"Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

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"Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby rodneythellama » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:41 pm

Thought this news article might be of interest. Apologies for the translation. The original web page has a video report which illustrates how the signs work. Brussels is certainly not the most cycle-friendly city in Belgium by the way.

"Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"
Monday 03/12/2012
VRT News
http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/regio/brussel/121203_fietserdoorrood

At 8 intersections in the Brussels region can cyclists in certain situations ride through a red light. This test project has received a positive evaluation from the Belgian Institute for Traffic Safety (BIVV) and will be expanded further. Ignoring a red light as a car driver can be expensive, obviously because it can be life threatening. For cyclists who want to turn right, such a red light is often not dangerous and simply lost time. Therefore a test project was run in Brussels from June to September with signs which gave cyclists permission to ride through red lights in certain circumstances.

There are two signs which make the exception possible. For one sign, a cyclist may turn right through a red light. For the other sign, a cyclist may also cycle straight through when the light is red. The latter only applies if there is no car traffic which must cross and go over the separated bike lane.

The BIVV has determined that the present signs have caused no traffic problems. The rule is 100% safe. The institute emphasized that the rules should not be normal for every situation. The Brussels Region has now selected 255 intersections for which a thorough one-to-one evaluation shall determine whether such signs can come.
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by BNA » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:52 pm

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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby human909 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:52 pm

No surprises that self preservation keeps people from doing stupid things a keeps people safe most of the time.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:56 pm

As cyclists we should also be aware that this is a dangerous argument, it is the same as arguing, hypothetically, that as a motorist breaking certain laws is safe - if it is up to every one to decide which laws to follow (regardless of which ones we agree with) then this doesn't help society.
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Re:

Postby lump_a_charcoal » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:07 pm

AUbicycles wrote:As cyclists we should also be aware that this is a dangerous argument, it is the same as arguing, hypothetically, that as a motorist breaking certain laws is safe - if it is up to every one to decide which laws to follow (regardless of which ones we agree with) then this doesn't help society.



I don't think anyone is suggesting that people should break laws, merely that just because a light is red, it doesn't mean that it is dangerous to cross.

Driving/riding to the conditions is no excuse for breaking laws, no matter how safe.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:15 pm

There are quite a few of these signs around Darwin, applying to all road users; I go through at least one on my commute:

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They work very well in my opinion, and I haven't heard of them increasing the risk of accidents. People often don't actually "stop" at them though, much like they do with stop signs...
Last edited by WestcoastPete on Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:

Postby human909 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:16 pm

AUbicycles wrote:As cyclists we should also be aware that this is a dangerous argument, it is the same as arguing, hypothetically, that as a motorist breaking certain laws is safe - if it is up to every one to decide which laws to follow (regardless of which ones we agree with) then this doesn't help society.


It certainly isn't a dangerous argument. It is the truth. In fact it is up to everyone to decide which laws to follow. It is also up to society to decide which laws it chooses to enforce. This has been discussed extensively on these forums, maybe you missed it.

If you look for traffic and dangers before you proceed then there is little risk in ignoring red lights. We all do it at non signalled intersections, the presence of signals doesn't suddenly change physics.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:20 pm

Then of course there's the decree in Paris where cyclists are allowed to go through red lights legally...

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cy ... 311182.ece
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Re:

Postby high_tea » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:23 pm

AUbicycles wrote:As cyclists we should also be aware that this is a dangerous argument, it is the same as arguing, hypothetically, that as a motorist breaking certain laws is safe - if it is up to every one to decide which laws to follow (regardless of which ones we agree with) then this doesn't help society.

No, it's not. The article is about making it lawful to ignore red lights under certain circumstances. Lousy headline though.
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Re:

Postby il padrone » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:57 pm

AUbicycles wrote:that as a motorist breaking certain laws is safe - if it is up to every one to decide which laws to follow

It is not. This was most certainly not the sort of scenario suggested by the original article. Only for cyclists, at intersections that have been selected and signed.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby diggler » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:25 pm

I think every intersection should be left turn permitted on red after stopping unless otherwise specified.
That's what a fool does. I'm invincible, I'm paying money ... uh ... The girl's happy, she's got no money, I got my rocks off. How good is this?
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:27 pm

As long as the "After stopping" bit is observed I don't have a problem with a trial of the idea in appropriate areas.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby Sydguy » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:34 pm

You might not be able to replicate that study in Australia.

Australians do not drive well, are almost down to the last motorist totally unaware of cyclists or how bicycles use roads. We get our licence without a real test and mostly without any professional training.

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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby rodneythellama » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:43 pm

I have to agree with Sydguy. Compared to say Perth, motorists in Belgium are exceptionally polite to cyclists and pedestrians. Except for Brussels, the city centres are generally very bike and walking friendly due to limited car parking and 30km/h speed limits.

The headline is a bit sensationalist but I think the article makes a good contrast with the daily tele one which was recently posted.

In the news clip, they do make the point that if so many cyclists are running red lights, then perhaps it's the law which should be changed, not the cyclists. I suppose everyone has already made up their mind whether this is a good point or not. Sorry to drag up that old topic.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby human909 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:49 pm

rodneythellama wrote:In the news clip, they do make the point that if so many cyclists are running red lights, then perhaps it's the law which should be changed, not the cyclists. I suppose everyone has already made up their mind whether this is a good point or not. Sorry to drag up that old topic.


Exactly. There is a reason why so many cyclists run red lights. Because its harmless!
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby biker jk » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:00 pm

You red light runners are clutching at straws. As mentioned, we have left turn on red after stopping here already. Not a problem with that. But note that the case of going straight through a red legally only applies in Belgium where car traffic doesn't cross the separated bicycle line. That's not a normal intersection. Keep trying law breakers.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:01 pm

I understand what everyone means but will stick to my view (in the context of todays media coverage where this idea would be counter-productive).
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby il padrone » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:05 pm

You spoke of people choosing which law to follow. But if the Belgian approach was taken the law would be changed.... hence there would no longer be law-breakers in these situations.

:idea:
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby high_tea » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:12 pm

human909 wrote:
rodneythellama wrote:In the news clip, they do make the point that if so many cyclists are running red lights, then perhaps it's the law which should be changed, not the cyclists. I suppose everyone has already made up their mind whether this is a good point or not. Sorry to drag up that old topic.


Exactly. There is a reason why so many cyclists run red lights. Because its harmless!


IME one reason is that lights will only change when the sensor detects a vehicle and it doesn't detect a bicycle (especially not the mostly-plastic kind). The solution in this case is better sensors.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby il padrone » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:36 pm

Also Australian traffic lights have extraordinarily long cycles. In the Netherlands the authorities have moved to shorter light cycles which work in cyclists' favour. A cyclist coming up to a traffic light with a push-button will generally only have to wait about 15 seconds before proceeding (not the outrageous ~3 minutes we struck on crossings along Melbourne's "premier" Capital City Trail :roll: )
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby human909 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:41 pm

biker jk wrote:You red light runners are clutching at straws. As mentioned, we have left turn on red after stopping here already. Not a problem with that. But note that the case of going straight through a red legally only applies in Belgium where car traffic doesn't cross the separated bicycle line. That's not a normal intersection. Keep trying law breakers.

You are lso asomebody who breaks laws. Stop trying to label people. Furthermore it seems you missed a big "IF" in the description of the Belgium intersection. ie; cyclists are allowed to go IF there is no traffic

AUbicycles wrote:I understand what everyone means but will stick to my view (in the context of todays media coverage where this idea would be counter-productive).

Your view is believing in a falsehood despite clear evidence to the contrary. I don't see how recognising the truth is counter-productive. :?

il padrone wrote:Also Australian traffic lights have extraordinarily long cycles. In the Netherlands the authorities have moved to shorter light cycles which work in cyclists' favour. A cyclist coming up to a traffic light with a push-button will generally only have to wait about 15 seconds before proceeding (not the outrageous ~3 minutes we struck on crossings along Melbourne's "premier" Capital City Trail :roll: )

Yes the efficiency logic on many light cycles is absurd. If an intersection has been clear of traffic for quite some time and is still clear of traffic when you arrive at the intersection then it would be sensible for the light sequence to be triggered immediately in your favour. Unfortunately this isn't the case and sometimes you'll have to wait over a minute of an empty intersection before the lights decide to change. Meanwhile a "law breaker" like me long given up and pedalled onward.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby martinjs » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:22 pm

Meanwhile a "law breaker" like me long given up and pedalled onward.

Typical, so we complain about motorist being impatient and you prove there is NO difference between cyclist and motorist.
He who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones mean

I suggest until YOU start obeying the law you STOP complaining a motorist who don't obey the law.

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby il padrone » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:35 pm

martinjs wrote:Typical, so we complain about motorist being impatient and you prove there is NO difference between cyclist and motorist.

Well, yes. They are both human beings - with foibles, failings and self-interest. What's new there?

One of the things that lead to such behaviour is how the social organisation treats different people. People who are alienated, feel their interests are not looked after, feel they face threats, will be the ones to take short-cuts to exploit the system, as much as they can in their own interest. It's not necessarily right, not legal, but it's what happens.

Sound familiar? Maybe out on the open roads of Leeton you don't face the same degree of aggressive traffic behaviour, the same disadvantageous road systems.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:46 pm

Not going to argue or debate on this one - it is pretty clear that too much is being read-into my comments and misinterpreted so am going to stop (and not even debate debating). No hard feelings.
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby Alien27 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:18 am

AUbicycles wrote:As cyclists we should also be aware that this is a dangerous argument, it is the same as arguing, hypothetically, that as a motorist breaking certain laws is safe - if it is up to every one to decide which laws to follow (regardless of which ones we agree with) then this doesn't help society.

For what it's worth +1 :)
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Re: "Ignoring red lights is 100% safe"

Postby human909 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:49 am

martinjs wrote:I suggest until YOU start obeying the law you STOP complaining a motorist who don't obey the law.

I will object to anybody whose actions threatens or endangers another persons life whether they are breaking a law or not. I won't object to somebody harmlessly breaking a law. Eg, Going through a red light at a empty intersection.

This applies equally to motorists and cyclists.

As said previously I certainly almost always will stop for red lights. However on occasion I do go through them. I am happy to argue the point. Less about defending myself, more about objecting to continuous condemnation of other red light jumpers I see around here.
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