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  1. #1
    Senior Member Number400's Avatar
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    Aggressive drivers turning left on green with the light change

    Four way intersection. Each direction has a turn lane and a straight/right turn lane combination. Lighted crosswalk signs with painted crosswalk on road.

    We were astride our bikes on the pedestrian/bike path (this is an official, marked bike route that is also a sidewalk) and pressed the cross button. Lights changed our way and our walk sign lit up at the same instant the light turned green. An oncoming driver in the opposing left turn lane started to race through to turn left before the cars with us began to move. I was looking back and forth to make sure no drivers were turning right from behind me as I was entering the crosswalk. So I get a few feet into the crosswalk and swivel my head back and see him going for it. He has to slam on his brakes but is now looking like he is attempting to time me and dart behind but still try to beat the oncoming traffic. He winds up partially blocking the opposing traffic from making it through the intersection. I yelled "don't do it!", but had already put myself in harms way by entering the crosswalk. I guess it is another lesson and situation to put on my list of things to watch out for. It happened pretty fast and I usually wait for a few seconds before entering an intersection but in this case there was zero cross traffic in either direction.

    Life really is cheap for a few impatient and dangerous drivers.
    Last edited by Number400; 12-23-13 at 11:04 AM.
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    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    This is a very common aggressive driver move. Namely to "Jump the Green" as hard and as fast as possible to get a left turn in before straight through traffic starts moving enough to block. Basically so they can block straight through traffic rather then being blocked by straight through traffic.

    I see it every day I'm on the roads. Seems to be more common among people driving large pick-up trucks and high end import cars.

    Personally I think it should be worth a 1-year minimum drivers license suspension and vehicle confiscation the first time they bust you doing it with 100% draconian enforcement. It's an absolute knowing deliberate belligerent act and should be dealt with accordingly.

  3. #3
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Very common in aggressive drivers. They think nothing of hitting and/or killing a pedestrian, let alone a cyclist.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number400 View Post
    Four way intersection. Each direction has a turn lane and a straight/right turn lane combination. Lighted crosswalk signs with painted crosswalk on road.

    We were astride our bikes on the pedestrian/bike path (this is an official, marked bike route that is also a sidewalk) and pressed the cross button. Lights changed our way and our walk sign lit up at the same instant the light turned green. An oncoming driver in the opposing left turn lane started to race through to turn left before the cars with us began to move.
    Welcome to the world of rude and impatient drivers. So you don't feel singled you as a bicyclist, be aware that the same post could appear in some kind of motorists forum.

    Here in the New York area, the window of opportunity for lefts can be very small. Once traffic is flowing in both directions, the entire light cycle can end before a gap for a left opens up. Usually the first car can then turn as the light changes (the motorist version of a Copenhagen left), but no others, unless they continue to flow after the change (which also happens). Anyway, faced with the prospect of having to (god forbid) wait a full cycle to make a left, drivers jump the *** and preempt oncoming traffic. Around here it's often more than the first drivers, I've seen streams of drivers do this once the flow was established.
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  5. #5
    Not quite there yet Matariki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Very common in aggressive drivers. They think nothing of hitting and/or killing a pedestrian, let alone a cyclist.
    I kinda imagine that they would be disturbed if they hit someone. The problem is that most drivers see only the other motor vehicles. Their limited vision causes them to be surprised by pedestrians and other road users.

    These sort of combo bike path/pedestrian crossings are very uncomfortable for me. I tend to dismount and act like a pedestrian.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member the fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post

    I see it every day I'm on the roads. Seems to be more common among people driving large pick-up trucks and high end import cars.

    Personally I think it should be worth a 1-year minimum drivers license suspension and vehicle confiscation the first time they bust you doing it with 100% draconian enforcement. It's an absolute knowing deliberate belligerent act and should be dealt with accordingly.
    I doubt I've done this more than 5 times in my 20 plus year driving career, but there are times when you have one idiot asleep at a lightly trafficked intersection and you pretty much have to jump ahead. I don't condone it, but I can see how it's possible to do without causing grave danger to anyone. I think I did it a year ago in my Prius, so add that car to the ******bag list.

  7. #7
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matariki View Post
    I kinda imagine that they would be disturbed if they hit someone.
    Why? It's the cyclist's fault. Always.

    He needed to make that light cycle because he's important. Mommy told him so. That cyclist should've known better then to get in his way;they just like to get in the way of cars because they're arrogant.

    This is why I always check first around DC,on the bike and on foot. Lots of light jumpers and light runners. People are even starting to make lefts on red. In DC,it's common for a driver to position themselves in the center of the intersection so they can make a left after the light turns. And quite often a second car will follow them,right through the red light. I've even seen a third and fourth car conga-line through a red like this. And about a half dozen times I've seen the second car cut up the inside of the first one and actually try to cut them off(and honk)!

    People in DC just don't care. They've got somewhere to be,and everyone else is just in their way.

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  8. #8
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matariki View Post
    I kinda imagine that they would be disturbed if they hit someone. The problem is that most drivers see only the other motor vehicles. Their limited vision causes them to be surprised by pedestrians and other road users.

    These sort of combo bike path/pedestrian crossings are very uncomfortable for me. I tend to dismount and act like a pedestrian.
    Carlos Bertonatti was not unique to not caring. Aggressive drivers don't stop and make a U-turn or back up to see the who(or what) they hit. Then call 911 and start to administer First Aid/CPR to make sure the person they hit doesn't die.

  9. #9
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Why? It's the cyclist's fault. Always.

    He needed to make that light cycle because he's important. Mommy told him so. That cyclist should've known better then to get in his way;they just like to get in the way of cars because they're arrogant.

    This is why I always check first around DC,on the bike and on foot. Lots of light jumpers and light runners. People are even starting to make lefts on red. In DC,it's common for a driver to position themselves in the center of the intersection so they can make a left after the light turns. And quite often a second car will follow them,right through the red light. I've even seen a third and fourth car conga-line through a red like this. And about a half dozen times I've seen the second car cut up the inside of the first one and actually try to cut them off(and honk)!

    People in DC just don't care. They've got somewhere to be,and everyone else is just in their way.
    DITTO!!!! Motorists' in the region are so self-absorbed!!!!!

    Whenever I come to an intersection, I am looking in left-turn lane of the opposing traffic. On several occasions, I have almost been hit by vehicles turning left when I was already in the intersection. I have seen left-turn vehicles cut me off here, because they didn't want to wait to proceed behind me. I also have encountered vehicles that would have T-boned me, had I not been watching what they were doing.
    Last edited by Chris516; 12-23-13 at 07:32 PM.

  10. #10
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    In Response Too: "the fly"

    Up here in MT it is rare that you would not get a chance to turn left after the straight through traffic goes through and still have time on the solid green to make your left after yielding to straight through traffic. If an intersection normally has enough traffic and left turners for you not to have that chance it gets changed to a green arrow protected left hand turn three or four stage light cycle.

    The ones who do this up here (as I said I see it almost every day up here) are not doing it because its the only way to make a left. They are doing it because they don't want to wait for the half dozen straight through cars to go first and then they take their left on the solid green well before the yellow and red. Its an act of absolute knowing deliberate belligerent aggression on the "me first" level of using brute force to make someone wait for you rather then waiting for them. Usually its just the first vehicle in line for a left or maybe the first two that pull the stunt, especially since people up here going straight have taken to slamming on their gas and charging the left turn jumpers in a retaliatory act of aggression. Now the freight train thing with a whole line of bumper to bumper cars that keep coming and turning across ROW through traffic that usually happens when the green arrow ends. Can't be sure that's a deliberate act, often I think people are just following the car in front of them and not looking up at the light and don't realize the green arrow is gone and its just plain green.

    As to peds. in cross-walks (and cyclists as well) a couple towns up here have taken deliberate action to address motorist aggression and have successfully changed the local situation. However, everywhere else its a game of chicken between the motorists and cross-work users as to who will blink first. I've personally witnessed cases not only of motorists (usually right turn) revving their motors, honking, and yelling at peds. in the cross-walk to get out of their way but actually first braking to a stop and then moving forward and physically bumping their front bumpers against pedestrians legs to physically get them to get out of the way, and I've seen cops watch it happen and do nothing. And I'm not talking about peds. crossing against the red and the "don't walk" sign I'm talking about peds. crossing with the green and the "walk" sign. I've also been at school board meetings where parents wanted to get rid of even volunteer crossing guards and clearly stating in the school board meeting that peds. are only allowed to cross at cross-walks and only when they can do so without getting in a cars way and cross-walk guards are stupid for trying to stop car traffic for peds. (school children) to cross and that instead the school bus should take all kids including those who live right next door to the school steps as this is the only safe situation. Usually these are the parents that live close enough to the school that the school refuses to have a bus pick up their kids (a couple blocks at most) and they refuse to let their kids actually walk or bike to school and instead drive their kids themselves the block or two to school and are angry that the crossing guards don't let them just blow through at twice the speed limit to get their kids dropped off as quickly as possible because their precious little fat chubbers can't be subjected to the indignity of actually having to walk or bike to school, never mind the fact that a lot of the more rural area kids walk up to half a mile to get the the bus stop !!!

    It's sick.
    Last edited by turbo1889; 12-23-13 at 07:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Why? It's the cyclist's fault. Always.

    He needed to make that light cycle because he's important. Mommy told him so. That cyclist should've known better then to get in his way;they just like to get in the way of cars because they're arrogant.

    This is why I always check first around DC,on the bike and on foot. Lots of light jumpers and light runners. People are even starting to make lefts on red. In DC,it's common for a driver to position themselves in the center of the intersection so they can make a left after the light turns. And quite often a second car will follow them,right through the red light. I've even seen a third and fourth car conga-line through a red like this. And about a half dozen times I've seen the second car cut up the inside of the first one and actually try to cut them off(and honk)!

    People in DC just don't care. They've got somewhere to be,and everyone else is just in their way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    DITTO!!!! Motorists' in the region are so self-absorbed!!!!!

    yeah, drivers here are pretty awful. i've noticed the "occupying the box" move for years, even before i moved here. granted, wilmington north carolina didn't have near the amount of cyclists as DC does. there, the move is to pull into a turn lane and wait for a gap in traffic and then merge in....



    i'm really surprised that people are just now realizing that driving makes people complete idiots. over the last year i've steadily become convinced that auto use inhibits higher brain function.

  12. #12
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    From what I've seen, I would call that "normal" driving, except by timid drivers. I think it's kind of rare in my experience to have a left turn lane that isn't protected, more typical is the lane is through/left. So if you don't turn at the green, you hold up all the traffic in the lane behind you that's trying to go straight. It really only works well on multi-lane roads because you have a much shorter path making the left turn into the nearest lane. Unless cyclist is jumping the green I don't really see how cyclist could get into a risk of collision, but let's face it, cycling in the sidewalk (signed as bike path/way or not) invites trouble. In my state max legal speed is 10mph and AFAIK you have to dismount/walk in cross walk.

    As far as blocking traffic while turning left, that seems to be a normal procedure for city buses here.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    When I was in Taiwan in '95, this was the SOP when a light turned green. Everyone would rush into the intersection to see who would get there first, and two or three cars would make left turns before the through traffic could assert itself. This did not cuase any road rage, as it was expected behavior. I saw it for the first time today in Orange County CA. It was only one car, of course, as this is not the cultural norm here. I do expect to see more of it. One thing that is very common in LA for the last fifteen years at least is for a car to get into the right turn lane, then race across the intersection when the light changed, cutting off the car in the right through lane.

    I expect to see more of the behavior the OP described going into the future. Hate it all you want, I intend to prepare for it and add it to my list of defensive riding tools.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    .... I saw it for the first time today in Orange County CA. It was only one car, of course, as this is not the cultural norm here. I do expect to see more of it. One thing that is very common in LA for the last fifteen years at least is for a car to get into the right turn lane, then race across the intersection when the light changed, cutting off the car in the right through lane.

    .
    That's been par in NY and other major east coast cities for years. It's nice to finally see something that didn't originate in California and drift east.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Welcome to the world of rude and impatient drivers. So you don't feel singled you as a bicyclist, be aware that the same post could appear in some kind of motorists forum.

    Here in the New York area, the window of opportunity for lefts can be very small. Once traffic is flowing in both directions, the entire light cycle can end before a gap for a left opens up. Usually the first car can then turn as the light changes (the motorist version of a Copenhagen left), but no others, unless they continue to flow after the change (which also happens). Anyway, faced with the prospect of having to (god forbid) wait a full cycle to make a left, drivers jump the *** and preempt oncoming traffic. Around here it's often more than the first drivers, I've seen streams of drivers do this once the flow was established.
    This is a common occurrence in China. The worst part, its a widely accepted practice, whoever enters the intersection first wins. One defensive strategy is to use larger vehicles traveling in the same direction as a shield. I try to avoid being the first or only person in the intersection if possible. Sometimes a horn is helpful.

  16. #16
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    yeah, drivers here are pretty awful. i've noticed the "occupying the box" move for years, even before i moved here. granted, wilmington north carolina didn't have near the amount of cyclists as DC does. there, the move is to pull into a turn lane and wait for a gap in traffic and then merge in....



    i'm really surprised that people are just now realizing that driving makes people complete idiots. over the last year i've steadily become convinced that auto use inhibits higher brain function.
    Also, How motorists straddle the lanes of a multi-lane road, because they don't want to pass the cyclist by going in the other lane.

  17. #17
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Also, How motorists straddle the lanes of a multi-lane road, because they don't want to pass the cyclist by going in the other lane.
    Even worse when they try that stunt on a two lane road with oncoming traffic in the other lane.

  18. #18
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    Even worse when they try that stunt on a two lane road with oncoming traffic in the other lane.
    Especially with the 'passing' laws. Regardless of whether it is 0, 2, 3, or 4ft., on a two-lane road, to motorists' it is like going into the opposing lane to pass is a sin. Just the other day, I was on a 30mph two-lane blacktop going about 20mph for a .25mi.

    Cars repeatedly tried making dangerous passes. Not only on the left which would have been legal. Several of them also tried to pass me on the right, which is not legal. Motorists' around here, are self-absorbed idiots!!!!!

  19. #19
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    Even worse when they try that stunt on a two lane road with oncoming traffic in the other lane.
    We lost a woman in MD when a driver did just this...on an uphill! As she was cresting a car was coming the other way so the driver got back in the lane and took out the cyclist. No criminal charges were filed either.
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    Senior Member the fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    Up here in MT it is rare that you would not get a chance to turn left after the straight through traffic goes through and still have time on the solid green to make your left after yielding to straight through traffic. If an intersection normally has enough traffic and left turners for you not to have that chance it gets changed to a green arrow protected left hand turn three or four stage light cycle.
    Not trying to argue with you at all. A quick left turn ahead of oncoming traffic is dangerous. OTOH, I frequent several intersections where traffic is sparse most hours of the day. It is not unusual to be in the left turn lane with a caution arrow, waiting for a driver on the other side of the intersection to wake up from his slumber. Many people here can't even operate a four way stop or a roundabout. I've actually passed a car that came to a complete stop in the middle of a roundabout, either trying to decide whether or not to turn, or possibly waiting for an invisible car to enter the roundabout. Kinda dangerous on my part, but I was super frustrated at the time. Several times I've had to come to a stop behind cars who mysteriously stopped for green lights. I don't know what it is, college kids, rural people first time in city, etc, but it's crazy here at times.

    Just making a case that automatic vehicle impoundment for a quick left turn may not be the most fair solution.

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    Yeah-that is a pretty standard "I'm in a hurry and I have a BMW MB "
    If it is a pickup-it is usually younger male being a younger male.
    Pretty much nothing you can do about it-but anticipate it-perhaps make eye contact with any drivers behind you so they "know" you are there,and are human-with luck they won't ram you when you brake hard

  22. #22
    Senior Member zvez's Avatar
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    yep, been seeing this more lately. I'm hyperaware because I'm almost always riding a motorcycle.

    Since starting cycling I'm also amazed at how aggressive drivers are in passing bicycles and other situations.

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    Hate to be contrary, but it sounds to me as though the driver trying to "jump" the light (actually, based upon my interpretation of what the OP wrote, the driver only moved on green - just because he moves before oncoming traffic doesn't make him a "jumper" in my book). ultimately did exactly what is required of him in this situation. Being alert to the opportunity to making a left turn on green ahead of oncoming traffic is no violation. Obviously, the driver must wait for the intersection to clear and must be aware of and avoid collision with pedestrians or cyclists in the crosswalk.

    It sounds to me that he managed to do this in the OP's case.

    Furthermore, he is no more guilty of "jumping" the green than the OP, who also appears to have "jumped" the green. OP, you have the entire light cycle to safely make it across the intersection. The "jumping" motorist will sit through that same cycle if he cannot safely make the left ahead of oncoming traffic.

    Fortunately, there is no blood here, and that is how I call it, no blood.

    As operators of vehicles (motorized and not), we all tend to view situations from our perspective alone.

    In reality, there are always two sides to every coin.

    If I were a motorist, in line behind the "jumper" in this case, I would be grateful that he was alert enough to make his left ahead of the oncoming traffic - one more car that can get through the light at a congested intersection. As a cyclist, I would try to be more aware, sympathetic to the fact that I save almost no time in getting through the intersection ahead of "jumper". Be aware and let him pass, then be on my way safely. No need for me to assert my vehicular rights in this situation.

    OP, in my view, the motorist was at least as alert as you, since he stopped. The momentary blocking of the intersection (for the oncoming motorists) was of minor consequence.

    There is no cop that would cite "jumper" as he committed no infraction. To suggest a license suspension is beyond extreme in my view.

    Happy cycling.

    Caruso

  24. #24
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zvez View Post
    Since starting cycling I'm also amazed at how aggressive drivers are in passing bicycles and other situations.
    If you live in a region, where cycling is accepted(even revered) as an alternative form of transportation, then the hostility towards cyclists' on the road, is probably far less. Than in a metropolitan region.

  25. #25
    Senior Member zvez's Avatar
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    unfortunately for me, my area west central ga is not enlightened about cycling so motorists don't feel cyclists have any right to be on the road at all...........
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    If you live in a region, where cycling is accepted(even revered) as an alternative form of transportation, then the hostility towards cyclists' on the road, is probably far less. Than in a metropolitan region.

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