Selective thinking at the CTC

ukdodger
Posts: 2992
Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 5:32pm
Location: Sunny Surrey

Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby ukdodger » 27 Jul 2012, 7:50pm

I read in this month's CTC mag that the CTC after studying an IAM survey which claimed that 57% of cyclists jump red lights found that in fact only 2% of cyclists regularly jump red lights. All I can say is that that 2% must take into account places where there are no lights and where there are lots of cycles that have yet to find owners. From my own experience I'd say it's closer to between 20% - 80% depending on where you cycle. The denser the town and the more traffic lights there are the higher the incidence of jumping them becomes. Many times I've ridden to London from Surrey and only rarely do I see another cyclist stop at red. Even in the suburban town I live in the majority of cyclists I see approaching lights jump them if they are at red. And what about places like Cambridge where cyclists are in abundance. There whole hoards of student cyclists behave as if there are no lights. I've stood and watched at a pedestrian crossing while one after another student rode straight through regardless of what colour the lights were and whether or not someone was even on the crossing. We do ourselves no service in being selective with the evidence.

thirdcrank
Posts: 30814
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Jul 2012, 8:47pm

Probably as good a reason as any for using a headcam: if you are involved in a collision at traffic lights when you have complied with them, then you won't be condemned by association.

User avatar
gaz
Posts: 14162
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby gaz » 27 Jul 2012, 9:42pm

ukdodger wrote:I read in this month's CTC mag that the CTC after studying an IAM survey which claimed that 57% of cyclists jump red lights found that in fact only 2% of cyclists regularly jump red lights.


Precisely. The CTC studied the results of the IAM "survey", no other source. The IAM "survey" result was that 2% of respondents who claimed to be cyclists admitted to regularly jumping a red light. The point the article in cycle is trying to make is that rather than release this figure to the press IAM went with a figure of 57%, the number of respondents who claimed to be cyclists and admitted to ever jumping a red light.

The "evidence" was self-reported, i.e. no checks in place to verify a respondent's cycling status, very few obstacles to multiple log-ons by the same respondent(s) and no actual observation of any cyclists at any traffic lights at any time or place.

ukdodger wrote:We do ourselves no service in being selective with the evidence.


Indeed but that isn't what has happened here. IAM were selective with the "evidence", not the CTC. IAM chose to release these "facts" to the wider press.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

theenglishman
Posts: 106
Joined: 10 Jun 2012, 5:01pm

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby theenglishman » 28 Jul 2012, 12:32am

Oh come on people - lies, damn lies and statistics

:roll:

thirdcrank
Posts: 30814
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jul 2012, 9:06am

Cyclists not complying with traffic lights is very topical. There may be more serious things happening in the world but it's illegal and visible. That's why the dodgy IAM survey raised some media interest and ruffled some feathers among cyclists.

Think of what passes for debate when the TV cameras roll:

"Will my Rt Hon friend join with me in condemning this lawbreaking whenever and wherever it happens? Does he support the rule of law of not? Let him answer yes or no!" (All against a background of bellowing noises.)

I'm saying this is about perception. It doesn't really matter if 2% of cyclists ignore traffic lights 98% of the time or if 98% do so 2% of the time. Nor does it matter, in this context, why they do it or that many drivers are not fastidious about compliance either.

basingstoke123
Posts: 165
Joined: 13 Feb 2008, 10:05pm

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby basingstoke123 » 28 Jul 2012, 2:43pm

Another interesting question would be: what percentage of IAM members have ever broken the speed limit? How many regularly break the speed limit?

ukdodger
Posts: 2992
Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 5:32pm
Location: Sunny Surrey

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby ukdodger » 28 Jul 2012, 4:14pm

basingstoke123 wrote:Another interesting question would be: what percentage of IAM members have ever broken the speed limit? How many regularly break the speed limit?


It is and of course they do. Maybe and probably more so than cyclists jump at red. But this is our house. The masses of cyclists who are regular RLJers are the ones who do our cause the most harm. Not motorists.

ukdodger
Posts: 2992
Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 5:32pm
Location: Sunny Surrey

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby ukdodger » 28 Jul 2012, 4:18pm

gaz wrote:
ukdodger wrote:I read in this month's CTC mag that the CTC after studying an IAM survey which claimed that 57% of cyclists jump red lights found that in fact only 2% of cyclists regularly jump red lights.


Precisely. The CTC studied the results of the IAM "survey", no other source. The IAM "survey" result was that 2% of respondents who claimed to be cyclists admitted to regularly jumping a red light. The point the article in cycle is trying to make is that rather than release this figure to the press IAM went with a figure of 57%, the number of respondents who claimed to be cyclists and admitted to ever jumping a red light.

The "evidence" was self-reported, i.e. no checks in place to verify a respondent's cycling status, very few obstacles to multiple log-ons by the same respondent(s) and no actual observation of any cyclists at any traffic lights at any time or place.

ukdodger wrote:We do ourselves no service in being selective with the evidence.


Indeed but that isn't what has happened here. IAM were selective with the "evidence", not the CTC. IAM chose to release these "facts" to the wider press.


There's truth in that but to anyone not a cyclist (and maybe to some who are) reading that article would lead to the belief that the 2% was the 'real' figure. The CTC would not have been unaware of that.

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby snibgo » 28 Jul 2012, 5:31pm

ukdodger wrote:There's truth in that but to anyone not a cyclist (and maybe to some who are) reading that article would lead to the belief that the 2% was the 'real' figure.

But it is the 'real' figure, according to IAM.

And it seems plausible, to me. For example, I very rarely encounter traffic lights. When I do, I don't jump them. I suspect the vast majority of cyclists are in a similar position.

That is entirely different to the results you would get if you sat and watched a set of traffic lights. For one thing, you would see only the cyclists who did actually encounter traffic lights. So the proportion of cycling RLJs is certain to be higher than the proportion of cyclists who RLJ.

I was amused by the photo in the Guardian blog on this topic, where two cyclists and three motorists are RLJing.

PRL
Posts: 606
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 9:14pm
Location: Richmond upon Thames

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby PRL » 28 Jul 2012, 8:20pm

Given that crossing the first stop line when lights are red contravenes the regulation most drivers around here are red light jumpers - but don't know it. :?

Geriatrix
Posts: 1855
Joined: 23 Oct 2007, 1:33pm
Location: Caterham

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby Geriatrix » 29 Jul 2012, 10:49am

thirdcrank wrote:Probably as good a reason as any for using a headcam: if you are involved in a collision at traffic lights when you have complied with them, then you won't be condemned by association.


Someone mentioned on one of the treads that if you wear a headcam you need to ensure that that your own behaviour is faultless. That's true. I wear a headcam and whilst I can't claim my behaviour or cycling style is faultless, I'm certain it has made me a better cyclist. If you post something on YouTube your own behaviour or cycling technique is put under as much scrutiny as the point you are trying to illustrate. You are also forced to be a lot more self critical when reviewing footage.

It would be probably be shouted down as an infringement of civil liberties I think there is a good case for cameras to be fitted on all vehicles. Apart from reducing illegal and dangerous behaviour it also reduce the amount of "looked by failed to see" (SMIDSY) because you become more focused on your driving.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

thirdcrank
Posts: 30814
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby thirdcrank » 29 Jul 2012, 11:02am

Geriatrix wrote: ... Someone mentioned on one of the treads that if you wear a headcam you need to ensure that that your own behaviour is faultless. ...

Probably me although I think I've usually said "impeccable." To some extent, it's possible to control any downside by suppressing an embarrassing recording.

I've posted before that following a recommendation on here (pete75?) I fitted a Smart Witness recorder in my car and it helps keep me on my toes, especially with any unnoticed bad habits starting to creep in like a tendency to start early at traffic lights or drift over the speed limit. For some reason, it also helps me feel more relaxed about bad driving by others, just to have a recording of it that I will probably never even review.

Mark1978
Posts: 4912
Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby Mark1978 » 29 Jul 2012, 12:13pm

As for the comment on 'Well car drivers do it too' IME car compliance with red lights is close to 100%. Unless you count 'racing the lights' which is a different issue.

kwackers
Posts: 15452
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby kwackers » 29 Jul 2012, 12:35pm

Mark1978 wrote:As for the comment on 'Well car drivers do it too' IME car compliance with red lights is close to 100%. Unless you count 'racing the lights' which is a different issue.

If you're ever in the Warrington area, give me a shout. I can demonstrate an RLJ'ing motorist on pretty much every cycle of the lights. :wink:

The reality is that I'd estimate 50% of cyclists near me stop at red lights and probably 90% of cars so in terms of compliance the cars win (junction dependant), but there's a difference between a bicycle treating a set of traffic lights as a junction and a car driver accelerating way over the speed limit before wellying it through on red with no regard for crossing traffic.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 18064
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Selective thinking at the CTC

Postby [XAP]Bob » 30 Jul 2012, 10:25am

Mark1978 wrote:As for the comment on 'Well car drivers do it too' IME car compliance with red lights is close to 100%. Unless you count 'racing the lights' which is a different issue.


Junctions controlled by traffic lights
175
You MUST stop behind the white ‘Stop’ line across your side of the road unless the light is green. If the amber light appears you may go on only if you have already crossed the stop line or are so close to it that to stop might cause a collision.
[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 36]
176
You MUST NOT move forward over the white line when the red light is showing. Only go forward when the traffic lights are green if there is room for you to clear the junction safely or you are taking up a position to turn right. If the traffic lights are not working, treat the situation as you would an unmarked junction and proceed with great care.
[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 36]


Every time I see lights change I see cars fail to observe the above.
Amber gambling is against the law. The bit about not causing a collision is because someone will be an inch behind the line as the lights change - there is some reasonable distance/time (which isn't stipulated annoyingly) for which the amber is a "warning", behind that it is equivalent to red!
When the red light goes out I have no idea why we have an amber phase - according to the above (not dug into the RTA) it has no meaning nowadays - we don't have to double declutch and prepare a vehicle for motion - certainly not for the several seconds these phases can, and do, take.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.