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  1. #1
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    Guess what % of red light runners were cyclists?


  2. #2
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    ^ I don't run reds. One light I learned won't trigger for a bike. If going right I have an alternate route to avoid it. If left I wait the normal 1.5 minutes then is no vehicle arrives to trip it I turn left when traffic allows as drivers in Indiana can ignore a malfunctioning light. I have seen no cyclists run lights here, but many motorists who have. So I bet this varies a lot by city.

  3. #3
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Auckland NZ though. I wonder what it is in the US?
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    Guess what % of red light runners were cyclists?

    It definitely varies by city. Saw a lot of bikes running reds in san francisco. It seems uncommon in indianapolis. I do as brianmc does, but locally haven't had trouble with lights not triggering for my bike.

  5. #5
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    The light coming out of my apartment complex won't trigger if you are turning left in a car if you don't position yourself correctly. A bike definitely won't do it.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    The light coming out of my apartment complex won't trigger if you are turning left in a car if you don't position yourself correctly. A bike definitely won't do it.
    This!

    There are a few lights that will not trigger when my bike is at the stop light in my area. At these I treat them like a stop sign during low traffic volume times. At high traffic volume times I avoid these intersections or walk my bike across at the cross walk.

  7. #7
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    So did they count motorists who accelerate through stale yellows?

    No? Because that's just the way people drive when their time is valuable...and it's not all dangerous, right, cause the light's only been red for like, a second or two... and those cars who have already started to turn left, they will never plow into those guys, of course.

  8. #8
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    This is a tough one.

    I am a huge advocate of jay-walking. It is a stupid law, and it should broken whenever it is safe to do so. And when you're on a bike a lot of laws are also stupid and should be bent if not broken...but redlights aren't really one of them.

    This study was apparently at "major" intersections, so the excuse that the light wouldn't change probably doesn't fly. But like ghettocruiser says, the numbers could also definitely use some explaining.

    Does "running a red" include starting into the intersection early? Does it include making a right turn (on a red) without coming to a full stop first? I wouldn't be surprised that cyclists do both of those a lot more than drivers. I don't think many cyclists are blowing through stale yellows at 80kph though.

  9. #9
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    ^^ I also wonder how many cyclists "ran" the light by still being in the intersection when the light went red. In Ohio and Indiana if you get into the intersection on the yellow, you are legal. (A bit dicey if a busy multilane intersection unless you are right in front of the last lane or two as the light changes. Busy intersections are often wide intersections. I have one like that where if I am 4th to 6th in line to cross, it will be close). Cross traffic in Indians must yield to traffic in the intersection or imminent on entering it. I think NY used to require that you were out of the intersection by the turning of the light to red. So some jurisdictions may vary. Since the lights are set for cars, the yellow light can be too short to get out of the intersection even if you entered at the same time as cars that did make it through. On another issue. I wonder if even half the drivers in this city actually stop for a right turn on red. This is a report on the survey and the author may have overlooked some of what the report included.

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    A couple of intersections in Indy change from green to red so quickly that even if I am hammering, I have a hard time making it across before the yellow cycles completely through. One of them is right by my house. Busy but not huge street my house is on crosses a very major street that is about 7 lanes wide. If I enter the intersection when it is towards the end of the green, most of the time, it will be red before I'm completely through it.

  11. #11
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    Thinking about it, the numbers are SO high that it almost has to be a methodology error.

    Aukland's bike modeshare is apparently 3%. Even if it's higher than that in the downtown, how likely is it that 60% of redlight violations come from such a small number of cyclists? To get that proportion either no drivers runs reds, or every single cyclist runs reds all the time. It's only a little bit more likely than if a study found that 60% of all redlight violations were by people named John.

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  13. #13
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    Auckland has red light cameras that photograph your rear number plate and send you a $200 fine. Bikes don't have rear number plates.

    What's the bet that this "study" is in fact pictures taken by the red light camera and a proportion of bikes to cars.

    Now if you are guaranteed a $200 ticket if you run the red in the car, do you think you will run it? If you are on a bike and have no chance of a photograph ticket, will it change your behaviour?

    As an aside these cameras are often put on city intersections that get blocked in heavy traffic to stop people from blocking and trying to get across, so perhaps what you have is cyclists essentially riding through a traffic jam intersection. The other thing that would be caught up is cyclists who start off a second before the green when it's safe in order to get into view of all traffic on the gutter side lane.

  14. #14
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    They seem pretty concerned about red light running in general...
    Intersections

  15. #15
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    I personally don't run reds, but many of the people that I've ridden with, as well as almost all of the "seasonal" cyclists in the area do.

    Yeah, it's illegal, bit if it's not enforced, why would they stop?

  16. #16
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    Wait.

    They're counting right-on-reds (left down there) who don't come to a full stop as "running a red"?

    If that counts, every major intersection in this city would have thousands of infractions per hour. If I started coming to a full and complete stop to make a right-on-red, someone would plow into the back of me on day one.

    I don't think this "study" warrants further discussion.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Does "running a red" include starting into the intersection early? Does it include making a right turn (on a red) without coming to a full stop first? I wouldn't be surprised that cyclists do both of those a lot more than drivers.
    So I am apparently psychic, because:

    [Cycle Action chairwoman Barbara Cuthbert] referred to a presentation by a senior Auckland Transport official which won an accolade at an engineering conference, noting many instances of red-light running by cyclists were left-hand turns or motivated by riders wanting to get a head-start on other vehicles for safety reasons.

  18. #18
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    You are not allowed to turn on a red at all in NZ, so that is why it is counted.

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    Worth pointing out is that a cyclist running a red runs the risk of getting themselves hurt while a driver running a red could very easily kill someone else.

    That's without the lower speed a cyclist travels at and the greater situational awareness a cyclist has.

  20. #20
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    Yeah i run some red lights, but what keeps me from running more is the fear of getting whacked by a car and getting seriously ****ed up as a result.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablobell View Post
    You are not allowed to turn on a red at all in NZ, so that is why it is counted.
    Gotcha.

    As a point of reference, Toronto motorists who (think they) can see nothing is coming slow down just enough for a right-on-red that they don't flip their car.

    I'd seriously need to be on my road bike in a dead sprint to right-on-red at the same speed as the average motorist in the outer suburbs.


    As for going through red lights, 0% of the car detectors see my bike on the way to work.

    If no cars are there to trigger it, I wait for a gap and do a right-on-red--> U-turn--> right turn.

    I even arm-signal this still-probably-illegal-alternative-maneuver, if I'm not using bar-mitts.

  22. #22
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    this does vary a lot by city. I visited Philly this summer and stop signs everywhere seemed to be a mere suggestions to everyone on the road. cyclists NEVER stopped for anything- even little old ladies on cruisers would just amble their way through the busiest intersections while totally ignoring stop signs. here in Austin, I don't see it nearly as much.

    plus, no one has bothered to break down the kind of cyclists who are running the red lights. are they recreational, casual types? roadies? commuters? tri-dorks? from the photo they used, I am thinking tri-dork Stav*******s are to blame.

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  24. #24
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    I don't always run red lights, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis. My community has a rule that allows cyclist (and motorcyclist) to cross a red that won't change due to their low magnetic signature. On the flip side, if you're crossing a roadway while riding a hiking/cycling trail and a car runs the light or stop sign, it's the cyclists fault because they are operating a "vehicle" at a "pedestrian" crossing. My standard is to pull a wheel-stand until traffic clears then press on. I figure the best time to cross an intersection is when there is no traffic, not when you hope the traffic stops for the light. Seen the later scenario fail too many times.

  25. #25
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    Here in KY, running reds is part of the culture with car drivers. Just this weekend I braked for a yellow light I wouldn't have made it through anyway, and the SUV behind me swerved around me to the right so he could make a left on red. A few weeks ago, something similar happened, but it was someone passing me on the left (going the wrong way) to make a right on red. Other drivers, who had a green light, had to stop for the dude. Crazy people!

    I'll fudge a stop sign now and then on my bike, but I stop for red lights.

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