open topic, for anything cycling related.
Just wanted to know peoples opinions about stopping at lights and the circumstances.
Myself I ALWAYS now stop at cross junctions with lights. I have to admit I didn't in the past but looking back this is madness, too many cars coming from too many directions plus pedestrians a recipe for a crash.
However I do now go through on side T junctions (below if there are no cars coming from the right hand side. And in some circumstances if there is a wide bike lane going through the junction I will still go through even if there are cars turning right as I feel there is enough road and I am not in danger. (I do pay close attention to pedestrians in these circumstances and stop if there are any at the lights (I nearly took a couple out in the past and those close call incidents make u think twice I reckon.)
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I wonder if my safety compass is wrong here and I should stop at all lights? Whats your opinion? What do you do? What are your exceptions?
I also drive a car when its raining to work, but when on my bike ''genuinely'' I am 1000% more aware of the traffic and pedestrians around me. Always looking over my shoulder at road junctions, intersections, roundabouts etc. to the point of paranoia.
Perhaps people car drivers think I am crazy when I run the lights, but to me I only do it when its safe for me to do so. You can definitely be 'dead right' these days its a jungle out there for cyclists, just dont wanna be labelled as one of them crazy ones I suppose.
No your absolutely right of course, but I dont have my own dedicated cycle lane when I am driving my car. I suppose that gives it the illusion of being safer perhaps?
I always obey all the very simple road rules, but have been lambasted on here before for saying so. (27 years driving/cycling, not one accident-infringment of any sort. Road rules are truly easy to follow.)
Last edited by reefer on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Only time I go through is at 5am when my bike doesnt trigger the change in lights. Otherwise as above I wouldnt do it in a car so I dont do it on my bike, I want cars to respect riders on the road and running reds is not the way to earn it.
I always stop at traffic lights, but I sometimes go through those bicycle/pedestrian red lights when I'm on a shared path which crosses a road .
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I make a point of stopping not only because its breaking the road rules, but also because I feel it shows the drivers around me that "Hey I'm a cyclist, but i obey the same rules as you".
No you have your own dedicated Motor vehicle lane, which if you can't see a car coming does it make it OK to run the light? There could always be a cyclist coming through that set of lights, that you don't see who intends to come on to your dedicated cycle lane.
I always stop at all lights, it is just not worth the risk and besides, I like my body the way it is.
With respect, regardless of the time of day, or the circumstance you have and exception also.
+1. I bet I know one of the intersections you're talking about, Vander. When the lights don't change, the lights can be considered "malfunctioning" and the correct thing to do is to stop, then proceed when appropriate.
No there are exceptions. Also, given Vander's recent argument with a car (driver's fault, not his), I suspect he is more careful about riding than most people are.
Commuting home yesterday, stopped at the lights around 5.30 and the intersection busy as hell, and a guy on a road bike zooms straight through the red light at full speed.
Then, of course, someone leans out of a taxi to give me a serve about dangerous bloody cyclists not obeying the bloody law, while the rest of the drivers are nodding and staring daggers at me.
What gave me the rages more than copping flak for someone else's drooling stupidity was the way the bike twit just broke the law with a complete sense of entitlement, like the laws of the road (and physics) don't apply to Serious Cyclists.
I run reds when safe and have no qualms about it. No kamikaze stuff, but happy to run a red regardless of time of day if I'm comfortable with the situation.
For the "you're setting a bad example" slash "you're giving us a bad name" types - if I don't do it, some other cyclist will, get off my case!
Drivers, well at least some of them, are going to be jerks to us regardless of how well behaved we are. We're the minority, easy targets.
If I'm ever called out by a driver (which has probably happened twice) they soon shut up after I ask them if they've ever broken the speed limit before.
And actually I have a funny story, once I ran a red light (8pm, no cars except for a couple waiting for the lights and a cyclist heading the same way as me). I heard some noise behind me, turned around, couldn't see much so passed it off as nothing. About a kay or two up the street I've got this older gentleman hoons up right next to me, yelling quite aggressively at me with the "bad name" type argument, to which I gave him a few wise words (spiced with a immature remark about how his phsyique spiced with form fitting lycra was probably more effective in giving us a bad name), he went red, kept yelling, this went back and forth for a while up the road. I guess he got tired of my discussion points, so then proceeded to try and run me off the road... I hopped up the gutter, got mad, realised what had just happened and started chasing the old fella! He caught a gap across a main road and I never saw him again. Since this happened on my commute, I was hoping to see him again to inform him how running other cyclists off the road isn't exactly setting the best example either.
I probably shouldn't have insulted the guy but I'm not sure what response one expects when aggressively yelling (and it was reasonably aggressive) at someone they don't know about a fairly inconsequential traffic infringement. Leave that stuff to the police and focus on things you can control!
Not really that simple.
Most traffic lights are designed for motorised traffic.
A bike is not a car...
No comparison there
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Nice link. I am becoming better at stopping at reds etc. I'm not perfect, but realize that when I cycle on the roads and wether I like it or not my actions affect the way motorists respond to cyclists everywhere.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
Makes for interesting reading
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Exactly. A pedestrian isn't a car either. Thats why the vast majority of pedestrians I see regularly ignore red pedestrian lights.
There is no such road rule.
What risk? It is far more risky to blindly follow what the lights say than to ignore lights completely and proceed when it is safe.
The vast majority of the time I simply stop for red lights but I honestly feel ridiculous waiting for a red light at an empty intersection. It is an inefficient waste of time. The "risk" of me running a red light at an empty intersection is negligible. There is far more objective risk riding straight in a typical bike lane next to parked cars.
That was tongue in cheek. I don't have an excuse, I don't feel the need for one. Just being honest about my behaviour on the road.
In my opinion it's a personal decision, it doesn't affect anyone else - I don't accept the 'making us look bad' argument. You can put that argument to me until you're blue in the face and my opinion and behaviour won't change.
There's one set of lights around my area that doesn't trigger. The rest, I'll stop at.
In QLD we're allowed on the footpaths. I do my best to obey the pedestrian lights but if the traffic lights are green, I'll go.
I stop at all red lights but there are 2 intersections that I tend to ignore late at night/early morning (1am-4am) due to the fact the sensors won't pick up me and my bike. They are in areas where there is no traffic around these times so I treat the lights as a stop sign.
As a road bike rider and lycra wearer when I'm exercising, not commuting, I stop at red lights and go on green. The only exception being the pre dawn failure of the light to change for me in which case I'll proceed very cautiously but always stopping first.
Entitled cyclists frustrate me too I ride a "road" bike on the road so I obey the "road" rules.
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As a relatively new rider (3 months) it amazes me the number of cyclists of all types (work commuters, racers, etc) who run red lights at pedestrian crossings. I stop and wait even though there is on particularly annoyingly long red light at the intersection of Loftus St and Graham Farmer Fwy on ramp. But there is always the thought of "whats the point if everyone else is just running the red?"
I didn't say there was a road rule covering it, I'm just applying common sense. If you come up to a set of lights and the lights DON'T trigger, you could be sitting there, literally, for hours. It's just being sensible to run them.
The law is there to deal with MOST situations, it can't deal with all of them.
Interestingly I treat all intersections the same way as I treat a STOP sign even if there is a GREEN light or a continuing road. I look for and give way to all traffic that is on an intersecting path to mine. Behaving in any other way is liable to get your hurt, not running red lights.
(Occasionally, if I am confident the speeds are low and that I can safely bail or stop, I will continue if they are required to give way to me. This is to drive home the point to the to the offending motorist. Multiple times I've had to stop in the middle of a round about and stare down the car that fails to give way. Most of the time they stop half into the intersection.)
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