Stopping suddenly at a red light

hiltpetr1982
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Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby hiltpetr1982 » Sun May 13, 2018 6:50 pm

I was after a general opinion on this topic. I'm a relatively new rider and as such I'm not so confident in my ability to accurately interpret how much time I have when it comes to crossing intersections and getting through red lights safely. I tend to err on the safe time when I'm crossing roads (I usually wait for a bigger gap than I would when I'm walking to account for the fact that I get off to a rolling start a little slower than I'd like and that I'm a bit wobbly).

Today I was riding in the bike lane and I thought I had time to get through the light so I sped up a bit but I realised at the last minute that I didn't have enough time, so I broke pretty quickly. The rider behind me (who I was riding with and who is more experienced than me by more than a decade) had seen that I was speeding up and sped up to also get through the light. When I stopped, he yelled at me and blamed me for nearly causing an accident.

We later had an argument about whose fault it was. I admit that I broke suddenly but I feel that I have the right to choose at any point to not run the risk of running a red light. I feel as though the rider behind should have left enough space to stop safely or to slide past me if he needed to (I was on the left of the lane, which is wide enough for 2 riders).
Last edited by hiltpetr1982 on Sun May 13, 2018 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NASHIE
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby NASHIE » Sun May 13, 2018 7:47 pm

Tuff one, but the fact that you speed up I'm guessing to run the amber ? means you owed the rider/riders behind some notice that you intended to stop. Unfortunately last second calls, especially to stop in a bunch are not going to go down well the following riders. Intent and calls need to be clear, so i tend to agree with your mate that you should of kept on riding through the light or called the stop earlier and not speed up.
And if you where running a 'RED' then your both idiots :wink:
Last edited by NASHIE on Sun May 13, 2018 7:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Arbuckle23
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby Arbuckle23 » Sun May 13, 2018 7:48 pm

Highly recommended that you signal/call out your intentions to riders behind you.
Calling "Rolling" or "Stopping" means the other riders know what you are doing.

Whilst we should always be mindful what the rider (or car for that matter when driving) in front is doing, it is a bit exasperating when you first speed up, then jam on the brakes.

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Tim
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby Tim » Sun May 13, 2018 8:04 pm

Put it behind you, chalk it up as a learning experience for you and your mate and don't let it discourage you from riding.
It's not an exercise in allocating blame, nobody got hurt, cycling is meant to be fun.
Get out there, gain more experience, enjoy yourself and the skill level and judgement will naturally improve.
Keep on riding.

human909
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby human909 » Sun May 13, 2018 8:13 pm

Your legal 'road rules' right is pretty much like your describe, vehicles behind you should give adequate stopping space.

As a good road user you have a duty of care to act predictably and safely to all those around you. This applies just as much to all road users.

If you are riding with a mate then there is often a greater expectation of predictability as slipstreaming is common. So your mate has a strong point.

All that said, personally I increase my trailing distance as I approach an intersection in most cycling situations in order to allow for the unexpected.

And like Tim said. Don't overthink it. Keep enjoying riding

AdelaidePeter
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby AdelaidePeter » Sun May 13, 2018 8:24 pm

If the other rider couldn't brake in time, then he was illegally tailgating. You are correct, you had every right to brake.

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London Boy
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby London Boy » Sun May 13, 2018 8:36 pm

If you're accelerating on amber you're already breaking the law.

That aside, if the lights turn and you still have time, then you can roll through and that's fair enough. If you need to stop then stop. It is polite, if not strictly necessary, to say you are stopping.

Accelerating tells the guys behind that you're not going to stop. They react accordingly. Suddenly braking puts you at fault and, whatever the legal consequences, you don't want to do it a second time.

Just as an aside, the presumption about the fault of the other driver/rider when you're rear-ended is not absolute and it can be rebutted. But outside of the social consequence, and possibly injuries, you're legally kind of ok, in the sense that a following rider accelerating on amber is also breaking the law. Contributory negligence, voluntary assumption of risk, etc.

Cyclophiliac
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby Cyclophiliac » Sun May 13, 2018 9:18 pm

The original poster in this thread did nothing wrong, and it was the responsibility of the following rider to keep a safe distance. We've all been in this situation at least once (anyone who claims otherwise is kidding him/herself), where we think we might be able to safely go through an intersection, then realise when it's almost too late that we actually need to stop.

fat and old
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby fat and old » Sun May 13, 2018 9:46 pm

He yelled at you? You argued? What....are you in grade school? Find another riding partner. If he can’t work out what’s going on he has no right to be covering his stupidity by yelling at you.

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RonK
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby RonK » Sun May 13, 2018 9:59 pm

They were riding together in a bunch of two, not some stranger sitting in another's wheel.
When you are riding closely together in a bunch the leading rider has an obligation to clearly signal his intentions. The following rider is pretty much relying in his judgment.
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Machoman121
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby Machoman121 » Sun May 13, 2018 10:05 pm

London Boy wrote:
Accelerating tells the guys behind that you're not going to stop. They react accordingly. Suddenly braking puts you at fault and, whatever the legal consequences, you don't want to do it a second time.



Absolutely correct - bikes don't have tail lights - and you'll do the same thing too if you were behind and the guy in front stopped suddenly.

So the lesson learnt is that always be aware of who is behind before you come to a sudden stop - or if you see the potential for the lights to change - slowing down will indicate to the behinds that you're unsure......

I'll be pissed off if the rider in front suddenly decides to 'obey' the rule of the law and throw out common sense and safety. Ride more and get more experience. Get behind someone and see how that feels. The front rider has the responsibility to control speed/pace. The back rider often can't see jack except for your bum and back.

If you really really have to emergency stop - shouting out that you're stopping might help.

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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby macca33 » Mon May 14, 2018 10:25 am

Technically, you did nothing wrong - road rules-wise, but courtesy would dictate that you call out 'Stopping' upon approach to a TCS-controlled intersection, or Stop sign, etc - even if it is very last minute, as it at least provides some warning.

Or, you could buy some brake-lights.....joke....

The bloke behind, if as experienced as you allude, shouldn't have been stuck to your rear wheel anyway...

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AndreB1972
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby AndreB1972 » Mon May 14, 2018 12:40 pm

RonK wrote:They were riding together in a bunch of two, not some stranger sitting in another's wheel.
When you are riding closely together in a bunch the leading rider has an obligation to clearly signal his intentions.


If his partner was not some stranger he would be aware the the OP was inexperienced and should expect some unpredictable riding. As the more experienced rider, the partner should've been braking on amber, rather that accelerating to make the lights.

RonK wrote:The following rider is pretty much relying in his judgment.

I think the following rider should rely on their own judgement. I frequently see road group rides where rider 1 has good judgement going through on amber, while rider 15 hangs on for red... dangerous bunch mentality.

Learning experience for both of them, but the rider/s behind should be looking after their own safety.

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RonK
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby RonK » Mon May 14, 2018 12:59 pm

AndreB1972 wrote:
RonK wrote:They were riding together in a bunch of two, not some stranger sitting in another's wheel.
When you are riding closely together in a bunch the leading rider has an obligation to clearly signal his intentions.


If his partner was not some stranger he would be aware the the OP was inexperienced and should expect some unpredictable riding. As the more experienced rider, the partner should've been braking on amber, rather that accelerating to make the lights.

RonK wrote:The following rider is pretty much relying in his judgment.

I think the following rider should rely on their own judgement. I frequently see road group rides where rider 1 has good judgement going through on amber, while rider 15 hangs on for red... dangerous bunch mentality.

Learning experience for both of them, but the rider/s behind should be looking after their own safety.

The op quite plainly said they were riding together.
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Thoglette
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby Thoglette » Mon May 14, 2018 1:24 pm

AndreB1972 wrote: I frequently see road group rides where rider 1 has good very bad judgement going through on amber, while rider 15 hangs on for red... dangerous bunch mentality.


Fixed it for you. If the lights are amber the lead rider should be stopping to keep the group both safe and together.
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby NASHIE » Mon May 14, 2018 1:34 pm

Thoglette wrote:
AndreB1972 wrote: I frequently see road group rides where rider 1 has good very bad judgement going through on amber, while rider 15 hangs on for red... dangerous bunch mentality.


Fixed it for you. If the lights are amber the lead rider should be stopping to keep the group both safe and together.


And thats where the ambiguity beings, as many riders and forum members believe its ok to run an amber or even reds as they are not going to cause any damage to anyone or anything else :roll:.....we are our own worst enemy sometimes.

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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon May 14, 2018 1:57 pm

RonK wrote:
AndreB1972 wrote: Learning experience for both of them, but the rider/s behind should be looking after their own safety.

The op quite plainly said they were riding together.


That doesn't excuse the following rider from being responsible for his own safety.

When riding in a group, sometimes you've got to split up for safety reasons. Even if the size of the group is 2.

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biker jk
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby biker jk » Mon May 14, 2018 2:06 pm

The op should probably stay behind the experienced rider while they develop better judgement regarding traffic lights and announcing sudden stops.

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AndreB1972
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby AndreB1972 » Mon May 14, 2018 2:22 pm

Thoglette wrote:
AndreB1972 wrote: I frequently see road group rides where rider 1 has good very bad judgement going through on amber, while rider 15 hangs on for red... dangerous bunch mentality.


Fixed it for you. If the lights are amber the lead rider should be stopping to keep the group both safe and together.


It's not always possible to stop on amber, and having consideration for all the riders behind you, its probably not best to suddenly stop. So the lead rider might exercise good judgement from their perspective. But my point is basically that each rider should be checking the condition of the road / lights / traffic and react to those observations. And yes, common courtesy is to communicate in the bunch to make conditions safer and more predictable for all riders, but blindly following (& trusting) the rider in front is probably better left to racing in controlled environments.

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RonK
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby RonK » Mon May 14, 2018 2:37 pm

AndreB1972 wrote:And yes, common courtesy is to communicate in the bunch to make conditions safer and more predictable for all riders, but blindly following (& trusting) the rider in front is probably better left to racing in controlled environments.

I don't believe it has ever been implied the the second rider was "blindly following (& trusting) the rider in front".

The first rider judged they could beat the lights and accelerated. The following rider made the same call and followed, only for the first to suddenly change his mind and brake.
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London Boy
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby London Boy » Tue May 15, 2018 9:08 pm

RonK wrote:The first rider judged they could beat the lights and accelerated. The following rider made the same call and followed, only for the first to suddenly change his mind and brake.

The first rider could only have been trying to 'beat the lights' if they had already turned amber. Accelerating in that situation is an offence, even if it is one that is rarely prosecuted. In all states, whatever many drivers might believe, the law is that you must stop on amber if it is safe to do so.

The OP just needs to learn from it.

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hamishm
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby hamishm » Wed May 16, 2018 12:08 pm

London Boy wrote:The first rider could only have been trying to 'beat the lights' if they had already turned amber. Accelerating in that situation is an offence, even if it is one that is rarely prosecuted. In all states, whatever many drivers might believe, the law is that you must stop on amber if it is safe to do so.

It's practically un-Australian not to accelerate when the lights go amber. Only red light/speed cameras keep this in check...

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London Boy
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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby London Boy » Wed May 16, 2018 10:31 pm

hamishm wrote:It's practically un-Australian not to accelerate when the lights go amber. Only red light/speed cameras keep this in check...

So it's really no mystery is it, why around 1200 people are killed every year on our roads? And countless more injured and disabled?

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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby NASHIE » Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 pm

hamishm wrote:
London Boy wrote:The first rider could only have been trying to 'beat the lights' if they had already turned amber. Accelerating in that situation is an offence, even if it is one that is rarely prosecuted. In all states, whatever many drivers might believe, the law is that you must stop on amber if it is safe to do so.

It's practically un-Australian not to accelerate when the lights go amber. Only red light/speed cameras keep this in check...


Mate we are saints compared to the Italians. Red lights are just a slow down and look left right when we drove around 20 yrs ago. May have changed but Im sure they are all colourblind.

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Re: Stopping suddenly at a red light

Postby piledhigher » Wed May 16, 2018 11:52 pm

NASHIE wrote:Mate we are saints compared to the Italians. Red lights are just a slow down and look left right when we drove around 20 yrs ago. May have changed but Im sure they are all colourblind.


And maybe that's the difference Aussies are always right at the edge of the rules and being technically 'legal', maybe knowing the rules and breaking them with the right amount of care is actually safer.

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