Should cyclists in the UK be allowed to go through certain red lights?

Traffic lights

With the recent news that France has granted cyclists the right to disregard red lights at certain junctions ("Griller les feux"), perhaps such a rule no longer seems far fetched for the UK.

The initial trial involves 15 intersections in Paris. Under the new rules cyclists will have to continue to yield to pedestrians and opposing traffic.

According to a write up in the Telegraph, the measures will make roads safer for cyclists which in turn will encourage more people to cycle. Initial results of trials held in Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Nantes led to no rise in the number of accidents. Scandinavia and Germany have also already applied the rule.

Interestingly, the text for the new rule states “Experience shows that adding specific traffic lights for cyclists can create confusion for motorists”. This runs counter to TfL’s new plans for Bow Roundabout which will involve the UK’s first ever phased traffic lights.

Implementing the rule in the UK is far less costly than building cycling infrastructure. An area which historically has received disproportionately low funding compared to the levels of usage.

I’m sure most cyclists would like to see both measures introduced – although I am assuming and hence why I want to open this post up to debate. Leave your comment below and remember, as always, keep it friendly.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

89 Responses to Should cyclists in the UK be allowed to go through certain red lights?

  1. Alan Moore 10/02/2012 at 9:55 am #

    Yes I think this would be a useful innovation – or a variation, perhaps ‘turn left on red’.

    I wonder though how many would take it as a (ahem) green light to just never stop for junctions.

    • Andreas 10/02/2012 at 10:18 am #

      I think in the interest of not getting hit by a car – most people!

      • Alan Moore 10/02/2012 at 10:20 am #

        No I meant zooming straight through pedestrian crossings – because ‘I’m allowed to’ – with no concern for pedestrians. Lots of cyclists already do that; I fear even more would.

        • Andreas 10/02/2012 at 10:47 am #

          True – that’s one of the things that most irritates me. It’s the same as giving motorbikes the right to ride in the bus lane and then they extend that liberty to riding in cycle lanes.

    • Dave 11/05/2012 at 8:32 pm #

      Six years ago, when I began working in London, I bought a bicycle to commute with. I have ridden all kinds of two wheelers, both off road and on road and thought riding in London would be a doodle.

      After all, there are cycle lanes, bus lanes, and spaces at the front of other traffic for two wheelers to stop at traffic lights. Because I travel early morning and late afternoon, I felt a light front and rear and yellow jacket should take care of visibility.

      When I bought my headlight at the bike shop the salesman persuaded me into buying the strobe type. When I asked him if that would impair my night vision he told me they were not to help me to see, but to be seen.

      Since using the (18” wide) cycle lanes I have been forced time and again into the pavement by wide Lorries, and carelessly parked vans have forced me into the rush hour traffic.

      Bus lanes are even more perilous as the bendy busses will pull out to pass me and then pull back catching me in an ever tightening parabola of steel, while taxi’s will hover 6” behind one to intimidate one into pulling over.

      The spaces at the front at traffic lights are the most terrifying of all. There is usually an assortment of bikes spread out in front of all the heavyweight traffic and all wobble off, jockeying for position as the phalanx of traffic surges around and between the bikes.

      The best defence appears to be to jump the red light. This is why so many cyclists run the lights. By jumping the light after checking that nothing is coming, one harms no one else and puts oneself well ahead of the heavy traffic behind one.

      I was recently stopped by a traffic cop who asked me why I ran the light. I pointed out that I had been rear ended by a van when I stopped at the light. He said that that was no excuse, and I should rather ride on the pavements and cross with the pedestrians. I couldn’t believe it and wrote down his name, the date, time and place so I could cite him if I was stopped for doing that.

      Every evening when I dress up to take on the evening traffic, my colleagues look at me in my big yellow jacket, leather gloves and cycling helmet and say I look like Rambo.

      I don’t care if I look like Big Bird, sitting on a Christmas tree, twinkling away in the dusk, as long as I can survive another journey through this concrete jungle called London.

      • Nick 11/05/2012 at 8:59 pm #

        Dave, I can understand that it may appear safer to jump a red light, but you only seem to be thinking of yourself. As a pedestrian in London, I have lost count of the number of times a cyclist has nearly killed either me or someone else, by failing to stop when it is clearly the cyclist’s turn to wait. So you, and other selfish people like you, not only increase the risks for pedestrians, but also set back the attempts to get motorists and cyclists to support each other. I sincerely hope that you hang up your cycle clips before you knock someone over.

        • Dave 12/05/2012 at 10:33 am #

          Nick, that was all written with my tongue in cheek. I do not usually run lights so I apologise if that offended you. The one occasion I did go through the light there were no pedestrians or cars crossing and I was still angry about being rear ended the week before.

          The point was that the cop who stopped me actually advised me to ride on the pavement. Again this is not something that I would normally do unless it was a dual pavement/cycle path.

          Lighten up a bit brother, we are all in this together

  2. Karen 10/02/2012 at 9:57 am #

    I’m certainly in favor. Though I continue to think one of the biggest problems for cyclists is the lack of clarity around left turns. If a cyclist in a cycling lane is going straight, and a car is turning, who has the right of way? Signage on this subject, and general signage about right of way, would prevent a significant number of cycling accidents in my opinion.

    • Alan Moore 10/02/2012 at 10:01 am #

      I think it’s pretty clear that a car may not turn left into you – just as if you were in a car in the left hand lane. A driver who does so is in the wrong.

      I agree it’s a concern, particularly with certain drivers who do it deliberately.

      • Andreas 10/02/2012 at 10:20 am #

        I always try to stay back whenever I see the left turn light on. These days I seem to be able to event predict most cars that will turn left even if they’ve not got their signal on.

        • Alan Moore 10/02/2012 at 10:21 am #

          Yes but some of them sneak up behind you! :-)

        • Karen 10/02/2012 at 10:29 am #

          Yeah I think the lack of signalling is another issue…but the number of times someone has rushed to turn left around me as I am just entering the intersection…only a TINY bit terrifying. There are certain junctions where it’s worse, but I’m not sure why.

        • Alan Moore 10/02/2012 at 10:34 am #

          This is wandering a bit off topic, but I think a cycling instructor would tell you that – at junctions – you should be further out from the kerb in the ‘primary position’ specifically to prevent people doing that.

          Not always practical, and some will try to push past anyway, but a useful tactic.

  3. Brian 10/02/2012 at 10:33 am #

    As a cyclist, I always observe red lights, even on the many occasions when I can see it would be safer for me and no danger to anyone else to go through them – eg at a pedestrian crossing when there is clearly no pedestrian around, and a head start would benefit both me and the car driver beside me. But I see a lot of cyclists who seem to have no regard for pedestrians, which is shameful: it’s just like the bullying disregard cyclists get from some drivers. I’m finding it hard to think of a how a law might be formulated that gets around this dilemma.

    • Alan Moore 10/02/2012 at 10:35 am #

      Perfectly put Brian

    • Hannah 10/02/2012 at 11:38 am #

      I strongly agree with this comment Brian. I am for the ideas proposed above in theory, but only if cyclists obey all other red lights and pedestrians are treated with the utmost respect when they use crossings at all times. From my perspective I think this means in practice I am against the idea.

      I think the main thing that hinders public support of cyclists is the perception that cyclists are rule-breakers who don’t obey the highway code. We desperately need public support, and regardless of how motorists behave, cyclists need to work to obey the rules of the road and show some respect for others. Tit-for-tat accusations don’t help the cause. I stop at all red lights and I find it so frustrating when every debate on cycle safety becomes muddied by accusations of red light jumping. What adds to my frustration is that I see staggering numbers of cyclists jump red lights as I cycle to/from work every day. It’s not for their own safety if they’re in the advance stop zone of a bus lane, with only cyclists behind them; it’s impatience. Not only does it amount to bullying pedestrians, as Brian says, but much more selfishly, it affects how other road users treat cyclists (how other road users treat me!), and prevents support of cycling improvements from a wider audience.

      • Dave Sewell 10/02/2012 at 11:43 am #

        Amen to that Hannah!

      • TrekTrev 10/02/2012 at 12:14 pm #

        Well put Hannah!

  4. Shades 10/02/2012 at 10:38 am #

    The USA allows cars to turn right on a red light; giving way to the traffic stream they are joining. Perhaps the UK could allow cyclists to turn left on a red but giving way to the traffic stream? The problem is cyclists would try and squeeze into the gap between the traffic and the curb. Could be dangerous if a motorist isn’t paying attention and a bike suddenly appears from the left.
    I just had a ‘wake-up’ call on my commute and when joining a traffic stream a car and I misunderstood each others intentions and I caught his back wheel and went down. He stopped and there were no hard feelings, although I need a new front wheel. Just illustrated to me that we can get too complacent on a regular ride and when joining traffic leave some room to react in time. Mind you there are plenty of cars happy to travel a metre from my back wheel if they are trying to barge past! Allowing cyclists to go through some red lights might just add fuel to the already ‘hot’ motorists vs cyclists debate.

    • Andreas 10/02/2012 at 10:49 am #

      It’s definitely easy to think “I’ve done this route 1000 times” – we have to pull ourselves back in to concentrate as much as we would if we were riding somewhere new.

    • Matt 10/02/2012 at 6:38 pm #

      I think it’s state-specific rather than a rule across the whole USA – but it is indeed true in many states. But there’s a crucial difference: cars can turn on a red light, but they have to stop first – they’re not just allowed to go straight through. That might be a good solution for cyclists here too I think.

  5. hjwatso1 10/02/2012 at 10:43 am #

    I’m not in favour of it. Any traffic law which introduces doubt is not safe and as there are cyclists who openly admit I don’t know what most of the signs mean, I just think this is a bad idea.

    It’s not safer to go thru red lights ever. It’s how you cycle which make you and junctions safer.

    I can see it working in France as their attitude to the road is different and there is greater respect to cyclists. Here there is not.

    • Alan Moore 10/02/2012 at 11:21 am #

      “It’s not safer to go thru red lights ever”

      An interesting point. But is it right?

      I’ve never quite understood the safety argument for RLJing – apart from maybe a minor point about congestion as everyone starts off. Can someone explain?

      • Karen 10/02/2012 at 3:39 pm #

        I find when there is very little room, a lot of traffic, and cars planning to turn left, it removes any ambivalence about who’s going first if I jump the red light, especially if there is no space at front, or there is a left turn lane on the right side of a cycle lane. I also think there are some junctions that are just so busy and stressful to cross, I would rather go through the calm of the red light than be in amongst the traffic. And finally, when

        Luckily I rarely have to use any of these tactics as my usual cycle route is mainly a calm and low traffic one.

      • Tad 15/02/2012 at 5:39 pm #

        A couple of situations where it’s safer to jump the light:
        - When traffic fills the ASL and you are hemmed in beside the curb, particularly when trucks do this
        - When vehicles are parked ahead in the cycle lane

        In both cases getting out well in front of traffic is the only safe option apart from getting off your bike and walking on the pavement.

        • Tony 17/02/2012 at 8:29 pm #

          Agree. A London policeman I was once cycling with thru London RLJed at every opportunity and said it was far safer for the cyclist to do so. Juncyions taper out then in and cyclists tend to get squeezed.

    • Dave Sewell 10/02/2012 at 11:23 am #

      Well said. I agree with this sentiment 100%. Many drivers know too little about the right of cyclists as it is. Introducing a new right will only add to confusion and pure fuel on the fire of anti cyclist hatred.

  6. Mixk40 10/02/2012 at 10:47 am #

    OK I am not sure about this?

    Yes – Left turns and straight over at T junctions (no road on the left) I think it would work well and be simple to introduce in terms of the changes to the Highway Code etc

    Against – Any other type of junction! (Roundabouts with traffic lights would be a left turn in my book!) Just not sure about the pedestrians bit? I see too many close calls between bike’s and people now (I have one on my commuter route which is a cross roads and all 4 roads stop at the same time which means that you get pedestrians doing a diagonal cross over which confuses any cyclists that tries to cross at the same time ! ).

    The other thing that concerns me is around liability? If I am knocked of at a junction would it be down to me to prove that I was crossing on green ? Or would it be just assumed that I had crossed on red by the police and therefore allow the driver to get away with it (again!)?

    • Paul Davies 15/02/2012 at 8:44 pm #

      Mixk40. In response to your liability concersn, Two possible scenarios for collisions in a junction based on this topic are

      Riding through a green light – the only other traffic is generally traffic travelling in the same or opposite direction (not perpendicular) and also on a green light. No doubt on red light issue but would need to establish if you or other party was at fault in terms of, were you cut off, did you cut motorist off…
      OR
      Riding through a red light (illegally as current or legally as per Parisian trials) Cyclist would be in the wrong in both situations. As Greg Collins put it “Cyclists may only run the red lights if it is safe to do so.” If there is a collision then the question would be, “Was it safe to cross the intersection?” and if there was a collision, the answer would be, “no” in 99.5% of situations. (I know no example for the other 0.5% but someone else may do)

  7. Jenny Stables 10/02/2012 at 11:07 am #

    I too am concerned about the position of pedestrians with such a rule. “Give way to pedestrians” is a fine universal principle but weaving and shooting through wherever it looks possible is what usually happens. As a cyclist I’ve been used to feeling like a persecuted minority but now that I’m over 60 I feel vulnerable on foot too. Even a minor collision with an elderly person can easily result in their death or permanent disability.

    • hjwatso1 10/02/2012 at 11:52 am #

      “Give way to pedestrians” is a fine universal principle

      I had a discussion at work the other day and I was shocked after I told a story about me crossing the road and a bus speeding towards me after it had stopped at a zebra crossing and missing by and inch. I was shocked that people believe that road users don’t have to give way to pedestrians already on the road. I’m still in shock now that some people live in that belief… utterly crazy. And this was someone with a driving licence and another was a cyclist!

  8. Ray Whitehouse 10/02/2012 at 11:17 am #

    The biggest problem with going through on red lights is pedestrians and not just traffic, A lot of lights are on red so pedestrians can cross. I can see a lot of cyclists zooming past any red light stop line and not stopping until they come to the actual junction, by then they’ll have crossed the pedestrian crossing.

  9. Will 10/02/2012 at 11:28 am #

    To those worrying about pedestrians – don’t judge law abiding cyclists by the actions of those who already disregard it.

    The cyclists who fly through pedestrian crossings will do so whether the law allows it or not. Those who stop now will proceed with caution and care if given the opportunity to do so.

    This has been proven time and time again with “pedestrianised” high streets. A small number of cyclists will travel through these areas at dangerous speeds. Open them up to shared use and the number of cyclists increases, but the number travelling at dangerous speeds remains the same.

    • Dave Sewell 10/02/2012 at 11:30 am #

      So by the same token those who run red lights will continue to do so. Also what happens if a cyclist does not want to run the light but the driver behind is expecting him/her to? It is going to create a minefield of confusion for all concerned.

    • Alan Moore 10/02/2012 at 12:56 pm #

      A great point Will

    • Andreas 10/02/2012 at 1:35 pm #

      Good point Will

  10. Al Barclay 10/02/2012 at 11:32 am #

    Personally I’d say no as it might further divide the cyclist and motorist lobbies and it creates grey areas about how cyclists might tackle any type of traffic light.

    • Paul Davies 12/02/2012 at 9:47 pm #

      “Under the new rules cyclists will have to continue to yield to pedestrians and opposing traffic.”
      Al, the french proposal looks pretty black and white to me.

  11. TrekTrev 10/02/2012 at 11:49 am #

    I think it’s a good thing, we don’t have enough protection at lights, the amount of cars and motorcycles that sit in the big blue cycling box is ridiculous, do they really need the head start?? In the same way that we’re punished for going through red lights, they should be punished for this as it just adds to the risk for us cyclists.

    With regards to cars turning left around us, I just hang back if I can at junctions and then claim the lane as soon as possible. Karen, I agree with what you’re saying about the cars sneaking up behind you but if you claim the lane (which we’re well within our rights to do as road users), they can’t do that!

    • hjwatso1 10/02/2012 at 11:55 am #

      You make your own protection at the lights whether you have and ASL or not. It’s all about positioning. This is what I mean by you can insure your own safety by how you ride.

      I agree with you on the point that motorcycles and others should be punished when entering the ASL. However that is not the be all and end all of safety at junctions.

  12. PaulM 10/02/2012 at 11:52 am #

    Obviously it should be looked at case by case but in principle yes. The most obvious example is left turns, because in effect the cyclist can hug the kerb around the corner until safely established on the new road before adopting a normal riding position. Another example might be a straight on where there are lights at a T junction to permit traffic to emerge from your right. A good example of this is Procter Street/Holborn, just to the east of Holborn Kingsway tube station.

    In both examples of course you have to consider what other conflicts there might be, the most obvious being pedestrians using crossings. You would think that in a typical left-turn, with the traffic on green phase passing left to right or right to left in front of you, the introduction of a cyclist coming around the corner adds no material hazard to any pedestrian who takes his life in his hands by crossing the road. In the Procter St example, the red phase for traffic on Holborn Westbound is in fact also the green man phase for the pedestrian crossing. So you woudl either have to exclude this from any concession, or perhaps use a cautionary light.

    It is quite normal in France to see cautionary traffic lights – flashing amber arrows to the right (it would be to the left here of course), and they work fine. They simply say -”you can go if it’s safe”.

    Would specific cycle-phase lights, or these cautionary lights, really be so confusing to motorists? Surely it must be a qualifying condition to obtain a driving licence (ie pass the test) that you have good enough eyesight to be able to see signs, and a reasonable understanding of what all the common signs mean? Should we be indulgent about people who can’t even manage that?

    • Dave Sewell 02/03/2012 at 4:03 pm #

      Crossing on Amber. So what happens at a cross road if a car runs the amber? Bad idea and will not work. Also a 30 sec delay instead of 3 will have a huge majority of motorists up in arms and quite rightly so!

      • Nick 02/03/2012 at 5:07 pm #

        Dave, the collision risk won’t be altered because, as is always the case at every set of traffic lights, only one light can be amber whilst the other route (or routes) will always be on red.

        • Dave Sewell 02/03/2012 at 5:22 pm #

          Valid. I was thinking of the old “Amber Gambler” TV Public Information Film. Where one driver just on Amber and the other on Amber & Red. I still think the proposal will cause confusion. Just look at how many drivers have no idea about ASL’s or who think cyclists MUST use cycle lanes. It will add another element of confusion into the already confused minds of many drivers.

  13. Chris Harrison 10/02/2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Before adding new laws (and confusion) how about experimenting with the laws we already have.

    Many of the excuses and attempts at mitigation for RLJing is that the jumper can apparently see that it’s safe to do so. This is typically brought on by the red traffic light bringing the junction into disrepute by stopping people for no reason. We’ve all seen red lights at pedestrian controlled junctions where the requester has long since crossed and the red light is serving no useful purpose.

    What we actually need on these is permanent flashing amber; this gives pedestrians priority on the crossing, but won’t impede any road user any longer than necessary.

    I get fed up when a string of lights seem to change against you – so many change to red almost as a taunt to the previous light going green. Outside of busy times, many junctions could be set to flashing amber and everyone can just work it out for themselves.

    • Paul Davies 12/02/2012 at 3:38 pm #

      “What we actually need on these is permanent flashing amber; this gives pedestrians priority on the crossing, but won’t impede any road user any longer than necessary.”

      The permanent flashing amber serves its purpose but has no place on arterial, or other high volume roads/streets where there are a large number of commuting pedestrians wishing to cross at frequent intervals. eg Warwick Road and Earls Court Road. This only further disrupts an already interrupted traffic flow.

  14. Miles 10/02/2012 at 1:49 pm #

    No! and Yes!

    I get fed up watching clowns play games at junctions whilst trying to save themselves precious seconds on a commute through London. My favourite circus performers often try to ‘track start’ in between dodging oncoming traffic on a filter.

    There must surely be some sense involved. I can only see ‘jumping’ a red possible when there are NO pedestrians trying to cross (or about to cross) and no oncoming traffic actively filtering.

    A big yes to allowing left on RED and Pedestrian crossings with NO pedestrians crossing (or about to cross)

    A big NO to allowing most large junctions and light operated roundabouts.

  15. London2wheeler 10/02/2012 at 1:53 pm #

    There are all ready “A LOT” of cyclist who disregard the red light anyway!! and I see them everyday (literally)…! so i dont think this allowing cyclist to go on a red light is going to make any difference. in fact it may cause more confusion to other road users and pedestrians resulting to more accidents.

    I honestly think that cyclist should “NOT” be allowed to go on red light. simply because RED means STOP! and thats the end of it. it doesnt matter if your going straight or turning left.

    we should start talking about cyclist behavior and why a lot of them go through red lights. and maybe we can dwell on changing the way we cycle instead of changing the highway code.

  16. Greg Collins 10/02/2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Keys to the Paris scheme… It is only being implemented at junctions in 30kph zones. If the cyclist causes an accident they are still liable. Cyclists may only run the red lights if it is safe to do so.

    The most telling piece of context about Paris…. 0 cyclists killed there last year. 16 in London. Which suggests drivers and cyclists in Paris are habituated to each others presence and behave accordingly. When London has a Parisian safety record for cycling KSI’s then it might the time to introduce red light running there.

    • Anothereye 12/02/2012 at 10:28 am #

      Lights at junctions in Paris are different to ours in the first place; if a vehicle is turning right at a green light it still has to give way to pedestrians. As cyclists, on the nearside, going straight ahead are riding close to and parallel with the pedestrians the motorist automatically gives way to them as well. This may explain why they have less deaths than London.

  17. Matthew Bird 10/02/2012 at 3:12 pm #

    I completely agree with Brian and Hannahs points.

    When a cyclist causually flies past me stopped at the lights with headphones on I know that the seething drivers at the lights will not differentiate between me and him when they decide to pass too close further up the road. It really pees me off that my mountain biking friends will go through red lights when we hit the road. Probably cause they don’t urban bike as much as me and know that if you are to survive you have to be a little bit zen. Stopping at red lights makes me think I’ll last a little longer and it also gives you a chance to get back your concentration. Saying that in both cases I will make sure I catch up with them and overtake on the open road. Makes me smile

  18. skippy 10/02/2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Very happy to see the success of the “Cities Fit for CYCLING ” campaign ! Whilst it is still in it’s infancy , the fact that it is being discussed on the floor of both chambers of the House of Parliament bodes well for the future !

    Attaching an Orange Reflective board to those Traffic lights where a Cyclist may proceed , possibly attached to the Red Lamp of the 3 set will be visible to most people ! It would involve little cost but could be implemented quite speedily , ” Once ” the decision is made to follow Paris’s new regulations . I am suggesting Orange since it is the colour for Caution ! On the face of the board could be a black arrow indicating the direction allowed !

    Within a year there may well be changes to the initial choices and then it would be useful to wire in permanent winking orange lights to increase the awareness .

    With the Orange board being less visible initially , it will help slow speeding cyclists and encourage caution in their behaviour .

    For those that wish to promote the ” Cities fit for Cycling ” the following can be added into your ” Design box ( add a gadget ( configure html – add Java )) on blogger :

    Easily done as you will see from my blogs !

  19. Bruce 10/02/2012 at 5:56 pm #

    I thought I was a straightforward ‘yes’ on this question, but having read all the comments, now I’m not so sure. Good debate.

  20. Matt 10/02/2012 at 6:37 pm #

    In Portland Oregon a few years ago they implemented a policy (not actually a change in the law, but a publicly announced approach by the police) that cyclists could treat red lights as STOP signs. That has the main advantages of what’s being proposed here (cyclists don’t have to wait for ages unnecessarily, and get to go in advance of traffic) but doesn’t allow cyclists to go straight through (because you have to stop first, then go if it’s clear). Maybe something like this could work?

  21. Andrea 10/02/2012 at 7:06 pm #

    A straightforward YES from me.

    Give cyclists more rights. Do not look at America where cyclists are less tolerated than here, and where the motor is ‘king’ and where pedestrians can’t even stray off the pavement by law! Look at Europe where laws made for cyclists have the effect of educating motorists and best of all make cyclists seen as ‘real’ road users!
    Those who jump the lights, myself included, will do so regardless of what the law says. If they could do that legally motorists would have to learn to accept it and eventually would not get so angered (if anything would make their driving look even more pointless compared to cycling).
    And can I ask: where are all these pedestrians being killed by cyclists? The very few near misses I’ve had where with the usual pedestrian crossing the road after only having checked for cars!
    Pedestrians, just like drivers, are only trained to be aware of motor vehicles possibly because other road users are not perceived as a real danger. Cyclists are usually very aware of every road user as they are all perceived as danger. I am sure that crashing into a pedestrian would not be less painful for the cyclist!
    I firmly believe cyclists are the more vulnerable road users (pedestrians spend very little time on the road) and more should be done to help by means of legislation. I also believe that cyclists, by their sheer instinct of preservation, unobstructed sight and hearing and high vantage point, are also the most aware road users and indeed the ones who should be trusted to judge whether it is safe (and possibly safer) to stop or go through red lights.
    By giving cyclists more rights, motorists will eventually come to terms with it and accept us as road users, just like has happened on the continent. In Europe, cyclists are not tolerated and accepted because people are ‘nicer’ than here or because ‘it’s always been like that’ but because there is strong pro cycling legislation and cycling is promoted by governments as, believe it or not, a ‘good’ thing! Motorists have learned to accept it like they will here… eventually!

    • Dave 15/05/2012 at 2:25 am #

      Andrea while I support your view in the main I would like the American approach to pedestrians here. They should stay on the pavement, the number of pedestrians wandering across the road, daydreaming, listening to music, chatting on their phones, even reading a book are a constant trial!

      I have never hit a pedestrian, athough all my near misses have been while they were crossingnin the middle of the road, suddenly appearing between the stopped line of cars, or in front of a bus as I was passing.

      I have been using my little Brompton until recently for my 12 mile each way commute, and jamming the brakes on to avoid these idiots has caused me to fall time and again, on one occasion going base over apex over the handlebars.

      With all the sympathetic postings on behalf of pedestrians, lets not forget they also can act irresponsibly

  22. Andrea 10/02/2012 at 7:09 pm #

    N.B. I did not include Portland in my comments above. As far as cycling is concerned I do not believe Portland is part of America!
    (America=USA)

  23. Paul Davies 12/02/2012 at 5:15 pm #

    As a cyclist, I admit that I’m guilty of running/jumping the occasional red light on my commute and leisure journeys and I will quite confidently say that it is safe to do so; I treat the red lights as one should treat a give way sign; respecting the right of way and safety of other road users; pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike, as well as taking a paramount interest in self-preservation in my times of lawless riding.

    I believe that the introduction of further signalling/signage at intersections, while a simple concept to the logical mind, has potential to result in confusion to the percentage of road users (of all modes of transport) who revert to their reptilian cortices due to the increased visual stimuli (new signals).

    The simpler and more cost effective option is the introduction of a rule similar to that being trialled in Paris. It should provide cyclists with the right, but not obligation, to continue through a red light whilst respecting the right-of-way of all other road users. Nothing confusing there.

    The introduction of such a rule should result in a decreased number of cyclists in the ASZ has the potential to decrease congestions and enhance traffic flow.

    The only potential for confusion and frustration for road users is when a cyclist doesn’t respect the right-of-way of other road users. Then it shouldn’t be confusing as they just broke the law, maybe just frustrating. This type of reckless cyclist currently exists and will continue to exist (almost) regardless of the traffic rules. As will there reckless motorist who runs a very late orange (bright red) light as the perpendicular traffic is starting or the pedestrian who darts across a busy arterial or god-forbid, taking the opportunity to ‘jump the red light’ before the light changes leaving frustrated rule abiding motorists and cyclists waiting for the ghost pedestrians to cross…

  24. John 12/02/2012 at 6:38 pm #

    The highway code was written for all vehicles including bicycles, we are quick enough to point out our rights to car drivers when they fail to comply to it but feel we are able to ignore it when it comes to going through red lights.
    The idea of being allowed to go through red lights is crazy, apart from the chance of being hit by a vehicle the chances of hitting a pedestrian at a traffic light controlled crossing is huge, you cant always see a person easily, more often than not the pram with child is pushed out into the road or the dog on long lead let out first.
    Take prime position in the lane, you have a right to be there, I never cross over a junction in a bike lane in the gutter, you will find me 2 lanes over on the outside of vehicles turning left, everyone knows exactly your intentions and cant squeeze you anywhere.
    Like Brian said earlier about prime position stay there, also you dont get knocked off by car doors opening into you either.

    • Paul Davies 12/02/2012 at 9:43 pm #

      Legality is the only thing that separates London from the Parisian trials. If a cyclist isn’t fully aware of potential hazards then they shouldn’t be crossing the intersection on a red light, hypothetically legally or illegally. Sure the chance of being hit by a vehicle increases when crossing on a red light, but that same hazard exists when crossing at Give Way and Stop Signs.

    • Dave Sewell 13/02/2012 at 8:57 am #

      Well said John. Another voice of sanity.

      • Paul Davies 15/02/2012 at 8:59 pm #

        Sanity in paragraphs 3 & 4, agree 100%

  25. James Rock 12/02/2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Hanna/Brian I applaud you.

    Andrea/Paul I condemn you.

    By jumping red lights you do not only break the law and risk a fine but your breathtaking ignorance and arrogance puts law abiding cyclists at risk. Hatred of cyclists by car drivers and motorcyclists is at a staggering all time high and they treat us all with contempt because of your actions.

    What I would back is an absolute clampdown on this red light jumping ‘craze’ by people who think they are too cool to stop and hopefully a few fines and bikes being confiscated by the Police then these people would disappear or stop endangering us.

    I will say it slowly so the really hard of understanding can comprehend

    Jumping red lights does not just put you at risk (I couldn’t care less) but it is putting the rest of us at risk from attack by car drivers.

    Andrea – your suggestions that they might see cyclists journey’s as more appealing is frankly daft. I cycle 15 miles in and out but any more than that is just not practical.

    Also, be aware, pedestrians are starting to fight back. I saw one punch a red light dodging pedestrian bully the other day and I cheered loudly.

    I actually choose to ride a car heavy route home as it has less despicable cyclists and I trust cars and car drivers more than I trust these selfish morons.

    • Paul Davies 12/02/2012 at 9:44 pm #

      James, it feels a though you’re unfairly tarring all red light jumpers with the same brush. Sure it may be bending the law but as I said earlier, it’s possible to do it safely without directly affecting other road users e.g. treating a red light as a give way or a stop sign for example. (An indirect effect would be the frustration felt by a motorist who has not been directly affected)

      But this is off topic. I’m in favour of allowing cyclists to ride through red lights in a safe and unobtrusive manner, ‘give way’ if you will. Maybe then those who currently work themselves up into a tut after witnessing such a heinous crime, where the only victim is the aforementioned tutter who scalded themselves with hot tea as a result of an involuntary spasm of disgust caused by witnessing said crime will be able to focus their attention on more important issues.

      • Dave Sewell 13/02/2012 at 8:50 am #

        Paul. If cyclists can “bend” the law, why not motorbikes, or cars? It is a slippery slope.

        • Paul Davies 15/02/2012 at 11:50 pm #

          Dave. Your question feels a little rhetorical so i will do my best to answer in a similar fashion.
          “If cyclists can “bend” the law, why not motorbikes, or cars?”
          I presume ‘can’ is key to how the question is to be answered. So, let me rephrase it.
          Can cyclists “bend” the law? Yes. Do they? Yes.
          The next bit confused me because it feels as though you are implying that motorbikes and cars can’t “bend” the law and the logical conclusion would be that they don’t “bend” the law. I’ll rework my questions above for demonstrative purposes.
          Can [cars/motorbikes/pedestrians] “bend” the law? Yes. Do they? Yes.
          Not all cyclists, cars, motorbikes, pedestrians. Not all laws. Not all the time. But, it does happen.

          However, my previous comment is not advocating for people to break the law. Nor is Andreas’ post. The post is about France introducing trials to allow cyclists to cross lights and questions whether or not we believe such trials and subsequent laws would be beneficial in the UK. I think ‘yes’, a rule that allows cyclists to legally pass through red lights should be considered and I would be in favour of its introduction in the UK. However, while there have been some valid offerings on cycle safety, unfortunately many people largely missed the point of the post. e.g There has been a collective agreement that cyclists should not ILLEGALLY run red lights. Others were keen to point out that motorists are frustrated at cyclists illegally running red lights and that motorists would become not only more frustrated, but confused if cyclists began to legally cross red lights. However, there hasn’t been a great voice against the French proposal or the possibility of its introduction into the UK. It would be interesting to hear some motorists views on this.
          Education eliminates confusion and intolerance amongst many other things. This in turn would aid the progression to a greater respect amongst all road users.

          Nb: I do agree with James’ comment below, “it is not bending the law, it is breaking the law”. Bend just puts a softer slant on it and allows me to sleep at night after a hard day of running red lights. However, i was unaware of other road users employing brown rats to drive us and our filthy plague out of europe.

    • Dave Sewell 13/02/2012 at 8:53 am #

      It is so refreshing to read a comment such as yours James. I find it amazing that the same cyclists who are the first to attack motorists for breaking the highway code are those who are cyclists being the exception to the rule. When I read some of the comments above I feel ashamed to be called a cyclists.

  26. Dave Sewell 12/02/2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Finally there are a few voices of sanity appearing in this discussion.

  27. James Rock 13/02/2012 at 8:53 am #

    “Sure it may be bending the law”

    Paul – it is not bending the law, it is breaking the law. The penalty is a £60 spot fine and repeat offenders can have their bikes confiscated.

    “James, it feels a though you’re unfairly tarring all red light jumpers with the same brush”

    Paul – you completely miss the point, it is not *me* tarring all red light jumpers, it is motorists and that is why you and your fellow lawbreakers endanger me with your actions. Instead of treating us with care, other road users are now largely treating us, collectively, as plague carrying rats. It does not matter that only some rats carry the plague, they are treated collectively.

    Also, all red light jumpers seem unaware that motorists take visual clues. For example if they are stationery and all of a sudden there is movement as you take away from the lights then they may presume the light has changed and start to move, this increases the danger at junctions.

    Most importantly if you are passing through a red light, no matter how carefully, then it is almost certainly a pedestrian phase and it is highly unnerving as a pedestrian when you see the phase start, you start to cross and then see a cyclist, the assumption being that traffic has, or is about to set off. This is the bullying of pedestrians that adds to the all round poor perception of cyclists based on the selfish actions of an increasing minority.

    • Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 10:37 am #

      Cue applause!

  28. Ian Perry 15/02/2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Do we need most of the traffic signals we have in the UK?

    They are expensive to install and operate and seem to lead to many delays for all users of our streets, whilst their safety record is not good.

    • Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 9:14 am #

      Could you supply data to back up that statement please?

  29. Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 9:13 am #

    Paul Davies – Let me simplify my question. If bicycles are allowed to legally run red lights (if safe to do so) why not allow all other road users the same option?

    OH I am also a driver and a pedestrian (as many cyclists are) so you have a view from other road users right here.

    • Paul Davies 16/02/2012 at 11:04 am #

      Dave

      My views on why cyclists should be allowed to run red lights can be summed up in the following two quotes from this page.

      From linked Telegraph article in post above. “It makes cycle traffic more fluid and avoids bunching up cyclists when the traffic lights go green for motorists”

      “Cyclists, by their sheer instinct of preservation, unobstructed sight and hearing and high vantage point, are also the most aware road users and indeed the ones who should be trusted to judge whether it is safe (and possibly safer) to stop or go through red lights.” Andrea 10/02/2012 at 7:06 pm

      From my own personal experience as a cyclist, motorist and motorcyclist, I can’t emphasise how much I agree with the latter quote. Motorcyclists are on a similar level, but marginally buffered through their enhanced safety equipment and senses slightly muted due to the helmet and noise emitted from the bike itself. Car drivers are even more detached from the surrounding environment.

      Why not allow other road users the same option?

      While there are some situations where there is no doubt that it would be safe to cross a red light in a car, there are many situations where there are not. As we see on a daily basis at stop and give way signs, car, van and truck drivers are more than willing to stick their nose out into oncoming traffic with the knowledge that they are semi-protected being encased in a vehicle and that oncoming drivers generally want to preserve their own vehicles. Not only is it potentially unsafe, it also unnecessarily interrupts traffic flow, which leads to greater frustration amongst motorists. This behaviour leads me to say no, other motorists should not be given the same option.

      • Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 11:11 am #

        If there is on coming traffic then it it not safe to RLJ be it on a bike or in a HGV. I am asking about the situations imagined in the proposal where “IT IS SAFE TO DO SO”. As for cyclists being the most aware – Does this explain the number of cyclists who will ride up the inside of a HGV at lights and then wonder why they are hit, crushed or narrowly escape injury or death? Some cyclists are hyper-aware whilst others are cocooned in their own little world of ignorance (in the same way that some drivers are!

  30. Paul Davies 16/02/2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Two extreme hypothetical safety situations I think we can agree on.

    A clear safe situation would be when there is no other traffic, no pedestrians, unobstructed view.

    A clear unsafe situation would be when is high volume, high velocity traffic, a primary school group crossing the road group and obstructed view.

    These are two extremes and there is a massive grey area in between. So I believe “if it is safe to do so”, comes down to individual perception on the safety of the situation. Which can be derived from the risk profile of the individual; and how safe they feel in the mode of transport they are travelling.

    I believe that most motorists would not stick their nose from side street into cross traffic if they felt it was unsafe to do so. Past experience has taught them that they can get away with it, without causing any damage or injury, therefore their perception is that it is safe to do so.

    All things being equal, take the same motorist who is happy to stick their nose out, not erratically but cautiously, disrupting traffic enough to squeeze in or across the path of traffic and put them on a bicycle instead. I believe they would be less willing to stick the front tyre out because the perceived safety level of the situation has dropped. Put them in a HGV and it’s a different situation again.

    So while a motorist could hypothetically feel safe crossing or entering a lane of traffic through a red light, there is potential to disrupt the flow of traffic which the lights are partially there to aid.

    So still a no from me on allowing cars and trucks to pass through red lights when safe to do so due to drivers having a different perception of safety to cyclists.

    As for cyclists riding up the inside of HGVs at lights… Risk prone? Ill-informed risk adverse hugging the kerb? Who knows? The learning curve is not a gentle one in that situation.

    The existence of ignorant cyclists and motorists, agreed.

    • Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 1:16 pm #

      So the road user who is at greatest risk will take the safest course of action and place themselves in the least amount of danger? I think we must see very different cyclists on out travels.

      Back to the “If safe to do so” – I agree it will always be perceptual. I fail to see why the perception of a driver is worse than a cyclist. A driver can pull out of a junction faster than a cyclist and thus get in to moving traffic more safely than a cyclist. Your argument for cyclists being able to RLJ legally where it would be illegal for other road users is flawed and one that seems to be driven solely by the believe that cyclists should be an even more unique case than they already are!

  31. Paul Davies 16/02/2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Dave, I agree that “A driver can pull out of a junction faster than a cyclist”. Not really sure that faster is safer though “and thus get in to moving traffic more safely than a cyclist.”

    As you mentioned flaws, I’d like to see you point out some valid flaws in my argument. I didn’t say or infer that “the perception of a driver is worse than a cyclist”, or better than a cyclist for that matter. I said, and I mix my quotes, but if you read the entire post you will see that this is the general message I attempted to convey “drivers having a DIFFERENT perception of safety to cyclists” due to “the risk profile of the individual; and how safe they feel in the mode of transport they are travelling”.

    I’m happy for anyone to provide constructive feedback on the points that I DID make, in reference to legalising red light running for cyclists, as that is what this thread is about. Just don’t type something, pretend that I wrote it, then proceed to point out the flaws in it. Not really constructive.

    • Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 3:39 pm #

      If different road users perceptions are different but only a cyclist should be able to run a red light than implicit in that in the idea that a cyclists perception is best.

      • Paul Davies 16/02/2012 at 5:22 pm #

        Finally we agree
        Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 3:39 pm
        “only a cyclist should be able to run a red light”

        *yawn*. This is me signing out; I’ll be back when someone provides a constructive counterargument.

  32. Andrea 16/02/2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Paul, I agree with you.

    Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 1:16 pm
    “Your argument for cyclists being able to RLJ legally where it would be illegal for other road users is flawed and one that seems to be driven solely by the believe that cyclists should be an even more unique case than they already are!”

    If the current cycling arrangements in France, Germany and Scandinavia are the result of “flawed arguments” then I hope we see more of them here in the UK.

    Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 11:11 am
    “Does this explain the number of cyclists who will ride up the inside of a HGV at lights and then wonder why they are hit, crushed or narrowly escape injury or death?”

    Most cyclist deaths in London are due to the reason you mention above and I would hope you did not mean to be sarcastic about it. These are/were the cyclists that follow the Highway Code and the advice from the police by keeping to the left (in the gutter) and/or the so called “cycle lane”. You and others on this forum continue preaching we follow the “rules” just like other road users (may) do but as you just admitted it is not the HGV driver (or motorist or bus driver, etc.) who is hit, crushed or narrowly escaping injury or death. It is and it’ll always be the cyclist. Even pedestrians are not an issue and, since you like data, of the 600 being killed, just one is hit by a cycle (and not necessarily a cycle at fault). Your precious Highway Code and its current implementation by the police force is not necessarily safe or helpful to cyclists and it is one set of rules that I will not hesitate “re-interpreting” myself. After all I have my “priorities” and my own “interpretation” of the law just like the police seem to have and if they can use their judgement why shouldn’t I?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/16/police-cyclists-red-lights

    Dave Sewell 13/02/2012 at 8:53 am
    “When I read some of the comments above I feel ashamed to be called a cyclists.”
    When I read some of your comments I think you should feel ashamed!

    So, yes Andreas, I am still in favour of changing the law and following in the footsteps of those countries where cycling is not just a way of commuting but a way of life. Those countries where using a bicycle carries a reward not a penalty. Those countries where cycling is good!

    • Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Please show me where it states in the highway code that a cyclist should keep in the gutter. It was advice given 30+ years ago but is not there now I assure you.

      Address that and I will address the rest of your post.

  33. Andrea 16/02/2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I assure you I have no interest whatsoever in my post being addressed. Thank you anyway.

    • Dave Sewell 16/02/2012 at 4:40 pm #

      Or to put it another way you know your statement about the Highway code is incorrect.

  34. Dan 25/02/2012 at 10:56 pm #

    As a driver in London who is amazed at how many cyclists jump red lights, just a question for people to consider on here, I pay insurnace to drive my car and should i cause an accident I pay for any damage caused as a result of that accident, if London goes ahead with the idea of allowing cyclist to jump red lights who will pay for damages caused by an error of judgement?

    As Andrea says

    “Those who jump the lights, myself included, will do so regardless of what the law says……..The very few near misses I’ve had where with the usual pedestrian crossing the road after only having checked for cars….Cyclists are usually very aware of every road user as they are all perceived as danger…. I also believe that cyclists, by their sheer instinct of preservation, unobstructed sight and hearing and high vantage point, are also the most aware road users and indeed the ones who should be trusted to judge whether it is safe (and possibly safer) to stop or go through red lights”

    Should Andrea cause an accident due to a driver taking avoiding action, whilst he or she is on a green light at a junction and has right of way, or a pedestrian decides to cross the road whilst they still have right of way, who pays for the damage caused due to the cyclist? The driver who in order to avoid a cyclist who is “the most aware road user(s), hits another vehicle or worse, a pedestrian. Is the driver expected to pay for the damage as a result through his insurance whilst the cyclist rides off into the sunset so to speak without any regard to their actions and the consequences of it? Whereas if a vehicle did this it would be identified, traced and the driver dealt with under the RTA 88.

    I do not have any issue with cyclists jumping red lights in order to be safer, sometimes in a car in London I wish I could as I am amazed at the driving skills of some drivers (Or lack of) mainly busses which I have had to mount the pavemnt for as they turn left and dont notice a CAR, however as others have said if i see a lorry turning left i know as a driver that it may take a wide turn as it says in the Highway Code and i sit behind it and wait, which I had to learn in order to drive a car. Cyclists though should accept that sometimes their decisions are the cause of some of their problems, and please do not take that as a car driver blaming cyclists only as drivers are just as bad

    Should the rules regarding red lights change, how many drivers do cyclists think will slow down at junctions they have right of way on, potentially causing an accident with the vehicle behind as they are more cautious of the safer cyclist that ‘may’ think its safer to ignore the red light than the car behind them.

    I think though, the solution to the problem in London is education of road use for BOTH cyclists and vehicle drivers in equal measure as oppose to changing the rules regarding red lights and causing more accidents. Without education of the road in the UK there could and most likely will be more confusion and more accidents.As another posted stated the red light rule in Paris is on low speed urban roads, not the A3 in South London, or Oxford Street with busses pulling in and out. How long would a cyslist last doing that manoevre on the Champs Elysees, I wouldnt even risk trying to join it in a car?

    When I worked in Germany for a few years I heard a saying regarding the fact that the traffic lights for cars and pedestrian crossings running parallel with them in Germany both go green at the same time “Every year dozens of pedestrians die knowing they had right of way” after a car turns right into them as it too had a green light. Just something to think about

  35. Nick 02/03/2012 at 3:34 pm #

    There is a solution that is staring everyone in the face, but no one has seen it yet. Extend the time that the amber light is showing, from the current 3 seconds to perhaps 30 seconds, perhaps painting a cycle symbol on the face of the amber lense, and allow cyclists to cross on amber. Sure, there will be some motorists whowill still cross on amber, just the same as there will be some cyclists who cross on red, but the principle will be perfectly clear to motorists and cyclists alike and all other traffic will still be held on red as per normal. It would be easy to replace the amber light with one that showed a car with an “x” next to it and a cycle with a tick next to it, on really dangerous junctions, but most people will grasp the concept within weeks, even if english isn’t their first language. That 30 seconds would be enough to safely negotiate the junction, and may encourage more motorists out of their cars, if they can see that junctions are safer. The extra 30 second delay for motorists may well be compensated by easier parking at their destination as more and more motorists decide to get on their bikes, and of course deliberately making it quicker for bikes is a proven concept for reducing congestion in other countries. Let’s face it you lot, we simply don’t have the cash for the segregated facitities we see elsewhere, but this idea is easy for all to understand, foolproof even if you don’t, dirt cheap to trial,and easily rolled out if successful. Anyone want to take up my idea.

  36. Dave 07/12/2012 at 10:18 pm #

    I like the idea. but it still means that the things easy to enforce should be in place, like no stopping in the cycle lane, no stopping in the cycle box, with fines and points for transgressors actually being implemented. The same police officers that are fining cyclists are ignoring these issues to the point where they transgress them equally

  37. good 13/01/2013 at 10:12 am #

    I’m on an ipad trying to read this site, but for some reason it won’t let me pinch to zoom. It would be much appreciated by all your ipad visitors if you could change this setting. (it’s a meta tag in the HTML that’s limiting this).

    What this means for people with glasses is we will be much less likely to visit the site in the future. Its just too hard to read tiny text.

    Thanks for listening.

    cheers
    Goob

  38. PabloP 05/06/2013 at 10:11 am #

    Cyclists don’t kill people, drivers do! After 15 years cycling in London, here are some true stories, very relevant I think:

    1) Waiting patiently on Hyde Park Corner at a red light with another cyclist behind me. I pedal hard on the green light and go with the traffic. My fellow cyclist on a slower bike does not accelerate so quickly. He collides with the side of the car undertaking him and goes down. The rear wheels of the car run over one of his legs. I can still hear the screams of pain ringing in my ears to this day.
    Lesson: get out the way of the traffic at red lights!

    2) Cycling quickly along a main road, completely my right of way, a car coming the other way suddenly decides he can turn right before me. But I hit the side of his car, cartwheel over it onto the ground. The car doesn’t stop, and I was only semiconscious so couldn’t get the number plate. Followed by a long operation in hospital to pin a Grade 3 ACJ dislocation.
    Lesson: when a motorist breaks the law, it’s the cyclist who ends up injured/dead

    3) Cycling along a main road, a car pulls out from the left without seeing me, then brakes. I brake too but still hit the front of his car and roll over his bonnet on to ground. He gets out and I see his white dog collar, he’s a vicar.
    Lesson: religion won’t protect against drivers!

    So to repair relations between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, yes why not change the law? I’d want to come down harder on cyclists that run pedestrian crossings/ zebra crossings when not clear. The police are capable of judging this, so let them. I tell off fello cyclists if they do this. The might not actually kill people, but it’s very rude and unexpected for the pedestrian. A campaign to say ‘The Green Man is Sacred’ with a halo over a green man? That would greatly improve the pedestrian’s opinion of cyclists.

    At the same time change law so that red lights are for vehicles that kill people, i.e. motor vehicles. And state this is the reason why. Everyone can understand this, and drivers should be made to feel more guilty. They have blood on their hands (or bonnets in my experience!). As a pedestrian you see a red man on a crossing you give way. As a cyclist you see a red light, you give way. Simple.

    Then I think we could all get along rather well. Some stats for you pedestrians: You are 263 times more likely to be killed by a motor vehicle than by a bicycle:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090126/text/90126w0003.htm#09012627000041

    Cyclists don’t kill people, drivers do!

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