Would you like a fine or a safety course for jumping that red light?

Kuveer Ranger, Mayor's Transport Director Jumping red lights, talking on mobiles, cycling on pavements and driving into advanced stop boxes. All behaviours we are either guilty of or victim to. The message being spread by TfL is for all of us to be more courteous to each other on the roads and that nobody is above the law.

One of the ways of spreading this message is through stepping up police operations. This is likely to mean more fines for cyclists and drivers. Less serious offences are being given the option to either take the £60 fixed penalty notice or go on a safety education course that takes around 30 minutes. The definition of what constitutes a less serious offence is unclear.

Last year, the Met cut the total number of red light tickets issues by over a third. There are similar reports about less enforcement on the ban of mobile phones whilst driving. If you add to this the 20% budget cut for Met Police traffic officers then the evidence points towards less enforcement and more cowboys on the roads.

Decreased enforcements results in a less pleasant and safe environment to cycle, walk and drive. Of course, what is highly questionable, is the effectiveness in using police time to target cyclists. This is when you consider only one reported death from dangerous cycling in the past year as opposed to cars causing deaths on the UK road’s on a daily basis. The problem for police however is that their priorities have to filter down from community feedback and right now everyone is very angry at cyclists who disobey the rules.

It also seems a little unfair that community support officers are able to hand out fixed penalty notices to cyclists but not to drivers. While I stood at the TfL press event with police officers scattered everywhere buses were still happily pulling into advanced stop lines meant for cyclists. Whilst it is not actually against the law to stop in an advanced stop line it is an example of highly “anti-social” behaviour on the roads which this campaign is targetting.

The above picture shows the impunity which bus drivers receive.

When chatting to one of the officers I was also informed that in his opinion cyclists should not be on London roads if they don’t know what they are doing. It would seem to me that thinking such as this is quite alarming. Pointing out cycling to be an activity that only the brave and highly trained few can do does not help boost cycling in London.

Fortunately it’s not all bad news. There are a lot of positive outcomes from the Mayor’s Share the Road campaign and having better enforcement. For a start, the option to go on a training course is probably far more effective than handing out a fine. Also, it’s good to see that the official line is that both cyclists and motorists need to be targeted. The enforcement increase could have easily been focused just at cyclists.

Sharing the road and being a courteous road user is a message I can definitely buy into. It will be interesting to see if the crackdown on bad road users will have an impact around London.

Perhaps the best news from this press release and event comes from speaking with the Mayor’s Transport Advisor Kulveen Ranger. Fortunately, as a cyclist himself, he has experience of both perspectives. He recently asked the Department for Transport to review both the rules of the road and also the driving test to bring cyclists more into the equation. In the long term this might have the most positive outcome.

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54 Responses to Would you like a fine or a safety course for jumping that red light?

  1. Craig 25/06/2010 at 1:38 pm #

    ahh but didn’t Kulveer Ranger say that they would be “advising both road users and cyclists” at this public campaign of ticketing of cyclists? So clearly it is as the BBC reporter said “lowly cyclists” who are being targeted for special treatment. I could from Kulveer’s comments now say “I am not a road user and so I can cycle on the pavements and ignore the highway code”. I’m not going to because I want roads that its safe for my kids to cycle on when they are over 10. I don’t mind being fined for traffic infringements, but it does need to be consistent and even handed. Perhaps today TfL could have been using the junction to punish all road users, rather than one particular group. But then they may have needed to hand out on the spot fines to pedestrians for crossing late at lights!! As for the PCSOs – how are they going to hand you a fine if you have jumped a red, unless they are one of the few on bikes?

    • Andreas 25/06/2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Very true Craig – think it will be hard to be fined as if you jump a red you are long gone. TfL said to me “fines are a last resort” – I think this is a case of TfL say one thing, the police another and in the end on the road nothing changes.

      • Craig 26/06/2010 at 10:31 am #

        So why not have campaign days like this where they just offer the course and make suggestions – no talk of fines. A bit like motor vehicle safety census campaigns where you get pulled into a cordon. They give you a check up and then (mostly) a suggestion of what you need to focus on.

        • Andreas 26/06/2010 at 10:48 am #

          I guess they like to drop the word fine to make people aware of the severity. I don’t know..

  2. Adam S 25/06/2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Andreas you are absolutely right that this has nothing to do with attempting to target road safety where it is actually needed, and is being done to appease the small minority people who object to the behaviour of some cyclists.

    What annoys me is that this is a knee jerk reaction to the 2% of people who have turned up at a community meeting to complain, and does not consider whether this use of police resources is appropriate to the other 98% of people who have no issues with cyclists. (I made those figure up to illustrate my point). Wouldn’t those officers be better off issuing fine to motorists who talk on mobiles while driving or catching burglars etc etc?

    This will not stop in me the slightest from going over a red light if it is safe to do so for myself, other road users and pedestrians. I just might take a longer look out for a police officers in the vicinity to assess their ability to catch me as I disappear off into the traffic. Of course the vastly simpler alternative which would save everyone a lot of time is to simply hop off your bike and walk over the stop line, which no-one seems to object to.

    • Andreas 25/06/2010 at 2:45 pm #

      I think your made up figures are probably roughly right. If anything a 1% who complain to 99% who don’t care about cyclists jumping reds. I would personally agree with you that police time is far better spent on stopping people talking on mobiles – the potential for a disaster is disproportionally greater.

  3. Joby 25/06/2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I thought it was a £60 fine and 3 points for the ASL encroachment?

    • Andreas 25/06/2010 at 2:43 pm #

      I was told no fine or pojnts for ASL encroachment by a police officer.

  4. Jules 25/06/2010 at 1:54 pm #

    i fear it depends very much on the individual officer. i was stopped (oh the shame) for red lights the other week – very slowly and still gave way to the pedestrians – and was not fined. i saw the same guy having a massive go at a motorcyclist for being in the cyclelane (horah! – i find motorbikes very intimidating, especially at big junctions).

    i think the training course is a much better idea – but i do think the biggest problem with the bike boxes is that they are advisory not compulsory so they don’t have to stay out of them.

  5. Gary 25/06/2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Here is my 2 penneth on the whole jumping red lights bit…….

    I would say that the majority of us have done it, when it is safe to do so.
    I have done it, and continue to do it at Ped X’ings when there are clearly no pedestrians crossing.
    However, I have never and will never do it at junctions where cars are present.

    The whole ticketing of cyclists is a good thing.

    I watched the BBC report last night and nearly threw my remote control at the TV when the cyclist came on and said ‘I do it to be safe’….this is the lamest excuse ever.

    As a cyclist, why do we all feel the need to get to the front of the queue……even if there is a lorry or bus at the front of the queue. Hang back and wait, you wont be waiting long…..

    As I said, the ticketing of cyclists is a good thing as running a red light is against the law, but so is using your mobile whilst in your car. If you see a van or car driver using their phone whilst moving, tell them.

    As long as the police crack down on EVERY other minor road infringment, this is OK.

    • Andreas 25/06/2010 at 2:47 pm #

      I think the feeling is that if you skip a red at least you get 30-40 seconds of extra time cycling out of traffic which is much more pleasant. Of course this is not a valid excuse either but tough to resist. If anything I would like to see some kind of slightly staggered green light where cyclists get a few seconds to go first. Like orange means go for cyclists.

      • Bassjunkieuk 25/06/2010 at 2:54 pm #

        Or a little box at the front of traffic lights which allows cyclist to stop ahead of cars :-)

        With the majority of RLJer’s I tend to find that shortly after my lights changing to green I’ll be past them again shortly up the road so the “actual” time saving is sod all! Then again I generally find (bar couriers) that it is the slower riders who are happy to meander through a junction/crossing etc disregarding traffic signals….

        • Andreas 25/06/2010 at 3:03 pm #

          I’ve definitely observed the same. Yesterday I even saw a woman with a child on the back going through a red. Last person I expected!

  6. Gary 25/06/2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Oh, sorry, to reply to the topic….fine..hit us were it hurts and we won’t do it….

    • Andreas 25/06/2010 at 2:48 pm #

      According to TfL most effective has been training course. Everyone comes out with much better “safety awareness” so not sure which of two approaches works best. Be interesting to see some figures.

  7. Jim 25/06/2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Andreas, I think you’re being way too kind on TfL and the police here. You say yourself that they completely ignored buses stopping in ASLs, despite ASL infringement apparently being one of the things they were meant to be ‘cracking down’ on. And it’s not just ‘a little unfair’ that CSO’s can’t hand out FPNs to motorists – it makes a mockery of the whole policy.

    I’d love to know how many motorists have been pulled over and given fines as a result of this operation. What always seems to happen with these things is that the police target cyclists, because that’s the easy option and because they hardly any of them are cyclists themselves.

    • Andreas 25/06/2010 at 2:49 pm #

      Your probably right I’m being too kind. Trying to balance the two arguments. It definitely got my blood boiling watching the buses pulling into cycle lanes.

      • Jim 25/06/2010 at 3:53 pm #

        Yes, it’s hard to strike the right balance – I tend to prefer to just rant! Sorry to be overly critical.

  8. Bassjunkieuk 25/06/2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Unfortunately until this whole “hate the cyclist” mentality goes away I don’t think there is much that could be done about police money-raising sessions like this.
    The whole problem with RLJing cyclist is that they are so visible. Given the filtering abilities you have on a bike you can invariably get to the front of a traffic queue, regardless of other cars and bikes. All it takes is for 3 or 4 of a group of 10-15 cyclist to go through (quite doable doing the rush hour in London) and suddenly Joe Public comes off with the impression that EVERY cyclist RLJ’s

    I’ve seen plenty of cars, buses, lorries etc jump red lights – it’s just that you might only get 1 vehicle do it at each set, generally the one at the front unless you get some of the twunts where I live with the roadwork lights…….

    Other vehicles in ASL’s is something I’ve come to expect, as far as I’m aware the only excuse for them to be in there is if they get “stranded” meaning they have already crossed the 1st white line but can’t exit by the time the light turns red. I get rather annoyed by drivers who either roll on a red and still go into the ASL – I wonder if they realize they themselves have RLJ’d as they failed to stop at their designated line?

    • Justin Rolfe 03/09/2010 at 9:18 pm #

      A taxi yelled at me the other day after I jumped a light near him.

      At the next light I got in front to the advance zone, waited for the light to go green, cleated my right foot, then my left, then slowly pulled away. The light had gone amber by the time the taxi got to go.

      I shouted back (though I don’t think he heard) “Wouldn’t you prefer it if I was out of your way before the light changes?”

  9. Jonathan 25/06/2010 at 2:26 pm #

    My cynical brain says that catching cyclists is the perfect solution to drooping performance indicators because they’re easy game.

  10. Wahine 25/06/2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I am sorry, but people being angry at cyclists really p*** me off. As a cyclist I
    1) produce no pollution
    2) do REALLY efficient road use – if everyone cycled our road would process more people faster than with a car, bus or even walking
    3) DO NOT DRIVE A LETHAL WEAPON.

    Can i just repeat that last thing? As a cyclist I jump lights all the time. It feels safer and is part of a generally aggressive roadstyle – which is safer. But in a car I would not dream of jumping red. Ever. Why? When I am in a car I drive a (potentially) lethal weapon. When I cycle I continually try to save my own skin.

    Also, UK roads are not designed for cyclists. As a cyclists from the Netherlands, I am very aware of that. Until the rules, regulations and road design take the safety and legitimacy of bicycles into account, I do not feel bound by them.

    • Bassjunkieuk 25/06/2010 at 5:06 pm #

      But why do you feel the need to jump red lights? I can safely say I’ve never got to a junction and felt the need to jump a red light for my own safety and I’m damn sure Cyclecraft doesn’t recommend ignoring them.
      Yes the road system in this country doesn’t always present the most nicest environment to ride on but by riding assertively, which is entirely different to riding aggressively, you can get by safely.

      I’m more then happy to pull up in a queue of traffic where I feel safer and have better visibility down the road only to watch other riders trying to squeeze through small gaps or up the inside of cars or even buses and lorries. They can’t see from there what the lights are doing! Since I’ve started using a new GPS tracking system on my phone which gives me total journey time as opposed to “moving” journey time as my cycle computer does I’ve found that I’m only spending roughly 10 minutes at traffic lights on a 40-45 minutes actual riding time journey in London and for me that’s an acceptable “hold-up”

    • Stephen Armstrong 19/07/2010 at 8:17 pm #

      Hi Wahine – Taking your points in turn

      1)While you may not produce pollution the manufacturing process that produced your bicycle certainly did.

      2)Efficient road use would depend entirely upon your journey – I find it difficult to believe that my local Sainsbury’s would be able to stock much if eveything was delivered by bike. You would also have to take into account distance to be travelled, arrival time, departure time and, of course, whether there was a shower to use once you arrived.

      3)ARE YOU A MORON. Can I repeat that last statement. Just because you cannot work out the force of impact to a pedestrian – especially a child – by your “aggressive roadstyle” does not mean that it would not be more than enough to kill someone. The parents of Rhiannon Bennett would be able to willingly testify to this and that cyclist was travelling at approximately 17MPH.

      From the figures published, it appears that over 17% of impacts with pedestrians end in serious injury or fatality (www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Press_Archive/Share_the_Road1.doc).

      As a pedestrian from the UK could I ask you to please return to the Netherlands rather than continue to endanger people here? And would you find it acceptable for anyone to state that because local laws do not conform to their opinions they should not feel bound to obey them?

      • asdfasdf 01/12/2010 at 2:21 pm #

        that response was ridiculous!
        1.) how can you talk about the manufacturing process when a car requires a hell of a lot more than a bike, and constantly produces pollution when you use it!! a bike takes a very small amount to produce, and zero afterwards. a bike really does produce no pollution whatsoever compared to any other transport method.

        2.) he wasnt talking about literally everyone on the road cycling, only as a means of transport! obviously you wont get delivery men using bikes! your just being stupid and literal. but if everyone travelled to work by bike there would be a lot less traffic and pollution.

        3.) YOU are clearly the moron. 17% of impacts cause fatalities / serious injuries? but what number of impacts occur??!! and are you really saying that every time someone has a minor impact they report it? no of course not, so in reality there is a lot less than 17% fatalities. Its a meaningless statistics which look like it gives information but really tells you nothing, ever hear of the saying dam lies and statistics!? cars cause an unbelievable number of deaths / injuries in comparison. why is that you can name one specific person killed by a cyclist, and yet cars kill so many people they dont even make the news. quite frankly the safest way to cycle in london or major city is to jump most red lights, and to cycle as confidently as possible. a lot of cycling accidents occur due to people being to nervous on the roads. if you cycle as fast as the cars or faster and weave through traffic, you wont be caught on the wrong side of a lorry or have cars trying to do crazy overtaking, or pulling out in front of you. if you cycle very slowly and ‘carefully’ then people will take simply get annoyed and try to overtake, pull out quickly in front of you, and blast the horn at you, making you even more nervous! I’ve been cycling in london for many years, so i’ve had a lot of experience of how to cycle, and seen a lot of stupid things that cars do, and how overly cautious cyclists cause more trouble than those who cycle more aggressively as Wahine said. so i would get off your high horse, cycle how every you want but dont criticise other cyclists who will almost certainly have less incidents than you!

        • Justin Rolfe 01/12/2010 at 3:37 pm #

          @asdfasdf
          Hear hear.

          It’s clearly safer to be confident and out of the way of manouvering cars; by travelling with them; by dominating the road; and being the hell away from junctions when the lights go Amber.

  11. Knit Nurse 25/06/2010 at 6:23 pm #

    I jump one red light regularly, for my own safety. TFL knows that the junction is dangerous, they have even acknowledged that my suggested solution – to change the phases of the lights – would solve the problem without adding to delay times for motorists, but have failed to implement this solution. Funnily enough I wrote about this problem this morning on my blog.

  12. Kevin Steinhardt 25/06/2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Umm… using a mobile is not an offence on a bike, (RV(CU)R 1986 section 110 refers to “motor [vehs]”) but I would suggest one only does something phone-related if one has space and is going at a slow speed with one foot near the kerb; just make sure you’re not in danger of getting hit.

    • Craig 26/06/2010 at 10:27 am #

      It all comes down to skill levels and balance with mobile phones surely – hence as a traffic offence I would expect a fine for not being in control of my vehicle (motor or otherwise).

  13. Adam 27/06/2010 at 11:49 am #

    I’ve written this comment in response to these red light jumping is ok comments before, but as there’s a new out break of it’s ok to risk hitting people, let me again tell you about what it’s like on the recieving end..

    I was actually hit by a female cyclist on a mountain bike going accross a pelican on green for pedestrians (the wrong way up a one way buses only street too!) and it was not fun.

    Now I’m a 6 foot bloke in my 40’s so shook it off, cursed under my breath and carried on to catch the tube, carrying my folded Brompton. I got a grunted apology, from her, that was all. I was too stunned to have a go about what an idot she was.

    I did for about 2 minutes feel seriously pissed off and hurt. You know that someone has invaded my personal space without my permission hurt you get when bumbed on the tube by someone with a big bag.

    So for all you RLJs, just stop and think how it feels to be on the recieving end. Of course you are so careful when you do it, just as I am sure this woman thought she was being “careful” and doubtless clever too.

    Being hit by a cyclist is not fun so don’t jump the lights. If you need to get ahead, get off and push accross with the pedestrians.

    Adam

    • Bassjunkieuk 27/06/2010 at 8:06 pm #

      I heard a good story from my mate who’s a policeman yesterday after he mentioned he had his first cycle pursuit :-)
      Apparently the RLJ rolled straight past him at the stop line, ya know in his full Police bike and high-vis gear etc (so OBVIOUSLY paying attention there…..)

      My mate set about chasing him and caught him (he was rather proud of that :-)) but only after he’d requested the chap to stop and he didn’t! Unfortunately my mate was in a good mood so gave the guy a good ticking off after explaining to the RLJer what he’d just done. Jumping the red was one, relatively minor, offence but the failure to stop *could* have landed him with jailtime 0_0

      I personally have also seen a couple of occasions where people have ridden through red lights despite fully uniformed officers being present, so I don’t for one minute buy that all RLJer’s pay attention as they disregard the traffic signals.

  14. Kevin Steinhardt 27/06/2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Are TfL or the Met going to publish locations of fines, vehs being stopped, etc.? I would love to make a mash of the locations and compare them to poor infrastructure pics on CycleStreets. :P

  15. botogol 28/06/2010 at 9:39 am #

    After a couple of hair-raising incidents on my commute I have, for my own safety, quit
    – jumping lights
    – squeezing up the inside of queues of (hopefully) stationary traffic.

    On a 62-65min journey I have found that the difference between riding safely and taking those risks averages only about 3-4 minutes – ie really not worth it.

    Adults riding on pavements is – IMO – pretty inexcusable.

  16. Jonathan 28/06/2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I have to say I veer between observing lights religiously and taking the odd red ped crossing when empty or taking an early left to avoid the ‘traffic rush’ at busy junction. The old argument of ‘you give cyclists a bad name’ doesn’t really wash. Most motorists are at best indifferent to us and at worst want to see us off the road.

    I cannot really see a motorist thinking “look at that cyclist, waiting patiently in front of me, I will ensure I give him plenty of room as I overtake”. What they are likely to be thinking is “bloody cyclist at the front of the queue blocking my way” or simply not care.

    I want to see a radical change in the way roads are engineered so that cyclists are given consideration and more importantly, priority. I want to be treated as an equal road user but until the infrastructure is changed to accommodate me then I will, I’m afraid I will continue to occasionally flout the law. In my view the dire cycling infrastructure in this country reflects in the way cyclists behave.

  17. Roy 29/06/2010 at 3:40 pm #

    On my way to work I come accross lots of junctions where a cyclist is allowed to cross the lights with pedestrians because it follows on from the cycle lanes, when I get stopped by a red that’s where I go if i’m allowed, on junctions without this I’ll wait, (cant see the point taking the risk for a few mins, I’m only going to & from work after all & not doing something where every second counts) I do cross Ped lights if they’re empty.

    I will always try to get to the front if I can and get away before the race begins. and I popped up on the odd kerb to acheive this.

  18. Pingus 30/06/2010 at 2:56 pm #

    If all cyclists followed the highway code/rules of the road the world would be a safer place. And if it takes fines to achieve this then so be it. Bad feeling from motorists mostly comes from poor roadcraft on our part. As a driver as well as cyclist, I obey signs, signals etc as it is ingrained. Some of the behaviour I’ve seen from cyclists is appalling and we often deserve the bad name. Should we be obliged to take some sort of test before riding on the public highway?

  19. GL 01/07/2010 at 4:32 pm #

    I am so glad that the majority of comments here are for safe and legal cycling. I cycle commute 8 miles each way to work and nothing angers me more (even incosiderate driving) than cyclists who feel they can disobey the rules of the road.

    Cyclist forever moan that drivers do not repsect our right to be on the road (Wahine above) but why should they when cyclist feel they don’t have to stick to the rules. I can sympathise with drivers getting angry at cyclist skipping red llights and the like. Another thing to bear in mind is this; if you got hit by a car while skippping a red light and was killed or even badly injured, just think how that driver would feel knowing they have killed or injured someone, even though it was your fault. We should respoect drivers and they should respect us, but remember it does go both ways!

    We cannot complain about drivers or about how the system doesn’t respect cyclists until cyclists acept they are road users and therefore MUST obey the rules all other road users should. Surely we need to clean out own house before telling others how to clean theirs?

    On an aside, I would say that the majority of light skippers are (I apologise in advance ladies, but it is just an observation) ladies on sit up and beg bikes or couriers.

    • Kevin Steinhardt 01/07/2010 at 6:10 pm #

      I agree with your statement, GL, but I don’t think it’s a case of ‘we’. “We cannot complain about drivers” as a group, but if we obey the rules (no matter how annoying and frustrating half of them are)—don’t see why we can’t complain about drivers. I cycle a good 30-35 miles/day and nothing annoys me more than having to tell people that “It’s a one-way street, madam” (had to say this thrice today on Trinity St, Cambridge) or “You crazy arse” to someone jumping a red light. It is an annoying system, the road network, and there are plenty of minor things that could easily be fixed to make everyone’s life easier.

  20. OfficeHoward 05/07/2010 at 6:41 pm #

    @GL,

    As a driver I am happy to wait behind a red light. I am happy to obey the highway code. If cars went through red lights it would be a major problem (crashes, deaths etc.).

    As a cyclist, where there is a clear road, I am happy to continue unheeded on my journey (instead of stuck behind a car’s exhaust fumes / sitting in a position that could be dangerous once the lights turn green).

    For cyclists, legal isn’t necessarily practical, pragmatic or safe.

    • Bassjunkieuk 05/07/2010 at 7:44 pm #

      Now I just don’t get this. I’ve never had any problems waiting at lights and at some points I don’t even bother trying to get to the head of the queuing cars if I don’t think it’s going to offer me any advantage. If anything I’d say there is less pressure to get away from the lights quickly if you are behind the 2nd or 3rd car, in primary position.

      If you look at how traffic flows away from traffic lights you’ll realize that the person at the head of the queue will invariably try to race off but as you move further back down the line the cars pull away slower. I’ve had plenty of times along The Embankment during the rush hour when I’ve managed to get away from the various sets of lights with little trouble and usually pass the riders who have squeezed through to the front only to have to battle with all the “nodders” for position across the junction. Meanwhile I’ll stay in primary and match the cars acceleration (using them as a windbreak sometimes for the infamous headwinds!).

      Maybe it’s just one of those perception skills you acquire after riding in town for long enough or just knowing that RLJing doesn’t really save me enough time to be worth it in the grand scheme of things. Maybe if you think breaking the law is the only way you can ride safely then can I recommend you read Cyclecraft? Excellent book and it certainly doesn’t mention anything about ignoring the rules of the road.

  21. OfficeHoward 05/07/2010 at 6:57 pm #

    @Pingus,

    Your world is a very square one.

    @Jonathan,

    Quite agree. As cyclists we take up a little bit of room, compared to a motorist driving alone taking up lots of space and polluting the air. To really change roads towards being cyclist-friendly the rules of the road have to be tipped in favour of the cyclist (especially in inner-cities where car use is pretty questionable).

    @Kevin Steinhardt,

    You could get this info. [are legally entitled to this info] via a Freedom of Information request.

    @Bassjunkieuk

    Perhaps the cyclist was more concerned with what was on / about to cross the road, with an additional thought that the police officer might be more concerned with criminal activity rather than impeding a cyclists journey.

    • Kevin Steinhardt 08/07/2010 at 7:05 pm #

      @officehoward I would direct a request at the Met; right? (re: KSIs in London)

  22. GL 08/07/2010 at 11:00 am #

    OfficeHoward

    I couldn’t disagree with your statement more! In fact it really gets my goat!

    Either accept we are road users and obey the laws of the road OR accept that road users who do obey the laws of the road will never accept cyclists. You cannot have both. You cannot obey some laws, disobey others and still be accepted as a road user.

    If you choose to cyle on the road and disobey road laws please accept that it is at the detriment to all other cyslists. Perhaps if all cyclists obey the laws (and cars as well, they are not whiter than white) cardrivers and cyclists would have a little more mutual respect for each other and less accidents will occur.

    • Kevin Steinhardt 08/07/2010 at 7:04 pm #

      All traffic legislation needs rethinking; for example, pedestrians think they can cross the mouth of a road in Cambridge (Downing Street; you may know it) when the phase is green for cyclists to turn down the contraflow. I’ve had *so* many people shout at me for barging through them, even though they’ve got a red man. Is anyone going to fine them?; of course not. If I jump a red light to turn left… no pedestrians, no cars to cause a conflict… should I be fined? If it’s a toucan crossing on red for the main highway and I’m turning right onto a cycleway, I’ve got to cross the line to turn right; should I be fined there, or should I wait for an impossible gap in the traffic when the lights turn green? I’ve put in a FOI request to see if any TfL-controlled junctions are being rephased along CS3 and CS7—I’ll either get information that’s not relevant, or I’ll get a response stating “Rephasing traffic signals for *cyclists*? Are you mad?”.

  23. GL 09/07/2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Everyone is entitled to disagree with a law or petition for it to be revoked (a Tory policy at the moment in fact) but we can’t live in a society where if you don’t agree with the law you can choose not to obey it.

    So fine, disagree with the way road laws don’t necessarily offer the best deal to cyclists, petition your MP and councillors and I will be first in line to join you, but the simple fact is, they are laws and ALL road users should obey them whether you agree or not. Otherwise anarchy will ensue!

  24. dave lambert 09/07/2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Here’s something to think about. There are lots of comments here which state that all laws should be complied with no matter what circumstances and that anyone who doesn’t should be not be given any respect on the roads. There are even some who think that if all cyclists obeyed all laws that somehow public opinion wold automatically change. Can anyone tell me why speed and traffic light camera locations are notified with signs, dayglo stickers and on maps and gps units?

  25. Jonathan 20/07/2010 at 10:27 am #

    I’d like to know where all these law abiding cyclists are. On my commute from SE to SW London I can count a handful who wait patiently at the lights. Me included.

    In my experience all sorts jump red lights. Old, fat, fit, man, woman and child.

    Yesterday I pootled up to a guy doing a trackstand in full TdF team kit at a busy junction. He waited for a bit then either 1. got bored 2. could no longer hold his trackstand and proceeded to weave through the junction. Other offenders are newbie cyclists in day-glo jackets(I can say this as I was once guilty of day-glo yellow wearing). I have also seen lady cyclists on sit-up-and-beg’s sauntering across busy junctions. Pavement riders are mostly either 1. children(fair play) 2. overweight men on mountain bikes. One generalisation I will make is BMXers who ALWAYS jump red lights and/or ride on pavements. :-)

  26. Frank Cartledge 05/10/2010 at 8:11 pm #

    I’ve just nearly been hit by a cyclist who jumped a red light and informed me as a pedestrian that it was his right of way. Fair enough, however, I have difficulty in walking and if younger would honestly have pushed him off his bike. Whilst I understand for some cyclists (especially male) that there is a certain endorphin rush and pride getting home and beating your best time.. I’D LIKE TO REMIND THEM THAT I DRIVE A CAR and that I am sure if I treated the road with the same careless and blissful ignorance that they choose to adopt that a/ I would lose my licence b/ lose my liberty,

    There is a breed of male cyclist in london who really need to realise that not everybody is pumped up on steroids and can gymnastically avoid the oncoming scream of their male libido (just hold a plaster cast of your member so that I no to get out of the way).

  27. OfficeHoward 28/01/2012 at 12:25 am #

    @ GL

    LIve And Let Live!

  28. OfficeHoward 28/01/2012 at 12:33 am #

    @ Frank,

    All about sharing the road I guess; I’d always try and steer *around* any pedestrians instead of cycling straight for them!

    I once came across a cyclist who physically pushed somebody out of the way near Liverpool Street (causing me astonishment at the time, and causing me to chase him and verbally remind him about decency!).

    There must be some cycling code of conduct / etiquette guide out there somewhere, perhaps it could do with distribution to certain people!

    Or, how about some stickers which could be stuck on a rude-cyclist’s bicycle with a link to a website about good cycling conduct?!

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