetorical fallacy used by Daily Mail headline writers and trolls (not that those two groups are mutually exclusive). It's simply not true, legally or morally, that anyone is responsible for the actions of another. You do not see the same people saying that the prevalence of speeding motor vehicles de-legitimises "the motorists" from using the road.
    - "My house" is already in order; I ride within the law. Does the fact that some kid on a supermarket-special BSO is on the pavement mean that a "professional" driver has legitimate cause to threaten me as I make my lawful way to work?

    I'm afraid the whole "house in order" thing feeds the discourse that cyclists don't have a right to be on the road. They do, as do pedestrians and horse riders. Users of motor vehicles do so only under license, and we'd all be a lot better of if everyone was reminded of that.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    nameinuse wrote:
    The problem with this is the idea that because other cyclists behave in a way that motorists don't like, it negates my and other peoples' right to ride on the road safely. It implies that until all cyclists behave themselves then any cyclist is fair game for abuse. Obviously this is wrong on a number of levels:

    - That someone is using the road "wrong" does not legitimise dangerous behaviour towards them. In fact, it should do the opposite. A skilled road user gives a wobbly cyclist, a spooky horse, a child playing in the street or a doddery old bloke in a metro far more room than they would normally.
    - Grouping together "cyclists" as a homogeneous group is a rhetorical fallacy used by Daily Mail headline writers and trolls (not that those two groups are mutually exclusive). It's simply not true, legally or morally, that anyone is responsible for the actions of another. You do not see the same people saying that the prevalence of speeding motor vehicles de-legitimises "the motorists" from using the road.
    - "My house" is already in order; I ride within the law. Does the fact that some kid on a supermarket-special BSO is on the pavement mean that a "professional" driver has legitimate cause to threaten me as I make my lawful way to work?

    I'm afraid the whole "house in order" thing feeds the discourse that cyclists don't have a right to be on the road. They do, as do pedestrians and horse riders. Users of motor vehicles do so only under license, and we'd all be a lot better of if everyone was reminded of that.

    Exactly. As a "cyclist" I have as much in common with a kid on a BSO as I do with a pink giraffe. I am not condoning RLJing, although personally I think it does no harm if done with caution, certainly no more harm than a pedestrian crossing a junction with caution but that's another discussion.

    The point is that if someone else on a bike decides to RLJ why is it up to me to stop and tell them off just because I also happen to be on a bike? As a cyclist I do not need to put some perceived house in order to prove that I have a right to be on the road that my taxes have paid for any more than a pedestrian has to stop other pedestrians getting themselves run over to prove that all pedestrians have the right to cross the road...
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  • nameinusenameinuse Posts: 71
    Indeed, it's frustrating that the two separate questions, whether other people's behaviour affects our right to use the road, and whether it's right to break some rules of the road, get mixed up. As it happens, I don't RLJ, and in the right situation I might tell another cyclist that it's often a worse idea than it initially seems for lots of reasons (one of which is "every time you jump a red Jeremy Clarkson sells another book" (not my line, sadly)), but that's completely separate from my right not to have vehicle operators deliberately put me at risk. Thinking about it, the only defence in law for deliberately hurting someone is self defence, so even if someone RLJs that doesn't remove a driver's responsibility to not to drive in a way that puts them at risk either. Going back to the driving metaphor, to drive dangerously around someone *because* they RLJ is a bit like saying "it's not my fault I crashed into the back of their car on the motorway because they were speeding, so they deserved it".
  • hangeronhangeron Posts: 127
    Why oh Why won't the Ramblers Association do something about the kids that walk up and down our street every night kicking bins over
  • I commute on my bike every day...and even when I am on my way to work or out in the car with the Mrs and the family, RLJ's really bug the hell out of me, and I am pretty sure that the vast majority of motorists will feel the same way too....and I am sure too that any good feeling that cyclists have from car drivers evaporates pretty quickly when they see cyclists approach a light, take a quick look and plough on straight through, but how would any cyclists possible be able to police any others??....pretty sure fire way to get a mouth full of abuse or something more.
    Dave

    So you feel annoyed when sat in your car when you see a cyclist rlj. Why don't you feel the same way when you see some driver on their mobile phone? Speeding? Why is it just cyclists you particularly feel annoyed by?

    Tell you what then start a topic on that and I will tell you my views if you want to hear them....but the original post was regarding RLJ which is why most of the replies are about that issue.....

    Dave
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I commute on my bike every day...and even when I am on my way to work or out in the car with the Mrs and the family, RLJ's really bug the hell out of me, and I am pretty sure that the vast majority of motorists will feel the same way too....and I am sure too that any good feeling that cyclists have from car drivers evaporates pretty quickly when they see cyclists approach a light, take a quick look and plough on straight through, but how would any cyclists possible be able to police any others??....pretty sure fire way to get a mouth full of abuse or something more.
    Dave

    So you feel annoyed when sat in your car when you see a cyclist rlj. Why don't you feel the same way when you see some driver on their mobile phone? Speeding? Why is it just cyclists you particularly feel annoyed by?

    Tell you what then start a topic on that and I will tell you my views if you want to hear them....but the original post was regarding RLJ which is why most of the replies are about that issue.....

    Dave

    Why start a new thread? Whydon't you just explain your thoughts here? That's the whole point of a discussion,
    different elements of thought enter the thread
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • I commute on my bike every day...and even when I am on my way to work or out in the car with the Mrs and the family, RLJ's really bug the hell out of me, and I am pretty sure that the vast majority of motorists will feel the same way too....and I am sure too that any good feeling that cyclists have from car drivers evaporates pretty quickly when they see cyclists approach a light, take a quick look and plough on straight through, but how would any cyclists possible be able to police any others??....pretty sure fire way to get a mouth full of abuse or something more.
    Dave

    So you feel annoyed when sat in your car when you see a cyclist rlj. Why don't you feel the same way when you see some driver on their mobile phone? Speeding? Why is it just cyclists you particularly feel annoyed by?

    Tell you what then start a topic on that and I will tell you my views if you want to hear them....but the original post was regarding RLJ which is why most of the replies are about that issue.....

    Dave

    Why start a new thread? Whydon't you just explain your thoughts here? That's the whole point of a discussion,
    different elements of thought enter the thread

    OK...let's go off topic....my thoughts are there about RLJ, but when I get to work my job involves driving for a living....so I keep to the speed limits and don't use my phone while driving as for one things it is dangerous and the stats prove that lots of accidents are caused by drivers either texting or calling and the faster you are going if you have an accident the more damage and bigger chance of a fatality you are likely to have.....my company make a big point of drilling this into us.......even though I am in the car with my wife and family I still find this behaviour just as annoying because of the dangers to other road users.
    That OK for you????

    Dave
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I commute on my bike every day...and even when I am on my way to work or out in the car with the Mrs and the family, RLJ's really bug the hell out of me, and I am pretty sure that the vast majority of motorists will feel the same way too....and I am sure too that any good feeling that cyclists have from car drivers evaporates pretty quickly when they see cyclists approach a light, take a quick look and plough on straight through, but how would any cyclists possible be able to police any others??....pretty sure fire way to get a mouth full of abuse or something more.
    Dave

    So you feel annoyed when sat in your car when you see a cyclist rlj. Why don't you feel the same way when you see some driver on their mobile phone? Speeding? Why is it just cyclists you particularly feel annoyed by?

    Tell you what then start a topic on that and I will tell you my views if you want to hear them....but the original post was regarding RLJ which is why most of the replies are about that issue.....

    Dave

    Why start a new thread? Whydon't you just explain your thoughts here? That's the whole point of a discussion,
    different elements of thought enter the thread

    OK...let's go off topic....my thoughts are there about RLJ, but when I get to work my job involves driving for a living....so I keep to the speed limits and don't use my phone while driving as for one things it is dangerous and the stats prove that lots of accidents are caused by drivers either texting or calling and the faster you are going if you have an accident the more damage and bigger chance of a fatality you are likely to have.....my company make a big point of drilling this into us.......even though I am in the car with my wife and family I still find this behaviour just as annoying because of the dangers to other road users.
    That OK for you????

    Dave

    Ok that's fine but the original discussion was whether cyclists should police each other... My argument is that they shouldn't...motorist don't feel the need to do the same so why should cyclists?
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  • If you'll excuse me taking this off on another tangent - I feel the issue is not one of obligation but of desire.

    This is a rather emotive analogy, but it's the best one I can think of:

    An area of the city has a majority black population. The area experiences an increase in teenage violent crime, problems with gangs etc. Cue thinly veiled racist headlines about black parents sorting their kids out and so on. There's a political response, an increased police presence, loads of stop and search. Innocent guys are getting harassed because they fit the profile of "young and black". Some of get angry about this and petition the police (which is legitimate) others decide to try tackling the underlying problem and engage with the youths causing the trouble, setting up clubs, outreach programmes etc. Gradually, crime drops off (although it never disappears) and the frenzied headlines cease. Of course it's never entirely clear what caused the drop off.

    My point is this - Cyclists are not obliged to police one another any more than black people are, but that doesn't mean the idea should be rejected. The young black guy trying to steer kids away from gangs is not undermining the guy complaining of heavy handed police tactics, it is possible to hold both views without contradiction. We can get annoyed at bad cyclists and voice that annoyance without feeling we are playing Uncle Tom for motorists.

    I think it is legitimate for cyclists to want to change the behavior of bad cyclists, because the backlash affects all of us, in a similar way to the analogy above. Whether there is anything that can practically be done is another matter, but I think it would help to discuss that, rather than shooting people down when they start the conversation.

    BTW it rather goes without saying that the problems and prejudices faced by racial minorities are orders of magnitude greater than those faced by cyclists. The analogy is only that.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I disagree. I feel no more responsible for other cyclists action than I do for other pedestrians actions when I'm walking. Cyclists are not one homogeneous group, race our religion, they are just people on bikes
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  • shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,732
    Cyclists are not one homogeneous group, race our religion,

    Unfortunate then that cyclists are perceived as one homogeneous group race or religion by the great unwashed outside of this little forum and that some of those unwashed aren't very nice to perfectly innocent people on bikes because of the actions of others on bikes who choose to engage in more selfish/less lawful acts.

    And to comment on an earlier point. Drivers (legally) do have to prove themselves worthy of being on the road by means of test & granted licence in a way cyclists don't.
    This again gives some of them a skewed & prejudicial view of the issue regarding the prevalence, recklessness and severity of misdemeanours and a belief that they are somehow safer to those around them in their convenient lawbreaking than cyclists are who choose to ignore inconvenient laws.


    Edit - not saying that you're wrong BTW, I don't feel responsible or any sort of puritannical role model etc for anyone else & can't see any practical way any group of individuals will ever set their house in order to the satisfaction of an entirely different group of individuals (or why they should in isolation when said groups are as bad if not worse), but internet right doesen't necessarily translate to real world right.
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    I don't feel responsible for policing cyclists. If someone drops litter it really annoys me but I wouldn't tell the litterer to pick it up. Would you?

    Also the blatant law breaking with regards to the RLJs is primarily what upsets me. A cyclist will go up to a set of red lights, that have been red for some time and go through. There's no debate about whether they were nipping through on amber etc... It's just cut and dried blatant law breaking. I don't see any motorists doing this - they "jump" the lights on amber sure.... but they don't go up to lights that are red and have been for 30 seconds and just go through.....

    I wouldn't get so annoyed if some litter fell out of someone's pocket accidentally on purpose but simply dropping it on the floor is another matter. Still I wouldn't start shouting about it.

    Get on with your own life and set your own example is my view.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    There's no debate about whether they were nipping through on amber etc... It's just cut and dried blatant law breaking. I don't see any motorists doing this - they "jump" the lights on amber sure.... but they don't go up to lights that are red and have been for 30 seconds and just go through.....

    I've seen this several times. Three times on the same crossing while I've been walking across it I've had to jump out of the way of 3 different 'chelsea tractors'. Sounds like a cliche, but it's not.

    Another time, at a multilane junction controlled by lights. Me and the GF were in the car, had been sitting at a red for about 20 seconds, a white van (another cliche!) blasted through the light at about 70, luckily there was nothing coming across the junction.

    Just last week, I saw a doddery old woman drive through a red light that I'd stopped at, I think she just wasn't paying attention, I don't know if that's better or worse than doing it on purpose tbh.

    But, anecdote =/= evidence....

    If motorists didn't jump red lights then there's be no need for cameras on traffic lights.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,976
    Personally...I've seen about 3 'proper' red light jumping cars/vans/etc in about 5 years (in central london rush hour). I remember them vividly because it's so freaking rare.

    Cyclists? 15+ every day. Muppets.
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    Hi Bails,

    Yeah - I'm talking about perception. It annoys me more when someone blatantly just drops litter or cycles/drives through a light that has been red for 30 seconds, rather than the litter drops from their pocket "accidentally" or they go through on amber/red....

    I recognise the end result is the same in these cases. It's annoying, and in the case of litter obnoxious, in the case of driving/cycling dangerous. The perception, however, is very different as when you ride through lights that have been red for 30 seconds there is no doubt about the intent to break the law.

    I guess your view is that because the consequences as identical the perception is irrelevant? However, mine's that a poor perception of cyclists means that I personally am more vulnerable on my bike. That's why I get heated about it. But I wouldn't try to police or shout at cyclists, as that's their concern.

    Cheers

    J
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    jeepie wrote:
    I recognise the end result is the same in these cases. It's annoying, and in the case of litter obnoxious, in the case of driving/cycling dangerous. The perception, however, is very different as when you ride through lights that have been red for 30 seconds there is no doubt about the intent to break the law.

    I guess your view is that because the consequences as identical the perception is irrelevant? However, mine's that a poor perception of cyclists means that I personally am more vulnerable on my bike. That's why I get heated about it. But I wouldn't try to police or shout at cyclists, as that's their concern.

    No, what I meant was I've seen several cars drive through blatant (10+ second) red lights, as well as several bikes.

    As for the "I don't know which is worse" thing, I meant I didn't know if it was worse for a car to blast through a red because they're not paying attention or because they've seen it and don't care.

    I agree cyclists should follow the rules of the road, so should everyone. But 'We' are seen as one homogenous group, it would be like treating all drivers like 16 year old joyriders, and saying that the bloke in the Mondeo, safely driving to work, deserves anything that happens to him because someone on a Manchester council estate got drunk, stole a Corsa and crashed it into a phonebox.

    I am not other cyclists, I should not be treated badly because other cyclists are d1%ks, is basically my point.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
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