Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

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thirdcrank
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Aug 2018, 7:30pm

basingstoke123 wrote: ... Thanks for this. It explains a lot! ...


If you want to deal with highwaymen, you need the official guidance they are expected to follow. A lot of this is in Traffic Advisory Leaflets (TAL's) These use to be published in print and anybody could be on the mailing list free. It's now all on the internet. TAL 1/06 General Principles of Traffic Control by Light Signals is in four parts and is lengthier than most. This is the TAL general index.
https://www.gov.uk/government/collectio ... y-leaflets

Going back to my time working rotating shifts, I've always been conscious of the problems caused for riders by badly working traffic lights. The point about shift work is that at busier times heavy motor traffic can hide the fact that cyclists are undetected. The other thing besides knowing the guidelines is factual evidence rather than vague grumbling. eg We had a bus and cycle lane in Leeds which was on a detection system which only recognised buses and not cyclists. This couldn't be verified during the day because of the constant stream of buses, but outside bus hours, cyclists couldn't get a green. When I first raised this at a consultation meeting, a highwayman there to speak on another agenda item dismissed what I was saying but at the next meeting somebody who knew turned up and acknowleged I was correct.

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661-Pete
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby 661-Pete » 20 Aug 2018, 10:14am

Herts Audax wrote:I see @chaddy has flounced off through a red light and driven down the pavement whilst looking at the forum on their phone.
There will be more 'chaddy's to come, never fear! As long as certain hate-organs of the media (you know the one I mean above all others!) persist in their "cyclists = enemies of the people" stuff, threads like this will continue to appear, so as to keep the Mods in work!

But soft! The said 'organ' is about to change its leader. Will that presage a change in direction, I wonder? A change in attitude towards cyclists, possibly?

One can but speculate - but without much hope...
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

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mjr
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby mjr » 20 Aug 2018, 12:19pm

basingstoke123 wrote:Most times they have been quite uninterested, and suggest you should report it to the Highways Authority. (In Hampshire, don't bother, it will be a waste of time and effort, unless you are willing to spend many months dealing with it. 6 months to fix the problem would be exceptionally fast).

The benefit of reporting it to the police is they will have a record, so in the very unlikely event you did get stopped going through a red light, then at least, there is some record of problems.

Most of the same can be achieved by reporting it on a public site like www.fixmystreet.com which also means some local politicians will see it and other riders can see it's already reported and decide if it's worth filing a duplicate report.

basingstoke123 wrote:In my experience, most cycle 'facilities' increase the number of waits. A typical 4 way traffic lights, the cycle path has 2 stops to go straight across, and 4 to turn right (compared with 1 in both cases, if on on the carriageway).

However, those so-called "stops" will probably be red man+bike which are advisory and can be treated as give-ways, rather than the compulsory red light on the carriageway. Sight lines at some junctions suck, but then even crossing on green man+bike is rather dodgy because so many motorists now drive straight through red lights if they think no other motorist will hit them.

There's also a trend lately for path crossings to be straight-across because centre stagger islands are almost always too small for many mobility scooters to navigate, which is resulting in people riding them around the centre island and sitting exposed in the carriageway, or crossing at any nearby drop kerbs or side road junctions close to their desire line.
basingstoke123 wrote:Yes, its a mess.

Amen.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Flinders
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby Flinders » 20 Aug 2018, 12:58pm

There is a staggered road crossing in my town that is supposed to be for cyclists. The fences and clearances are ridiculous for bikes. But that's Stafford for you, a total dump if you are a cyclist. The farcilities we have around here are worse than useless, badly planned, badly designed, badly built, and badly maintained. Some are downright dangerous, and might just as well have been designed by someone who wanted to wipe out as many cyclists as possible. In fact, planning some routes becomes an exercise in avoiding them rather than using them because they are so awful.

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horizon
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby horizon » 20 Aug 2018, 1:36pm

Flinders wrote:There is a staggered road crossing in my town that is supposed to be for cyclists. The fences and clearances are ridiculous for bikes. But that's Stafford for you, a total dump if you are a cyclist. The farcilities we have around here are worse than useless, badly planned, badly designed, badly built, and badly maintained. Some are downright dangerous, and might just as well have been designed by someone who wanted to wipe out as many cyclists as possible. In fact, planning some routes becomes an exercise in avoiding them rather than using them because they are so awful.


Thank you Flinders. Says it all really.
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

Joe Sprocket
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby Joe Sprocket » 20 Aug 2018, 1:45pm

Chaddy wrote:Does anybody know why cyclists are oblivious to red traffic lights. They just saunter through with a total disregard for public safety. As a motorist i thought the highway code was for all road users. I didn't realise cyclists were exemp.


Wasn't aware they did. I've been cycling many many years and can honestly say I've never jumped a red light. on my ride home from work each evening I regularly spot at least 6 cars drivers going through red lights. My commute is 2 miles. be interested to know where you got your 'facts' from.

brynpoeth
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby brynpoeth » 20 Aug 2018, 1:48pm

Motons do it cos they are not paying attention, talking to a passenger or on the phone
Should one wait till all vehicles have stopped before crossing? Trouble is, by then the lights have changed back to red
Cycling - of course, but it is far better on a Gillott..alternative facts welcome

kwackers
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby kwackers » 20 Aug 2018, 3:01pm

brynpoeth wrote:Motons do it cos they are not paying attention, talking to a passenger or on the phone
Should one wait till all vehicles have stopped before crossing? Trouble is, by then the lights have changed back to red

I'd say they do it deliberately - otherwise why accelerate when they see the lights change?

I think the only thing that stops a lot more doing it is that if the one in front stops then the rest have to.
That's why they sometimes chain. If say 1 in 5 motorists is willing to RLJ then you've a 1 in 5 chance of the first one doing it, a 1 in 25 of two in a row, 1 in 125 of 3 etc (plus some multiplier for the reducing chance based on time on red).

My best ever is a chain of 6.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Aug 2018, 3:42pm

I'd certainly agree that a lot of drivers carry on when the lights change and increasingly only stop when a collision becomes inevitable when other lights change. A lot of drivers are away at red+amber and some anticipate that phase if they can see that other signals have changed. In the absence of enforcement, the intergreens (when nobody has a green) seem to be extended, thus rewarding this type of bad driving. I'm also pretty sure that widespread camera enforcement is now feasible and this could be used to reduce the delays to everybody by shortening the intergreens.

I don't see how one category of road users breaking the law justifies others doing so.

brynpoeth
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby brynpoeth » 20 Aug 2018, 3:43pm

I do :?
Cycling - of course, but it is far better on a Gillott..alternative facts welcome

basingstoke123
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby basingstoke123 » 22 Aug 2018, 1:09am

Flinders wrote:There is a staggered road crossing in my town that is supposed to be for cyclists. The fences and clearances are ridiculous for bikes. But that's Stafford for you, a total dump if you are a cyclist. The farcilities we have around here are worse than useless, badly planned, badly designed, badly built, and badly maintained. Some are downright dangerous, and might just as well have been designed by someone who wanted to wipe out as many cyclists as possible. In fact, planning some routes becomes an exercise in avoiding them rather than using them because they are so awful.

What we need are some national standards which local authorities could reference and follow, instead of them re-inventing a square wheel every time.

Obviously, that excludes the extensive guideines from:
Department for Transport
Transport for London
Manual for Streets
Sustrans
etc

These are all too long, too detailed, too good, and can't be reduced to a couple lines:
Cycle paths should be shared use, maximum 3m but less if that might be slightly difficult, never use a straight, direct route when 90deg corners and detours can be shoehorned in, traffic lights should always have more stops. (Doing these things will ensure money spent will go further and make cycle journeys last longer).

SpudULike
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby SpudULike » 23 Aug 2018, 5:51pm

Ben@Forest wrote:I very rarely see cyclists do it though it annoys me when l see cyclists slip onto the pavement, ride across the pedestrian crossing then slip back onto the road.

For me it's those 'people on bikes', who have no intention of crossing the junction on red, but stop so far forward of the lights they can no longer see them change. They then have to wait for others to start passing them to know to go themselves.

Just can't see any reason to do it.

Wanlock Dod
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby Wanlock Dod » 23 Aug 2018, 8:25pm

I just came across these little gems which were published in a piece on cycling safely in the BMJ nearly 20 years ago which seem very relevant to this discussion.
BMJ wrote:8 Be aggressive , know your light sequences , use your vastly
superior acceleration and vision between zero and 5 mph to get ahead at
lights and other junctions. Don't feel guilty about going early
...remember that all junctions should have advanced lights and advanced
lines for us cyclists. Remember you're in the firing line and they're out
to get you and you've got to get away into safer, slower traffic.

9 Use the Green Man in a sensible fashion taking care to look both
ways and allow pedestrians to cross first.

You can find the full article here, unfortunately it would not appear that nearly 17 years of "progress" have improved things.

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby Phil Fouracre » 24 Aug 2018, 8:54am

Just read the article! Thought it was great, needs more promotion - love the trike idea :-)
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

Pete Owens
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Re: Cyclists ignoring traffic lights

Postby Pete Owens » 25 Aug 2018, 1:50am

drossall wrote: One is that some people at least have a greater tendency to notice cyclists breaking the law than they do motorists.

^^^^ This.

It is all about how we cyclists as an "out group" are treated. Everyone infringes the rules to a greater or lesser extent, but there is a tendency to understand/make excuses/treat as an individual aberration infringements made by others from within their group. And the opposite tendency to condemn/treat as typical lawlessness examples of bad behaviour from other groups. This leads to the typical anti-cyclists rants we see in the press:
see: https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/the-terrible-journalists-guide-to-writing-an-article-about-bicycles/. And is just a minor example of the sort of populism that scapegoats outsiders for all socieities problems - they could just as easily pick on Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, asylum seekers, gypsies.....

Of course it works the other way too. In this forum motorists are the out group so you can read many examples of condemnation of motorists in general based on generalisation of specific incidents.

In the case of red light jumping this is common for both cyclists and motorists. Though they tend to do it in slightly different ways:
With motorists it is a tendency for amber gambling. They know that there is a safety margin built into the system so they push it to the limit. Some will cut it fine on the decision of whether to proceed or stop at amber - and might overshoot by a second. Some will accelerate rather than brake. A few will push it and deliberately go through a light that has just turned red. Some will overrun into the advanced cyclist box.
Cyclists tend not to amber-gamble as we need that margin to clear the junction. However, there is a tendency to treat the red as a give way rather than a stop. Cyclists have better all-round awareness of the traffic, so they might run the light if they can see it is clear, or filter left slitting into the left of moving traffic, or turn right knowing that oncoming traffic is held on red or go through a pedestrian crossing before the lights change. A few will do so even while there are still pedestrians on the crossing.

Neither cyclists nor motorists simply ignore red lights an blast on through regardless (as you wold think from listening to them describe each other) but they are both pushing the limits and taking a calculated risk. However, because the ways in which motorists an cyclists run red lights are different both tend to understand others of the same group while condemning those of the out group (and there is plenty of condemning of motorists in this thread - the mirror image of the OP)