Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the road"

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby human909 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:22 am

wellington_street wrote:Anecdotally, I observe around 50% compliance on average on my commute - speaking for road cyclists only.


Wow. That surprises me. But your sincere anecdotal evidence is as valid as mine....

I do wonder how much poor cycling infrastructure traffic signals play a role here... You seem to be referring to lights that relate to cyclists as opposed to general traffic. Most of my observance is general traffic signals. I do admit that many of the 5% that I do see ignoring red light are at cyclist signals. (For those playing in Melbourne, the Capital City Trail crossings.)
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by BNA » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:08 am

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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby wellington_street » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:08 am

Perth doesn't have any cyclist-only traffic signals that I can think of - road cyclists have to (or don't) abide by the same signals other traffic uses.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Xplora » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:57 am

Surely it's a foolish discussion to be having around compliance if the results are not discussed as well. Extreme noncompliance clearly has virtually no consequences except reveal the idiocy of car drivers who can't function without a light patting them on the head telling they can go through the intersection.

The tree keeps falling in the woods, making no sound, but the community keeps trying to pretend that we are going deaf from a falling forest. It is such a minor infringement that police have to blitz a popular CBD cycle route to get enough tickets to cover their quota. And yet I don't recall seeing a fatality caused by a cyclist blowing a red?

The cyclist specific rules need a further overhaul. Bells and reflectors don't protect riders. Lights at night can help. But they consistently ignore the reality that the car is the elephant in the room. Bikes don't kill people, cars kill people on bikes.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby high_tea » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:34 am

Xplora wrote:polishbiker, have a read of some of the comments... it's crucial you remember that lights are there to stop CARS from colliding with each other at busy intersections. They don't install lights to regulate pedestrians and cyclists.


Bzzzt, wrong. They're there to regulate access to a shared resource. How good a job they do of it is another matter.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby high_tea » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:40 am

zero wrote:IMO the design of most traffic light systems in Australia appears deliberately intended to be harmful to the entire concept of non motor transport of any form, and as they stand, do not deserve a great deal of respect. The only way one can get them to offer similar wait times as afforded to motorists is to disobey them.


This.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Xplora » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:49 am

high_tea wrote:
Xplora wrote:polishbiker, have a read of some of the comments... it's crucial you remember that lights are there to stop CARS from colliding with each other at busy intersections. They don't install lights to regulate pedestrians and cyclists.


Bzzzt, wrong. They're there to regulate access to a shared resource. How good a job they do of it is another matter.

Their effectiveness is precisely my comment. They are not needed for cyclists. Therefore they are required to regulate cars. You will notice the caps. It's not really subtext. ;)
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby high_tea » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:21 am

Both claims I quoted are wrong. No amount of capitalisation will make them right. Traffic lights aren't to stop collisions, nor are they aimed solely at cars.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby human909 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:48 am

-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily role is collision prevention.
-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily role is resource sharing.
-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily roles are both collision prevention and resource sharing.

Insisting they only ever have one role is a little bit silly.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby wellington_street » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:08 am

As far as I am concerned, obeying traffic signals is the law, and if we are using the road we should be obeying the law, regardless of what vehicle we are in.

Somewhat contrarily, I am quite happy to ignore pedestrian signals when riding on paths as Main Roads generally treat path dwellers with contempt - pointless red signals, no cycle lanterns even at recently upgraded intersections etc. Then again, when it's an intersection where Main Roads hasn't done something stupid to treat cyclists badly then I'll show them the same respect.

I recognise that these two views are somewhat conflicting.

I suppose I rationalise it myself through the principle of treating others how you want to be treated - i.e. on the road I want drivers to respect my safety and right to be there, so upholding the road rules is my end of the bargain. On the same principle, on the path, I act as a pedestrian.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Xplora » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:05 pm

wellington_street wrote:As far as I am concerned, obeying traffic signals is the law...

I recognise that these two views are somewhat conflicting.

My brain just exploded.

This post pretty much sums up why my post following is completely valid. I can let you play mental gymnastics, as long as you let me show the rest of the world that your view is ludicrous.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to claim "the law is the law" and blind obedience is required regardless of circumstance or logic, then tell us that you COMPLETELY IGNORE the "law" in a particular circumstance. The law is either fully reliable and justifiable, or it is not. You may not point the finger at me and say "lawbreaker!" when you are only too happy to ignore the law in your own circumstance and judgment. You say that Main Roads is against pedestrian activity - I say Main Roads is against cyclist activity as well. :idea: We are in full agreement, you just fail to understand that anticyclist bigotry is overruling your common sense. :idea:
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby TonyMax » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:23 pm

I'm not sure I get what all the fuss is about regarding bells. Maybe it's because I live in Canberra and we have many shared paths, but I don't see a downside to having a bell, and most of the time a friendly "tingggg" is enough to get people walking 2 abreast or with dogs to make some room for me to pass on the right.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby high_tea » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:27 pm

human909 wrote:-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily role is collision prevention.
-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily role is resource sharing.
-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily roles are both collision prevention and resource sharing.

Insisting they only ever have one role is a little bit silly.


My point was that traffic lights, cf most other forms of right-of-way regulation, automatically let users take it in turns. That's their distinguishing characteristic.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby wellington_street » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:22 pm

Xplora wrote:
wellington_street wrote:As far as I am concerned, obeying traffic signals is the law...

I recognise that these two views are somewhat conflicting.

My brain just exploded.

This post pretty much sums up why my post following is completely valid. I can let you play mental gymnastics, as long as you let me show the rest of the world that your view is ludicrous.


I put it out there to be challenged, so fair enough.

Xplora wrote:It is IMPOSSIBLE to claim "the law is the law" and blind obedience is required regardless of circumstance or logic, then tell us that you COMPLETELY IGNORE the "law" in a particular circumstance. The law is either fully reliable and justifiable, or it is not. You may not point the finger at me and say "lawbreaker!" when you are only too happy to ignore the law in your own circumstance and judgment.


I can definitely see what your saying here. However, choosing to obey the law when riding on road is, for me, about treating other users with the same respect you want in return. I can't be ignoring red lights because it is convenient and then expect a motorist to ignore the road rules because it is convenient.

On the path, similar principle - generally speaking I obey the road rules when interacting with vehicles, if not then I behave like a pedestrian.

Xplora wrote:You say that Main Roads is against pedestrian activity - I say Main Roads is against cyclist activity as well. :idea:


They treat any path users with contempt at road crossings.

Xplora wrote:We are in full agreement, you just fail to understand that anticyclist bigotry is overruling your common sense. :idea:


Not only is this way off the mark but I'm not sure it's even possible to be a bigot against yourself?
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby human909 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:54 pm

wellington_street wrote:I can definitely see what your saying here. However, choosing to obey the law when riding on road is, for me, about treating other users with the same respect you want in return. I can't be ignoring red lights because it is convenient and then expect a motorist to ignore the road rules because it is convenient.


What does obeying the law have to do with treating others with respect?

When I am on the road or on a footpath or in public in general I endeavor to treat people in a polite and safe manner. If everyone did the same then than would be fantastic. The road rules are a set of rules to help organise and guide this process and if necessary enforce it. Personally I don't care about rule obedience as long as the first aspect is adhered to. Often, but not always, rule obedience is important in achieving the first.

When we start seeing rule obedience as the primary goal then we are putting the cart before the horse.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:00 pm

high_tea wrote:
human909 wrote:-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily role is collision prevention.
-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily role is resource sharing.
-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily roles are both collision prevention and resource sharing.

Insisting they only ever have one role is a little bit silly.


My point was that traffic lights, cf most other forms of right-of-way regulation, automatically let users take it in turns. That's their distinguishing characteristic.

Stand at the intersection of Dudley and Adderley Sts West Melbs at 1730 and get back to me on on this. The number of JERKS filling the intersection because they don't want to miss a cycle thereby preventing cross traffic moving on THEIR cycle is disgusting. Yesterday: Dudley St traffic, both directions has entirely filled the intersection. ZERO movement. Adderley St gets the run, bloke waiting for a chance to turn west off Adderley into Dudley gets horn blasted by the white ute, tools in the cab as well as the tray because he was doing the right thing.

Strap even the nicest peoples into wheeled loungerooms and for the most part they become the most selfish, arrogant tossers on the planet. :roll:
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby trailgumby » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:38 pm

The buses trying to get out of York St and Carrington St around Wynyard Park seem to do this every afternoon in Sydney. Instant gridlock. Utter morons.

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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby high_tea » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:08 pm

Some would say that this illustrates how things work badly when people stop following the rules.

I personally think this illustrates a great need for installing a few of those critters from Return of the Jedi* at selected intersections. Lights go red, critter sucks any cars left in the intersection into its gaping maw. YouTube video goes viral, queueing across intersections stops overnight. Sorted.

It'd work better to encourage cyclists to follow the rules of the road too; if the consequence of, say, not having a bell (my favourite all-time stupid traffic law) was getting eaten alive by some bizarro-world science-fiction creature, I'd follow the rule and not sweat the arbitrariness too much.

I'm sure this arrangement would have drawbacks, but since the critter in question is imaginary, it hardly seems worth worrying about it.

* The one they were going to feed Han Solo to.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby London Boy » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:58 pm

high_tea wrote:
human909 wrote:-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily role is collision prevention.
-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily role is resource sharing.
-There are numerous circumstances where the traffic lights' primarily roles are both collision prevention and resource sharing.

Insisting they only ever have one role is a little bit silly.


My point was that traffic lights, cf most other forms of right-of-way regulation, automatically let users take it in turns. That's their distinguishing characteristic.

Stop signs, Give Way signs, marked lines and all the other passive paraphernalia on the roads and verges are there to stop collisions, by establishing the way in which the road rules work in those particular places. The only way they facilitate resource sharing is by prioritising through traffic such that cross traffic generally gives way to it.

Traffic lights are active devices which, turn by turn, allow vehicles travelling in each available direction to have access to the road. That is not collision prevention, that is resource management. I like to think of it as time division multiplexing.

What is noticeable is that, even when the lights are inoperative, the road rules continue to apply. In SEQ we have lights out whenever there's a shower of rain, so we see at first hand that the rules still pretty much prevent collisions. It's just that resource sharing gets tricky, since the normal controls are out of whack.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Aushiker » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:52 pm

London Boy wrote:
high_tea wrote:My point was that traffic lights, cf most other forms of right-of-way regulation, automatically let users take it in turns. That's their distinguishing characteristic.

Stop signs, Give Way signs, marked lines and all the other passive paraphernalia on the roads and verges are there to stop collisions, by establishing the way in which the road rules work in those particular places. The only way they facilitate resource sharing is by prioritising through traffic such that cross traffic generally gives way to it.

Traffic lights are active devices which, turn by turn, allow vehicles travelling in each available direction to have access to the road. That is not collision prevention, that is resource management. I like to think of it as time division multiplexing.


I just posted this today but it comes from a BITRE report, Road Safety: Modelling a Global Phenomenon

A positive to come out of the research is that fatality rates have trended down as societies have become motorised. The report notes that initially the gain come from adopting traffic management measures such as stop signs, traffic lights, lane separation etc and then from the 1970s it has been the role of vehicle safety improvements, most importantly the wearing of seat belts.

More recently (from the 1980s) and I think interestingly as it says we as motorists, as road users, we cannot be responsible for ourselves and each other, enforcement, principally aimed at the control of speed and driver impairment has become the driving force behind the decline in fatality rates.

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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby find_bruce » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:54 pm

& how they facilitate resource sharing reveals the priorities and prejudices of the roads authority, where vehicle lanes are green by default, but the bicycle lights only turn green if they detect a bicycle, where the same induction loop is used on the road as the bike path, but the bike path is LESS likely to detect a bicycle due to the sensitivity adjustment - apparently it is a greater tragedy if the bicycle light went green & there was no bike than if the light fails to go green when there is a bike.

It is not just a volume issue - Union Street Pyrmont, which is a street I ride regularly, there are more cyclists than any other vehicle, yet a car is more than twice as likely to get a green light.

This study was done in response to complaints from cyclists that the lights didn't work, & the RMS concluded from this study that the lights worked exactly as intended & painted diamonds on the bike path to show the 50 mm path where you needed to put your bike to trigger the lights. It would seem that subsequently they have also adjusted the sensitivity of the loops.

Similarly when the then State Government wasting $175 million on duplicating the Iron Cove bridge they simply reset the timing to increase the priority for traffic on Victoria Road & raised the average speed by 2 km/h.
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