Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

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simonhill
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Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by simonhill »

A question for those who frequent countries such as NL, Denmark, etc.

Do any/many cyclists jump lights, ignore road signs, etc? I think it is fair to stay that you see it done fairly frequently in the UK. Sorry in advance for any stereotyping.

I ask because I wonder if providing a good network with bicycle priorities means less people are tempted to flout the law.

My only personal experience of almost total adherence by bike, foot and even car is in Japan.

Edit: inserted "cyclists" into title.
steve browne
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by steve browne »

Currently in the Netherlands with my Dutch partner. No! She’s never seen it done.
Mike Sales
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by Mike Sales »

simonhill wrote: 5 Aug 2022, 4:43pm A question for those who frequent countries such as NL, Denmark, etc.

Do any/many cyclists jump lights, ignore road signs, etc? I think it is fair to stay that you see it done fairly frequently in the UK. Sorry in advance for any stereotyping.

I ask because I wonder if providing a good network with bicycle priorities means less people are tempted to flout the law.

My only personal experience of almost total adherence by bike, foot and even car is in Japan.

Edit: inserted "cyclists" into title.
Do Dutch drivers accelerate on amber?
CathM
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by CathM »

I remember remarking to my husband on a touring holiday in the Netherlands in 2018 that because the rules are so much on the side of the cyclist I never felt in the least tempted to flout them. I'm not saying that I do it at home in the UK, of course, merely that the temptation is often there! The locals seemed pretty law-abiding too. We weren't anywhere near the big cities on that holiday though; behaviour there might be different. I lived in the Hague for several years in the late 80s and early 90s, and I don't remember much red-light jumping if any, although people frequently cycled the wrong way up the narrow one-way street I lived on. Many one-way streets do allow cyclists to cycle against the traffic, but this wasn't one of them.
bohrsatom
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by bohrsatom »

In my experience, no they don’t jump lights very often. I think this is for a couple of reasons:

1) there aren’t many lights to stop at in the first place. Often cyclists have priority at junctions so no need to stop
2) when junctions are signal controlled, cyclists are prioritised above cars so the wait to cross is not long.

I can think of a number of places where I’ve waited several minutes for a green light in the UK, but never in NL
Cyclewala
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by Cyclewala »

Not seen RLJ as per all of the above reasons.

But…I have seen impatient cyclists crawl a bike length forward to the give them an edge when traffic stops or lights turn green. These were in the minority.
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mjr
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by mjr »

bohrsatom wrote: 5 Aug 2022, 10:43pm 2) when junctions are signal controlled, cyclists are prioritised above cars so the wait to cross is not long.
They also have the cool countdown timers around their WAIT ("WACHT") light-up, often triggered by ground detectors, not a beg button. This persuades you it's not long to wait, shows you've been detected and allows you to get ready to go. It's very cool when the countdown suddenly accelerates because more cyclists have arrived and the controller is set up to avoid bike jams.

For some reason, the UK only uses countdown timers for the remaining green time, not the more useful Dutch use to show the remaining red time. Probably because the UK countdown would be embarrassingly long.
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LollyKat
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by LollyKat »

In my experience they ignore pedestrian crossing lights though. A few years ago we were trying to get to the station in Amsterdam but couldn’t get across the busy cycle path in front of it. There was a constant stream of bikes going quite fast, and although we brought up the red light several times they continued to sail through. I thought we were going to miss our flight home. :shock:
rogerzilla
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by rogerzilla »

Red light jumping is more of a London thing in my experience
SA_SA_SA
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by SA_SA_SA »

Moved to own thread
Last edited by SA_SA_SA on 6 Aug 2022, 3:27pm, edited 3 times in total.
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roberts8
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by roberts8 »

I was in Calais to watch the TdF and sat just watching traffic moving around the Town Hall area.
It seemed that cyclist there also stopped at lights as did people on escooters and kept off of footpaths. The infrastructure was as usual far better than ours as was the respect given by drivers. A pleasure to cycle around a town most people ignore.
axel_knutt
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by axel_knutt »

rogerzilla wrote: 6 Aug 2022, 10:16am Red light jumping is more of a London thing in my experience
I don't have any difficulty at all in seeing why cyclists are more likely to jump red lights in large cities, it's all about the energy wasted by stopping.

If you live in a city that's too big to be able to escape the built up area you're condemned to a life of incessant stop-start cycling, and all the effort and frustration that goes with it. It would be enough to make me give up cycling. On the other hand, if you live in a small-medium town where you can be out of the built-up area in a few minutes, so you only have to stop occasionally, then you don't accumulate the same level of frustration. It's the same with cycle paths: if you build one that requires people to keep stopping then either they won't stop, or they won't use it.

It became all the more obvious to me when my health had deteriorated to the point where I could no longer cycle far enough to get out of town.
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Galactic
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by Galactic »

To give an (unrequested, but possibly of interest) answer for the middle situation (not as bad as UK, not as good as NL): in Berlin red-light jumping is rampant.

The situation there is much better than most of the UK: cycling provision is superior, but not enough to make it safe. Drivers are aggressive, but nowhere near as aggressive as most urban situations I've experienced in the UK.

When I lived in Berlin, I found myself watching the pedestrian lights and moving off before the vehicle lights went green (pedestrians going ahead have the green light at the same time as vehicles going ahead/turning off) - the few seconds between the little green man (sic) lighting up and the main traffic lights turning green meant I was over the crossing before any driver tried to side-swipe me as they turned right. Ditto if I wanted to turn left across traffic to avoid having to wait at two sets of lights (that manoeuvre can be very dangerous if you're not familiar with the junction because the various green light flows may be timed differently from what was expected and you might cross traffic from the side or behind before you expect it).

Plus, as axel_knutt points out, in a big city, traffic lights every 50 to 200 metres is a real drag on the knees - particularly if loaded up for a tour. This (along with impatience) is probably the reason for the frequently observed phenomenon of cyclists weaving through pedestrians as they cross the road on pelican and zebra crossings (no, not anything I ever did, but sadly very common there, albeit not prevalent).

The solutions, of course, are green wave / phased traffic lights set to cyclists' average urban speed (13-18kmh?) along with long-distance cycle highways that avoid motor vehicle paths (and thus the need to regulate flows with traffic lights).
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Mick F
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by Mick F »

rogerzilla wrote: 6 Aug 2022, 10:16am Red light jumping is more of a London thing in my experience
Not been to London since the early 1970s, and I don't want to go there these days at all. Only ever by train/underground passing through since then.

Not seen a RLJ cyclist anywhere I've ever been, other than car drivers being "amber gamblers".
Mick F. Cornwall
rogerzilla
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Re: Do Dutch Cyclists Jump Traffic Lights?

Post by rogerzilla »

My first impression of cycling in London was the amount of hard braking and stopping required due to traffic lights, which are every few hundred yards. The locals who don't just breeze through on red must get through brake pads many times faster than provincial cyclists.
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