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Jumping Red Lights

1964johnr1964johnr Posts: 258
edited April 2014 in Road general
I just can't get myself to stop at every single red light. I know I should and I do stop at nearly all of them. Out for my Sunday ride at the weekend. Must have stopped at 25 lights over three hours and only went through one on a small road crossing where the only person using it was already over the road and gone. I was going slightly down hill at 25 mph and couldn't face slamming on the anchors. Needless to say, I got the blast on the hooter from a passing car. What can I say, it was a fair cop, I shouldn't have done it, but haven't we all been there?
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  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    oh goody another red lights thread, how we all love those!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    1964johnr wrote:
    .....I shouldn't have done it, but haven't we all been there?
    No we haven't all done it and even if we had it wouldn't make it alright.

    Stop trying to excuse your lack of respect for other road users and stop making us all look like irresponsible idiots.
    You, sir are at the heart of the PR problem cyclists have with other road users.
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    1964johnr wrote:
    I just can't get myself to stop at every single red light. I know I should and I do stop at nearly all of them. Out for my Sunday ride at the weekend. Must have stopped at 25 lights over three hours and only went through one on a small road crossing where the only person using it was already over the road and gone. I was going slightly down hill at 25 mph and couldn't face slamming on the anchors. Needless to say, I got the blast on the hooter from a passing car. What can I say, it was a fair cop, I shouldn't have done it, but haven't we all been there?

    No, we haven't. Quite the opposite - having been driving for decades before getting on a road bike, I find it curiously hard to even contemplate going through a red light: Sunday, quiet straight back road, no traffic, lot of visibility, 10 yards of roadworks to other side, stopped for several minutes, nothing changing, no cars, surely I can just go? I was so hard to commit! But then the lights changed and all was right with the world. Phew.
  • JoeblackJoeblack Posts: 829
    I only stop at a red light if it's safe to do so ;)
    One plays football, tennis or golf, one does not play at cycling
  • DFTT
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • mattsawmattsaw Posts: 907
    1964johnr wrote:
    I just can't get myself to stop at every single red light.

    Do you also get uncontrollable urges to kill people or set fire to things?
    Bianchi C2C - Ritte Bosberg - Cervelo R3
    Strava
  • 1964johnr1964johnr Posts: 258
    Okay I'm a naughty boy and will try my hardest not to jump a light on my next ride.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    1964johnr wrote:
    Okay I'm a naughty boy and will try my hardest not to jump a light on my next ride.
    Glad you admitted it - that's the first step - how about saying you will NOT jump a light on your next ride ...

    I know what you mean though - pedestrian crossings seem to be a PITA when they're red when nobody is crossing - but they're still red and you should still stop even if it seems obvious that it is safe to go.

    Anyway - think of that extra training as you have to accelerate away from the lights ...

    and 25 lights in 3 hours ... blimey - ride somewhere nice where there aren't traffic lights - I did 40 miles on sunday without putting my foot down once. I did nearly have to stop at a set of lights but I just slowed my approach till it was clear to go ...
  • SpeckledSpeckled Posts: 97
    if theres that many traffic lights i think you need to find somewhere new to ride...
  • jamesesjameses Posts: 648
    mpie wrote:
    No, we haven't. Quite the opposite - having been driving for decades before getting on a road bike, I find it curiously hard to even contemplate going through a red light.

    I'm the same. I once very nearly stopped for a red light during a closed-roads half marathon run!
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    1964johnr wrote:
    Okay I'm a naughty boy and will try my hardest not to jump a light on my next ride.
    Not good enough
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    If a cyclist runs a red in the early hours of the morning and no one is around to see it, did it ever happen?
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    At a quiet junction I'll take a left but I'd say that its a different story in a built up area, I'm pretty lucky that I could probably do 70+ miles and come across a couple of sets of lights at most.
  • InuteroInutero Posts: 111
    There's only one set of lights i jump after i finish my back shift's (12 am onwards) I'm guessing they have a sensor in the road somewhere but i'll be buggered if i can find it. Sat there for 5 mins one early morning moving all over the road trying to trigger it. Anyone going past would have thought someone had escaped from the local mental institution.
  • gozzygozzy Posts: 640
    I bet Hitler jumped red lights.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,320
    1964johnr wrote:
    I shouldn't have done it, but haven't we all been there?

    I must admit to having done so when I stuck at a set of lights that doesn't seem to detect that I'm there. Even if I deliberately place my bike over the induction loops. After a few minutes of waiting in vain for the lights to change, I've thought "censored it!" and gone through. I've done that at least 3 times in the past 25 years.

    It makes me weep, because every time someone runs a red, God forgets that he doesn't exist, and kills a kitten. :(
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • kamil1891kamil1891 Posts: 658
    I don't want to add to the fire... But if there is nobody around, then why not? Being on a bike gives us advantage of responsivity. We can judge a lot quicker whether its safe or not... And, I'm not going into discussion on the wrong "judgements" though ;-)

    Pros around the Europe (and UK too) do it, almost like it was a rule that it is necessary to jump if it's "safe" to.

    Personally, I'm usually the one that needs waiting for. Most of the guys I'm training with and (not to bragg about myself) I've been lucky to ride with few WT level pros, they all jump the reds (when its safe!!) :-)
  • gozzygozzy Posts: 640
    How does "pros do it" justify it?

    I do it, depending on circumstance. I'd agree if theres no one around then why not.
    For example, quiet road, pedestrian crossing on red, no-one nearby crossing (or already crossed before red) = rlj with no qualms.
    Similar circumstances, but with lots of traffic = no rlj.
    Any kind of junction with lights? Wait, pretty much every time. Not worth the risk.
  • gubber12345gubber12345 Posts: 469
    gozzy wrote:
    How does "pros do it" justify it?

    I do it, depending on circumstance. I'd agree if theres no one around then why not. For example, quiet road, pedestrian crossing on red, no-one nearby crossing (or already crossed before red) = rlj with no qualms. Similar circumstances, but with lots of traffic = no rlj.
    +1
    I agree with this but saying that I could easily do a century and never see a red light, advantages of living in the sticks I suppose. :P
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • kamil1891kamil1891 Posts: 658
    gozzy wrote:
    How does "pros do it" justify it?

    It doesn't, but we mere mortals are no worse. I find it hard to believe that most of those "shouting" here, have never jumped a red . However, I canot care less. :-)
  • ScotterScotter Posts: 52
    On the subject of RLJs ( :evil: ) I was talking to a mate (non cyclist) yesterday. He told me about some utter [email protected] on a roadbike, at the Winwick roundabout near Warrington yesterday morning.
    He watched this prize pr1ck ride straight past several stationary cars waiting at a red light (most islands in Warrington have traffic lights on them) through the red light onto the island to turn right. Apparently he was millemetres from being taken out by two cars on the roundabout and causing a big pile up.

    I don`t normally wish harm on other people, but I hope this @rsehole has the accident he so clearly thinks won`t happen to him, is made to pay for his medical treatment, is sued by the car drivers for damages and is then fined heavily in the courts for his totally irresponsible actions.

    The reason I`m writing this is because I`m sick of taking abuse, both on and off the bike, because of the actions of these morons.

    If the rider this happened to is reading this..... you sir, are a c*nt!
  • TakeTurnsTakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    ^ Well done you big boy

    Feel better now?
  • rickeverettrickeverett Posts: 987
    TakeTurns wrote:
    ^ Well done you big boy

    Feel better now?


    He has a point.

    I have zero sympathy for anyone caught or taken out jumping a red light.

    No matter what some say, its breaking the law. If cyclists want respect, respect the law.

    RLJ is not safe, its a dickish attitude.
  • CygnusCygnus Posts: 1,879
    Where's the popcorn :P
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    TakeTurns wrote:
    ^ Well done you big boy

    Feel better now?


    He has a point.

    I have zero sympathy for anyone caught or taken out jumping a red light.

    No matter what some say, its breaking the law. If cyclists want respect, respect the law.

    RLJ is not safe, its a dickish attitude.
    Precisely
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    ai_1 wrote:
    TakeTurns wrote:
    ^ Well done you big boy

    Feel better now?


    He has a point.

    I have zero sympathy for anyone caught or taken out jumping a red light.

    No matter what some say, its breaking the law. If cyclists want respect, respect the law.

    RLJ is not safe, its a dickish attitude.
    Precisely

    So a question for habitual RLJers...
    Do you consider yourselves to be Thatcherites? You know, the bit about "There is no society"?
    After all, society is about the giving up of certain personal freedoms for the greater good of the whole community (as codified in 'laws').
    Or perhaps you look up to bankers? The pursuit of short term personal gain rather at the expense of the greater good?
    Maybe you subscribe to the ethos that if there is no immediate and significant punishment for breaking a law then it's OK to ignore it? A bit like people who say "Laws are for the little people, not for me"?
    Hard to see the difference from here.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    A question to all the people who habitually go red in the face at the thought, how does it compare? you know, is it up there with murder or just on par with putting a cat in a bin?
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    iPete wrote:
    A question to all the people who habitually go red in the face at the thought, how does it compare? you know, is it up there with murder or just on par with putting a cat in a bin?
    Let's be clear. This is just a stupid question.

    Breaking red lights is illegal, irresponsible, selfish, disrespectful and socially detrimental to all cyclists.
    I'm not about to play your little game.
    If you can't judge a thing on it's own merits a ranking system isn't going to help you.
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    iPete wrote:
    A question to all the people who habitually go red in the face at the thought, how does it compare? you know, is it up there with murder or just on par with putting a cat in a bin?

    Ah, easy one. Murder.
    Murder is explicitly illegal (like RLJing) whereas 'putting a cat in a bin' is not (although the specific circumstances may indicate that some law has been broken).

    The thing about laws is that they are all equal. There is no heirarchy of laws or concepts of laws being 'optional' or just 'guidelines'. They only differ in the consequences, but that's another matter and only relevant if you subscribe to the ethos that you if the consequences are 'affordable' then the law can be ignored.

    Just for the record, I wasn't red in the face, but I thought I'd respond anyway.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    mpie wrote:
    iPete wrote:
    A question to all the people who habitually go red in the face at the thought, how does it compare? you know, is it up there with murder or just on par with putting a cat in a bin?

    Ah, easy one. Murder.
    Murder is explicitly illegal (like RLJing) whereas 'putting a cat in a bin' is not (although the specific circumstances may indicate that some law has been broken).

    Superb response, has put a smile on my face. :D

    I find the zero tolerance a bit far off but this is a forum and after all everyone here is whiter than white in everything they do. In London the unfortunate irony is that more people will be killed waiting for lights than jumping them.

    p.s. I'm not a habitual light jumper either but I thought I'd respond anyway.
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