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What do you do when a traffic light turns red?

JuddlinskiJuddlinski Posts: 54
edited October 2013 in Commuting general
Who are these guys who habitually ride through red traffic lights? Is Strava to blame? (I've seen it happen for years before Strava though).

I stop at red, as do most of us. I wouldn't put it at 99% of us though. I'd say maybe 80% of us stop at traffic lights?

I'm not asking for a pat on the back, just genuinely mystified why it is so common. It annoys me because it gives us all a bad reputation.
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  • Stop. Wait for green. Go.

    Not every cyclist (and even the odd motorist) seems to manage to grasp this concept though.
  • I don't know, it sometimes beggars belief. I can't even run out the lazy "it's a London thing". Stopped at some lights the other day an older guy in a suit (I'm 50) meandered past myself and the car next to me, through the red light weaving through the traffic on green oblivious to all and sundry. He picked a cracking line mind.
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • I don't know, it sometimes beggars belief. I can't even run out the lazy "it's a London thing". Stopped at some lights the other day an older guy in a suit (I'm 50) meandered past myself and the car next to me, through the red light weaving through the traffic on green oblivious to all and sundry. He picked a cracking line mind.

    Haha. Actually it represents a great opportunity to bond with car drivers. Someone whizzes past you through a red , you exchange glances with the car driver and both shake your head.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,345
    I normally STOP apart from 1 set on my way into work that refuses to be triggered by cyclists at 5am in the morning.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    Errr stop?
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  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Track stand and wait for green.... Lol

    Search RLJ in the fine search function
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  • agg25agg25 Posts: 619
    I would say it's more like 60% of cyclists who stop, 40% go through in London, depending on the intersection. I always stop as I believe that then gives me the moral high ground to abuse motorists who drive dangerously or go through the red's themselves which seems to be 1 or 2 cars every time the lights change!
    I do like overtaking those who run red's, I had one guy who pretty much rode my exact commute. He run every red and I stopped, however I beat him in the end. I asked him "do you stop at any red lights?", his reply was "yes, a lot of them". Then, at the next intersection, I noticed him stop for the first time that day!
  • A bike shop up here actually ran a "red means stop" campaign a couple of years ago. Depressing that it was needed. :(
    Music, beer, sport, repeat...
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    agg25 wrote:
    I would say it's more like 60% of cyclists who stop, 40% go through in London, depending on the intersection.

    TfL reckon it's about 17% of instances where cyclists jump the lights, compared to about 5% of motor vehicles.

    TBH though I tend to stop then they turn amber rather than red.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
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    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • So far, only virtuous people replied.

    Personnally, in Paris, I jump nearly all the traffic lights. I did the same when I lived in the UK and I wasn't the only one.

    Why ?

    Reason 1 : it doesn't make sense to apply the same régulations to a car and to a bycicle. Some countries have already undertsood that point. If we want specific régulations for cyclist we must ignore the existing ones.

    Resaon 2 : if you stop at the red light, you get more pollution from the cars. If you jump the light, you find yoursefl on a car-free road.

    Reason 3 : it is safer to jump most of the lights. Once again, you jump the lights and you are on your owns; no motorists getting too close while overtaking you. Plus, I've heard terrible stories about cyclists that stopped at the red lights and that have been very badly hit by motorists jumping the lights.


    Having said that, there are some circumstances and places where it is absolutely neccessary to stop. I think that someone who is new to commuting should stop at the red lights. Once they have some experience, they can "decide" which red lights are "compulsory" and which ones are "optional".
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    So far, only virtuous people replied.

    Personnally, in Paris, I jump nearly all the traffic lights. I did the same when I lived in the UK and I wasn't the only one.

    Why ?

    Reason 1 : it doesn't make sense to apply the same régulations to a car and to a bycicle. Some countries have already undertsood that point. If we want specific régulations for cyclist we must ignore the existing ones.

    Resaon 2 : if you stop at the red light, you get more pollution from the cars. If you jump the light, you find yoursefl on a car-free road.

    Reason 3 : it is safer to jump most of the lights. Once again, you jump the lights and you are on your owns; no motorists getting too close while overtaking you. Plus, I've heard terrible stories about cyclists that stopped at the red lights and that have been very badly hit by motorists jumping the lights.


    Having said that, there are some circumstances and places where it is absolutely neccessary to stop. I think that someone who is new to commuting should stop at the red lights. Once they have some experience, they can "decide" which red lights are "compulsory" and which ones are "optional".

    I don't find any of those arguments hold true. I tend to find they are trotted out by those who just don't want to stop and are looking for an excuse to cling to.

    1) It makes perfect sense to apply the same regulations to all road users; it simplifies the rule set and avoids confusion which can lead to accidents.

    2) I filter to the front so I don't get the pollution. If I jumped the light I wouldn't have a clear road, I;d have the traffic coming from the other roads at the junction.

    3) Until I see statistical evidence rather than anecdotes this is nonsense.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    Run out into the road and ask if I can wash their windscreen :P
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

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  • I'm not convinced by these counter arguments.


    1) Does it make sense to apply the same regulaton to a car that weighs beetween 800 kg and 2 tons and to a bike ? The car or the motorbike has got a motor, the cyclist has their legs. Once again, some countries have decided to apply different sets of rules.

    2) Your argumment is only valid for a main junction. Sometimes their are lights, but no junction at all or only a secundary ones. Anyway, I would stop when there is a main junction.

    3) Statistical evidence ? At least, I can tell you that over a period of about 15 years I have never had any problem while jumping a light. On the contrary, I have been endangered countless times and even hit once while doing nothing against the law. The trouble is, there is a minority of very dangerous motorist. I'm safer when I escape them by jumping the lights.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I'm not convinced by these counter arguments.


    1) Does it make sense to apply the same regulaton to a car that weighs beetween 800 kg and 2 tons and to a bike ? The car or the motorbike has got a motor, the cyclist has their legs. Once again, some countries have decided to apply different sets of rules.

    2) Your argumment is only valid for a main junction. Sometimes their are lights, but no junction at all or only a secundary ones. Anyway, I would stop when there is a main junction.

    3) Statistical evidence ? At least, I can tell you that over a period of about 15 years I have never had any problem while jumping a light. On the contrary, I have been endangered countless times and even hit once while doing nothing against the law. The trouble is, there is a minority of very dangerous motorist. I'm safer when I escape them by jumping the lights.

    1) What difference does the weight or method of propulsion make? Having the same rule set means that road users can quickly assess situations because all road users are expected to act in the same fashion. It's about benefiting all road users, not all about me, me, me because I'm on a bike and I'm special.

    2) If there is no junction then it's a pedestrian crossing (or similar) and so I see no reason to jump the light.

    3) Where as I'm completely the opposite in that I've never been endangered whilst sitting stationary at a red light or pulling away when they change, but I have run someone over who was jumping a red light (even before that I still stopped at red lights).
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • I usually stop, you do look a complete censored at a set of crossroads when a vehicle broadsides you, then drives over your body - and a motorist stating "sorry mate, I didn't see you" means nothing when your face is resting on your censored .
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    I do what most people should. Jump off my bike and run across pushing it. Perfect practicse for CX and perfectly legal.
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • agg25agg25 Posts: 619
    1. Yes it does. Every stopped to think about a pedestrian you may hit? You've got a 10kg bike, speed and wheels, they've only got shoes.
    2. Filter to the front of the intersection. That's why there are cycle zones at the front of the intersection in most cases in the UK cities. Or wear a mask like I do.
    3. B0llocks.

    You're coming up with pretty bad excuses to justify your impatience.
  • What do I do when a traffic light turns red?

    Stop, but get ready to move away quickly in the event that
    A/ The lights turn green
    or
    B/ A nasty troll leaps out from behind a lamp-post.
  • asprilla wrote:
    I'm not convinced by these counter arguments.


    1) Does it make sense to apply the same regulaton to a car that weighs beetween 800 kg and 2 tons and to a bike ? The car or the motorbike has got a motor, the cyclist has their legs. Once again, some countries have decided to apply different sets of rules.

    2) Your argumment is only valid for a main junction. Sometimes their are lights, but no junction at all or only a secundary ones. Anyway, I would stop when there is a main junction.

    3) Statistical evidence ? At least, I can tell you that over a period of about 15 years I have never had any problem while jumping a light. On the contrary, I have been endangered countless times and even hit once while doing nothing against the law. The trouble is, there is a minority of very dangerous motorist. I'm safer when I escape them by jumping the lights.

    1) What difference does the weight or method of propulsion make? Having the same rule set means that road users can quickly assess situations because all road users are expected to act in the same fashion. It's about benefiting all road users, not all about me, me, me because I'm on a bike and I'm special.

    2) If there is no junction then it's a pedestrian crossing (or similar) and so I see no reason to jump the light.

    3) Where as I'm completely the opposite in that I've never been endangered whilst sitting stationary at a red light or pulling away when they change, but I have run someone over who was jumping a red light (even before that I still stopped at red lights).


    1) Applying the same rules to all road users ? It is reasonable to apply the same rules only to people that are in a similar position. There are too many different categories of road users and we can't reasonably apply to them the same set of rules. There are many countries and or cities that have introduced different regulations. There There are junctions where a cyclist is allowed to turn right (in continental Europe). There are bus/taxis lanes... There are systems that allows the lights to go green when a bus is coming. Is it because people are special because they are on a bus or a taxi ? There are cycling lanes. In particular, the German and the Dutch make a lot of differences.

    2) And if there is no pedestrian ? What's the harm in jumping the light ? Obviously, if a pedestrian is crossing, I won't hit him... If I can't see, I stop or I go very slowly so that I can stop. Once again, the green argument is very strong. In France about 40.000 persons die every year due to diesel engines. The less i'm behind their exhaust pipes, the better I am. Road safety is not only about avoiding accidents, it's also about avoiding pollution. Concerning that point, jumping the lights is not the only answer. A less controversial action is to take secondary roads. Concerning the mask, it's not effective. In particular, it doesn't filter out tiny diesel particles.

    3) Our experience may differ. As i told before, I'm in Paris. Here, cars are definitely more agressive than in London. My experience is that I'm safer when I escape the traffic by jumping the light in most cases. Just one example, they have introduced cyclists only spaces by the lights; other users have to stand behind. It's to give a head start to cyclists when the light turn green. But, most of the time cars and motorcycles occupy that space. I find myself squeezed beetween these people when the light turns green instead of having them behind me. Unfortunately, most of the time, it's safer to jump the light.
  • ... it is safer to jump most of the lights...

    :roll:
  • I wonder if being clipless is a reason? Its a pain in the censored clipping out, so why not keep going? What do you think?
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Juddlinski wrote:
    I wonder if being clipless is a reason? Its a pain in the ars* clipping out, so why not keep going? What do you think?

    Trust me its not. I used rat trap pedals yesterday on a borrowed bike and i was trying not to stop wearing those. clipless is no way an issue,

    People Jump red lights cos they are fools. nothing more nothing less.

    I have said this a million times"if you wouldnt do it in a car, dont do it on a bike.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
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  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
    1) Applying the same rules to all road users ? It is reasonable to apply the same rules only to people that are in a similar position. There are too many different categories of road users and we can't reasonably apply to them the same set of rules. There are many countries and or cities that have introduced different regulations. There There are junctions where a cyclist is allowed to turn right (in continental Europe). There are bus/taxis lanes... There are systems that allows the lights to go green when a bus is coming. Is it because people are special because they are on a bus or a taxi ? There are cycling lanes. In particular, the German and the Dutch make a lot of differences.
    Oh please ... ! Systems that prioritise LANES are acceptable. Light goes green - traffic (that is allowed) in that lane may proceed. What is not acceptable is having different classes of road users deciding that they can proceed or not depending on their own point of view. What about motor scooters then? Not much faster than cyclists so perhaps they should be "allowed" to RLJ? No ... one rule for EVERYONE in that lane.
    by allmeans have segregated lanes with different priorities.
    2) And if there is no pedestrian ? What's the harm in jumping the light ? Obviously, if a pedestrian is crossing, I won't hit him... If I can't see, I stop or I go very slowly so that I can stop.
    If other vehicles have to stop then so should you. Why? Because the pedestrian light is on green - you might not see the kid running across the road on a green light - then you'll take him out ... nice ..
    Once again, the green argument is very strong. In France about 40.000 persons die every year due to diesel engines.
    Really? Is there any papers to back up that statement? It's a lot of dead ppl just because of pollution ...
    3) Our experience may differ. As i told before, I'm in Paris. Here, cars are definitely more agressive than in London. My experience is that I'm safer when I escape the traffic by jumping the light in most cases. Just one example, they have introduced cyclists only spaces by the lights; other users have to stand behind. It's to give a head start to cyclists when the light turn green. But, most of the time cars and motorcycles occupy that space. I find myself squeezed beetween these people when the light turns green instead of having them behind me. Unfortunately, most of the time, it's safer to jump the light.
    If it's that dangerous - get off and walk ...
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Red? I stop.

    Except for a particular juntion I use regularly where the red lasts for a millenium (half my commute home sometimes) and where I'm only turning left into a cycle lane.

    On the subject of turning left - cyclists should be allowed to turn left at junctions regardless of the colour of the lights - cars too in some cases. I think some US states have this in place (right turns) and it seems very sensible.
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  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    Daz555 wrote:
    On the subject of turning left - cyclists should be allowed to turn left at junctions regardless of the colour of the lights - cars too in some cases. I think some US states have this in place (right turns) and it seems very sensible.

    Germany allows cars to turn right on a red (actually they have a flashing amber right turn on the junction lights when straight on is red).
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • On seeing a light turn red I find a good place to stop. Ideally move to the front and lean on something so I don't have to unclip. I then try to memorise the light sequence and timings so tomorrow I can adjust my speed on approach and sail through... Rarely works but it keeps me entertained. In summer I look at ladies ' legs.
    --
    Saw a sign on a restaurant that said Breakfast, any time -- so I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance.
  • slowbike wrote:
    1) Applying the same rules to all road users ? It is reasonable to apply the same rules only to people that are in a similar position. There are too many different categories of road users and we can't reasonably apply to them the same set of rules. There are many countries and or cities that have introduced different regulations. There There are junctions where a cyclist is allowed to turn right (in continental Europe). There are bus/taxis lanes... There are systems that allows the lights to go green when a bus is coming. Is it because people are special because they are on a bus or a taxi ? There are cycling lanes. In particular, the German and the Dutch make a lot of differences.
    Oh please ... ! Systems that prioritise LANES are acceptable. Light goes green - traffic (that is allowed) in that lane may proceed. What is not acceptable is having different classes of road users deciding that they can proceed or not depending on their own point of view. What about motor scooters then? Not much faster than cyclists so perhaps they should be "allowed" to RLJ? No ... one rule for EVERYONE in that lane.
    by allmeans have segregated lanes with different priorities.

    Sure, segregated lane are the way forward. May I remind you that a good share of deaths on the road (about 3 % in France) concerns cyclists. Recent cases in London have shown that these cyclists weren't infringing any rule. On the other hand, I don't think that many death have been caused by cyclists... So why should the harmless go with the harmful ?

    They already have segregated lanes in several countries like the Netherlands whee there are also specific regulations for cyclist. http://www.holland.com/global/tourism/a ... olland.htm. Unfortunately, this is rather rare. Influential XXth century town planners like Le Corbusier tried to separate pedestriand and motorists and ignored cyclists more often than not. After all, it was just a working class means of transportation...

    In a world where segregation doesn't exist, I found that, given the very agressive behaviour of some motorists, it's safer to jump some traffic lights. I do my own segregation.

    See also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/10252518 ... ights.html

    2) And if there is no pedestrian ? What's the harm in jumping the light ? Obviously, if a pedestrian is crossing, I won't hit him... If I can't see, I stop or I go very slowly so that I can stop.
    If other vehicles have to stop then so should you. Why? Because the pedestrian light is on green - you might not see the kid running across the road on a green light - then you'll take him out ... nice ..
    As I said, if i don't see, i stop or go very slowly. And i consider that some running kid or drunkard (it depends on the hour) could come.
    Once again, the green argument is very strong. In France about 40.000 persons die every year due to diesel engines.
    Really? Is there any papers to back up that statement? It's a lot of dead ppl just because of pollution ...

    I agree with you, it's far too much. The figure doesn't come from Friend of the earth or a pro pedestrian/cyclist organisation. The figure comes from a center affiliated to the Worls Health Organisation. Due to diffrences in taxation, there are many diesel engines in France. the link is in french, but if you do your own search you should find information in english. http://www.lemonde.fr/sante/article/201 ... 51302.html
    3) Our experience may differ. As i told before, I'm in Paris. Here, cars are definitely more agressive than in London. My experience is that I'm safer when I escape the traffic by jumping the light in most cases. Just one example, they have introduced cyclists only spaces by the lights; other users have to stand behind. It's to give a head start to cyclists when the light turn green. But, most of the time cars and motorcycles occupy that space. I find myself squeezed beetween these people when the light turns green instead of having them behind me. Unfortunately, most of the time, it's safer to jump the light.
    If it's that dangerous - get off and walk ...

    Sorry, I m not rich enough to live near the very posh place where i work. There's no way I could walk. And taking the tube would involve a lot of walking and would take a lot of time. So, cycling is the solution.
  • I stop at red lights - I'm on the road hence abide by the rules but it's a pity that the fcuking cow that knocked me over 18 months ago after ploughing through the red light didn't stop :-(
  • I'm not convinced by these counter arguments.


    1) Does it make sense to apply the same regulaton to a car that weighs beetween 800 kg and 2 tons and to a bike ? The car or the motorbike has got a motor, the cyclist has their legs. Once again, some countries have decided to apply different sets of rules.

    2) Your argumment is only valid for a main junction. Sometimes their are lights, but no junction at all or only a secundary ones. Anyway, I would stop when there is a main junction.

    3) Statistical evidence ? At least, I can tell you that over a period of about 15 years I have never had any problem while jumping a light. On the contrary, I have been endangered countless times and even hit once while doing nothing against the law. The trouble is, there is a minority of very dangerous motorist. I'm safer when I escape them by jumping the lights.
    Frankly it matters not a jot if you agree or not. It's the law ffs and people like you are simply being totally anti social in your behaviour. It is not viable nor justifiable in any way, shape or form to pick and choose which laws you agree or disagree with just to suit your personal selfish attitude!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
    shortcuts wrote:
    I'm not convinced by these counter arguments.


    1) Does it make sense to apply the same regulaton to a car that weighs beetween 800 kg and 2 tons and to a bike ? The car or the motorbike has got a motor, the cyclist has their legs. Once again, some countries have decided to apply different sets of rules.

    2) Your argumment is only valid for a main junction. Sometimes their are lights, but no junction at all or only a secundary ones. Anyway, I would stop when there is a main junction.

    3) Statistical evidence ? At least, I can tell you that over a period of about 15 years I have never had any problem while jumping a light. On the contrary, I have been endangered countless times and even hit once while doing nothing against the law. The trouble is, there is a minority of very dangerous motorist. I'm safer when I escape them by jumping the lights.
    Frankly it matters not a jot if you agree or not. It's the law ffs and people like you are simply being totally anti social in your behaviour. It is not viable nor justifiable in any way, shape or form to pick and choose which laws you agree or disagree with just to suit your personal selfish attitude!

    To enlarge on this - RLJers may feel they are safer or morally ok to do this - but one effect it can have is to annoy (to the point of enragement) other road users and make ALL cyclists a target.
    It is law, if you don't feel safe waiting then get off before the junction and walk across that junction.
    There is no excuse for jumping red lights at pedestrian crossings - if you're going to slow down you may as well stop.
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